Lancaster EDC to Administer COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP)

February 19, 2021
Aaron K. Zeamer

Last week, the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 109, which included $145 Million of funds allocated specifically for grants to the restaurant and hotel industries.  The Bill intentionally included some swift deadlines for Counties to accept applications and allocate funds.

This week, the Lancaster County Commissioners approved an Agreement with the Economic Development Company (EDC) of Lancaster to administer the funds allocated to the County under the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP). Along with that Agreement comes some additional specifics for the program that interested applicants should know.

How much money is available?

Congress has allocated $6,181,069 to Lancaster County for distribution to eligible applicants.

More importantly, since the County has engaged the EDC to distribute other recovery funds, the EDC was able to quickly create program parameters and should also be able to quickly roll out an application.

What are the requirements for CHIRP?

The EDC has released a document summarizing the relevant portions of the program requirements, including the grant award amounts and the scoring system for applicants.  Notably, they will base the maximum award for applicants, in part, on the size of the company.

Applicants with

  • 1-20 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) will be eligible for a maximum of $30,000.
  • 21-99 FTEs will be eligible for up to $40,000, and
  • 100-300 FTEs are eligible for up to $50,000.

What dates are important for CHIRP?

  • Application criteria will be posted to within the next week or so.
  • The application portal will be open as early as March 8, 2021, and the first round of funding will accept applications for two weeks from March 8 – March 19.
  • Application review will occur from March 22 – April 2.
  • The first round of recommendations for grants will be presented to the County Commissioners for approval on April 7, with disbursement occurring following approval.
  • If funding is not exhausted in the first round, the EDC will review and accept a second round of applications starting May 3.

If you are an interested applicant, review this information, confirm your eligibility, and begin to compile the relevant financial and other information so you can apply within the first application window between March 8 – March 19, 2021.


The EDC estimates that approximately 1,050 businesses in the County will be eligible for the program, although certainly not all of those will apply.  I would encourage all qualified businesses to apply. Those in the hospitality industry can use the funds for a broad range of expenses, which will provide some much-needed relief for many.

If you have any questions as you review the program requirements, contact us here.