Erie County CARES

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Through its own act of law, Pennsylvania allocated $625 million of its share of CARES Act funding for block grants for counties. Erie County was one of 60 counties in Pennsylvania eligible to apply to the Department of Community and Economic Development’s COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant Program. The County’s application was submitted June 16, 2020, and $24,358,828 was received on July 15, 2020.

A joint task force of the Erie County Administration and Erie County Council was created in early June with the purpose to identify and prioritize the needs of Erie County, its citizens and businesses for the application of available relief, develop programs and processes through which funding from the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant could be dispensed; prepare a recommended budget for Erie County Council outlining best uses of the block grant funding; and provide oversight of the implementation of the county’s block grant. The following programs have been created by the task force with funds received from Erie County’s COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant.

Erie County CARES Programs

Municipal Reimbursement Program

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Erie County’s 38 municipalities, and the people that they serve, the County is providing financial support through the Erie County CARES Municipal Reimbursement Program to cover direct costs incurred in responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Nonprofit Assistance Grant Program

In support of Erie County’s nonprofits – including first responders – that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, the County is providing emergency funding through the Erie County CARES Nonprofit Assistance Grant Program.

  • New Guidelines for nonprofits
  • Applications closed Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 11:59 p.m.
  • For more information, contact
  • PowerPoint and Zoom Recording for Erie County CARES Nonprofit Assistance Grant Program Information Session held Thursday, Sept. 3, at 4 p.m.
  • Evaluation or scoring rubric for the Nonprofit Assistance Grant applications
  • NOTE: An annual operating budget is a statement of the revenues and expenses you expect over a 12-month period of time, also known as your fiscal year. For the purposes of this application, applicants are asked to use their total annual operating expenses as the figure required for the application field “Annual Operating Budget.” This information has also been added to the program guidelines under FAQs.

PPE for Small Businesses

The goal of this program is to provide “high touch” small businesses, such as medical and dental practices, childcare services and youth camps, museums and historical sites, amusement and recreation centers, independent restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons and personal care services, with kits containing masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves, or other items.

Small Business Assistance Grant Program

Erie County has received $24.3 million in block grant funding of which $5 million has been committed to small businesses (fewer than 100 employees) and tourism organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.