Reading, PA— Applications for the county’s newest grant program to assist local small business owners who have been struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic are now being accepted. The application portal for the Berks County Small Business New Start Grant program opened at 9 a.m. on Sept. 10 and will remain open through Sept. 23. The portal can be accessed here: https://communityfirstfund.org/financing/covid-loans/berks-countysmall-business-new-start-program/
The $6 million program, funded through the county’s CARES Act allocation, will award grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to Berks County small business owners based on revenue level. The grants can only be used for costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is the latest component of the Rebuild Berks initiative from the Berks County Commissioner and Greater Reading Chamber Alliance and will be administered by Community First Fund, a non-profit, federally qualified community development financial institution (CDFI). Potential applicants are encouraged to utilize this application guide for step-by-step directions and screenshots to help them navigate the application portal. A dedicated customer support team is also available to help applicants with questions about the online application at 888- 594-7270. Other resources include a FAQ sheet, eligibility and criteria and a checklist of necessary documentation. All resources and documents are available in English and Spanish.
Applicants can also connect with one of the following lenders from Community First Fund by phone or email if they have further questions about the application: