The application window for the grant portion of the Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund will open on May 3rd at 9 a.m. The application will ONLY be available on this site, so check back on May 3rd to start the application process!

The second round of this program has several differences compared to the first round in 2020, so make sure to read more about the Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund below before applying.

In the spring of 2020, The Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund was created to provide emergency relief to small businesses located in Lancaster City struggling due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 shutdown. The focus of the fund is to support vulnerable small businesses in local communities that have disproportionately not received federal funding support. Click here to download a PDF of the final report summary of the program.

Despite the first round of success, the small business community continues to experience the ongoing impact of the pandemic, social unrest, and environmental injustice. Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses in particular have struggled to access relief funding and stay afloat.

To help combat these struggles, the second round of the Emergency Fund will open in May of 2021 with $700,000 available in highly flexible, low-interest loans, and $143,200 available in grants . This Fund will also focus on investing in the success of those businesses most critically impacted by COVID-19, specifically Lancaster City’s small businesses in the food service, salon and barber shop, arts and entertainment industries. Additionally, the Grant program will be complemented with a required 6-week training program offered exclusively to small business owners in the food service industry and facilitated by the Women’s Business Center at ASSETS.

CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO APPLY NOW!

IMPORTANT – We highly encourage ALL applicants to thoroughly review the information detailed on this page before starting an application. 

BUSINESS QUALIFICATIONS AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 

PurposeThe Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund provides access to affordable loans and is intended to support an inclusive and diverse small business environment within Lancaster City.
Eligibility•We encourage all applicants to consider the best solution for their business based upon cash needs and ability to take on more debt.
• Businesses between $500,001 - $2 million in annual revenue are eligible to apply for a loan.
• Owners of multiple businesses can only apply for funding for ONE of their businesses.
• Business must operate within Lancaster City.

*Please note that you are still eligible to apply if you received funds through the SBA Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Amount Available per Business:Up to $40,000 loan; final amount determined by the review committee
Business QualificationsAll applications will be equitably vetted and reviewed by Community First Fund based on their standard loan approval practices and the following characteristics:

- Eligibility based on industry
- Longevity in business
- Long-term sustainability
- Historic profitability
- Local economic and community impact of business
- Location of business in Lancaster City
- Impact on the streetscape of Lancaster City
- Number of employees
- Severity of current need

*The Review Committee reserves the right to add further priorities or change eligibility criteria based upon applicant pool.
What you'll need to apply: - Entire business federal tax return – 2018, 2019, 2020. Tax extension document must be provided If 2020 was not filed as of the time of the application.

- Most recent 2021 financial statement

- Entire personal federal tax return – 2018, 2019, 2020 for owners of 20% or more. Tax extension document must be provided If 2020 was not filed as of the time of the application.

- A description of the impact of COVID-19 on your business, and your recovery plan.

- Completion of online loan application form.

- Online personal financial statement form for 20% or more owners

- Collateral may be requested on some loans

*Additional documents will be required upon request

GRANT AND LOAN PROGRAMS 

Eligible businesses can apply for both a grant AND a loan but we encourage all applicants to consider the best solution for their businesses based upon cash needs and ability to take on more debt. The grant program includes the awarded funds along with a 6-week accelerator training, facilitated by the Women’s Business Center at ASSETS, that explores the insights into industry trends, tools to gain customer insights and assess key sales metrics for growth, and financial management. Owners of multiple businesses can only apply for funding for ONE of their businesses.

Relief Program:Eligible Businesses:Amount Available per Business:What you'll need to apply:
Small Business Loan
Food service, restaurant, barbershop, salon, and arts/entertainment businesses with annual revenue up to $2 MillionUp to $40,000 loan; final amount determined by the review committee- Entire business federal tax return – 2018, 2019, 2020. Tax extension document must be provided If 2020 was not filed as of the time of the application.

- Most recent 2021 financial statement

- Entire personal federal tax return – 2018, 2019, 2020 for owners of 20% or more. Tax extension document must be provided If 2020 was not filed as of the time of the application.

- A description of the impact of COVID-19 on your business, and your recovery plan.

- Completion of online loan application form.

- Online personal financial statement form for 20% or more owners

- Collateral may be requested on some loans

*Additional documents will be required upon request

APPLICATION INFORMATION

Applications for the grant portion program will be open from May 3rd (9 a.m.) to May 14th (11:59 p.m.). Applications for the loan portion of the program will be open from June 14th (9 a.m.) to June 25th (11:59 p.m.). The application for both the grants and loans will only be available on this website. 

This is NOT a first-come, first-served fund for either the grant or loan. Once the applications close on May 14th (grant portion) and June 25th (loan portion) respectively, all applications will be equally considered.

We’re committed to a simple, low-barrier process. All cumbersome and non-essential steps have been removed. Businesses can apply for both a grant AND a loan, but we encourage all applicants to consider the best solution for their businesses based upon cash needs and ability to take on more debt. Remember, owners of multiple businesses can only apply for funding for ONE of their businesses. 

GRANT TRAINING PROGRAM

Provided by ASSETS, businesses in the food service industry will be eligible to apply for a grant and training program that will support small businesses beyond financial assistance. Awardees will receive their grant award in two installments, half at the start of their cohort training, and the remainder at the close of their training.

Facilitated by the Women’s Business Center at ASSETS, this 6-week accelerator will explore insights into industry trends, tools to gain customer insights and assess key sales metrics for growth, and financial management. Participants will hear real-life stories of growth, innovation, and expertise from experienced food industry and financial experts.

Note: it is required to attend all sessions in order to receive the full awarded grant.

Meeting Schedule

  • Day: Wednesdays via ZOOM
  • Time: 5:00pm- 7:00pm
  • Start Date: June 2nd

This program funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

   

MANAGEMENT & DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS

ASSETS and Community First Fund—two Lancaster 501(c)(3) nonprofits and certified Community Development Financial Institutions—will be managing and distributing all funding in an equitable, timely, and structured manner.

Grant Funding Timetable

  • May 3 — Application opens (9 a.m.)
  • May 14 — Application closes (11:59 p.m.)
  • May 21 — Grant decisions completed
  • May 28 — Grant disbursements begin
  • June 4 — Grant disbursements end

Loan Funding Timetable

  • June 14 — Application opens (9 a.m.)
  • June 25 — Application closes (11:59 p.m.)
  • Loans take up to 4 weeks for approval once all needed documents are received
  • The loan closing process typically takes 6 weeks
  • Funds are received within 24 hours of loan closing

FUNDING AND PROGRAM PARTNERS

The approximately $843,200 available in the Emergency Fund has been generously contributed by the following entities:

  1. Lancaster County Community Foundation
  2. Armstrong
  3. City of Lancaster
  4. ASSETS
  5. Community First Fund

QUESTIONS?

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