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Renew Cumberland Small Business Grant Guidelines

Renew Cumberland Tier 2

Administered by Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC)



The Renew Cumberland Small Business Grant (RCSBG) has been developed to distribute funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and to support businesses that are primarily engaged in the tourism industry. The funds are being provided through the Cumberland County Commissioners for economic development assistance to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. The intent of the RCSBG is to provide immediate support to businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Funds can be used for working capital to cover operating expenses consistent with State and Federal Guidelines.

The development of the RCSBG Guidelines involved considerable local expertise from economic development lenders, accounting and banking professionals, and included the evaluation of best practices from other COVID-19 small business funds. The local Chambers of Commerce (Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce, Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce, Shippensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and West Shore Chamber of Commerce) have played an important role in development of the program and will continue to assist with the program through grant funding.

Supporting Detail

Prior to the current pandemic, Cumberland County’s economy thrived with more than 23,254 for-profit, not-for-profit, and sole proprietor businesses employing more than 143,000 (1/2020) individuals. Of the 23,254 businesses, more than 23,054 (99.14%) reported employing 100 employees or less, with about 21,337 (91.76%) businesses employing less than 20 individuals. The RCSBG is designed to provide much needed capital to businesses with fewer than 100 employees that comprise and support a significant portion of Cumberland County economy.

Fund Outline

Funding will be available to eligible businesses with less than 100 employees and businesses related to tourism without regard to the number of employees. The funding will be utilized to replace working capital lost due to normal business interruption caused by the pandemic and to help those businesses modernize their facilities for the health and safety needs required to sustainably operate their business moving forward. Priority for the RCSBG will be given to businesses that have not received previous funds. Not all applicants will receive funding as a result of eligibility requirements not being met as determined by the application review team under CAEDC and the limitation on the total amount of funding available under the Program.

The intent is to obtain applications, evaluate the funding needs of the business, and to distribute funds in a timely manner.


All applicants shall meet the following criteria:

  • A for-profit business
  • Total employees by headcount (less than 100) on March 1, 2020
  • Negatively impacted by COVID-19; and
  • Business must agree to sign an acknowledgement as part of the application ensuring the accuracy of and authorization to sign the application on behalf of the business.

Grant Award Amounts

The lesser of $4,999 or three months of average monthly operating costs (minimum eligible grant $500) based on 25% of the total business operating expenses reported on the most recently filed federal tax return, and evaluation of the application. The applicant will choose how best to utilize the funding across working capital needs and facility retrofit improvements for public health requirements.

Application Requirements

Application information and an application submission portal will be made available at www.ccpa.net/CARES, and will be marketed throughout Cumberland County. Businesses desiring to submit hard copy applications will be provided mailing or drop-off instructions. Staff will input a hard copy of the application into the web portal upon receipt. All applications received will be scored based upon the scoring criteria. A ranking of all applications will be forwarded to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners for approval at a subsequent public meeting.

Grant Request

Amount Available Per Business Required Supporting Documents
$500 to $4,999 grant, amount determined based on eligibility upon review of application
  • Signed tax return (most recently) to confirm annual revenue
  • 2019 P&L Statement of COVID-19 on your business, and your recovery plan.
  • Completed W-9 Form

Evaluation Criteria

This is not a first-come, first serve process, but there are limited funds available. All applications submitted by 4:30PM, September 22, 2020 will be considered and reviewed equitably using the following criteria:

  • Industry type
  • # of employees (1-20, 21-50, 51+)
  • Years in business
  • Operating status – businesses that fall under the category of non-essential according to state criteria (closed or operating at or below 50% capacity during the red, yellow and/or green phase)
  • Physical business presence or business activity in Cumberland County
  • Other funding received
  • Demonstrated profitability and ability for long-term sustainability
  • Economic Impact in Cumberland County

The application review team reserves the right to change evaluation criteria or eligibility requirements based on the applications received and in its sole discretion.

Application Process

  • Complete applications must be received by 4:30PM, September 22, 2020.
  • The application will be available through an on-line fillable form or a fillable document that can be downloaded from the website, www.ccpa.net/CARES.
  • Applications not completed on-line must be submitted to RCSBGApp@cumberlandbusiness.com, mailed to CAEDC, 53 W. South Street, Carlisle, PA 17013 (postmark by 9/22/2020), or hand delivered and dropped in black mailbox at CAEDC entrance, lower level.
  • All supporting documents should be digital files (.pdf) or legible copies submitted with hand delivered applications.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are included in the application. CAEDC will not be held responsible for any missing applications. CAEDC may request additional information as needed, but is not required to do so and can deny an application if the information provided is not sufficient.
  • If assistance is needed with completing the application, contact CAEDC via Valerie@visitcumberlandvalley.com or contact your local Chamber of Commerce during the business hours of M-F, 8AM – 4:30PM at the Contact location provided at the end of this document. If unable to make direct contact with our team, send an email or leave a voicemail, and an attempt will be made to return your call or respond to your email as soon as possible.

Estimated Timeline

9/08/2020, 8:00AM – Application period opens
9/22/2020, 4:30PM – Application period closes
TBD – Delivery of fund recommendations to Cumberland County Commissioners
Within 2 Business Days of Commissioner Approval – Applicants notified of their status
Within 7 days upon completion of required documents – Grant disbursements process begins
Funds to be disbursed within 8 weeks of completion of Grant Agreement with the applicant

Grant Guidelines and Distribution of Funds

Once approved, an award letter and grant agreement will be emailed to the Grantee for execution. Grants will be disbursed as a direct pay out by Cumberland County.

Upon execution of the grant agreement, grantees have until December 30, 2020 TO EXPEND THE FUNDS. There will be no requests for extension accepted.

As a provision of accepting these funds, Grantees must provide adequate proof (as determined by CAEDC and/or Cumberland County in its sole discretion) that the funds received were used for their intended purpose and will be required, upon request, to submit a Final Grant Report within 30 calendar days of the grant being spent. CAEDC and/or Cumberland County reserves the right to audit the Grantees records and use of funds.

Grantee is required to treat the grant as income and is responsible for paying any applicable taxes.

Public Disclosure of Applicants

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners will receive a full list of all businesses that applied for funding, including those who are not recommended for a funding award. All funding recommendations will be approved by the Cumberland County Commissioners based upon score-driven recommendations from the application review team. Funding recipients, award amounts, and application score will become public information upon approval. Proprietary business and financial information submitted with the application will NOT be public information. However, it will be the responsibility of the applicant to assert claims of confidentiality and proprietary information in the event of any Right-to-Know request is made to Cumberland County.


Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC)
Valerie Copenhaver
53 W. South Street
Carlisle, PA 17013
(717) 240-7193

Chambers of Commerce

Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce
801 S. Hanover Street
Carlisle, PA 17013
(717) 243-4515

Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce
6 West Strawberry Avenue
Mechanicsburg PA 17055
(717) 796-0811

Shippensburg Are Chamber of Commerce
53 W King St
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 532-5509

West Shore Chamber of Commerce
4211 Trindle Road
Camp Hill, PA 17011
(717) 761-0702

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