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Gov. Wolf announces $50 million in grant funding to help employers give hazard pay to workers at life-sustaining businesses

The hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania, Wolf said Thursday
Credit: Harri Leigh/FOX43

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania, Wolf said.

“In the fight against COVID-19, our front-line workers have put themselves at risk every day in order to continue to provide life-sustaining services to their fellow Pennsylvanians, and this funding will increase their pay in recognition of those sacrifices,” said Wolf. “These grants will help businesses retain employees, ensure that Pennsylvanians keep working and avoid disruption of critical goods and services.”

Created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant is available to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Businesses may apply for grants up to a maximum of $3 million.

The following applicants are eligible to apply:

  • Businesses
  • Healthcare Non-profits
  • Public Transportation Agencies
  • Certified Economic Development Organizations

Eligible Pennsylvania-based industries include:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • Ambulatory Health Care Services
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
  • Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Food Retail Facilities
  • Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
  • Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings

Grant funds may 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-week period from August 16 to October 24. 

Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent employee. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.

Eligible applicants may apply for grants using the online DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us from July 16 to July 31. 

Program inquiries may be directed to (717) 787-6245 or ra-dcedcbf@pa.gov.

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