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A07115
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2615
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY STEPHENS, KAUFER, KULIK, ROTHMAN, HILL-EVANS,
MILLARD, STAATS, OWLETT, POLINCHOCK, MURT, BARRAR, DRISCOLL,
McNEILL, PYLE, CIRESI, KAUFFMAN, SCHLEGEL CULVER, READSHAW,
DAVANZO AND DUNBAR, JUNE 23, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, JUNE 23, 2020
AN ACT
Providing for community assistance grants for restaurants;
establishing the Community Cornerstone Grant Program;
providing for fines; and making an appropriation.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Community
Cornerstone Assistance Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"COVID-19." The novel coronavirus identified in the
proclamation of disaster emergency.
"Department." The Department of Community and Economic
Development of the Commonwealth.
"Grant." A grant awarded under the Community Cornerstone
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Grant Program established under this act.
"NAICS." A classification within the North American Industry
Classification System developed for use by Federal statistical
agencies for the collection, analysis and publication of
statistical data related to the United States economy.
"Proclamation of disaster emergency." The disaster
declaration issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020, published
at 50 Pa.B. 1644 (March 21, 2020), and any renewal of the state
of disaster emergency.
"Program." The Community Cornerstone Grant Program
established under section 3.
"Restaurant." A place within this Commonwealth that receives
a NAICS designation of 72241 or 72251 from the United States
Census Bureau and where food or drink is served to or provided
for the public, with or without charge. The term does not
include dining cars operated by a railroad company in interstate
commerce or a bed and breakfast homestead or inn.
Section 3. Community Cornerstone Grant Program.
(a) Establishment.--The Community Cornerstone Grant Program
is established under the department in this Commonwealth for the
purposes of providing financial assistance to Pennsylvania
restaurants adversely impacted by the novel coronavirus
identified in the proclamation of disaster emergency issued by
the Governor on March 6, 2020 COVID-19.
(b) Eligibility.--To be considered eligible for a grant, a
restaurant must meet all of the following:
(1) Operate no more than 10 restaurant locations under
an identical name within this Commonwealth.
(2) Employ no more than 75 full-time equivalent
employees per restaurant location.
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(3) Demonstrate one of the following:
(i) A loss of revenue of 50% or more for the period
beginning after March 31, 2020, and ending before June 1,
2020, in comparison to the period beginning after March
31, 2019, and ending before June 1, 2019.
(ii) If the restaurant was not in operation in
calendar year 2019, a loss of revenue of 50% or more for
the period beginning after March 31, 2020, and ending
before June 1, 2020, in comparison to the period
beginning after January 31, 2020, and ending before April
1, 2020.
(c) Application.--A restaurant may submit an application to
the department on a form and in a manner prescribed by the
department. In addition to the application, the department may
require information as necessary to determine the eligibility of
a restaurant for a grant under this act.
(d) Review and approval.--The following shall apply:
(1) Within 30 days of the effective date of this act,
the department shall establish a time period of not less than
30 days for restaurants to submit application for a grant.
(2) Upon closure of the time period established in
paragraph (1), the department shall distribute all money made
available to the department for the purpose making grants to
restaurants considered eligible in an amount equal to the
quotient resulting from dividing the total amount of money
made available for grants under this act by the total number
of eligible restaurants.
(3) The department shall not award a grant under this
program that exceeds $50,000 to an eligible restaurant.
(4) The following shall apply:
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(i) Each eligible restaurant and the department
shall enter into an agreement of the use of an awarded
grant. The agreement shall state that the grant shall be
used for costs incurred and payments made for any of the
following:
(A) Payroll costs.
(B) Payment of interest on mortgage obligation,
which shall not include any prepayment of or payment
of principal on a covered mortgage obligation.
(C) Payment on a rent obligation.
(D) Payment for utilities.
(E) Cost incurred for training to operate safely
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(E) (F) Other costs incurred by the restaurant
for the acquisition of raw materials to sustain the
operations of the restaurant.
(ii) A restaurant that receives a grant and fails to
comply with subparagraph (i) shall repay the amount of
the grant in addition to the department, in addition to a
fee that amounts to 10% of the grant amount.
(e) Program guidelines.--The department shall develop and
issue guidelines for the Community Cornerstone Grant Program.
Section 4. Funding.
The sum of $250,000,000 shall be appropriated from money
received by the Commonwealth under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief,
and Economic Security Act (Public Law 116-136, 134 Stat. 281)
for the purpose of making grants under this act.
Section 5. Prohibition on issuance.
No grants may be awarded under this section five years after
the effective date of this section.
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Section 6. Report.
Prior to December 31, 2020, and each December 31 in which an
appropriation is made for the purposes of this act, the
department shall submit a report to the chairperson and minority
chairperson of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate, the
chairperson and minority chairperson of the Community, Economic
and Recreational Development Committee of the Senate, the
chairperson and minority chairperson of the Appropriations
Committee of the House of Representatives and the chairperson
and minority chairperson of the Commerce Committee of the House
of Representatives. The report shall include, but not be limited
to, the total amount of money granted and the name and county of
residence of each restaurant that receives a grant.
Section 7. Effective date.
This act shall take effect immediately.
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