CAN DO is among several Greater Hazleton businesses and organizations to serve as leading donors for a new microgrant program that's being launched to help local small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, Greater Hazleton Civic Partnership and other members of the Greater Hazleton COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency (R&R) Task Force are establishing the Small Business Emergency Relief Microgrant Program. All funds raised will be dedicated towards a microgrant program for local, small businesses within the Greater Hazleton area that have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The partnership has a goal to raise $75,000 through a crowd-funded campaign of donations from local individuals, families, loyal customers and other private corporations. Microgrants ranging from $500 to $1,500 will be awarded and can be used to offset any business-related expense, such as: employee wages and benefits (such as health insurance), rent, utilities, and/or business insurance, as well as new investments in a website, e-commerce platform, a delivery service, or necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) purchases, such as masks for employees, and plexiglass screens for registers.
CAN DO President and CEO Kevin O'Donnell said, “CAN DO is a longtime supporter of downtown Hazleton businesses and the downtown Hazleton revitalization initiatives. We have made several investments in the downtown over the past several years, including the Hazleton LaunchBox and CAN DO Community Park, and are proud to support this vital Emergency Relief Microgrant program. We have been assisting small businesses throughout this pandemic with applying for state and federal loans via our business financing services and navigating their entrepreneurial needs through CAN BE and our partnership with the Hazleton LaunchBox. We continue our support of local, small businesses, who are the lifeblood of our community, through this donation to the microgrant program.”
CAN DO's donation, along with those from other leading corporate donors, has already helped the fund raise more than a quarter of its goal. However, more funds are needed to reach the goal of $75,000.
Anyone interested in donating to the campaign can do so online via the website: https://www.patronicity.com/hazletonsmallbusiness, or by sending a check directly to the Greater Hazleton Civic Partnership at 8 W. Broad St., Suite M-1490, Hazleton PA, 18201. A printable pledge document and W-9 form are both available at https://www.downtownhazleton.org/small-business-microgrant-program.html. All donations are tax-deductible.
The microgrant program guidelines are under development and applications will start being accepted on May 18, with at least two grant rounds being awarded. The number and size of the grants will depend upon the amount of funds raised.
***(Updated May 18, 2020)*** Applications for the microgrant program are now being accepted, with at least two grant rounds being awarded. The number and size of the grants will depend upon the amount of funds raised. Click here to apply for a microgrant.