Northampton County Council will review Thursday $1.25 million in grants to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money comes from the county's $30.6 million in 2021 federal American Rescue Plan money. A committee set up by council and County Executive Lamont McClure, assisted by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, reviews applicants. Eligible businesses may receive as much as $15,000 each.
McClure and council plan to give $15 million, about half of this year's ARP money, to small businesses. Last year, the county distributed $10.6 million among 776 businesses from the federal CARES Act.
McClure said the aid needs to continue because customer traffic to "Main Street" businesses has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The $1.25 million to be reviewed Thursday will be spread out among 96 businesses, for an average of about $13,000 each. A vote of the full council is required to approve the grants.
Among businesses proposed for the maximum $15,000 in this fifth round of ARP grants: Potts' Doggie Shop and Kate's Corner Deli, both of Nazareth; Dr. MaryBeth Marcincin, orthodontist's office, and Augello Chiropractic, Bethelehem; The Kettle Room, restaurant, and Maynard's College Hill Tavern, Easton, and The Great American Real Estate Co., Wind Gap.
The meeting agenda may change before council gathers at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in their third-floor meeting room at the government center in Easton.
The meeting will be held in-person and be streamed on the Internet, unless weather interferes. Check the county website.