HARRISBURG (August 17, 2020) – Ten Chester County companies will receive more than $700,000 in total state grant funding to provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are part of 639 employers statewide that were awarded $50 million funding, supporting a $3 per hour increase in pay for 41,587 workers across the seven eligible industries: healthcare, food manufacturing, food retail, social assistance, janitorial, transportation, and security.

“Our front-line workers have not only proven themselves to be heroes during this pandemic, but they’ve also shown that they’re the backbone of our economy, health care system, and workforce,” Dinniman said. “These grants are an important tool to compensate our essential workers and support the vital industries we need to continue to successfully navigate these uncertain times and unprecedented challenges.”

Created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

The grant recipients in Chester County are as follows:

  • $133,760 for Aventura at Pembrooke (Healthcare)
  • $207,900 for LCS Community Employment LLC Freedom Village Brandywine (Healthcare)
  • $112,800 for BGI-Brandywine (Healthcare)
  • $16,200 for Genesis Community Homes (Healthcare)
  • $8,640 for the Spirit of Gheel (Healthcare)
  • $4,560 for Goldenfeast, Inc. (Food Manufacturing)
  • $6,300 for Seven Stars Farm, Inc. (Food Manufacturing)
  • $37,200 for Phillips Gourmet, Inc. (Food Manufacturing)
  • $104,328 for Pietro Industries, Inc. (Food Manufacturing)
  • $90,240 for HHS Environmental, LLC. (Janitorial)

Grant funds can be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10 weeks from August 16, 2020, through October 24, 2020. Employers applied for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee, up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.

During the two-week application window, more than 10,000 employers submitted applications totaling nearly $900 million, of which more than 5,000 businesses requesting $300 million were eligible.

To address the demand and make equitable decisions on funding of these limited dollars and to ensure that the funds were distributed in a way that reaches each eligible industry, additional factors were taken into consideration for final determination of awards, including the amount of dollars requested within each industry category; the risk level, in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Worker Exposure Risk; wage level of industries and occupations; and availability of other federal funding relief opportunities.

Across the commonwealth, the grants funds were awarded to businesses in the seven categories as follows:

  • Health Care – 63.5 percent ($31.75 million)
  • Food Manufacturing – 7.2 percent ($3.6 million)
  • Food Retail – 8.2 percent ($4.09 million)
  • Social Assistance – 12.6 percent ($6.3 million)
  • Janitorial – 3.7 percent ($1.84 million)
  • Transportation – 1.2 percent ($592,000)
  • Security – 3.6 percent ($1.8 million)