WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — With a little more than a month to go, some southwestern Pennsylvania counties still have hospitality relief money to give out.
That money is coming from the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program, which helps businesses impacted by the pandemic. Julian’s Banquet Facility and Catering in downtown Washington was one business that took advantage of the funding.READ MORE: Dump Truck Collides With Train, Route 51 In Jefferson Hills Expected To Be Shut Down All Morning
“We haven’t had this building booked for a year,” said owner Joe Pintola.
However, next weekend, that will all change. Pintola has a rehearsal dinner and wedding reception scheduled, the first event at his banquet hall since the pandemic shut it down a year ago.
“Most people in hospitality, nobody is walking in your door,” said Pintola.
When nobody is walking through your door, there’s no money coming in, but there are still bills to pay.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas: How were you able to pay your bills?
Pintola: Savings account.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Named Among The Clumsiest Cities In The United States
Thankfully, Pintola has been able to get by with events like Tuesday’s golf outing, but he says that’s not enough. That’s why he applied for the state’s CHIRP funding. He said he will be getting $25,000.
“It’s gonna pay my bills so I don’t have to worry every month,” said Pintola.
All told, Washington County was awarded $2.3 million from the state for restaurants and hotels that struggled during the pandemic.
“We’ve been really pleased to date that we’ve awarded about $2 million out of the $2.3 million. We have roughly around $300,000 left to award,” said Jeff Kotula, the president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce.
However, Washington County isn’t alone. Other local counties, including Beaver and Westmoreland, still have CHIRP money left to give. Kotula encourages businesses to apply before the deadline so they can make up for lost wages.
“I don’t have to worry about missing payments. Got a backup now,” said Pintola.
CHIRP funding runs out on June 15.MORE NEWS: Opening Day Set For 2022 Trout Season In Pennsylvania
Beaver County officials want to remind business owners that they qualify for this grant even if they are already received funding. Click here for more.