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Luzerne County Announces $11 Million Grant Opportunity for Small Businesses and Nonprofits


Luzerne County is allocating $11 million in grants to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Augustine walks to the podium at Tuesdays Press Conference on the Luzerne County Courthouse lawn.

- Mark Moran, Citizens Voice


Luzerne County Manager David Pedri and John Augustine, president and CEO of Penn's Northeast, announced the grant program at a news conference Tuesday morning outside the Luzerne County Courthouse.


Pedri said the funds came from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act dispersed through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.


“These funds won’t be utilized by the big corporations,” Pedri said. “Here in Luzerne County, we will be supporting the small businessman.”


Small businesses with 15 employees or less qualify for the funds, Pedri said.


More information about the grant program and who qualifies will be posted on


“This is not a handout,” Pedri said. “This is clearly a way to keep our doors open. So many of our businesses are open and struggling.”


Augustine said the application portal should launch on October 1st and will be open for two weeks for businesses and nonprofits to apply.


The program is not first-come, first-served but all applications will be judged equally based on the criteria listed on the county website, he said.


All qualified businesses and nonprofit organizations will be considered for funding once applications have been reviewed and documentation has been verified.


Grant amounts will be divided equally based on the total number of qualified applicants, he said.


“This is a community and regional approach,” Augustine said. “These are tough times for everybody and we want to do our best to help for-profits and nonprofits and do it in the right way.”


Larry Newman, executive director of the downtown Wilkes-Barre management organization Diamond City Partnership, said the grant program will help provide an additional lifeline for struggling businesses but it’s not a substitute for everything returning to normal.


“The reality is things aren’t going to be back to normal for a long, long time,” Newman said. “In the meantime, we need to provide as many lifelines as we can.”

Contact the writer:, 570-821-2115, @CVAllabaugh


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