This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, May 14, 2020

We are going to get through this challenging crisis. In Adams County, there are sparks of ingenuity, glimmers of hope, and bright flames of the entrepreneurial spirit.

I know there are people who are hurting and businesses that are suffering. We have listened to, counseled, and connected many business owners with resources over the past weeks—long weeks filled with long days. Our hearts break for you and we wish we had a magic wand to help heal all the pain and heartache you are going through.

But I can say with great confidence that our staff is doing the best we can to provide as many resources as possible through our network—resources like loans, grants, webinars and the ever-changing program updates. Our job at the Alliance is to uplift and support our county’s economic viability.

I know the information in the next few paragraphs, although it’s good news, may be upsetting to some. I want the public to know that my fellow economic development and government-related counterparts have never worked harder to apply for relief funding like they have—and continue to do—during this COVID-19 crisis.

To say it was challenging to engage all levels of the people who would be executing and administering state and federal business relief plans is an understatement. The next challenge was describing the programs to all those who needed to apply. In the midst of this storm, I witnessed some incredible acts of strength and determination—people coming together for the greater good. Please know this.

I wish we had good news for each and every Adams County business. I hope you can join me by celebrating and being happy for the 15 Adams County businesses whose applications were approved by the state’s COVID-19 Working Capital Access loan program, for a combined total of $1,186,950. These loans have not been formally announced by the state yet, but the details will be shared when we are able to do so.

A few more important details: We submitted a total of 18 applications on behalf of Adams County businesses between March 25 when the program was announced and March 31 when it closed. We fielded calls and spoke with more than 150 people interested in obtaining funds for their businesses. Check out the number of loans per county as well as the total dollar amount per county, when the information is released. Consider the small number of people employed by the Alliance and that many of our partners across the Commonwealth are double in size. We are thankful for and proud of the share Adams County businesses will receive of the limited funds available.

Now is not the time to stop. What we’ve learned through this experience is that the businesses who had the best infrastructure, so to speak, had the most success at receiving funding. We continue to listen to, support and counsel Adams County businesses, in order to rebuild and thrive—together.