• Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation
  • Serving Cumberland County
  • Pennsylvania’s destination for business and leisure
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Letter from the CEO – 4/20/20

CAEDC Friends,

It has been a month now since we closed the office. Challenging as it has been, we have been able to accomplish much working from home, as I am sure many of you have. There are others however that are not as fortunate and do not have the ability to work from home. For that we are truly sorry.  We trust you have been able to access some of the funds that are available through unemployment, the SBA loan programs (EIDL and PPP), the PIDA CWCA loan program, or other funding sources. We are all in this together and we are here to help you.

The PIDA COVID-19 Working Capital Access program ($100,000 loan for working capital) was launched by PA DCED Wednesday, March 25 with a total of $61M available for funding. We received over 80 applications until DCED had received $75M in applications Tuesday, March 31 and the application portal was shut down. In the six days the program was open, CAEDC staff received over 80 applications, performed underwriting, and was able to file 28 applications with DCED. We are proud of the number of applications that we were able to get filed, but disappointed that there was not sufficient funds for all applications to be processed. For those who submitted applications to CAEDC, we are holding their information until such time as we know if DCED is going to reopen the program.

CAEDC has not been involved with administration of the SBA loans. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications were directly filed online, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are being processed by local financial institutions. Based on feedback I am hearing, our local financial instructions have be tremendous in getting PPP applications filed. I know there have been some hiccups along the way, but many businesses have be able to take advantage of this loan and potential grant opportunity. We understand there were many changes by the SBA throughout the process until Thursday, April 16 when the $350B of funding had run out. Congress is still considering adding $250B, but it is our understanding that additional changes are being considered to further help small businesses. Hopefully a bi-partisan resolution can be achieved and the $250B in additional funding will be made available soon. If you need further information on these program you can review the many documents available on our website or contact the SBDC office.

So, what else has CAEDC been up to? As you know, CAEDC also operates as the Visitor’s Bureau for Cumberland Valley. With limited travel and overnight hotel stays, our revenue which funds our staff and the many activities associated with marketing our destination, has taken a huge hit. To that end, we are doing our best to keep our region informed of carryout food options to support our restaurants,  online sales of local vendor goods and services, promotion of gift card sales, and promotion of the many outdoor activities that we can do while maintaining our social distance. We are organizing a group of tourism partners to assist us in planning for our transition out of our current situation. What will travel look like? How far will people travel for vacations over the next six months? What activities will they most want? How will our partners be able to accommodate visitors while adhering to CDC guidelines? So many questions…we need your help. Please reach out to Kristen Rowe (kristen@visitcumberlandvalley.com)  if you are interested in participating on a task force with us. Your assistance is much appreciated!!!

CAEDC, in cooperation with the SCPa Works, our regional workforce development agency, continues to reach out to our partners to better understand their current situation, issues they are having (much of which we do understand), and how we can better serve them as they attempt to maintain their business continuity. The information we are obtaining is compiled and provided to the state to inform them of where and what the needs are currently and in the future. While it is difficult to ask some of these questions, knowing what the answers are likely to be, we are having some great conversations with businesses and they are willing to share both good and difficult news.

Please know that CAEDC is here for you and we are willing to help in any way we can. We look forward to exiting this season in our life and getting back to doing what we do best as social beings, no matter how different it may be. Bless you all!!!

Jamie Keener, CEO

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