Coronavirus-Related Information

The Partnership office at 212 North Jay Street, Lock Haven, is open to the public. Office hours are weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The front lobby, which displays free brochures on local attractions, maps, and dining & lodging information, is open 24/7.

Please contact us at 570-748-5782 or by email if you feel we can be of help: Mike Flanagan, President – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Julie Brennan, Chamber/Tourism Director – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.April Bittner, Leadership Clinton County and Enterprise Zone Coordinator – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Lisa Engel, Administrative Assistant – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Partnership has canceled our remaining 2020 ‘Time Out’ networking events (October 8 at Schlesinger Communications, Inc./WSQV/WBPZ Radio, and November 19 at It Is What It Is and Sanders Window Fashions in Lock Haven) due to COVID-19 restrictions for indoor gatherings. The annual dinner, traditionally held in October, has also been postponed indefinitely, as well as our annual holiday party typically held in December.

The Clinton County Economic Partnership offers the following information and resources for businesses and organizations:


Posted 9/25/20

- Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan today offered an update on the local employment picture: Clinton County’s jobless picture continues to show signs of improvement since the pandemic began in March, according to information released Thursday by the state Department of Labor & Industry. The initial unemployment claims and the continued claims were both down as of the week ending September 19. The initial claims were 45, down slightly from 48 the week before. The largest initial claim mark of 1,050 people came during the week ending May 4. The continued claims last week numbered 1,045, down from 1,115 during the week ending September 12. During the pandemic, the highest weekly unemployment continued claim number was 3,219, set during the week ending May 2.

The August unemployment numbers for all 67 counties should be released on September 29. The Clinton County rate in July was 12%, and 11% in June.

- The PA Department of Labor has provided additional information to employers about “relief from charges” relating to unemployment compensation claims. DOWNLOAD

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 761 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 23 & 24), issuing seven notices of violation and eight warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which oversees licensed liquor establishments in Clinton County, conducted 41 licensee checks during the period. No warnings or notices of violation were issued. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=588

- Partnership member State Farm Agent Cara Montarsi today passed along information on State Farm’s Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant program, which offers grants to educational and government groups and select nonprofit organizations, in support of safety, education and community development project. Eligible organizations can apply for a grant starting October 1 through October 31. Click Here for the State Farm flyer for details.

- The PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources this week released a new Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn says the plan, Recreation for All (PDF), is a blueprint including 20 recommendations and 70 actions steps for meeting the outdoor recreation needs of all Pennsylvanians. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=690.

- With the changing season, DCNR this week activated their fall foliage reports, which can be found online on the DCNR website. The reports, which are updated every Thursday, offer tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=688.

Posted 9/24/20

- Grant Opportunity for Small Businesses in Clinton County: The application window opened today, September 24, for small businesses to apply for a COVID-related grant program being administered through Clinton County Government. The Clinton County CDBG-CV Business Assistance grant will offer assistance in the form of $5,000 cash grants to help small businesses recover from COVID-19 pandemic losses. The emphasis of the program is on job retention. There is a two-week window to apply for a grant – the application period closes on October 8, and grant awards are expected to be announced on October 15. Click here to get to the grant application: https://www.gotomygrants.com/Public/Opportunities/Details/1f7135c6-50e1-4a2e-9726-4b0b8fd56dc7.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry says that due to an alarming spike in suspicious applications for unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, additional anti-fraud and identity verification measures will be put in place. L&I says the new measures won’t impact people who already have an open PUA claim, however, payments for new applicants are being temporarily delayed. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=488.

- Amidst unprecedented numbers of unemployment claims - $28 billion has been paid out since March 15 – the Department of Labor & Industry says it is “pausing” the launch of a new system that will change how people file for and claim unemployment compensation benefits. The new system had been scheduled to come online in October. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=489.

- During Small Business Week, the Internal Revenue Service reminds business owners and self-employed individuals of the employer credits available to them during COVID-19. These credits were specially created to help provide some relief to small business owners during this unprecedented time. Details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-highlights-employer-credits-for-businesses-during-small-business-week.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today discussed COVID-19 mitigation and government reform measures. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-discusses-covid-19-mitigation-and-government-reform/.

The Governor also invited all Pennsylvanians to download and share the free COVID Alert PA app. Since the app launched on Tuesday, there have been more than 70,000 downloads. The COVID Alert PA app notifies users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 without revealing their identity or location. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-encourages-pennsylvanians-to-download-and-share-covid-alert-pa-app-more-than-70000-downloads-since-launch/.

- Pennsylvania has developed an enhanced testing strategy that makes testing accessible, available, and adaptable as the state learns more about the coronavirus. PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the commonwealth’s Contact Tracing and Testing Director Michael Huff, and Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman yesterday provided a comprehensive look at testing for COVID in the state with details about who should be tested and when, and how everyone should know about their insurance coverage. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1037.

Meanwhile, the Health Department today confirmed an additional 853 positive cases of the virus, bringing the statewide total to 153,397. Neighboring Centre County continues to be a hot spot for cases, reporting an increase of 109 cases today.

- Keystone Central School District today announced it is providing free breakfast and lunch meals to all children through the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option program. The program is open to all children in the community. Click Here for the KCSD flyer for more information.

- Attorney General Josh Shapiro today urged a federal appeals court in Kentucky to reverse a lower court’s order that would prevent states from enforcing price gouging regulations during times of crisis. Learn more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/ag-shapiro-tells-federal-appeals-court-states-must-be-able-to-regulate-price-gouging/.

- Legislation is on its way to Governor Wolf’s desk that would freeze lawmakers’ salaries – as well as the salaries of judges and top executive branch officials – at their current level through 2021. The Governor has signaled that he will sign it into law. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Frank Ryan, R-Lebanon, was offered in recognition of the economic hardships that the COVID-19 has had on the commonwealth as well as its citizens and businesses. “When Pennsylvania residents are making sacrifices and struggling just to put food on their table, it is no time for public officials to be taking a raise,” Mr. Ryan has said. The bill passed the Senate on Monday by a 48-0 vote. It passed the House in May by a 202-0 vote. Pennsylvania’s legislative, judicial and top executive branch officials — which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, Cabinet members, attorney general, auditor general and treasurer — have had their salaries frozen two other times since the 1995 Public Officials Compensation Law passed. The first time was in 2010 and the second, in 2016. Read More. (Source: Harrisburg Patriot News)

- Lock Haven University’s athletics program this morning kicked of its annual ‘All In Day of Giving’ – a 24-hour opportunity for Haven alumni and supporters to contribute to the success of the University’s athletic programs. Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic has left a very large funding gap, the University says it is committed to providing student athletes with the scholarships and team resources to be successful in the classroom and on their respective fields of play. Those interested in contributing can visit allin.lockhaven.edu.

- There will be music in downtown Lock Haven this weekend. Three Main Street businesses – Stella A’s Bar & Grill, the Texas Restaurant and the Lock Haven Elks Lodge – are hosting live music Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. as a tribute to the end of summer. The band Private Stock Trio will perform Friday night from within the cordoned eating area in front of the Texas Restaurant. On Saturday night, the group Frosted Mini Wheat will play from within the cordoned eating area in front of Stella A’s Bar & Grill. The two restaurants, as well as the Elks Lodge, will feature outdoor dining both nights. Main Street between Jay and Vesper Streets continues to be closed to vehicle traffic starting at 3:00 p.m. Friday through 9:00 p.m. Saturday to allow restaurants and retailers the opportunity to bring their business out into the streets. While encouraging people to come enjoy the music, the trio of businesses also encourages people to support social distancing, masking and other COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Posted 9/23/20

- Clinton County Government tomorrow, September 24, will open the window for applications for a new COVID-19 related grant program to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The county plans to award $5,000 grants to eligible businesses under the Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) Small Business Assistance Grant program. The online application will be available tomorrow and applications will be accepted for the next two weeks, through October 8. Click Here for the ‘Clinton County announces’ file for details.

Meanwhile, the $3.4 million in Clinton County CARES Relief Grant awards, which the County Commissioners announced last week, are being administered by the Clinton County Planning Department. Grant recipients likely have received an email message from the AmpliFund Administrator system the county is using, with the title “Award Activation” in the subject line. This email is simply a confirmation of your grant award and does not require any action on your part. Grant recipients will, in the not-too-distant future, receive an agreement from the County that you will need to sign in order to receive the grant. For questions on this grant program, contact Clinton County Grants Administrator Kari Kepler in the County Planning Office at 570-893-4080, ext. 2.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Unemployment Compensation announced today that it has updated its UC Live Chat feature to include a virtual assistant to provide immediate assistance in general questions and guidance on UC-related information. In addition, UC has expanded access so that employers can now ask questions related to their business accounts. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=487.

- In the 24 hours since the new COVID Alert PA app became available, some 50,000 Pennsylvanians have downloaded the app, and the state is encouraging more to follow suit. The COVID Alert PA app can notify users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 without revealing identity or location.  More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/50000-pennsylvanians-download-covid-alert-pa-app-in-first-24-hours-governor-urges-everyone-to-make-your-phone-part-of-the-fight/.

- The Pennsylvania House of Representatives, in a specially-scheduled session this afternoon, voted 145-56 to pass the Senate-amended House Bill 2513, legislation that would eliminate most of the COVID-19 restrictions Governor Tom Wolf placed on restaurants and taverns. The measure is now on its way to the governor’s desk. HB 2513 would set minimum capacity for restaurants and taverns at a minimum of 50% and even beyond that if their premises allow. It further would allow them to permit patrons to sit at the bar provided they socially distance, and would eliminate the requirement that a meal must be purchased to get an alcoholic beverage. See more details in this PennLive article: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/09/pa-house-sends-bill-to-governors-desk-easing-restrictions-on-restaurants-and-bars.html.

Despite the bipartisan support, the governor has indicated he would veto HB 2513 when it reaches him. That could set up the potential for another veto override attempt by the Legislature on the heels of an  unsuccessful effort this afternoon dealing with school sports. The state House of Representatives this afternoon failed to garner enough votes to override Governor Tom Wolf’s recent veto of House Bill 2787, which would have allowed K-12 schools to make their own decisions about how many spectators can attend high school sports and activities. The Governor had vetoed the bill on Monday after it had passed both chambers of the legislature with bipartisan support earlier this month.

Meanwhile, while a federal judge in Pittsburgh yesterday denied the Wolf Administration’s request to delay enforcement of his ruling that many of Governor Wolf's pandemic shutdown orders were unconstitutional, the Governor has confirmed that the state will move ahead with an appeal of the decision to the Third Circuit Court. Wolf said at a news conference Tuesday that his administration will appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

- Morning Consult, a global data intelligence company, has been tracking consumer confidence throughout the pandemic. At the beginning of fall, trend data shows comfort levels are ticking up in areas such as dining out, shopping at a mall, going to the movies, and more. READ MORE.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,107 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 22-22), issuing 13 notices of violation and 11 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which oversees licensed establishments in Clinton County, conducted 134 licensee checks during that period; no warnings or violations were issued. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=587.

- PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced state charges against 20 inmates and accomplices (including some in Centre County) in three state prisons in central and eastern Pennsylvania. The arrests are linked to at least two existing rings, or organized groups of inmates and outside accomplices who conspired to provide false information on COVID-19 unemployment benefit applications. More details here: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/ag-shapiro-20-more-inmates-accomplices-charged-with-illegally-obtaining-300k-unemployment-benefits/.

- The PA Department of Human Services has submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would extend additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds to all SNAP recipients. Especially during the pandemic DHS Secretary Teresa Miller said access to essential needs like food is more important than ever to help keep people healthy and mitigate co-occurring health risks. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=602.

- The PA Department of Health today encouraged an increased awareness about sepsis, a serious infection that is the most common complication observed in severe cases of COVID-19 and can lead to life-threatening complications and death. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1034.

Non-COVID items of interest….

- The 2020 Census ends next Wednesday, September 30. If you haven’t yet done so, please complete the Census and encourage your employees to do so as well, so we can all be counted. According to state statistics, Clinton County’s response to the Census is running behind the response from the 2010 Census, and the 61.5 percent response puts Clinton among the lower ranking counties in the state. As of September 21, Bucks County leads the state with a 78.6 percent response rate, while Forest County, at 26.7 percent, has the lowest response rate.

The federal government has made it easier than ever to complete the 2020 Census:

            - go to www.my2020census.gov to complete a survey online;

            - call 844-330-2020 to complete the census by phone; or

            - complete and mail back the paper questionnaire that was sent to your home.

The 2020 Census provides a snapshot of our nation—who we are, where we live, and more. The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children. The results will also determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs. Pennsylvania loses nearly $2,100 annually in federal funds for each person not counted. For more information on the Census, visit 2020census.gov.

- PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding encouraged young Pennsylvanians today to apply for an Agriculture Equipment Service Technician Apprenticeship where they’ll earn a paycheck while they learn hands-on skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. Pennsylvania will face more than 1,000 job openings in the field by 2030, as current farm equipment mechanics and service technicians retire. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=969.

- PA CareerLink Clinton County hosts another ‘Get to Know’ session featuring First Quality. The October 2, 10:30 a.m. virtual meeting is an opportunity for those interested in employment with First Quality – or those who simply want to learn more about Clinton County’s leading employer. The session is being held in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day on October 2. Click Here for the PA CareerLink flyer for details or for more on the Get to Know sessions, contact PA CareerLink’s Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- The PA Departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation and other partners in the Drive Electric PA Coalition will hold a free public informational webinar on the benefits and basics of driving electric vehicles on September 30 at 11:00 a.m. and again on October 1 at 6:00 p.m. as part of National Drive Electric Week. Get additional details here: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=770.

- A newly updated map from the PA Game Commission is aimed at helping hunters know whether their woods fall within the boundaries of a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Area (DMA). The interactive map – available at bit.ly/PGC-CWDMap – shows not only DMA boundaries, but the location of head-collection bins, high-risk parts dumpsters, cooperating deer processors and taxidermists, and CWD DMAP units. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=421.

Posted 9/22/20

- A federal judge today denied Governor Tom Wolf’s request for a stay on a federal court decision that found some of the Governor’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to be unconstitutional. The Wolf Administration sought the stay while appealing U.S. Western District Judge William Stickman’s order last week that ruled the governor’s closure of nonessential businesses, a stay-at-home order and an order to limit gathering sizes were unconstitutional. The Governor this afternoon acknowledged that today’s ruling does lift the prohibition of mass gatherings of people, but he added that the state continues to work with schools and other groups to provide guidance to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. See this PennLive article for more: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/09/federal-judge-denies-gov-tom-wolfs-request-for-stay-on-pandemic-restrictions-ruling.html.

- Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine today launched the COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app, COVID Alert PA, to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. The app – which is available now free to smartphone users as a download from the Apple App store or Google Play store – uses Bluetooth technology to help notify people if they have been in contact with a person who has later tested positive for COVID-19, without compromising their identity or location. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-launches-covid-alert-pa-app-encourage-pa-to-unite-to-stop-the-spread/.

Meanwhile, the Health Department today confirmed an additional 834 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 151,646. Neighboring Centre County continues to be a hot spot, reporting an increase of 185 cases today. County specific information is available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- The state’s new online self-certification form for COVID compliant restaurant businesses is now open on the Pennsylvania COVID website. According to information from the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), there is no cost to participate, enrolling in the program is voluntary, and participating restaurants receive:

  • Permission to increase indoor dining from 25% to 50% occupancy (began September 21)
  • A listing on the searchable public Open & Certified Pennsylvania Business Directory
  • Free Open & Certified Pennsylvania signs for the business’s physical location, website, and social media
  • Timely updates, reminders, and alerts for new business guidance and resources

According to the state, self-certifying will not lead to any additional inspections. DCED says if you have a COVID-19 related violation you will first get warnings and education, rather than fines or other penalties. For more about the self-certification program read the state’s Frequently Asked Questions or email DCED at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The PA Restaurant & Lodging Association’s (PRLA) weekly ‘Industry Update’ webinar tomorrow, Wednesday, September 23, at 11:00 a.m. will focus on an analysis of the new self-certification process. Interested restaurants are welcome to participate. Click here to REGISTER.

- The PA Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from September 14 – 20. Bureau of Food Safety personnel performed 596 inspections, 18 of which were complaint-driven, 10 of which were COVID-specific complaints. The Bureau distributed 60 educational letters as a result, issued three formal warning letters, and filed one citation. In addition, 10 COVID-related complaints were referred to local and county health jurisdictions. Five of the most recent inspections were in Clinton County. None of them were complaint-driven and no warnings or citations were issued. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=968.

- A reminder that PA CareerLink Clinton County, Lock Haven University and the Partnership are hosting an employer webinar tomorrow  morning (Sept. 23) at 10:00 a.m. on the WEDnetPA program and how to access WEDnetPA Training Funds for workforce development. WEDnet funds – up to $2,000 per employee; $100,000 per company – are available for employee skill building training. Training topics can range from customer service, to software engineering, to first aid and CPR. Register for tomorrow’s webinar at: https://forms.gle/b3rNuyg1wRMY6LyL9.

- PennDOT today highlighted ways in which Pennsylvanians and business partners have seen continued or enhanced services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=769.

- The PA Department of Human Services today issued updated COVID-19 guidance for personal care homes, assisted living residences, and private intermediate care facilities covering screening and surveillance testing for residents and staff, expanding visitation, and circumstances when and how facilities can safely relax mitigation tactics. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=601.

- The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention this week issued guidance for the upcoming fall and winter holidays, including guidance for Halloween. The new guidance ranks activities from low risk to high risk for spreading COVID-19. See more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween.

 

Non-COVID items of interest….

- SEDA-COG today announced it has been awarded two grants totaling more than $555,000 to support a proposed natural gas synthesis plant in West Keating Township, Clinton County. Click Here for the SEDA-COG news release for more information.

- Lock Haven University today said it has scheduled a Virtual Internship and Career Fair to be held Friday, October 2, at 2pm. Click Here for the LHU news release for details.

- In support of National Small Business Week – Sept. 22 to 24 – the Internal Revenue Service is emphasizing the many IRS online resources available to help small business owners and self-employed individuals handle the tax aspects of their business. See more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-highlights-online-resources-during-small-business-week-many-resources-available-in-multiple-languages.

- 12th District U.S. Congressman Fred Keller is seeking military service academy nominations. The Congressman each year has the opportunity to nominate a number of young Pennsylvanians. If you know a qualified young man or woman interested in serving in the Armed Forces encourage them to apply to a U.S. Military Service Academy. The deadline to submit application materials is this coming Monday, September 28, 2020. Click here for more details or call Congressman Keller’s Tunkhannock office at 570-996-6550 if you have specific questions.

Posted 9/21/20

- Clinton County Government today announced a new grant program to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) Small Business Assistance Grant program, the county plans to award $5,000 grants to eligible businesses. The program will start accepting applications this Thursday, September 24 through an online process and applications will be accepted until October 8. Click Here for the ‘Clinton County announces’ file for details.

- In response to a climbing COVID incidence rate within the Lock Haven 17745 zip code, Lock Haven City Manager Greg Wilson today said all events in any city park, as well as entertainment in the downtown pedestrian mall area, are canceled beginning tomorrow September 22 for at least the next two weeks. “The city's incidence rate has climbed to its highest point to date, 143.98 per 100,000 excluding LHU students who have tested positive, which are reported separate from the other residents of the city's zip code. Including LHUs new incidences reported today, the city's incidence rate is 458.59/100,000,” said Wilson. “Anything above 100/100,000 is considered a high-risk infection area by the CDC. For that reason, there will be a moratorium instituted tomorrow cancelling any event in any city park, including play in ball fields. The Pedestrian Mall (Lock Haven’s Main Street area that is closed to vehicle traffic Friday at 3pm through Saturday at 9pm) will not be permitted to have outdoor entertainment.” Wilson said outdoor dining and retail operations can continue in the pedestrian mall area, however, no music or other entertainment is permitted. He said City employees who are able should continue to work from home or reduce on-site hours to minimize contact with other employees. He further encouraged any operations in city-owned facilities to review their COVID-19 safety plans to ensure they are taking every precaution available to ensure the safety of the public. Click Here for the Lock Haven COVID Update for more information.

- Lock Haven University today resumed limited face-to-face instruction following what the University says was a good turnout for COVID-19 re-entry testing and a lower infection rate. More information here: http://www.lockhaven.edu/News/face_to_face_reopen_09.20.2020.html.

The University began the semester with 85 percent of the student population in online learning and only 15 percent in the classroom. In-person classes were suspended two weeks ago when the number of cases of COVID-19 began to rise. University officials said a new round of testing would be undertaken to determine whether the 15 percent in-person classes could resume. For more information on the testing, visit the University’s COVID dashboard at https://lockhaven.edu/Covid19Dashboard/index.html.

- The state today released its weekly status update on mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard. PA Governor Tom Wolf said the statewide percent positivity decreased significantly in the past week, from 4.2 percent to 3.8 percent. However, the 7-day incidence rate increased by 526 cases. Centre County continues to be an area of concern, with a percent positivity rate of 12.1 percent. Nine other counties – Indiana, York, Juniata, Mercer, Lebanon, Berks, Chester, Crawford, and Bedford also have positivity rates above five percent. For the week ending September 17, 19 counties were in the low level of transmission; 46 counties (including Clinton and Lycoming) were in the moderate level; and Centre and Indiana counties had substantial transmission. More details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-covid-19-early-warning-monitoring-dashboard-update-for-sept-11-17/.

Meanwhile the Department of Health reported 1,162 new positive coronavirus cases on Saturday, 733 new cases Sunday and another 234 new cases today, bringing the statewide total to 150,812. Saturday’s numbers were the second time in a week and the fourth time this month that new cases exceeded 1,000. The month of August had no days in which the case counts topped 1,000.

- Six months after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf today highlighted efforts to respond to the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure that mitigation-related products (masks, medical equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies, etc.) are available, accessible and plentiful. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-highlights-efforts-to-ensure-that-ppe-is-available-accessible-and-plentiful/.

- Restaurants, as of today, can fill their dining rooms to 50% capacity….if they complete a state-established self-certification process. While restaurants can increase their indoor eating capacity starting today, the self-certification doesn’t have to be completed for another two weeks, until October 5. The online self-certification form can be accessed at PA.gov/COVID. Learn more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/restaurant-self-certification-process-now-open/.

The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association is encouraging restaurant owners to hold off on immediately completing the self-certification until PRLA has a chance to review the details of the process.  State enforcement of the 50 percent indoor capacity will begin on October 5, so restaurants that choose to increase indoor capacity to 50 percent before October 5 must complete the online self-certification process by that date. However, the self-certification process will remain available after October 5 for restaurants that choose to self-certify in the future. For interested restaurants, PRLA will be reviewing the self-certification document in detail during their weekly Industry Update this Wednesday, September 23. Click here to REGISTER for that update.

From the enforcement end, PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 762 licensed liquor establishments Friday through Sunday (Sept. 18-20), issuing five notices of violation and 16 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers Clinton County, conducted 75 licensee checks over the weekend. No warnings or violations were issued. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=586.

- As promised, Governor Wolf today vetoed the so-called high school sports attendance bill, putting the ball in the General Assembly’s court, so to speak, on whether to hold a vote to override the Governor’s veto. Click here for a PennLive article on the Governor’s action: https://www.pennlive.com/sports/2020/09/pa-gov-tom-wolf-vetoes-high-school-sports-attendance-bill-setting-up-possible-override-vote-in-general-assembly.html?utm_source=Members&utm_campaign=ffcd19bdf5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_cvupdate_sept21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e12cf0b7b-ffcd19bdf5-69005015.

Both the state House and Senate have said they would stage a vote to override the Governor’s veto. 25th District State Senator Joe Scarnati, who represents Clinton County, tonight issued a news release saying the Senate will take a vote to override the veto if and when the House is successful in an override vote. Click Here for the ‘Senator Scarnati’ news release for details.

Webinars this week….

- Penn State Extension hosts a Plan for Now, Prepare for the Future: Banking 101 webinar Tuesday, September 22 at 9:00 a.m. The session will include a panel of Bankers from various banks who will explain the basics of applying for a loan. Common mistakes and the important financial documents you should assemble prior to meeting with your banker will be covered. Visit the Event Website for More Details.

- Penn State Extension hosts a Mental Wellness during COVID-19: Substance Misuse in Times of Crisis live webinar Tuesday, September 22, at 11:30 a.m. The session will focus on tips and techniques for healthy coping and sources of additional support. Visit the Event Website for More Details.

- Partnership members are encouraged to participate in an employer workshop, WEDnetPA Training Funds, this Wednesday, September 23, at 10:00 a.m. to learn how receiving funds through the WEDnet program can bolster your workforce development needs. WEDnet funds – up to $2,000 per employee; $100,000 per company – are available for employee skill building training. Training topics can range from customer service, to software engineering, to first aid and CPR. Registration Link: https://forms.gle/b3rNuyg1wRMY6LyL9.

Posted 9/18/20

- Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan offers the following update today on the county’s employment picture:

   Clinton County’s ‘continued’ unemployment claims showed a decease during the last week, according to information released Friday by the PA Department of Labor & Industry. There were 1,115 continued unemployment insurance claims for the week ending September 12, a decrease of more than 100 from the previous week. The latest continued claims number includes 50.2 percent male, 21 percent in the food/accommodation field, and 24 percent in the age bracket of 25 to 34 years old.

   The ‘initial’ unemployment claims rose slightly, going from 43 to 48. Of the 48 initial new claims, 68 percent were male, 23 percent in construction, and 33 percent in the age bracket of 25 to 34 years old.

   Clinton County’s unemployment rate for July was 12 percent. The August monthly report is expected to be issued by the state on or around September 29.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry today released its employment situation report for August 2020. The statewide unemployment rate was down 2.2 percentage points to 10.3 in August. The national rate fell 1.8 percentage points from July’s level to 8.4 percent. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=485.

- Labor & Industry is advising organizations that interact with its Bureau of Workforce Development to be on the lookout for email messages impersonating staff. They say the messages contain links or attachments with malicious software that could infect computers or steal personal information. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=486.

- The state’s efforts to modernize its unemployment compensation benefits system continue to meet with delays, with the COVID-19 pandemic being the latest obstacle. Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak said a meeting Monday could determine whether to postpone next month’s planned ‘go live’ with the new system. He said the state’s readiness to implement the new system – Labor & Industry staff hasn’t been full trained, employers and the public haven’t been informed of the new system, and the system itself hasn’t been fully tested – has been impacted by the fact that the department has diverted more than half of its staff working on the computer modernization to assist with processing the historic number of claims for jobless benefits the department has received. In addition, L&I has had to build totally new systems to implement four new pandemic-related federal programs to provide benefits to the state’s unemployed. Click here to read a PennLive article on the issue: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/09/beleaguered-unemployment-compensation-computer-modernization-project-likely-to-be-delayed-once-again.html.

- Recognizing the unprecedented financial disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve conducted a pair of surveys (one in April and the latest in July) to monitor changes in the financial well-being of Americans. The data showed that U.S. families were faring better financially in July than in April, but many still faced uncertainty regarding layoffs and prospects for returning to work. More here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/other20200918a.htm.

- The PA Department of Health today announced that beginning next Friday, September 25, COVID-19 testing clinics will be held at locations in Centre and Columbia counties to contain the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases there. In addition, the department is working closely with Centre County in regard to the increase in cases there over the last several weeks. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1027.

   The Health Department also said it will be closing the nine remaining Walmart drive-thru and parking lot COVID-19 testing sites across the state on September 25 due to the low number of people being tested. Of the nine remaining sites, one is at the Walmart Supercenter parking lot on North Atherton Street in State College. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1029.

   The Health Department today confirmed an additional 760 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 148,683.

- Starting this Monday, September 21, under a new order signed this week by Governor Wolf, restaurants can go from 25 to 50 percent occupancy for indoor seating….as long as they complete a state self-certification process by October 5. Today, the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association issued a statement (click here: our statement), saying the Governor’s latest actions do not go far enough to support the industry. The PRLA instead is supporting a measure in the legislature, House Bill 2513, which would restore more normal standards for restaurants. They say the measure could see action in the State Senate this coming week. The PRLA is also suggesting restaurants hold off on immediately self-certifying until the PRLA has an opportunity to review the self-certification document, which the state has said it will not make available until Monday.

- Meanwhile, PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 549 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and yesterday (Sept. 16 & 17), issuing two notices of violation and 11 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers Clinton County, conducted 56 licensee checks during the period. They issued no warnings or notices of violation. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=585.

- The PA Department of Education today reminded school districts that the federal court ruling issued earlier this week is not a blanket end to the COVID-19 protection and mitigation orders that the state has in place. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=944.

- In some very cool news from the scholastic front…..a Central Mountain High School senior, Gianna Renzo, was part of a team that won a NASA/Texas Instruments-sponsored contest. According to a report in The Record newspaper, Gianna was part of a five-member team of students from PA, New York, New Jersey and Illinois called the Germaphobes, who were tasked with creating a solution to aid the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Their robot, the Germaphobe, will be tasked with cleaning and sanitizing the space station. The article says a representative from NASA will be in touch with the winning team to assist with coordinating their trip to the space center in Houston. Congratulations!

- PA First Lady Frances Wolf joined First Spouses and Partners in 17 other states in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress to further extend and fully fund child nutrition program operations throughout the entire 2020-21 school year. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-first-lady-frances-wolf-sends-letter-to-federal-government-urging-for-the-continuation-of-child-nutrition-programs/.

- The Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State Nittany Lions football teams are ‘carrying the ball’ and supporting the Department of State through a new ad that encourages mail-in voting in PA. See more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=404.

- Due to unforeseen circumstances, the City of Lock Haven today announced the Sealcoating Project along the Lock Haven Levee Riverwalk will extend into next week. City Public Works Director Tony Stopper says the contractor has so far worked well with the current pedestrian traffic and pedestrians are asked again to be cautious through an active work zone. Signs and barricades will again be placed on the access ramps and parking areas notifying pedestrians that the Levee walkway will be closed in that area for maintenance. Stopper says the City appreciates everyone's cooperation and patience while they continue to improve our community. The sealcoating project had been scheduled for earlier this year, but was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Posted 9/17/20

- The Clinton County Commissioners today announced grant awards through the County’s CARES Relief Grant Program. The county received $3.4 million in federal CARES Act funds that were channeled through the state, and accepted applications from county entities, eligible local businesses, nonprofits and municipalities. Today, the Commissioners announced more than $3.3 million in grants to a total of 93 local entities, including:

  • 1,463,807 to 16 different departments within Clinton County government;
  • $488,458 to 35 small businesses;
  • $457,006 to 8 municipalities;
  • $285,000 to 6 first responders;
  • $276,334 to 12 nonprofit organizations;
  • $217,807 to 13 tourism related businesses & organizations; and
  • $168,200 to 3 behavioral health groups

According to the commissioner’s report, the county retained some $62,000 as contingency funds, and expects to use some $69,000 for costs associated with administering the grant program. The Commissioners said the County Planning Department will be reaching out to individual award recipients. Click here for more on the grant awards, including a list of individual recipients: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/Home/Components/News/News/79/15.

- Following COVID-19 guidelines, the Economic Partnership last night held its annual membership meeting. The session was held outdoors at the Clinton County Fairgrounds main pavilion. Four incumbents and one new representative were elected to the CCEP’s 15-member Operating Board during the meeting. Incumbents elected for three-year terms were: Cedar Run Environmental Services, Inc., represented by Steve Bason; First Quality, represented by Bill Garbrick; Harger Utility Contractors, Inc., represented by Dave Harger; and Lock Haven University, represented by Deana Hill. Newly-elected to the Operating Board is the Wayne Township Landfill, represented by Marci Orndorf. Jim Russo representing M&R Contracting, Inc., was announced as the new chairman of the Operating Board, taking over for Dave Harger who just completed his two-year term as chair. Also at the meeting, CCEP staff and committee chairs offered reports highlighting various Partnership activities.

- The U.S. Department of Labor today said the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell by 33,000 last week, to 860,000, but still remains at historically high levels. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people signing up for jobless benefits had never exceeded 700,000 in a week; now, they have exceeded that level for 26 straight weeks. See more: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20201770.pdf.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry is reminding eligible Pennsylvanians to apply as soon as possible for up to six weeks of assistance through the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program (LWA), which provides up to $300 a week extra in additional funds to those unemployed or partially unemployed because of COVID-19. L&I has received about $2.8 billion from the Federal  Emergency Management Agency for the six weeks of the program. No more federal funds will be received, and the state will be unable to approve claims after the funding is depleted. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=484.

- The Internal Revenue Service today released a state-by-state breakdown of the roughly nine million people receiving a special mailing this month encouraging them to see if they are eligible to claim an Economic Impact Payment. See more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-releases-state-by-state-breakdown-of-nearly-9-million-non-filers-who-will-be-mailed-letters-about-economic-impact-payments.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today again called on the General Assembly to provide additional funding for the COVID-19 Hazard Pay Program to support front-line workers during the pandemic. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-to-legislature-provide-support-to-front-line-workers-in-life-sustaining-industries/.

- The PA Department of Health today confirmed an additional 933 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 147,923. Centre County continues to be a hot spot, reporting an increase of 88 cases today. County-specific information is available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- Governor Wolf today issued the order that would allow restaurants to return to 50 percent capacity for indoor dining, if they complete a self-certification process still being finalized by the state. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-signs-orders-that-restaurants-may-increase-indoor-occupancy-to-50-percent/. Other key components of the order, which takes effect this Monday, September 21, include:

  • Last call will now be 11 p.m. with alcohol cleared by midnight.
  • The requirement that meals must accompany the purchase of alcoholic drinks and a ban on sitting at the bar remain in place.
  • Private events remain unchanged (25 people max are permitted at indoor events / 250 people at outdoor events).

This order does not restore the industry to the standards that were in place prior to July 15, which is why the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association has issued an Action Alert on HB 2513. The Senate could vote on this bill as early as Monday, September 21, and PRLA is encouraging restaurant owners to contact their state senators to support the bill. Resources such as a bill summary, talking points, and Senate contact information can be found here.

Also, the House Commerce Committee today unanimously voted out HB 2516, which creates a $250 million grant program for restaurants impacted by COVID and permits training as a permissible use of grant monies.

- A bipartisan group of 11 state treasurers, led by Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella and Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, today asked Gilead to reconsider its pricing of remdesivir, the only antiviral drug authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to treat cases of COVID-19. More here: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/09-17-Gilead.html.

- UPMC has announced it has collaborated with University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists to create a new anti-COVID-19 drug, which has been licensed for worldwide development. Learn More

Meanwhile, UPMC offered several COVID-19 related updates, including:

- Positive news for Penn State football fans: Big Ten Conference football is back on the schedule. The Conference announced that the season will resume the weekend of October 23-24 and put a number of guidelines in place to ensure safety amidst the pandemic. Read more: https://bigten.org/news/2020/9/16/the-big-ten-conference-adopts-stringent-medical-protocols-football-season-to-resume-october-23-24-2020.aspx.

- Monday is the deadline by which Governor Wolf must make a decision about whether to deny or grant local officials the exclusive authority to make decisions about holding school sports and activities and who can attend them. Although the governor has publicly said he would veto the measure identified as House Bill 2787, a bipartisan band of House members gathered yesterday to urge him to change his mind. Read More (Source: Harrisburg Patriot News)

- Lock Haven University President Dr. Robert Pignatello has announced that Bloomsburg University will now be included in the LHU/Mansfield University study for potential integration. The PA State System of Higher Education announced in July that it would review the financial impact of integrating operations at select universities, with LHU and Mansfield University being one of the proposed integrations. President Pignatello said that initial pairing has now shifted to include Bloomsburg University. He said the study process is just beginning, with a financial review and assessment. An implementation plan will then be developed and a final plan is to be presented to the State System Board of Governors next July for implementation in the fall of 2022. Click Here for the LHU Integration Update.

- Interested Partnership members are encouraged to participate in a virtual employer workshop this coming Wednesday, September 23, at 10:00 a.m. on WEDnetPA Training Funds and how receiving funds through the WEDnet program can bolster your workforce development needs. WEDnet funds – up to $2,000 per employee; $100,000 per company – are available for employee skill building training. Training topics can range from customer service, to software engineering, to first aid and CPR. Click Here for the WEDnet flyer for registration details.

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection is offering $400,000 in grants for environmental education projects. Eligible applicants include schools, colleges, businesses, nonprofit community and environmental organizations, and county conservation districts. DEP will hold a free webinar on October 14 on how to apply. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=942.

- The PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources will hold regional virtual workshops in November for recreation and conservations projects. The workshop for the central region – the one covering Clinton County – is scheduled for November 12. Click Here for the DCNR news release for additional information.


- The PA Supreme Court today granted the Democratic Party’s request to order an extension of Pennsylvania’s Election Day-deadline to count mailed-in ballots for three days after Election Day. Governor Wolf and PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro called the decision a victory for voters. See more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/gov-wolf-attorney-general-shapiro-pa-supreme-court-decision-is-a-victory-for-voters/.

- To comply with the state’s COVID-19 guidelines, the PA Board of Game Commissioners September 26 meeting will be held online. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=420.

Posted 9/16/20

- A reminder: the Partnership’s annual membership meeting is tonight (9/16), at 7pm in the outdoor pavilion at the Clinton County Fairgrounds, 98 Racetrack Road, Mill Hall (Mackeyville). The outdoor venue allows us to accommodate all members interested in participating and stay within COVID gathering guidelines. The meeting features updates on Partnership activities and the election of five members to the Partnership’s 15-member Operating Board. There are eight members seeking a seat on the board, including incumbents Cedar Run Environmental Services, Inc.; First Quality; Fish Real Estate; Harger Utility Contractors, Inc.; and Lock Haven University. Three additional members are new candidates seeking an operating board seat: Avery Dennison; Wayne Township Landfill; and Woodlands Bank. Operating Board nominations can also be made from the floor at the meeting. Partnership members whose dues are current and who have been a member at least 30 days are eligible to vote.

- The Clinton County Commissioners tomorrow (September 17) are slated to announce grant recipients for the County’s CARES Relief Block Grant program. The Commissioners plan to announce the grants during their weekly 10:00 a.m. meeting, held in the outdoor pavilion at the County Piper Building, 2 Piper Way, Lock Haven. The meeting is also live-streamed on the Clinton County Government Facebook page. The money for this program comes to county government from federal CARES Act funding and is designed to support small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities in Clinton County who have sustained losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman are again calling on the legislature to take up legalization of adult-use cannabis, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous disruptions to the state’s economy and legalizing adult-use cannabis would go a long way in helping the economic recovery. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-and-lt-gov-fetterman-message-to-legislature-now-is-the-time-to-take-up-legalization-of-adult-use-cannabis/.

- PennDOT today announced it has resumed issuing REAL IDs at reopened Driver License Centers offering driver license services. The Department paused REAL ID issuance in March due to the pandemic. Additionally, the federal Department of Homeland Security postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1 of this year to October 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration. Details here: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=766.

- The state is seeing a positive response to its efforts to recruit people to work the polls during the November 3 election. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar today says the department has received about 35,000 applications from people wanting to serve as poll workers. Additionally, for the first time, the state is offering the opportunity for certain professional licensees to receive continuing education credits for serving as poll workers. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=403.

There continues to be a need in Clinton County for poll workers for the November 3 election. Those interested should contact the Clinton County Voter Registration office at 570-893-4019.

- State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,031 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 14 and 15), issuing one notice of violation and 16 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers Clinton County, conducted 112 licensee checks so far this week, and issued one warning related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=583.

- We hope you have a chance to browse through the “Partners” insert in today’s Express newspaper. The four-page insert, prepared quarterly by the Partnership, highlights our activities, our members, and local events.  

Posted 9/15/20

- A pandemic-delayed project is now underway in Lock Haven. The City of Lock Haven’s levee RiverWalk and ramps to the walkway will be closed temporarily starting tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16, as contractors carry out planned repairs and seal-coating. M&M Asphalt of Williamsport is the contractor for the walking path work. The project had been scheduled for this past spring, but was delayed until after Labor Day due to COVID-19 restrictions. The City says the seal-coating process is expected to run through this Friday, September 18. During that time, the Levee also will be cleaned of debris. The walkway will be closed until the seal-coat application is dry enough for pedestrian traffic.  

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today responded to the recent federal court ruling regarding the business closure order and the stay at home orders issued in March, as well as the 25-person indoor and 250-person outdoor gathering limitations, saying there’s “no sense debating a ruling that will be appealed. But what’s not up for debate is that our early and decisive action saved lives. While the federal government dithered, Pennsylvania took action….and research tells us thousands of lives were saved.” See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-responds-to-federal-court-ruling/.

PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine reminded Pennsylvanians that the decision issued yesterday in the Butler County case is not a blanket end to the protection and mitigation orders in place to protect people from COVID-19. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1022.

The Health Department today confirmed an additional 1,151 positive cases of the virus, bringing the statewide total to 146,214. Centre County continues to be a hot spot, reporting an increase of 212 cases today. County-specific information is available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- The Department of Health today highlighted August nursing home inspections, including sanctions against care facilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1021.

- With only seven weeks left before the November 3 election, Governor Wolf is urging immediate legislative action to ensure voters receive their mail-in ballots early and give counties more time to process and count ballots before election day. The Governor also reassured Pennsylvanians that in-person voting is safe, and said all eligible votes will be counted. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-pass-legislation-to-enhance-secure-and-efficient-elections/

- PA Department of Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin today reminded restaurants that the state’s new self-certification process begins on Monday, September 21. Restaurants can increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting Monday, as long as they complete the self-certification. More information here: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-reminds-restaurants-to-self-certify-beginning-september-21/.

Meanwhile, the PA Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from last week (September 7-13). The Bureau of Food Safety performed 520 total inspections, 27 of which were complaint-driven, 12 were COVID-19 specific complaints. The Bureau issued two formal warning letters and 26 educational letters, and five COVID-related complaints were referred to local and county health jurisdictions. According to the state information, there were no Department of Agriculture inspections in Clinton County last week. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=964.

- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for the Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guarantees Loans and Grants. Applications for grants of $20,000 or less and loan/grant of $20,000 or less are due by November 2. Other applications due March 31, 2021. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted on a continuous application cycle. The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Click Here for more details.

- PA CareerLink is hosting another virtual ‘Get to Know’ information session, this one for Lowe’s in Mill Hall, Tuesday, September 22 at 2pm. The sessions are designed to provide information for anyone seeking employment or wanting to know more about the company. Click Here for the PA CareerLink flyer.

- The PA Chamber is hosting a webinar, Covid-19 Business Lessons Learned & Strategies to Prepare for the Upcoming Flu / Pandemic Season, this Thursday, September 17 at 11:00 a.m. The session is $25 for members and $40 for non-members. MORE INFO 

- American Express is offering eligible small businesses free "Open for Business" kits. Order a free kit here (one kit per merchant, while supplies last). This year marks the 10th anniversary of AMEX’s ‘Shop Small’ initiative. The company created Small Business Saturday – celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving – in 2010 to encourage people to Shop Small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. Locally, Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. hosts a Small Business Saturday celebration, which this year is being planned for November 28. Learn more about AMEX's Shop Small initiative here.

Posted 9/14/20

- A federal judge today ruled that aspects of PA Governor Tom Wolf's COVID-19 mitigation strategies were unconstitutional, including the temporary business shut down and the limits on individuals congregating. The Wolf Administration announced that it would be seeking a stay of the decision and filing an appeal. READ MORE

- Governor Wolf and State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine today released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard. The update shows that Clinton County has moved back down into the low risk level for the virus. However, the statewide percent positivity increased again this week (September 4-10 date compared to August 28-September 3 data), even through the number of new cases dropped. As of September 10, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 5,012; the previous seven-day increase was 5,502, indicating a 490-case decrease over the past week. The statewide percent-positivity went up to 4.2 percent from 4.0 percent last week. There are four counties listed as having ‘substantial’ transmission of the virus, including neighboring Centre County (9.2%), as well as Columbia (13.4%), Indiana (10.7%), and Juniata (10.3%). Another 43 counties (including nearby Lycoming, Mifflin and Clearfield counties) are in the ‘moderate’ level, while the remaining 20 counties (including Clinton and neighboring Cameron, Elk, Potter, and Tioga counties) are ranked in the ‘low’ level of transmission. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-covid-19-early-warning-monitoring-dashboard-update-for-sept-4-10/.

The Department of Health today confirmed an additional 638 positive cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday and 620 additional positive cases reported today, bringing the statewide total to 145,063.

Meanwhile, Secretary Levine on Friday introduced “COVID Alert PA,” an app that uses Bluetooth technology to notify users of a potential COVID-19 exposure. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1016.

- The Partnership’s annual membership meeting will take place this Wednesday, September 16, at 7pm. To accommodate all members interested in participating and stay within COVID guidelines, the meeting will be held outdoors under the Main Stage Pavilion at the Clinton County Fairgrounds, 98 Racetrack Road, Mill Hall (Mackeyville). The meeting will feature updates on Partnership activities and the election of five members to the Partnership’s 15-member Operating Board. There are eight members seeking a seat on the board, including incumbents Cedar Run Environmental Services, Inc.; First Quality; Fish Real Estate; Harger Utility Contractors, Inc.; and Lock Haven University. Three additional members are new candidates seeking an operating board seat: Avery Dennison; Wayne Township Landfill; and Woodlands Bank. Operating Board nominations can also be made from the floor at Wednesday’s meeting. Partnership members whose dues are current and who have been a member at least 30 days are eligible to vote.

- The Clinton County Commissioners are slated to make an award announcement this week for the County’s CARES Relief Block Grant program. The Commissioners will announce the grants during their weekly meeting on Thursday, September 17, at 10:00 a.m. These grants are being made through Clinton County government from federal CARES Act funding and are designed to support small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities in Clinton County who have sustained losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Some word on the second round of funding for the state’s COVID-19 Small Business Assistance grant program is expected later this month. According to information on the Progress Fund website, approval notifications will be made on a rolling basis, starting September 24. Those grant applications have been under review since the second funding round window closed August 28. The Progress Fund is one of the Community Development Financing Institutions (CDFIs) small businesses were able to make application to. This program is providing grants ranging from $5,00 to $50,000 to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. During the first round of funding, six businesses in Clinton County received a grant through this program.

- PA House lawmakers will be in session this week. There are various public hearings and informational meetings scheduled that will examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various industries and institutions statewide. Budget discussions for the second half of the 2020-21 year are also expected to get underway in the coming weeks. Pennsylvania faces a $5 billion budgetary shortfall resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. -> Read More from the PA Chamber.

- The PA Department of Community & Economic Development has updated the FAQ document regarding the Governor’s September 8 restaurant order that takes effect on Monday, September 21. The state order says restaurants can increase indoor seating to 50 percent capacity, as long as they complete a self-certification process. The FAQ document highlights the application process, which is free, and answers a range of questions about the new requirement.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,049 licensed liquor establishments over the weekend (Sept. 11-13), issuing seven notices of violation and 32 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport enforcement office, which covers Clinton County, conducted 32 licensee checks during that period, issuing two warnings. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=582.

Non-COVID Items of Interest….

- UPMC Lock Haven President Ron Reynolds today said clean-up and repair work is underway in earnest following a fire at the hospital last Thursday. “We are aggressively working to remediate the fire fallout, and looking forward to re-opening,” said Reynolds. “We will keep the community well informed and look forward to returning stronger than ever. We appreciate the support of the Economic Partnership and our entire community.”

The Partnership extends a heartfelt thanks to the many area businesses who offered support to emergency responders as well as hospital team members during the emergency. UPMC Lock Haven has remained closed since the fire was discovered Thursday in a service tunnel connecting a boiler room to the hospital. Patients with upcoming scheduled surgeries or appointments are being contacted to reschedule, and those in need of emergency care should continue to call 9-1-1. “I credit the quick response of our staff and first responders for preventing this incident from escalating,” said Reynolds in a media report. “Hospital staff and EMS safely evacuated and transferred patients ensuring a minimal disruption of care, and firefighters were able to contain the fire to the tunnel structure located outside the hospital.” Hospital patients were evacuated and some were discharged and others were transferred to UPMC Williamsport and UPMC Muncy. The fire did not affect the residents at UPMC Haven Place or neighboring Susque-View Home. Safety personnel remained on scene as hospital workers and contractors assisted fire crews in digging open the tunnel, extinguishing the fire, and controlling smoke. Clinton County Department of Emergency Services declared fire operations complete at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11. “Thank you to everyone who responded and supported the incident,” said Reynolds. “Your tireless efforts are why we’re now able to take the steps necessary to restore operations at the hospital. The community was there for us in our time of need, and we look forward to safely reopening the hospital and serving our community as soon as possible.”

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today released its 2019 Oil and Gas annual report, which indicates that natural gas production in Pennsylvania increased while new well drilling decreased in 2019. Learn more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21864&typeid=1.

- PennDOT is inviting Pennsylvanians to participate in its new Safety Citizens program, which encourages community members to answer traffic safety questions in original and creative ways. The program kicks off with Teen Driver Safety as the first topic. More here: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=765.

- Pennsylvania’s elk hunting season began Saturday, September 12, with the archery elk season. Now through September 26, 26 archery hunters selected by lottery will be in pursuit of 10 bulls and 16 cows, hunting in nine of the state’s 14 Elk Hunt Zones. The general elk season runs November 2-7 (26 bulls, 78 cows are able to be taken); and a late season runs January 2-9, 2021, during which 34 cows can be taken. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=417.

Upcoming Webinars….

  • 9/15, 3 p.m. | American Hotel & Lodging Association | Loan Forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program | REGISTER
  • 9/16, 11 a.m. | PA Restaurant & Lodging Association | Industry Update with Melissa Bova | REGISTER
  • 9/16, 1 p.m. | ServSafe |  The Dos and Don’ts of Virtual Food Inspections | REGISTER
  • 9/17, 10:30 a.m. | PRLA | Building Consumer Confidence as the Industry Reopens | REGISTER
  • 9/17, 11 a.m. | Ecolab |  Health Inspections: What you need to know Now and Then | REGISTER 
  • 9/18, 11 a.m.  | National Restaurant Association & Tork |  From Outbreaks to Pandemics: Why the Essentials of Managing Food Safety Risk Matter | REGISTER 
  • 9/22, 2 p.m. | AHLA | Enhanced Guest Technology Opportunities and Insights | REGISTER
  • 9/22, 4:30 p.m. | One Degree Coaching | The Missing Link - Advice for Managers to Improve their Connection & Engagement with their Team | REGISTER
  • 9/23, 1 p.m.  |  Ecolab  |  Demystifying Sanitation in Foodservice: New Procedures and Approaches | REGISTER 
  • 9/23, 2 p.m.  | Food Management | Plant Based Across the Menu, presented by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, Plant-Powered Dietitian, and James Beard Award-Winning Chef JJ Johnson of FIELDTRIP | REGISTER 
  • 9/24, 9 a.m. | Post & Schell | Vaccination Protocols and Regulatory & Legal Considerations for Employers | REGISTER
  • 9/30 & 10/1, noon-5 p.m. | National Restaurant Association | Finance, Tax & Audit Expert Exchange Virtual Event | REGISTER
  • 9/30, 2 p.m. | Ecolab |  Dining and Food: The Future State  | REGISTER
  • SBDC is offering numerous webinars relating to COVID-19. Search All Offerings

Posted 9/11/20

- The PA Department of Health today confirmed another 1,008 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 142,885. Nearby Centre County continues to be a hotspot, reporting 137 new cases, with Allegheny County reporting an increase of 100 cases. Clinton County reported one additional positive case since yesterday, bringing the county total to 149 confirmed and 17 probable cases, while 3,744 of those tested were negative for the virus. According to the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, Clinton County’s current percent-positive rate is 3.7 percent, a downward trend from last week’s rate. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1015.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry said today it has received notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program – which provided an additional $300 weekly benefit to unemployed workers – ended this past Saturday, September 5. LWA payments will be made in a lump sum for the claim weeks from August 1 through September 5. The state said no other unemployment benefits programs are affected. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=481

- Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan provided an update on the local employment picture today: Clinton County’s continued unemployment claims saw an increase during the last week while initial claims were slightly lower, according to information released today by the state Department of Labor & Industry. The continued claims were 1,246 for the week ending September 5, up from the 1,161 recorded the week before. The latest numbers include 53% who are female, 20% in the food and accommodations sector, and 22% in the age bracket of 25 to 34 years old. There were 43 initial claims, down from 54 a week prior. The 43 claims include 53% females, 26% in the construction field, and 21% between the ages of 35 and 44. Clinton County’s July unemployment rate was 12%. The August monthly report should be released by the state at the end of September.

- As the demand increases in Pennsylvania for long-term care services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor & Industry announced that $4 million in Direct Care Worker Training Grants is available statewide to improve the quality of care provided by direct care workers – those who assist patients unable to look after themselves in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=482.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,167 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 9 & 10), issuing three notices of violation and 23 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. In the Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers Clinton County, officers conducted 22 licensee checks during that period. There were no warnings or violations issued. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=581.

- Republican leaders in both the Pennsylvania Senate and House are in support of the so-called ‘Let them Play’ bill that deals with school sports and fan attendance. The Governor says he will veto House Bill 2787; however, the legislature says if that happens, they will move to override the veto. According to State Senator Joe Scarnati, who represents Clinton County, House Bill 2787 would allow school districts to develop their own health and safety plans that reflect the realities facing schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety plans would be required to be posted online and submitted to the Department of Education. The bill would prohibit any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 in a transmissible stage from participating in any sporting event or extracurricular activity.

“As I have been saying since March, every area of our Commonwealth has been impacted differently by this public health emergency, and a one-size-fits-all approach does not work,” Scarnati said. “The legislation would remove the uncertainty that has been created by the unclear and constantly shifting guidance that schools have been given.” House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre County, issued a statement yesterday saying at its first opportunity, the House will attempt to override the Democratic governor’s planned veto of House Bill 2787. The bill drew strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, where it passed in each chamber with enough votes to exceed the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. The bill passed the House last week by a vote of 155-47. It passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 39-11 and was sent to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Governor Wolf had recommended the cancellation of all fall sports this year, but the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) later voted to allow school sports to continue.

- With COVID19 protections in place, the PA Department of General Services has announced it will hold an auction of more than 600 vehicles – one of the largest Commonwealth Vehicle Auctions ever – on October 13 in Grantville. Highlights among the items up for bid are 60 Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and Yamaha motorcycles. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DGS_details.aspx?newsid=149.

Non-COVID Items of Importance….

  • UPMC Lock Haven Hospital was the scene of a fire last night, and today, UPMC Susquehanna President Steve Johnson provided the following update to the health system’s advisory boards: After smoke and subsequently fire was detected in the tunnel below UPMC Lock Haven last night at approximately 8:00 p.m., staff worked diligently to safely evacuate and transfer patients to our Williamsport and Muncy facilities. Thanks to the timely and professional actions of our staff and safety personnel no patients or staff were injured. The residents of UPMC Haven Place were not impacted. Fire crews were able to contain the fire to the tunnel outside the hospital. UPMC Lock Haven will remain closed until UPMC officials and safety personnel determine services can be safely restored for patients and staff. Thank you to our exceptional UPMC Lock Haven team for their responsiveness and care of our patients during this emergent event.
  • Following a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) this week moved neighboring Potter County to drought ‘warning’ status and added three counties — Elk, Lycoming, and Tioga — to drought ‘watch.’ There are now 18 PA counties – including Clinton – on drought watch: Armstrong, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Perry, and Tioga, and residents in the ‘watch’ areas are asked to reduce individual water use 5 to 10 percent (approximately three to six gallons of water per day). Potter County residents are asked to reduce their water use by 10-15 percent (six to nine gallons/day). Learn more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21862&typeid=1.
  • Two Lock Haven University volunteer boards have announced new leadership. Both the LHU Foundation and Alumni Association remain optimistic about future growth opportunities for the University despite challenging times. Click Here for the LHU news release.
  • The Lock Haven Area YMCA (and the entire River Valley Regional YMCA system) is offering a special promotion that supports both the Y and local businesses. Between September 15 and 30, anyone interested in joining the Y can bring in a receipt from a local business and receive a discount on their Y joiner fee in the amount of the receipt (up to $30). River Valley Regional YMCA Chief Executive Officer Chad Eberhart says the goal is to promote local businesses as well as encourage new members to the YMCA. Click Here for the YMCA flyer.
  • We remember. Like other Americans, we remember where we were on this day 19 years ago, as terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, attacked the Pentagon, and crashed a plane believed headed for the nation’s Capitol into a Somerset County field. Nearly 3,000 people were killed, another 6,000 injured on September 11, 2001. As he addressed the nation that evening, then President George Bush had these words of strength, which resonate even today: “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.”

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden were in Pennsylvania today to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, where a remembrance ceremony is held each year. Due to COVID restrictions, this year’s ceremony was not open to the public, but was streamed online on the Flight 93 Memorial website.

In remembrance of the victims of 9-11 and in honor of Patriot Day, Governor Wolf ordered all United States and Commonwealth flags on the Capitol Complex and Commonwealth facilities throughout the state to be lowered to half-staff today. The commonwealth flag has flown at half-staff since Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in honor of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and should continue to fly at half-staff until further notice. All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in the tributes.

Meanwhile, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was among the agencies that responded to the September 11 tragedy. Click Here for the DEP article in remembrance.

Posted 9/10/20

- Calling the COVID-19 pandemic not only a health crisis, but also a “harsh economic crisis,” PA Governor Tom Wolf today called on the legislature to provide additional funds from the state’s CARES Act reserves to support small businesses. The Governor is asking the General Assembly to allocate an additional $225 million for forgivable loans and grants to small businesses through the state’s COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program, which has already provided 5,000 businesses some $96 million in grants. In addition, the Governor is proposing $100 million in forgivable loans and grants specifically for hospitality, leisure and service industries, including restaurants and bars, salons and barber shops. Read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-calls-for-legislative-action-to-support-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/.

- Governor Wolf is dedicating $15 million for schools to secure broadband, mobile hot spots, and other platforms that increase equitable access to remote learning during the pandemic. The Governor says the initiative will employ a multi-pronged approach that includes the use of state library networks and other partnerships. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-dedicates-15-million-to-connect-students-to-high-speed-internet-remote-learning/.

- Businesses within the City of Lock Haven are asked to complete a survey to gauge the impact of the Pedestrian Mall the City has put in place Fridays and Saturdays this summer in the downtown. Businesses located within the City can click on the following link and complete the City’s survey by this Saturday, September 12: https://forms.gle/GAcp1qH6WnDwdTvE8. Interested businesses have also been able to offer input during in-person meetings this week, with the final in-person session set for this evening (September 10) at 6:00 p.m. in the Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. office at 205 East Main Street. The City established the Pedestrian Mall earlier this summer, closing sections of Main and Grove Streets to vehicle traffic to allow restaurants and retailers to expand their business out onto the sidewalk and into the street, as indoor activities have seen operating restrictions due to COVID-19.

- The U.S. Chamber Foundation hosts a special edition of their Path Forward series next Thursday, September 17 at 3:00 p.m.  U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, will talk about the state of the pandemic, the link between community health and economic prosperity, what businesses should be doing to prepare for the coming months, and more.

Non-COVID Items of Interest….

- Governor Tom Wolf has received the American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award, which honors notable public service by a political scientist. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-receives-hubert-h-humphrey-award-for-public-service/.

- Loganton resident Cathy Pickett, an education guidance counselor at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy, is the recipient of this year’s Dean’s Salute to Excellence Award from Bloomsburg University. The award recognizes Pickett for being one of the University’s first partners in delivering college-level instruction for incarcerated students. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/corrections_details.aspx?newsid=473.

- Following months of hyper-focus on the availability of food, the PA Agriculture Department and Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are urging Pennsylvanians to act now against the Spotted Lanternfly for the sake of food security. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=963.

Posted 9/9/20

- Pennsylvania’s statewide positive test rate for the coronavirus rose over the past week, and Clinton as well as neighboring Centre County were among 11 counties Governor Tom Wolf’s administration is saying bears watching for COVID-19. The positive test rate rose to 4 percent over the past week, up from 3.2 percent the previous week. The 11 counties listed as having concerning percent-positivity include Columbia (18.9%), Armstrong (8.6%), York (7.9%), Clinton (7.4%), Beaver (6.4%), Northumberland (5.7%), Indiana (5.6%), Blair (5.2%), and Centre, Dauphin and Lancaster, (each at 5.0%). Those percent-positive rates for the week ending September 3 left 20 counties being listed in the state’s low level of transmission, 45 counties (including Clinton and Lycoming counties) in the moderate level, and two (Centre and Columbia) at the substantial transmission level. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-shares-update-on-covid-19-early-warning-monitoring-dashboard-county-transmission-levels-cases-traced-to-businesses-3/.

The PA Department of Health today confirmed an additional 931 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 141,290. County-specific information is available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said his audit of the waiver process for businesses that appealed Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 shutdown order is progressing and he will have a substantive update by October 6, including information about the call center process and other important details. More here: https://www.paauditor.gov/Media/Default/Print/RLS_DePasquale_waiver_UPDATE_090820_FINAL.pdf.

- The Department of Labor & Industry today reminded unemployment compensation claimants who apply and qualify for the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program that they will begin receiving the extra $300 weekly benefit as early as this Monday, September 14. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=479.

- With 1 in 4 Americans collecting unemployment compensation in 2020, the IRS is reminding anyone who received UC in 2020 that it is taxable income. MORE INFORMATION.

- Governor Wolf announced yesterday that restaurants could expand their operations to 50 percent of capacity beginning September 21, if they completed a self-certification process to assure compliance with state COVID-19 guidelines. The Wolf Administration then released frequently asked questions for restaurant owners to reference following the newly announced self-certification process. Read the state’s complete news release here: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-releases-faqs-for-restaurant-self-certification-process/.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 2,389 licensed liquor establishments from Friday to this past Tuesday (September 4-8), issuing 22 notices of violation and 36 warnings for failure to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers Clinton County, conducted 214 licensee checks during the period and issued one warning related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=580.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture today released COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions taken between August 31 and September 6. Bureau of Food Safety personnel performed 607 inspections, 30 of which were complaint-driven, with another 15 being COVID-19 specific complaints. The Bureau distributed 69 COVID-19 complaint-driven educational letters, issued three formal warning letters, and filed four citations. In addition, 19 COVID-19 related complaints were referred to local and county health jurisdictions. In that time period, the Bureau of Food Safety conducted five routine restaurant inspections in Clinton County. No warnings or citations were issued. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=962.

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection today said that while DEP employees continue to telework and use COVID-19 mitigation measures, their organization last week issued 576 more permits and conducted 1,491 more inspections. Since mid-March, DEP has conducted 36,432 inspections; processed 15,556 permit applications and authorizations; processed 94 percent of Permit Decision Guarantee applications and authorizations; and responded to 169 environmental emergencies.

- The Department of Human Services today reminded Pennsylvanians of options available for working families of school-age children who need flexibilities to balance the demands of work, home and school life during the pandemic. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=935.

- The Department of Human Services also announced the distribution of $31.5 million to Pennsylvania direct care workers who have continued to work through the COVID-19 crisis, making it possible for individuals with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians to live safely in their homes and near their families. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=595.

- The U.S. Department of Agriculture and federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs can support recovery efforts for businesses, and rural residents and communities through technical, training and management assistance; financial assistance; and state and local assistance. Access the Resource Guide here: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_COVID-19_Fed_Rural_Resource_Guide.pdf.

Non-COVID Items of Interest….

- The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission today announced the award of $2.6 million in Keystone Historic Preservation grants to help historical and heritage organizations, museums and local governments in 24 counties. The Commission awarded 52 grants, including a $10,000 grant to Downtown Lock Haven, Inc., to be used for a feasibility study and market analysis for repurposing the historic Masonic Temple in Lock Haven as a cultural business and performing arts center. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PHMC-Details.aspx?newsid=374.

- The Internal Revenue Service today reminded the self-employed, investors, retirees and others with income not subject to withholding that third quarter estimated tax payments for 2020 are due Tuesday, September 15. See more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/third-quarter-estimated-tax-payments-due-sept-15.

- The State Board of Education today advanced new proposed science standards that align with current research and best practices and will serve to modernize science education. The proposed standards will soon be opened for a public comment period. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=936.

Governor Wolf applauded the State Board of Education action, saying modernizing standards for how science is taught in schools is vital to the future success of students and important to strengthening Pennsylvania’s economy and creating jobs. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-applauds-state-board-of-education-for-advancing-modern-science-standards/.

- The state has announced that The School Safety and Security Committee within the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency is seeking grant applications for projects designed to reduce or prevent community violence. A total of $7.5 million will be made available for eligible applicants, which include municipalities, counties, institutions of higher education and community organizations. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-announces-7-5-million-funding-opportunity-to-address-community-violence/.

- The PA Department of Military and Veteran Affairs is encouraging people to light a candle at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow, September 10, in observance of World Suicide Prevention Day. The annual observance is organized by the International Association of Suicide Prevention. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Military-and-Veteran-Affairs-Details.aspx?newsid=459.

Upcoming Webinars….

  • On Sept. 10 at 10:30 a.m., the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will review What you need to know when the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) comes to your business. Submit your questions in advance of the webinar here. Register for the webinar here.
  • The SCORE Central PA Chapter hosts an online seminar, Beginners Guide to Corporate and Foundation Fundraising, on Thursday, September 10, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Register Now!
  • The PA Restaurant & Lodging Association hosts a webinar on Building Consumer confidence as the Industry Reopens, September 17, at 10:39 a.m. REGISTER
  • The SCORE Central PA Chapter hosts a no-cost, online seminar, Money from Home – Considerations for Home-Based Businesses (Building an Online Business), Thursday, September 17, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This seminar is designed to point out the considerations that must be made in starting and operating a home based business selling goods and services online. Register Now!
  • Penn State Extension hosts, Plan for Now, Prepare for the Future: Banking 101, webinar Tuesday, September 22, at 9am. The session will include a panel of bankers from various banks that will explain the basics of applying for a loan, common mistakes, and the important financial documents you need to assemble prior t meeting with your banker. RSVP early as space is limited. Visit the Event Website for More Details.
  • Interested Partnership members are encouraged to participate in a September 23, 10am webinar on WEDnetPA Training Funds and how receiving funds through the WEDnet program can bolster your workforce development needs. WEDnet funds – up to $2,000 per employee; $100,000 per company – are available for employee skill building training, and training topics can range from customer service, to software engineering, to first aid and CPR. Learn more about the upcoming seminar HERE.
  • The Small Business Development Center offers a number of COVID-19 related webinars. Search All Offerings

Posted 9/8/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced that restaurants may increase indoor occupancy from the current 25 percent to 50 percent starting September 21….as long as they “commit to strictly complying to all public health and safety guidelines and orders.” To assure this, the Governor says restaurants will be required to “self-certify” they are complying with all state requirements. Restaurants wanting to increase to 50 percent capacity must complete an online self-certification process by October 5. Restaurant owners with questions about the self-certification program can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The governor’s announcement also said that, starting September 21, restaurants that have alcohol sales must stop selling alcohol at 10:00 p.m. See more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-announces-restaurants-may-increase-indoor-occupancy-to-50-percent-starting-september-21/.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry has announced that Pennsylvania will complete implementation of the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program ahead of schedule and begin making payments to eligible individuals by this Thursday, September 10. Those who apply and qualify will begin receiving payments as early as Monday, September 14. LWA payments will be made for the five claim weeks in August. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=478.

- The IRS has announced that, later this month, they will start mailing letters to roughly nine million Americans who typically don’t file federal income tax returns who may be eligible for, but have not registered to claim, an Economic Impact Payment. The letters will urge recipients to register at IRS.gov by October 15 in order to receive their payment by the end of the year. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-to-mail-special-letter-to-estimated-9-million-non-filers-urging-them-to-claim-economic-impact-payment-by-oct-15-at-irsgov.

- The City of Lock Haven today announced steps city government will take, starting tomorrow, September 9, to reverse a growing incidence of COVID-19 positive cases within the 17745 zip code. A news release from City Manager Greg Wilson reports that, excluding COVID-19 positive tests from Lock Haven University, the 14-day incidence rate within the 17745 zip code has climbed from 16 positive cases per 100,000 people two weeks ago, to 117 per 100,000, putting the City into a ‘high risk’ incidence rate as defined by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In an effort to mitigate the spread of infection, Wilson says the City is limiting in-person services and meetings, and closing certain facilities to the public. Click Here for City of Lock Haven news release.

- As of today, Lock Haven University’s COVID-19 Dashboard (https://lockhaven.edu/Covid19Dashboard/index.html) indicates 1,033 people have been tested for COVID-19 since August 19, with 58 positive results and 975 negative tests, giving the University a positivity rate of 5.6 percent. The University last Wednesday suspended all in-person instruction for two weeks in anticipation that the positivity percentage would exceed their 5 percent target. President Robert Pignatello said that before face-to-face classes can resume on September 21, there will be reentry COVID-19 testing available to both employees and to all students living on or off campus and/or taking face-to-face classes. The voluntary testing is to be done next Wednesday and Thursday, September 16 and 17, with the results processed before September 21.

- The PA Department of Health today confirmed the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state has exceeded 140,000. The 496 additional positive cases reported today brings the statewide total to 140,359. The number of tests administered within the last seven days (September 1 – 7) was 147,207, with 5,838 positive cases. There are 7,791 deaths attributed to COVID-19. According to Department of Health data, Clinton County has 143 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 17 probable cases. As of today, 3,681 tests have been negative. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.    

- As rent and mortgage debt continues to mount for many Pennsylvanians due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Wolf is calling on the General Assembly to take action to help homeowners and renters avoid eviction. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-calls-for-legislative-action-to-help-homeowners-and-renters-avoid-an-eviction-cliff/.

- It may take years for the U.S. economy to fully recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. (Source: NPR)

Non-COVID Items of Interest….

- The PA Chamber reports that the state House Finance Committee advanced a bill (House Bill 2420) that would provide a welcomed tax reform for Pennsylvania employers by eliminating the expiration period on Net Operating Losses. Pennsylvania is currently one of the only states that caps NOLs, which limits the number of years a loss can carryforward. This harms our state’s competitiveness, particularly as the Commonwealth has the second highest corporate net income tax rate in the nation. In a memo to committee members, the PA Chamber urged support of this legislation to help job creators mitigate times of financial distress and increase cash flow. The bill now awaits further consideration by the full House.

- The PA Chamber today – in response to Governor Wolf and Lt. Gov. Fetterman’s call last week to legalize recreational marijuanaissued a statement urging lawmakers to proceed with caution on the issue and carefully consider the impact it would have on the employer community. -> Read More

- PennDOT today announced that applications are being accepted through November 6 to fund new transportation improvement projects under the Department’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. Eligible applicants include business/nonprofit organizations, municipalities, council of governments, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies and airports, airport authorities, and ports and rail entities. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=763.

- The PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is seeking veterans to apply for two member-at-large positions on the State Veterans Commission. The Commission advises the Department on matters pertaining to the state’s nearly 800,000 veterans. At-large-members serve a four-year term. Applications must be submitted by October 23. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Military-and-Veteran-Affairs-Details.aspx?newsid=458.

- The PA Game Commission is reminding hunters who harvest deer, elk, mule deer or moose out-of-state that there are Chronic Wasting Disease rules they must follow in order to bring that animal into PA. There are now 25 states and four Canadian provinces from which high-risk cervid parts cannot be imported into Pennsylvania. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=416.

Upcoming Webinars:

  • The Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosts Quick Connect Coaching Sessions Tuesdays at Noon. Looking for a quick answer to a question related to disaster recovery, reopening, stabilizing, or projecting for growth? Then attend a "Quick Connect" session to get your questions answered. Each week a consultant addresses answers related to a specific topic. Learn More
  • The Penn State SBDC also hosts Quickbooks Online (3-Part Series), September 11, 18, and 25. In a series of three workshops, the SBDC breaks down the benefits of QuickBooks Online. The Intro course is currently full but another offering will be available in October. If you already use the tool and want to learn more functionality, register for the level 1 and level 2 courses. Learn More

Posted 9/4/20

- Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan today provided an update on the local employment picture:

Clinton County’s continued unemployment claims decreased by over 100 within the last week while initial claims held fairly steady, according to information released Friday by the state Department of Labor & Industry. As of the week ending August 29,  the county had 1,161 continued cases, down from the prior week’s listing of 1,301. The latest unemployment claims showed that 51% were female, 18% were in the food and accommodation field, and 24% were in the age bracket of 25 to 34. The August 29 figures are the lowest since the pandemic hit in March.

The initial claims filed last week were 54, up two from the 52 registered the week before. Of the 54, 57% were male, 20% were in construction, and 30% were ages 35 to 44.

Clinton County’s overall July unemployment rate was listed at 12%, up slightly from 11% in June. The August county by county monthly rates should be released by the state in late September.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,149 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and Thursday of this week (Sept. 2 & 3), issuing five notices of violation and 28 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers Clinton County, conducted 88 licensee checks Wednesday and Thursday, issuing two warnings related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=579.

Meanwhile, the PA Department of Health today confirmed an additional 891 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 137,662. County-specific information – including information on Clinton County – is available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- The PA Restaurant & Lodging Association is working with state legislators to advance several pieces of legislation in support of the restaurant industry, which continues to be the focus of strict COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. The following bills that support PRLA's priorities were filed in the PA Senate this week:

    • SB 1299 – Removing the Food Requirement and Ban on Bar Service
    • SB 1300 – Expanding Outdoor Dining to Non-Contiguous Areas
    • SB 1301 – License Renewal Fee Waiver
    • SB 1302 – Removing the 25% Occupancy Requirement

In addition, PRLA today reported that the state Senate Law & Justice Committee is scheduled to meet this Tuesday, September 8 at 11:00 a.m. to move House Bill 2513 (sponsored by Rep. Garth Everett—R, Lycoming). According to PRLA, the bill will be amended with language that allows restaurants, hotels, clubs, distilleries, wineries and breweries to open at a minimum of 50 percent occupancy with social distancing/barriers in place as  permitted by the CDC and Department of Health. Identical language is also included to have the same provisions apply to “event venues”.

Of note, State Senator Joe Scarnati, who represents Clinton County as part of the 25th Senate District, is a member of the Law & Justice Committee. If you want to contact him to request his support for this legislation, he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (717)787-7084. In a virtual roundtable this week, both Senator Scarnati’s office and 76th District State Representative Stephanie Borowicz expressed support for PRLA’s legislative priorities for restaurants.

- The City of Lock Haven is reaching out to the Lock Haven business community, requesting their input regarding the Downtown Pedestrian Mall and its effect on business. Director of Community Life Kasey Campbell is asking businesses within the city to complete a survey, and they can also participate in one of three in-person meetings scheduled for Tuesday, September 8 at 10:30 a.m.; Wednesday, September 9, at 3:00 p.m.; or Thursday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the Downtown Lock Haven, Inc. office at 205 East Main Street. Lock Haven businesses can click on the following link and complete the survey by next Saturday, September 12: https://forms.gle/GAcp1qH6WnDwdTvE8. The City established the Pedestrian Mall earlier this summer, closing sections of Main and Grove Streets to vehicle traffic to allow restaurants and retailers to expand their business out onto the sidewalk and into the street, as indoor activities have seen more strict limitations due to COVID-19.

- President Donald Trump's payroll tax deferral began this week. Trump's executive order offers the possibility for workers to temporarily collect more money in their paychecks. But the money must be paid back later, and it's the employer's choice whether to opt in. READ MORE

Non-COVID related, but of local interest….

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection this week announced $25 million in funding for abandoned mine land reclamation and economic development projects, including one project in Clinton County. The Fivemile Hollow Project will reclaim 10,850 feet of dangerous highwall in Leidy Township. In all, 74 acres of Sproul State Forest property will be reclaimed.

This area of Clinton County has been an ongoing focus for mine reclamation work, which has resulted in some success in cleaning up polluted tributaries flowing into the Susquehanna River. As has been the case in the past, the most recently announced project, unfortunately, will likely require the closure of the Whiskey Springs ATV Trail system during the work. There is not yet a start date established for the project. See more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21859&typeid=1.

Posted 8/3/20

- An attempt to override PA Governor Tom Wolf's veto of House Resolution 836, which would have ended the governor's disaster declaration, failed by a vote of 118 to 84 yesterday in the state House of Representatives, meaning the Governor’s veto stands. The vote was the latest attempt by House republicans to curtail the Governor’s emergency powers and end the state’s coronavirus disaster declaration (the Governor this week renewed the disaster declaration for the second time). Nine Democrats voted with all Republicans in favor of overriding the veto, but the vote failed to meet the two-thirds of members requirement, or 136 votes. Republicans argued that the state’s case count and hospitalization rate have fallen to a level that should allow businesses, including bars and restaurants to open at full capacity; however, the Wolf administration has repeatedly said ending the declaration would not lift those restrictions. Democrats also argued the threat of the coronavirus is still imminent, and new cases and outbreaks are being reported daily.

The Health Department today confirmed 1,160 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 136,711. It’s the first in a while that cases have exceeded 1,000. According to today’s information, Allegheny county reported an increase of 105 cases; Philadelphia an increase of 257 cases; and York an increase of 128 cases. According to the state’s data, Clinton County as of today has 127 confirmed and 16 probable cases of the virus; 3,558 negative test results; and five deaths. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- Governor Wolf and Lt. Governor John Fetterman today called on the legislature to take up legalization of adult-use cannabis to help with the state’s COVID-19 recovery. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-and-lt-gov-fetterman-renew-call-for-legislature-to-take-up-legalization-of-adult-use-cannabis-to-help-with-covid-recovery-restorative-justice/.

- The U.S. Small Business Administration is restricting Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness for rent paid to a “related party,” according to guidance issued on August 24. In summary: an eligible small business that accepted a PPP loan, and has a business owner that also maintains ownership in the property of the small business, will not be allowed forgiveness for the total rent paid to the owner-landlord. In these cases, the SBA plans to restrict loan forgiveness for rent limited to the amount of “mortgage interest owed” on the property during the Covered Period – not the full monthly rent payment as designed by Congress or reflected in the many SBA/Treasury rules issued since April 2020.

- The Internal Revenue Service today announced that interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning Oct. 1, 2020. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/interest-rates-remain-the-same-for-the-fourth-quarter-of-2020.

- The PA Department of Health today released updated skilled nursing facility guidance that includes recommendations on COVID-19 screening, testing and visitation guidance in skilled nursing facilities. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=1002.

- The Wolf administration has also updated return to sports guidance, providing more leeway in attendance at K-12 sporting events amidst the pandemic. The changes allow parents and family members to attend games and events, though individual school districts will have to decide how to make that work while staying within the state’s occupancy and group gathering limits. For more on the updated guidance, go to: https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/sports-guidance/.

- The Wolf administration’s Food Security Partnership this week joined the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and Feeding Pennsylvania to recognize Hunger Action Month and encourage continued support for Pennsylvania’s charitable food network, which has seen an unprecedented rise in need amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic downturn. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=594.

- The PA Liquor Control Board today reported record net income despite a sales decline in fiscal year 2019-20 that was attributed to the pandemic. Until the COVID-19 public health crisis, the PLCB had achieved year-over-year sales growth each year for the past 26 years. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=596.

The PLCB has also updated two advisory notices:

    • Advisory Notice #25: eliminates the prohibition of the use of the word “wine” for products sold in distributors. It does not change the prohibition on distributors selling actual wine.
    • Advisory Notice #27: allows license renewals that occur prior to December 1 to continue to operate without renewing the license.

- With record-setting use of outdoor spaces during the pandemic, the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources today offered tips for recreating responsibly over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=685.

- Along with the record numbers of outdoor recreators, the state is seeing an increase of litter, and the Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT are seeking volunteers for a ‘Pick Up Pennsylvania’ litter campaign that is underway now through November 30. Additional information is available at the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website.

Articles of Interest….

- Expect to start seeing a push for people to get a flu shot this fall. Doctors are saying a flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, but could prevent people from getting the flu and COVID simultaneously. More information in this article from PennLive: READ MORE ›

- There are four primary ways to reduce workforce costs. Use this guide to decide between them. (Source: Inc. magazine)


- Private payrolls rose by almost 500,000 in August, but almost none of it came from small businesses, according to a new report. (Source: CNBC)

Non-COVID News of Interest….

- PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro is seeking an immediate halt to what the state alleges are illegal service changes at the U.S. Postal Service. Shapiro today filed a preliminary injunction on behalf of seven states seeking an immediate halt to changes they claim prevent Postal workers from effectively delivering the mail. Learn more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/ag-shapiro-seeks-immediate-halt-to-illegal-service-changes-at-postal-service/.

- The departments of Agriculture and Health today announced a new partnership to make PA’s six medical marijuana testing labs available to the agriculture industry for testing hemp crops for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=961.

- The PA Game Commission is commending new PA Department of Agriculture regulations dealing with Chronic Wasting Disease in captive deer. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=415.

- The Wolf Administration today encouraged all Pennsylvanians to participate in statewide September celebrations of individuals in recovery and offer hope to those battling substance use disorder. National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September, with this year’s theme ‘Join the Voices of Recovery; Celebrating Connections.’ Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DDAP_details.aspx?newsid=153.

Posted 9/2/20

- Are you having issues finding qualified employees? There are two separate opportunities this month to have input on workforce development efforts in our region:

  • Businesses are invited to participate in a September 14, 9:00 a.m. #Prepared4PA virtual Zoom assembly to kick-off a statewide workforce development initiative hosted by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The session is an opportunity to have input on workforce development efforts and discuss skills that are in highest demand by industry. Registration for the September 14 kick-off is due by tomorrow, September 3. Click Here for the Prepared-for-PA flyer, click here to Learn more about the assemblies, and register online at: https://www.prepared4pa.org/assembly-registration.
  • A Rural Community Action Assembly on September 24, at 9:30 a.m. will explore the job training needs in the state’s rural communities. This virtual meeting is the first in a series of Rural Community Action Assemblies. This series will focus on actionable research and programmatic models to promote a strong and equitable recovery for rural communities. This series is cohosted by the Philadelphia Fed’s Community Development and Regional Outreach Department, Penn State’s Center for Economic and Community Development, and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. Register here

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,243 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday of this week (Aug. 31-Sept. 1), issuing five notices of violation and 12 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers licensed liquor establishments in Clinton County, conducted 126 compliance checks Monday and Tuesday, issuing 1 warning related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=578.

Meanwhile, PA Department of Environmental Protection employees are teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures as they continue to work through the pandemic. DEP today said that from March 16 to September 1, employees have conducted 34,941 inspections; processed 14,980 permit applications and authorizations; processed 94 percent of Permit Decision Guarantee applications and authorizations; and responded to 160 environmental emergencies.

- The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) this week released an analysis on the economic and human struggle of the hotel industry six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. DOWNLOAD REPORT. Key findings include:

    • 4 out of 10 hotel employees are still not working. 
    • Almost two-thirds (65%) of hotels remain at or below 50 percent occupancy, which is below the threshold at which most hotels can break-even and pay debt. 
    • Consumer travel remains at all-time low, with only 33 percent of Americans reporting they have traveled overnight for leisure or vacation since March and just 38 percent saying they are likely to travel by the end of the year. 
    • Urban hotels are suffering the most and facing collapse with cripplingly low occupancies of 38 percent, significantly below the national average. 
    • COVID-19 has left hotels in major cities across the country struggling to stay in business, resulting in massive job loss and dramatically reducing state and local tax revenue for 2020 and beyond. 

- The Clinton County Housing Coalition, Inc. today passed along a report from Pennsylvania 211, United Way supported call center to connect those in need to localized social services. The report indicates a large number of calls are COVID-19 related. Click Here for the PA 211 Report.

- The Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) is encouraging all Pennsylvania non-profit organizations to respond to the Statewide COVID-19 Nonprofit Impact Survey. The Survey seeks to compile high-level data about COVID-19’s statewide impact on Pennsylvania nonprofits, with a particular emphasis on estimated revenue loss.  The data will be used to determine needs for support caused by the impacts of the pandemic and to inform advocacy for public support. The effort is a collaboration of The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO), The Forbes Funds, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, professional organizations, human services providers and community foundations state-wide. TAKE THE SURVEY NOW!

CCEP Updates:

  • The Partnership’s annual membership meeting is scheduled for two weeks from today, on Wednesday, September 16. However, in light of COVID restrictions for indoor gatherings, the 7:00 p.m. meeting will be held outdoors, under the Main Stage Pavilion at the Clinton County Fairgrounds, 98 Racetrack Road, Mill Hall (Mackeyville). All Partnership members are invited to participate. The meeting features updates from Partnership staff and the election of five members to the Partnership Operating Board. The Operating Board terms are for three years. If you are interested in running for one of the seats, please contact Partnership President Mike Flanagan (570-748-5782 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) prior to 3:00 p.m. on September 11.
  • The Partnership’s September, October and November ‘Time Out’ networking events have been canceled due to limitations associated with the pandemic. The Sons and Daughters of Italy Loggia Giosue Carducci Lodge 146 had planned a September 17 ‘Time Out’ at their outdoor Italian patio; Schlesinger Communication, Inc.’s planned to celebrate their 10th anniversary during an October 8 ‘Time Out’ at WSQV/WBPZ radio station; and Lock Haven specialty shop It Is What It Is and Sanders Window Fashions were planning a joint ‘Time Out’ on November 19. The Partnership is working with members who were scheduled to host a ‘Time Out’ this year but had to cancel due to COVID; we hope to be able to re-schedule them.

Upcoming Webiner:

- Interested Partnership members are encouraged to participate in a September 23, 10:00 a.m. webinar on WEDnetPA Training Funds and how receiving funds through the WEDnet program can support your workforce development needs. WEDnet funds – up to $2,00 per employee; $100,000 per company – are available for employee skill building training, and training topics can range from customer service, to software engineering, to first aid and CPR. Click Here for WEDnet Funds flyer.

Posted 9/1/20

- Clinton County’s unemployment rate for July increased slightly, according to information released today by the state Department of Labor & Industry. This is the fourth month in a row that the county has been in double digits for the unemployment rate, something that has not occurred since 1994. The July rate was 12.0%, up from the June reading of 11.0%. July’s numbers showed a labor force of 17,800, with 15,700 residents employed, and 2,100 unemployed. June showed an estimated 1,900 people unemployed.

Montour had the lowest July unemployment reading of the state’s 67 counties with a rate of 8.4%. Centre County was second with 8.8%. Clinton County’s number put it at 19th in the state. Lycoming’s 13.3% checked in at no. 30, and Fulton was no. 67 with 19.2% unemployment. The four months in a row for double digits for Clinton has not happened since a six month run of double digits from June to November 1994.

“Although the overall numbers have improved since the pandemic began, we still show 2,100 people unemployed,” said Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan. “In February, we had about 900 people unemployed, so about 1,200 have not yet gone back to work or lost a job since March. The positive sign is that the ‘continuing’ and ‘new’ unemployment claims were going down slightly during the month of August. But there’s no reason to sugar coat it, we all know the virus and subsequent actions have hit us hard in many sectors, including the small business, restaurant and  hotel sectors.”

- Lock Haven University has announced that, effective tomorrow, September 2, the university will transition to 100 percent remote instruction for approximately a two-week period due to an elevated number of positive COVID-19 cases. With the two-week suspension of face-to-face classes, LHU’s intention is to stop any further spread, allow those infected to isolate and recover, and set up for a safe return and continuation to the semester’s activities, said University President Dr. Robert Pignatello. With very few exceptions, campus facilities will be closed and only essential employees will be permitted on campus for the two-week period. Before face-to-face classes resume on September 21, the university plans to make available reentry COVID-19 testing for all students and employees. Click Here to view details.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf yesterday signed a second renewal of his 90-day disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic. He originally signed it March 6. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-second-renewal-of-covid-19-disaster-declaration-for-state-response-and-recovery/.

- Pennsylvania collected $2.5 billion in General Fund revenue in August, which was $209 million, or 8.9 percent more than anticipated. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $6.7 billion, which is $210.3 million, or 3.3 percent above estimate. The Department of Revenue says about $187 million of the August collections can be attributed to extending the due date for corporations that had annual corporate net income tax payments due in April, May, June or July. Additional information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Revenue-Details.aspx?newsid=323.

- The SEDA-Council of Governments has been awarded $6.3 million in federal CARES Act funds and is offering small business relief through a new Revolving Loan Fund to alleviate sudden and severe economic issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan fund is for small businesses in SEDA-COG’s region, which includes Clinton and 10 other counties. Businesses can apply for loans of at least $10,000, and no payments are due in the first six months. Interested business owners should visit https://seda-cog.org/covid-19/ for application materials and send completed applications to SEDA-COG at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Read more HERE.

- In response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts, PennDOT has announced that expiration dates for commercial driver licenses and commercial learner’s permits will be extended through September 30. Extended deadlines for non-commercial drivers license, photo ID cards, learner’s permits and camera cards expired yesterday, August 31. See more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=760.

Meanwhile, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers will be closed this Saturday, September 5, through Monday, September 7, in observance of Labor Day. Customers can still get a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.

- The Wolf Administration today announced the completion of baseline universal testing for long-term care facilities. All 1,363 state-licensed personal care homes, assisted living residences, and private intermediate care facilities completed the testing by the August 31 deadline. In the state’s northcentral region, Geisinger Clinic assisted with the baseline testing. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=593.

Long-term care facilities have seen the majority of the state’s COVID-19 cases, and the most deaths from the virus, according to the Department of Health. The Department today reported 770 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 134,795. There have been 7,691 deaths attributed to the virus. County-specific information is available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- Governor Wolf was joined by several other state officials today in urging the legislature to quickly pass legislation to protect homeowners and renters from eviction. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-urges-legislature-to-protect-homeowners-and-renters-from-eviction/.

- The PA Department of Agriculture today released data on COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from last week (August 24-30). During that period, the Bureau of Food Safety performed 624 inspections, 39 of which were complaint-driven and 13 of which were COVID-19 specific complaints. The Bureau distributed 74 educational letters, five formal warning letters were issued, and two citations were filed. In addition, seven COVID-19 related complaints were referred to local and county health jurisdictions. According to the state’s data, one COVID-19 complaint-driven inspection was conducted last week in Clinton County. No warning or citation was issued. See more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=960.

- Education and outreach staff from the PA Department of Banking and Securities will be involved in a number of virtual programs and presentations during September. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/banking_details.aspx?newsid=317.

- In honor of National Poll Worker Recruitment Day the state is encouraging all eligible Pennsylvanians to sign up to serve as poll workers. Pennsylvania and the nation are facing a shortage of poll workers due to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=396.

Clinton County Voter Registrar Maria Boileau confirms there is a need for more poll workers locally, especially in Porter and Lamar Townships and in the City of Lock Haven. Poll workers receive pay to be trained and to work on election day. To become a poll worker, call the Clinton Voter Registration office at 570-893-4019 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Geisinger and several community health partners are undertaking a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) to gain a better understanding of health needs across the communities they serve, including Clinton County. Geisinger is asking for participation in the CHNA process via a survey that seeks input on a wide variety of health issues. Click here now through October 14 to take the survey.

Posted 8/28/20

- Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan today provided the following update on the county’s employment picture:

   Clinton County’s initial and continued unemployment claims were virtually unchanged within the last week, according to information released Friday by the state Department of Labor & Industry. For the week ending August 22, there were 1,301 continued claims, down slightly from 1,312 that were listed for the week ending August 15. Of the 1,301, 54% were female, 22% were in the food and accommodations field, and 21% were ages 25 to 34. The August 22 reading of 1,301 continued claims  is the lowest in the county since late March.

   The initial claims increased slightly, going from 50 to 52 in the week ending August 22. The 52 new claims included 65% who were female, 27% in the construction field, and 31% in the age group 35 to 44.

   The state is expected to issue July monthly unemployment rates for all 67 counties on September 1. Clinton County’s June rate was 10.9%.

- Small businesses have until 11:59 p.m. tonight (8.28.20), to apply for funding during the second and final round of the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant program, designed to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. The PA Department of Community & Economic Development is overseeing this grant program, and all applications must be made online through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs – The Progress Fund (www.progressfund.org) or The Reinvestment Fund (www.reinvestment.com) are accepting applications from Clinton County businesses. The PA Wilds region – of which Clinton County is a part – was identified as a priority investment area for this program, which provides grants ranging from $5,00 to $50,000. During the first round of funding, six businesses in Clinton County received a grant through this program.

- Businesses in Lycoming County can apply for a COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant from Lycoming County government, starting Monday, August 31. Click Here for the ‘Lycoming county Block Grant’ file for more information.

Centre County government is also accepting applications from Centre County-based small businesses for the county’s CARES  Relief Block Grant.  More information here: https://centrecounty.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7P8zTYo6DbP7gTb.

The application period for Clinton County government’s CARES Grant program ended yesterday (8.27.20). Following a review of the applicants, word on grand awards is expected sometime in mid-September.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced plans to distribute more than $117 million in CARES Act funding to child care providers across Pennsylvania, the third of three distributions. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-pa-to-distribute-117-million-in-cares-funding-for-child-care-providers/.

- The Internal Revenue Service today announced it will temporarily allow the use of digital signatures on certain forms that cannot be filed electronically. The change is designed to help reduce in-person contact and lessen the risk to taxpayers and tax professionals during the pandemic, allowing both groups to work remotely to timely file forms. Details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-approves-temporary-use-of-e-signatures-for-certain-forms.

- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today authorized the first COVID-19 antigen test where results can be read directly from the testing card, similar in design to some pregnancy tests. Learn more: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-first-diagnostic-test-where-results-can-be-read-directly-testing-card.

Meanwhile, the PA Department of Health today confirmed an additional 835 positive cases of the virus, bringing the statewide total to 131,991. There are 7,655 deaths now attributed to COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- Covid testing in the workplace? Here’s what experts are recommending, according to the following article from Inc. magazine: https://www.inc.com/brit-morse/covid-testing-workplace-cdc-guidelines-employees.html?utm_source=incthismorning.

- A recent National Restaurant Association survey of consumers found that the majority of U.S. adults say they know of a restaurant in their community that has permanently closed during the coronavirus outbreak. 

- A reminder for our Partnership member restaurants: the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) will host a regional roundtable (virtually) with PA legislators this coming Monday, August 31, at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom. The purpose of these meetings is two-fold…to garner legislative support for a series of bills that support the restaurant industry (VIEW SUMMARY), and to offer an opportunity for restaurant/venue owners to let legislators know, first-hand, how the pandemic has devastated their business. You do not have to be a PRLA member to participate, but you must pre-register at: Keystone.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,004 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and Thursday, August 26 and 27, issuing two notices of violation and 18 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which covers Clinton County licensed liquor establishments, conducted 83 licensee checks over the past two days, issuing one warning. There were no notice of violation issued. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=576.

Non-COVID News of Interest….

  • Pennsylvania offers many resources for minority-owned businesses to help them, along with all Pennsylvania businesses, build a bright future for themselves, their families, and their communities. In recognition of National Black Business Month, the PA Department of Community & Economic Development compiled a list of the go-to resources available to minority business owners across the commonwealth. See more: https://dced.pa.gov/paproudblog/8-resources-minority-owned-businesses-pa/.
  • The PA Department of Health today announced partnerships with Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Pittsburgh’s Program Evaluation and Research Unit to provide education and training to first responders across the state. Training will be provided on the topics of substance use disorder, the use of naloxone, and stigma and implicit bias to help groups continue to respond to the opioid epidemic. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=991.

Posted 8/27/20

- Those working on an application for the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant program have until 5:00 p.m today (8-27-20) to complete and submit the online application at https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities. These grants are being made through Clinton County government from federal CARES Act funding and they are designed to support small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities in Clinton County who have sustained losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a review of the applications, the county expects to make announcements on grant awards by mid-September.

- Small businesses have until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, August 28, to apply for funding during the second and final round of the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant program, designed to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. The PA Department of Community & Economic Development is overseeing this grant program, and all applications must be made online through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs – The Progress Fund (www.progressfund.org) or The Reinvestment Fund (www.reinvestment.com) are accepting applications from Clinton County businesses. The PA Wilds region – of which Clinton County is a part – was identified as a priority investment area for this program, which provides grants ranging from $5,00 to $50,000. During the first round of funding, six businesses in Clinton County received a grant through this program.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced $10 million in grant funding through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments and Therapies (CV-VTT) program to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments and therapies by qualified biotechnology entities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-awards-10-million-to-23-entities-to-develop-effective-covid-19-vaccines-treatments-and-therapies/.

- Governor Wolf today urged the state legislature to quickly pass his plan for safe and secure elections to ensure voters receive mail-in ballots early, have time to return them, and that counties will have the time they need to quickly count the anticipated historic number of votes cast. The governor also reminded voters that the best way to make sure their vote is counted is to sign up now for a mail-in ballot and return it well before the November 3 general election.

The primary in June was the first time voters could use mail-in ballots, and nearly 1.5 million Pennsylvanians cast a mail-in or absentee ballot – more than half of all votes cast. Despite a record increase in mail-in ballots, and pandemic-related challenges, the primary was administered with few disruptions. More details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-urges-legislature-to-pass-proposals-for-safe-and-secure-elections/

In Clinton County, 3,500 voters requested mail-in and absentee ballots for this past June’s election, and of the 7,598 people who voted, 2,900 did so by mail-in and absentee ballot. There currently are 21,174 eligible voters in Clinton County. For those who requested a mail-in ballot and opted to have “permanent” status, a mail-in ballot will automatically be mailed to them for the November election. The Clinton County Voter Registration office plans to mail out those ballots the week of September 14. People should allow 7 to 10 days for delivery, but if you haven’t received your mail-in ballot by October 1, it’s suggested you contact the Voter Registration office at 570-893-4019.

In order to vote in the November 3 election, the last day to register to vote or change your registration is October 19. The last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot is October 26.

- Lock Haven University is into the first week of the fall semester, and, in a letter yesterday to the campus community, LHU President Dr. Robert Pignatello acknowledged the multitude of changes that have been made to maximize everyone’s health and safety. He also commended students, faculty, staff and coaches for their hard work to adapt to the changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click Here for the ‘LHU Campus Update’ from the President.

According to the University’s COVID-19 Dashboard, http://www.lockhaven.edu/Covid19Dashboard/, 716 people have been tested for the virus, with four positive test results and 687 negative, and a percent-positive rate of .58 percent.

- The Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) is encouraging all PA nonprofit organizations to respond to a statewide COVID-19 Nonprofit Impact Survey. The survey seeks to compile high-level data about COVID-19’s statewide impact on PA nonprofits, with particular emphasis on estimated revenue loss. The data will be used to determine needs for support. Click here to take the survey: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5753134/NPO-COVID-Impacts.

Non-COVID Notes of Interest….

  • The PA Liquor Control Board today announced the return of more than $1.9 million in licensing fees to 1,301 municipalities in which licensees are located. Twice a year, by law, the PLCB returns liquor license fees paid by PLCB-approved licensees to the municipalities that are home to those licensees, with the municipalities using the returned fees to help meet local needs. The PLCB returned a total of $1950 to the 19 Clinton County municipalities in which licensed establishments are located. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=593.
  • Governor Wolf today ordered the commonwealth flag on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds in Clinton County to fly at half-staff in honor of firefighter David Closs of the Avis Fire Company, who died this past Sunday, August 23. Earlier this month, Closs was among the Avis Fire Company members who responded to a residential structure fire, during which Closs suffered a medical emergency. The order states that the commonwealth flag is to be lowered to half-staff until sunset tomorrow, August 28, the day of Closs’s funeral. We extend our condolences to Mr. Closs’s family, including his family at the Avis Fire Company.

Posted 8/26/20

- ATTENTION Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Municipalities: tomorrow, Thursday, August 27, at 5:00 p.m. is the deadline to apply for a grant program being administered through Clinton County Government. The County Commissioners received federal CARES Act funding that came down through the state to counties to support the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant program. In addition to supporting county government services, the county intends to award grants to eligible businesses, nonprofit organizations and municipal governments impacted by COVID-19. We urge you to review the guidelines and consider applying for funding. Click here for more information and the online application: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities.

- Small businesses have until this Friday, August 28, to apply for funding through a statewide grant program, the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant program, designed to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. The PA Department of Community & Economic Development is overseeing this grant program, and all applications must be made online through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs – The Progress Fund (www.progressfund.org) or The Reinvestment Fund (www.reinvestment.com) are accepting applications from Clinton County businesses. This is the second and final round of funding for this grant program.

- Lock Haven University’s office of Workforce Development & Continuing Education is a partner in the WEDnetPA initiative, and as such, can offer up to $2000 per employee ($100,000 per company) for employee training. Click Here for the WEDnetPA letter for more information (including what type of training is eligible and what type of businesses qualify), or visit www.lockhaven.edu/workforce.

- While PA Governor Tom Wolf yesterday presented his fall legislative agenda, which focused on relief and protection for workers and families, recovery for small businesses, and reforming government, protecting elections, both state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (both Centre County legislators) issued statements responding to the Governor's fall agenda. 

- More than half of the states in the U.S. – including Pennsylvania – are now approved for the extra $300 per week in unemployment insurance, with more likely to receive approval. PA announced this week it had received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to receive the funds, which follow a recent executive order by President Trump. According to reports, workers also need to receive at least $100 in state benefits to be eligible for the $300 from the federal government. Read the following news report for additional details: https://billypenn.com/2020/08/25/pa-unemployment-benefits-300-dollars-extra-lost-wages-assistance-trump-fema-eligibility/. (Source: BillyPenn)

- PA CareerLink Clinton County is hosting a virtual ‘Get To Know’ session featuring Community Services Group, a mental health and intellectual & developmental disability services provider. The September 14, 10:00 a.m. Zoom session is an opportunity for anyone interested in employment with CSG or who want to learn more about the services they provide. Click Here for the flyer for more information, including the link for the ‘Get to Know’ session or the call-in phone number. People with questions can contact PA CareerLink’s Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- While many state employees continue to telework during the pandemic, the PA Department of Environmental Protection says it continues to meet its mission. DEP reports that between March 16 and August 25, it has conducted 31,734 inspections, processed 13,562 permit applications and authorizations, and responded to 158 environmental emergencies. More here: http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/2020/08/dep-works-thru-pandemic-674-more.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PaEnvironmentDaily+%28PA+Environment+Daily+Blog%29.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,245 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday of this week (Aug. 24 and 25), issuing one notice of violation and 21 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. The Williamsport Enforcement Office, which includes Clinton County liquor licensees, conducted 126 licensee checks during the past two days, issuing five warnings and no notices of violations related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=575.

- Because of the pandemic, more people than ever voted by mail during the June primary election. Today, the Wolf Administration announced the first statewide enhanced post-election audit overwhelmingly confirmed the outcome of both the Democratic and Republican Presidential Primary races. Counties conducted an audit using a statistical sample of 400 ballots cast during the June 2 primary election. Based on the results of the random sampling, the state says the chance that the audit gave a false-positive result is less than 0.1 percent. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=395.

- As it continues to monitor the impacts COVID-19 has on the 2020 Census operations, the U.S. Census Bureau is changing its operations to ensure the safety of staff and the public while maximizing the number of households that respond on their own to the 2020 Census. To that end, people who have not yet responded to the Census may get an email, a phone call or another paper survey in the mail before a census taker comes to their door in-person. The Census will end collection of information on September 30, so people are asked to respond now, either online at www.2020census.gov, over the phone, or by mail. Learn More

Non-COVID News of Interest….

  • The Clinton County Commissioners Office is seeking a college-level student intern for the fall semester. Applications are due Tuesday, September 1, for the 11-week paid position. Click Here for the Clinton County Government Intern file for a job description and the application. If you have questions, contact County Human Resource Administrator Cathy Dremel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Posted 8/25/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today presented his fall legislative agenda, urging the legislature to take immediate action on a series of proposals for worker and family support and protections, COVID-19 recovery, and government reform. His remarks focused on a number of items, including providing recovery for small businesses, grants and loans for businesses, alcohol tax cancelation or reduction, and legalizing recreational marijuana to fund ongoing business grants and restorative justice. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-calls-on-legislature-to-act-immediately-on-covid-19-recovery-and-government-reform/.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry today announced the Pennsylvania will get nearly $1.5 billion to provide an extra $300 per week to eligible unemployed workers. The funds are coming from the temporary  federal Lost Wages Assistance Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). More information here, including who qualifies: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=477.

- The PA Health Department today rolled out a new, first-in-the-nation COVID-19 Mobile Response Unit to provide testing and education to underserved communities. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=984.

- Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine yesterday released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard. The updates, which will now be released every Monday, include information on the level of community transmission as a basis for the recommendations for Pre-K to 12 schools; cases that have reported visiting a business among potential locations where exposures may have occurred; and updated travel recommendations. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-shares-update-on-covid-19-early-warning-monitoring-dashboard-county-transmission-levels-cases-traced-to-businesses/.

Meanwhile, the state says nine counties bear watching because they have a higher rate of coronavirus infections. They are: Perry (9.1%), Huntingdon (7.8%), Northumberland (7.3%), Indiana (7.1%), Union (5.9%), Susquehanna (5.7%), York (5.5%), Beaver (5.3%), and Blair (5.0%).

Statewide, 45 counties are considered at moderate risk of transmission of the virus, while 21 counties – including Clinton County – are considered to be at low risk. One county - Union - is considered a “substantial risk” of transmission.

  • Moderate risk:Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Huntingdon, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Snyder, Susquehanna, Washington, Westmoreland and York.
  • Low risk:Bedford, Bradford, Cameron, Clarion, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Jefferson, Juniata, McKean, Pike, Potter, Somerset, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Wayne and Wyoming

The Health Department today confirmed an additional 561 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 130,035. Tests administered within the last seven days (August 18-24) numbered 157,763, with 4,630 positive cases. More than 7,600 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19, with more than two-thirds of the deaths occurring in long-term care facilities. The Health Department estimates 80 percent of those who have been infected have recovered (the department considers patients to have recovered when they are 30 days past the date of infection or the development of symptoms). The number of new cases has dropped in August, after climbing steadily in late June and throughout July. The state hasn’t reported more than 1,000 new cases in a single day in a month.

- PA’s Department of Human Services today provided an update on universal baseline COVID-19 testing in DHS-licensed personal care homes, assisted living residences, and private intermediate care facilities. To date, 1,160, or 85 percent of those facilities have completed universal baseline testing ahead of the August 31 deadline. Through the state’s Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) program, long-term care facilities are on pace to meet the deadline. Geisinger Clinic is the RRHC serving the northcentral part of the state. Additional information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=588.

- Lock Haven University yesterday launched its own COVID-19 dashboard, which will be used to track virus testing data. Click here to see the dashboard, which will be updated daily: http://www.lockhaven.edu/Covid19Dashboard/.

- A clarification/correction on the start of school in Keystone Central School District: In yesterday’s update, we said KCSD students begin the new school year next Thursday, September 3. That’s not accurate. In what the District is calling a ‘soft reopening’, half of the students (every other grade) will report to school on Tuesday, September 1, while the other half will report for their first day on Wednesday, September 2. The first full day for all students will then be Thursday, September 3.

- Governor Wolf is dedicating $17 million to help schools improve services to historically underserved students. According to the state’s information, Central Mountain High School in Keystone Central School District is slated to receive a grant of $75,937 under the program. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-17-million-to-help-schools-improve-services-to-historically-underserved-students/.

- State Treasurer Joe Torsella today unveiled the “Pennsylvania Skills Compact,” his plan to provide up to two years of tuition-free training for all Pennsylvanians towards associate’s degrees, technical certificates or occupational credentialing. Learn more: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/08-25-PA-Skills-Compact.html.

- The PA Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions for the past week (August 17-23). For the reporting period, the Bureau of Food Safety performed 734 inspections, 51 of which were complaint-driven, and 20 were COVID-19 specific complaints. The Bureau distributed 152 educational letters and referred 30 complaints to local and county health jurisdictions. Three warning letters were issued. According to the report, seven routine inspections were conducted in Clinton County restaurants, none of which were COVID complaint driven. There were no warnings or citations issued locally. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=957.

- Governor Wolf’s executive order protecting homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosure expires September 1, and today, the Governor sent letters to legislators urging them to temporarily extend the existing moratorium. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-urges-legislature-to-protect-pennsylvanians-from-evictions-and-foreclosures/.

- The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of many litter pick-ups this spring, plus, the increased use of state parts and other outdoor venues has resulted in an increase in litter. As a result, PennDOT and the Department of Environmental Protection today announced they are seeking volunteers for “Pick Up Pennsylvania,” a campaign of small-group or solo litter cleanup events to take place between September 1 and November 30. Read more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21856&typeid=1.

Posted 8/24/20

- Lock Haven University today began its fall semester, with most classes being held remotely to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Some students did move onto campus over the past several days and are taking a limited number of courses in-person. There will be no fall sports at LHU.

Penn State students also began classes today. The University last week launched its own COVID-19 dashboard, which displays all positive COVID cases.

Most kindergarten through twelfth-graders also have options of remote and in-class learning, or a combination of both, this year because of the pandemic. Local school district teachers are back in the classroom this week preparing for the start of K-12 classes. Instruction gets underway later this week – this Wednesday, August 26 at Sugar Valley Rural Charter school, and both Lock Haven Catholic School and Jersey Shore School District start classes this Thursday, August 27. Classes for Keystone Central School District begin next Thursday, September 3.

- In response to the need for personal protective equipment and cleaning products as schools across the state prepare to open for the 2020-21 academic year amid COVID-19, Highmark has launched a program to provide more than 400 schools in Pennsylvania and Delaware in Highmark’s coverage area with tool kits filled with supplies to help protect the health and safety of students and staff. The company is also making available a variety of signage schools can post to encourage students to practice safe habits. The signage is available to all schools, including those outside of Highmark’s coverage, and can be found on the organization’s website.

- The PA Department of Health is slated to unveil Pennsylvania’s first COVID-19 Mobile Testing Unit tomorrow. The unit, called CATE, which stands for Community-Accessible Testing & Education, is an RV equipped to conduct COVID-19 testing on-site while also educating the public on how to stay healthy and safe. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=981.

Meanwhile, state officials and federal agencies are warning of a new phone scam where callers are posing as COVID-19 contact tracers in an effort to get credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims. In alerting people, the report says real contact tracers would never ask for payment information, never ask you to click on a link, won’t ask for your Social Security number, and they won’t ever identify a patient by name. Read more: https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2020/08/4-things-a-real-contract-tracer-would-never-say-do-scam-alert.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter_coronavirus%202020-08-24&utm_term=Newsletter_coronavirus. (Source: Kaiser Health News, via PennLive)

- Small businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities throughout Clinton County – including businesses within the City of Lock Haven – impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a grant through the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant Program. Applications are being accepted online through the Clinton County Government website through this Thursday, August 27. The funds for this program come from the federal CARES Act and are passed down through the state to the county. Use this link to access a program description, guidelines, and the online application: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities.

- Applications for the COVID-19 Small Business Grant program are due this Friday, August 28. This state grant program is being overseen by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, and the online applications must be made through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs – The Progress Fund (www.progressfund.org) or The Reinvestment Fund (www.reinvestment.com) are accepting applications from Clinton County businesses. This is the second and final round of funding for this grant program.

- With no additional federal assistance in sight, PA Governor Tom Wolf has directed the PA Department of Labor & Industry to apply for President Trump’s temporary Lost Wages Assistance grant funds to provide an additional $300 a week in supplemental payments to some Pennsylvanians receiving unemployment benefits. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/with-no-congressional-solution-in-sight-pennsylvania-applies-for-federal-lost-wages-assistance-funds/.

- PA Treasurer Joe Torsella has launched the state’s first-ever Fiscal Health Scorecard, a new online tool that provides an in-depth look at the state’s long-term fiscal health. Learn more: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/08-24-Fiscal-Health-Scorecard.html.

- State Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, today joined with The Empowerment Alliance (TEA) and hundreds of elected state and national leaders in pledging to keep the U.S. a dominant natural gas producer amid the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more: http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/2020/08/sen-yaw-among-state-national-leaders.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PaEnvironmentDaily+%28PA+Environment+Daily+Blog%29.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited more than 1,400 licensed liquor establishments over the weekend, issuing nine notices of violation and 41 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. In the Williamsport enforcement office, which covers Clinton County, officers made 114 licensee checks, issuing no violations and two warnings. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=574.

- The State Museum of Pennsylvania today announced its annual ‘Art of the State’ showcase of Pennsylvania artists will be an online exhibit this year as the Museum remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PHMC-Details.aspx?newsid=372.

Not COVID-related but of overall interest….

  • Clinton is one of 16 northcentral and western PA counties to be placed under a drought watch, the first such watch to be issued in several years. Following a meeting Friday of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the PA Department of Environmental Protection declared a drought watch for 16 counties: Armstrong, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, Perry, and Potter. Residents in the watch area are asked to reduce their individual water use 5 percent to 60 gallons per day. Read more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21855&typeid=1.

Posted 8/21/20

- Clinton County Economic Partnership president Mike Flanagan offers an update on the local job picture:  Clinton County’s continued unemployment claims decreased by over 100 within the last week, according to information released Thursday by the state Department of Labor & Industry. For the week ending August 15, the continued claims were 1,312, down from the 1,432 listed at the week ending August 8. Of the 1,312, 53% were female, 24% were 25 to 34 years old, and 20% were in the food and accommodations sector.  The August 15 reading is the lowest continued claim number for Clinton County since late March when the pandemic hit.

The initial claims increased slightly, going from 41 to 50 in the week ending August 15. The 50 new claims included 70% who were female, 28% who were between the ages of 55-64, and 32% who were in the construction field.

The state is expected to issue July monthly unemployment rates for all 67 counties on September 1. Clinton County’s June reading was 10.9%.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry today released its employment situation report for July. The state’s unemployment rate was up one-half of a percentage point over the month, to 13.7 percent in July, an increase of 9.3 percentage points from July 2019. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=476.

- The Associated Press reports the number of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits across the U.S. rose to 1.1 million last week after two weeks of declines, evidence that many employers are still slashing jobs as the coronavirus bedevils the U.S. economy. According to the AP, the latest figures suggest that more than five months after the viral outbreak erupted the economy is still weak, despite recent gains as some businesses reopen and some sectors like housing and manufacturing have rebounded. A rising number of people who have lost jobs say they consider their loss to be permanent. The total number of people receiving unemployment aid declined last week from 15.5 million to 14.8 million, the government said Thursday. Those recipients are now receiving far less aid because a $600-a-week federal benefit has expired, which means the unemployed must now get by solely on much smaller aid from their states. Thursday's report showed that in addition to people who applied last week for state benefits, roughly 540,000 others sought aid under a new program that has made self-employed and gig workers eligible for the first time. That figure isn't adjusted for seasonal variations, so it is reported separately. To view the U.S. Department of Labor unemployment information, click here: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20201606.pdf

- The Partnership has received questions from a couple Lock Haven-based businesses, asking if they are eligible to apply for a Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant. The answer is YES – businesses, as well as nonprofits and municipalities across Clinton County can apply for this grant program. The confusion comes because there is a separate block grant program where the City of Lock Haven receives its own funding, separate from the County, which makes businesses in the city eligible only for the City’s grant program. The current Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant is a different grant program. To access information – including a program description, guidelines, and the online application – for the current grant program, click here: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities. Applications are due by this coming Thursday, August 27.

- For those businesses dealing with federal COVID-19 programs, we want to pass along the following fraud alert brought to our attention by CCEP board member Darlene Weaver at M&T Bank: Fraud Alert: Spoofed SBA COVID-19 Relief Webpage -- An alert has been issued regarding a fraudulent actor spoofing the Small Business Administration's COVID-19 relief webpage through phishing emails. The phishing emails contain a malicious link to a fake page used for re-directs and credential stealing. The phishing email subject line currently reads, “SBA Application – Review and Proceed,” and the sender is marked as “disastercustomerservice@sba[.]gov.”

For more on SBA Program scams and fraud alerts, visit: https://www.sba.gov/document/report-sba-programs-scams-fraud-alerts.

- The PA Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) has posted a list of legislative priorities in support of the restaurant industry that it will promote as the organization hosts a series of virtual legislative roundtables so restaurant owners/operators can connect with state elected officials to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. Click here to see those priorities: VIEW SUMMARY. The roundtable for PRLA’s Keystone Chapter – which includes Clinton County restaurants – is scheduled for Monday, August 31, at 2:00 p.m. Restaurant operators interested in participating should pre-register here: Keystone

- State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement officers visited 1,170 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and Thursday of this week, issuing four notices of violation and 30 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. In the Williamsport enforcement area, which includes Clinton County, officers conducted 83 licensee checks, issuing no notices of violations and one warning related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=573.

- American Airlines this week announced it is suspending service at 15 locations, including Williamsport Regional Airport, beginning in October. In response, the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce has issued a call to action, encouraging businesses who use the airport to express their concerns to federal legislators. Click Here for more information.

- Governor Tom Wolf today recognized the sacrifices made by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard during recent responses to support severe weather and COVID-19 emergencies. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-pennsylvania-national-guard-commitment-comes-with-great-sacrifice-foreign-and-domestic/.

- Wolf Administration officials today continued to call on the federal government to extend waivers that have allowed Pennsylvania to provide 24 million meals to school children. Waivers expire at the end of this month, ending access to breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks for school-age children and their younger siblings. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=954.

Posted 8/20/20

- Act now – applications are due one week from today! Small businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities across Clinton County that have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply for a grant through the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant Program. Applications are being accepted online through the Clinton County Government website until next Thursday, August 27. The funds for this program come from the federal CARES Act and are passed down through the state to the county. Use the following link to access a program description, guidelines, and the online application: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities.

- Applications for the state’s COVID-19 Small Business Grant program are due next Friday, August 28. This state grant program is being overseen by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, and the online applications must be made through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs – The Progress Fund (www.progressfund.org) or The Reinvestment Fund (www.reinvestment.com) are accepting applications from Clinton County businesses. This is the second and final round of funding for this grant program.

- The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Services, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are hosting a Rural Community Action Assembly on September 24 to explore job training needs in the state’s rural communities and how job training can be an investment in an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation is free, but registration is required and attendance is limited and will close on September 21. Click here for more information: Join the Conversation!

- The PA Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) this week announced they are planning regional roundtables (virtually) with PA legislators. The purpose of these meetings is two-fold…to garner legislative support for a series of bills that support the restaurant industry, and to offer an opportunity for restaurant/venue owners to let legislators know, first-hand, how the pandemic has devastated their business.

Clinton County falls under PRLA’s Keystone Chapter, and that roundtable is scheduled for August 31.

- The U.S. Chamber this week announced the launch of a new campaign, titled ‘Cost of Inaction,’ which seeks to quantify and humanize the impact on Americans as Congress and the Trump Administration fail to provide additional economic relief to individuals, families, businesses and states impacted by the pandemic. U.S. Chamber executive vice president and chief policy officer Neil Bradley said, “The inability of Congress and the administration to reach a compromise has a very real and very large human cost. For schools and businesses to get the resources they need to safely reopen, for small businesses to keep their doors open, and for those that have lost their jobs to continue to provide for their families, Congress must act. There is no excuse for inaction."

Click Here to View the Full Statement

- PA Governor Tom Wolf is dedicating approximately $20 million to help schools provide services to students with special needs during the pandemic. According to the state’s information, Keystone Central School District will receive $23,581.32 of those funds; Sugar Valley Rural Charter School, $5,000; and Jersey Shore School District, $12,134.87. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-20-million-to-help-schools-provide-services-to-students-with-special-needs/.

- Pennsylvania’s Health and Human Services departments today outlined steps their agencies are taking to contain a COVID-19 outbreak at Milton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Milton, Northumberland County. The facility completed its mandated universal testing on July 9, with no positive cases. Since the first cases were identified on August 3, there have been at least 109 cases among residents and staff and 13 deaths. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=974.

- 2020 Census workers are now going door-to-door across Pennsylvania. To avoid a visit, people are encouraged to complete their census survey online. People are urged to respond by September 30, whether online, by phone, or by mail. Population counts impact federal funds that come down from the state to local governments, so an accurate census count is critical. If you haven’t already done so, click here to Take the Census.

Posted 8/19/20

- The Associated Press is reporting that Pennsylvania will ask the federal government for a new round of $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, but the Wolf administration has not yet committed to adding $100 per week to the $300 as President Trump’s order indicates. https://www.apnews.com/a3b288307cb97da1ab21c36b7ea38121.

- Another large event – a Pennsylvania tradition – has fallen to COVID-19. The PA Department of Agriculture today announced that the 2021 PA Farm Show will be held virtually, with no in-person events or competitions, to mitigate against the virus. The show, held annually at the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg, is a showcase of the state’s agriculture industry. Ag Secretary Russell Redding said details of the virtual show will be announced as they unfold over the coming weeks. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=953.

- The PA Department of Health today announced it is conducting a pilot program for a new COVID-19 exposure-notification mobile app, COVID Alert PA, which will be available to smartphone users starting early next month. The app is designed to help bolster the state’s contact-tracing efforts. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=972.

The Health Department today confirmed an additional 570 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 126,149. The number of tests administered within the last seven days, between August 12-18, was 159,689, with 5,298 positive cases. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- The Commonwealth Foundation, which bills itself as Pennsylvania’s free-market think tank, has visually summarized the various state data surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to VIEW the information.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,625 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday of this week, issuing three notices of violation and 20 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. Agents out of the Williamsport enforcement office, whose territory includes Clinton County, conducted 70 licensee checks and issued no citations and five warnings related to COVID-19 mitigation efforts. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=572.

- The American Hotel & Lodging Association this week released updated Safe Stay guidelines. You can view more COVID-19-related information from the industry on the AHLA’s Safe Stay website.

- Wolf administration officials are petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture, requesting immediate action to extend several national waivers that provide schools with meal distribution flexibility and ensure children have consistent access to breakfast and lunch as schools get ready to open using a variety of instructional models. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=917.

- The state today launched an online Mental Health Resources Guide intended to provide Pennsylvanians with a full complement of resources available to help people with mental health needs. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-launches-mental-health-resources-guide/.

- In light of the different challenges posed by the pandemic, the state today announced that PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has signed an updated naloxone standing order which permits community-based organizations to provide naloxone – a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose – by mail. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-third-naloxone-standing-order-allows-naloxone-to-be-obtained-by-mail/.

Meanwhile, Governor Wolf today signed his 11th renewal of his January 2018 opioid disaster declaration to continue work to aid in the opioid epidemic. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-11th-renewal-of-opioid-disaster-declaration-to-continue-work-to-aid-in-opioid-epidemic/.

- The PA Attorney General’s office is warning Pennsylvanians applying for hunting, fishing and pet licenses to be careful of fraudulent websites posing as official Commonwealth application portals, saying scammers are fishing for personal data. Read here for steps to take to prevent being scammed, and how to report suspicious activity: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/ag-shapiro-watch-out-for-fishing-hunting-pet-license-scams/.

- The PA Department of Aging is urging all older adults to participate and be counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/aging_details.aspx?newsid=268.

- SCORE Central PA presents a free zoom seminar, Business Planning - The Lean Canvas, 5:30- 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, August 20. The Lean Canvas is a modern method of business planning that focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics, costs and revenues. This class will show the steps of the Lean Canvas and participants will have the opportunity to create their own Lean Canvas. Register Now!

Posted 8/18/20

- The PA Department of Health is ordering long-term care facilities to take additional steps to protect staff and residents from COVID-19 in response to concerns from some front-line workers. The order requires nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living residences and private intermediate care facilities to develop, implement and adhere to policies and procedures to procure and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff providing direct care to COVID-19 positive residents by next Thursday, August 27. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=968.

The Health Department also provided an update on the state’s contact tracing program, noting that the program now has more than 1,200 staff, and training and recruitment continue. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=969.

The Health Department today confirmed an additional 735 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 125,579. The number of tests administered within the past seven days is 162,293, with 5,992 positive cases.

- As schools continue to prepare for reopening, the PA Departments of Health and Education continue to update public health guidance for Pre-K to 12 schools. Yesterday, new information included guidance on when students can remove their face coverings during the school day. View the guidance here: https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/SchoolReopeningGuidance/ReopeningPreKto12/PublicHealthGuidance/Pages/default.aspx. Also see recent updates to Frequently Asked Questions regarding orders surrounding universal face coverings: https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/Waivers/MaskWearing/Pages/default.aspx.

- A couple of announcements today from the Internal Revenue Service:

  • This week the Treasury Department and the IRS will send interest payments to about 13.9 million individual taxpayers who timely filed their 2019 federal income tax returns and are receiving refunds. The interest payments, averaging about $18, will be made to individual taxpayers who filed a 2019 return by this year’s July 15 deadline and either received a refund in the past three months or will receive a refund. This provision is different from the long-standing rule, which requires the IRS to add interest to refunds on timely-filed refund claims issued more than 45 days after the return due date. Instead, this year’s COVID-19-related July 15 due date is considered a disaster-related postponement of the filing deadline. Where a disaster-related postponement exists, the IRS is required to pay interest, calculated from the original April 15 filing deadline, as long as an individual files a 2019 federal income tax return by the postponed deadline − July 15, 2020, in this instance. This refund interest requirement only applies to individual income tax filers − businesses are not eligible. Details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/13-point-9-million-americans-to-receive-irs-tax-refund-interest-taxable-payments-to-average-18-dollars.

- Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced two separate multistate coalitions that will file federal lawsuits challenging nationwide operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service, seeking to halt changes at the Postal Service and ensure safe, secure vote-by-mail across the country. Read more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/ag-shapiro-announces-lawsuit-to-stop-service-changes-at-post-office-secure-vote-by-mail/.

- The PA Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from last week. Between August 10-16, the Bureau of Food Safety performed 637 total inspections, 31 of which were complaint-driven, nine were COVID-19 specific complaints. There were 105 educational letters distributed, and four COVID-19-related complaints were referred to local and county health jurisdictions. According to the state’s information, there were two routine inspections in Clinton County during the August 10-16 timeframe. Neither were complaint-driven, and no warnings or citations were issued. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=951.

- The PA Department of Corrections and the PA Parole Board today announced an opportunity for state parolees with state parole warrants to participate in a statewide Safe Return initiative being offered from August 24 to September 4, and eligible parolees can report to the closest parole office to reestablish compliance with parole supervision staff with the potential for more favorable consideration. According to the announcement, because of COVID-19, many reentrants may have become unavailable for supervision, due to the loss of housing or fear of returning to a state correctional institution or community corrections center during the health crisis. The goal of the Safe Return initiative is to encourage these people to turn themselves in so they can come back into compliance without the fear of being returned to a state prison. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/corrections_details.aspx?newsid=469.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who chairs the PA Board of Pardons, today announced that pardons and communications public hearings will be held September 1-4, and due to the COVID-19- pandemic, testimony will occur virtually for the first time in the board’s history. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Lieutenant-Governor-Details.aspx?newsid=108.

- Penn State Extension hosts the following webinars:

  • Mental Wellness during COVID-19: Helping Others in Distress, on Tuesday, September 1, at 11:30 a.m. Participants take a brief walk through what distress looks like and what can be done to help family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who are expressing the symptoms of distress. Visit the Event Website for More Details.
  • Mental Wellness during COVID-19: Emotional Overload, on Tuesday, September 8, at 11:30 a.m. This webinar will give information on strategies to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, including the practice of self-directed cognitive behavioral therapy. Visit the Event Website for More Details.

Millbrook Playhouse Survey Request…

- While COVID-19 forced Millbrook Playhouse to push the 2020 season into next year, the Playhouse has offered a number of virtual performances this summer. As they look ahead toward bringing back live entertainment to the Playhouse, they are asking for feedback. Click on the following link to take a brief

REOPENING SURVEY

Posted 8/17/20

- 12th District Congressman Fred Keller made a stop in Clinton County today, meeting with community leaders in a small group roundtable organized by the Clinton County Economic Partnership (Click Here for photos). He offered an update on the federal government’s actions with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Referencing the current congressional gridlock in finalizing a new economic relief package, Congressman Keller said any new bill “must be narrowly focused, addressing only the issues that will make sure our families and our small businesses needs are met so they can get through the pandemic.” He addressed questions and received input from the group on the success of the Paycheck Protection Program, the importance rural access to broadband, and additional targeted relief to individuals and businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. The community group included business, county government and nonprofit representatives. Congressman Keller assured them he is taking information from discussions such as today’s back to Washington.

- Lock Haven University today announced its plan for fall semester COVID-19 testing at both the main and Clearfield campus. Reopening plans include a process for testing symptomatic students at the campus health center, which is operated by UPMC. Additionally, LHU will be making available more broad-based asymptomatic testing, to be conducted by PCMA, a professional medical practice, for students living on or off campus, students who may be coming to campus for limited face-to-face instruction, and for all employees. Click Here for additional information.

- The state last week issued additional guidelines for K-12 schools as they reopen this month, suggesting when to clean, when to quarantine, and when to close. Click here to view The new guidelines.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced the recipients of $50 million in grants to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program, announced last month, was created to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across the state. During the two-week application period, more than 10,000 applications totaling nearly $900 million were received, of which, more than 5,000 businesses requesting $300 million were eligible. Of those, 639 employers were awarded the $50 million, which supports a $3 per hour increase in pay for 41,587 workers across seven eligible industries, including health care, food manufacturing, food retail, social assistance, janitorial, transportation, and security. Details, including a list of grant awardees, can be found here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-grants-hazard-pay-to-front-line-workers-in-life-sustaining-industries/.

- Small businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities across Clinton County that have been impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for a grant through the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant Program. Applications are being accepted online through the Clinton County Government website until next Thursday, August 27. The funds for this program come from the federal CARES Act and are passed down through the state to the county. Use the following link to access a program description, guidelines, and the online application: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities.

- Applications for the COVID-19 Small Business Grant program are due next Friday, August 28. This state grant program is being overseen by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, and the online applications must be made through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs – The Progress Fund (www.progressfund.org) or The Reinvestment Fund (www.reinvestment.com) are accepting applications from Clinton County businesses. This is the second and final round of funding for this grant program, and applications must be made by next Friday, August 28.

- The PA Energy Development Authority is now accepting applications for PEDA Energy Restart Grants to assist with the completion of eligible energy projects disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic response. The application deadline is October 2. Click Here for the  PEDA file for more information.

- The PA CareerLink Clinton County office has not yet reopened to the public, although local representatives continue to service customers remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, CareerLink’s mobile unit, The Link, an ADA accessible mobile career center with computers and printer, will be parked in the PA CareerLink Clinton County parking lot at 8 North Grove Street in Lock Haven this Wednesday, August 19, from 9am-1pm and available to the public. Click Here for the flyer.

- As elected officials on both the state and federal level debate possibly extending enhanced unemployment benefits – including calls from some lawmakers to continue the additional federal $600 weekly payment – the PA Chamber has issued a statement cautioning that as businesses reopen, lawmakers must carefully balance efforts to restart the economy and get individuals back to work with the overall public health. -> Read More.

Meanwhile, as part of its “Bringing PA Back” initiative, the PA Chamber has announced a partnership with the PA Medical Society and the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania on a new social media campaign that features employers and medical professionals promoting mask wearing as a critical component of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. -> Read More.

- The recently-announced expansion of Clinton County-based medical marijuana grower/processor Terrapin Care Station was highlighted in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article covering the boom in medical marijuana sales amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The article touts Pennsylvania as one of the nation’s fastest growing cannabis markets. Read More.

- Governor Wolf today released the 2020 Pennsylvania Clean Energy Employment Report, which he says shows that clean energy is a leading creator of quality jobs in the state. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-report-shows-clean-energy-is-a-leading-creator-of-quality-jobs-in-pennsylvania-supports-development-of-job-investment-strategies-to-benefit-workers-economy-and-environment/.

- The PA Department of Human Services today reminded Pennsylvanians of the availability of assistance in paying certain utility bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Recovery Crisis program before the program’s end on August 31. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=584.

- The PA Department of Corrections has developed a new, user-friendly video visitation system that includes an online scheduling component. Since the start of the pandemic, the DOC has offered video visits through Zoom, but the state will transition to the new system starting this Wednesday, August 19. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/corrections_details.aspx?newsid=468.

- The PA State Police recently announced the addition of four, full-time Heritage Affairs Liaison Officers (HALOs) to the departments Heritage Affairs Section, with the mission of building relationships with historically underserved communities and working with local law enforcement agencies to prevent and investigate hate and bias-related crimes. Clinton County falls under the Northeast Heritage Affairs region, with Trooper Amanda Concha serving as Liaison Affairs Officer for the region. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=571.

- The PA Department of Human Services today released a Penn State University study of COVID-19’s impact on the state’s child care industry. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=585.

Posted 8/14/20

- Partnership President Mike Flanagan today offered the following overview of our local employment picture:

The Clinton County unemployment situation continued to show better numbers for the week ending August 8, according to information released today by the state Bureau of Labor & Industry. The continued unemployment insurance claims for the county were 1,432, down 60 from the week prior. The continued claims have shown a gradual decline since over 3,000 were filed in early May during the pandemic. Of the 1,432 continued claims, 55% were female, 21% were ages 25 to 34, and 21% were in the accommodations and food services sector.

There were 41 initial claims registered during the week ending August 8, the lowest weekly number this year. The week ending August 1 showed 68 new claims. Of the 41 initial claims, 56% were female, 22% were ages 45 to 54, and 20% were in the transportation/warehousing category. The high number of weekly initial claims was just over 1,000 in early April.

Clinton County’s June unemployment rate was 10.9%. The July monthly rates by county should be released by the state at the end of this month.

- Grant applications for the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant Program are starting to be submitted to the county. Local small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for the funds, received from the federal CARES Act and passed through the state to all counties. The application window opened this week and will remain open through August 27. A new notation on the application page on the Clinton County Government website reminds applicants to complete the “narrative” section of the application, defining their needs and explaining how requested monies will be used. Click here to access the online application: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today sent a letter urging Congress to extend the federal $600 weekly unemployment benefit that expired last month, calling President Trump’s short-term plan “convoluted.” Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-sends-letter-urging-congress-to-pass-600-weekly-unemployment-aid/.

- The Internal Revenue Service today announced it is taking new steps to ensure people with children receive the $500 per child economic impact payment. See more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-takes-new-steps-to-ensure-people-with-children-receive-500-economic-impact-payments.

- Following their announcement of 991 new positive COVID-19 cases yesterday, the PA Department of Health indicated that number marks the highest number of new cases in August and the biggest number since July 28, when the state had 1,120 new cases. The number of new cases has generally dropped in August, after climbing steadily in late June and throughout July. The state has averaged 800 new cases each day over the past week. At the peak in the spring, the health department regularly reported 1,000 or more new cases a day, and Pennsylvania hit that level several times in July. Here’s a look at the trend in new cases over the past six weeks:

July 3-9: 4,793 new cases, an average of 684 per day

July 10-16: 5,579 new cases, an average of 797 per day

July 17-23: 5,912 new cases, an average of 844 per day

July 24-30: 6,720 new cases, an average of 960 per day

July 31-Aug. 6: 5,443 new cases, an average of 777 per day

Aug. 7-13: 5,600 new cases, an average of 800 per day

The health department estimates 78 percent of those who have been infected with the coronavirus have recovered. The department considers patients to have recovered when they are 30 days past the onset of symptoms or the point of infection.

The state today confirmed 829 additional positive cases of the virus, bringing the statewide total to 122,950.

- Meanwhile, the Department of Health today highlighted the results of its recent Nursing Home Inspection amidst the pandemic. Nursing home surveyors conducted 330 inspections of nursing homes, including 295 complaint investigations. Of those, 227 were COVID-19 specific. In addition, one sanction was issued that included a civil penalty of $9,250. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=962.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,222 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and Thursday of this week, issuing three notices of violation and 24 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=570.

- PennDOT Updates….

- A reminder that there will be lane closures starting Monday, August 17, on Routes 150 and 120 in Lock Haven to complete advance for a traffic signal project scheduled to begin next year. More here: https://www.penndot.gov/regionaloffices/district-2/pages/details.aspx?newsid=1771.

- PennDOT today alerted drivers that a traffic change on Interstate-80 eastbound is planned for next week as the Route 26 Local Interchange project in Centre County continues. The work area is between I-80 exit 161 and Jacksonville Road, east of Bellefonte. Details here: https://www.penndot.gov/regionaloffices/district-2/pages/details.aspx?newsid=1773.

- Motorists traveling Route 220 are advised lane restrictions will continue next week in Woodward and Piatt Townships, Lycoming County, due to an ongoing safety improvement project there. See more: https://www.penndot.gov/regionaloffices/district-3/pages/details.aspx?newsid=3098.

Posted 8/13/20

- Unemployment claims across the country dropped to below one million last week, the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report today from the U.S. Labor Department. The number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment compensation was 963,000, a drop from 1.2 million the previous week, but still higher than the pre-pandemic rate of just under 700,000. See the full Labor Department news release here: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20201574.pdf.

- PennDOT today alerted motorists that lane closures are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. this coming Monday, August 17, on Routes 150 and 120 in Lock Haven. Impacted areas include intersections along Bellefonte Avenue, East Church, Main and Water Streets as crews work to complete subsurface utility engineering for a traffic signal project slated for 2021. The work is expected to continue for two weeks. Click Here for the PennDOT news release for details.

- Pennsylvania’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) today said their commitment to provide benefits to the state’s nearly 800,000 veterans during COVID-19 has yielded stronger collaboration with county and federal advocates. The DMVA said that, for veterans, filing for state and federal benefits often begins with meeting their county director of veterans affairs, and the DMVA has provided counties with some extra assistance – mostly through the use of virtual technology – to help respond to veterans to assure their needs are met. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Military-and-Veteran-Affairs-Details.aspx?newsid=456.

Clinton County’s Director of Veterans Affairs is Jennifer Hagaman, and the VA office is located at 217 North Jay Street in Lock Haven (toward the back of the County’s Garden Building, with an entrance along Jay St.). The office phone is 570-893-4339, and Hagaman can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- The PA Department of Human Services today encouraged anyone needing background checks as a condition of employment to complete this requirement as soon as they are able. Earlier this year, Governor Wolf extended the time period for certain professionals to obtain an FBI criminal history background check upon hiring if they were unable to complete their fingerprinting scan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That extension lasts until 60 days following the expiration of the disaster emergency declaration or December 31, whichever is sooner, for new employees and until December 31 for employees renewing clearances. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=915.

- The PA Treasury today provided an update on efforts to combat unemployment compensation fraud, noting its efforts have recovered more than $75.6 million in fraudulent payments. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, in particular, has been the target of a fraud scheme, and the state’s news release also outlines what to do if you’ve received an unemployment compensation payment in error. Details here: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/08-12-UC-Payments.html.

- The PA Department of Agriculture today released data related to COVID-19 restaurant enforcement actions from August 3 through 9, specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements. The information includes a county-by-county breakdown of enforcement actions, which shows there were four routine inspections of restaurants in Clinton County and zero enforcement actions. The state says the data will be updated weekly. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=949.

- State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced a $10 million contract that will support Pennsylvania’s agriculture producers and the charitable food system. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=950.

- Governor Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman today announced a report from the state’s COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-and-lt-gov-fetterman-announce-pennsylvania-covid-19-response-task-force-for-health-disparity-report/.

- The PA Department of Human Services today reminded Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to COVID-19 that help is available. The encouraged people to contact the state’s Support & Referral Helpline, a toll-free, 24-hour resource, at 1-855-284-2494. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=916.

Posted 8/12/20

- Clinton County government is now accepting grant applications from eligible small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The County today opened an online portal for those interested in applying for funds through the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant Program, made possible through monies passed from the federal CARES Act down through the state to counties. Interested applicants should use the following link to access a program description, guidelines, and the online application: https://www.clintoncountypa.com/departments/funding-opportunities. Applications will be accepted through August 27.

- Lock Haven University President Dr. Robert Pignatello today provided an update to the campus community on the University’s fall semester plans. Much of the semester’s opening activities – which get underway next week – are to be done virtually. Click Here for the President’s update.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry will again host a virtual town hall on unemployment benefits at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, August 13, allowing Pennsylvanians to ask questions directly to unemployment compensation experts. Those interested can livestream the session online at https://access.live/PAlabor. Those without internet access can listen by calling 1-833-380-0719. See additional details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=475.

- Pennsylvania’s departments of Health and Aging today reminded residents of the importance of contact tracing in the state’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, and they warned about scams associated with the process. People can call the Department of Health toll-free at 1-877-PA Health (1-877-724-3258) to verify if a caller does in fact work in contact tracing. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=960.

Meanwhile, the Health Department today confirmed an additional 849 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 121,130. The number of tests administered within the last seven days (between August 5 and 11) is 157,895, with 5,272 positive cases. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,194 licensed liquor establishments across the state Monday and Tuesday of this week, issuing five notices of violation and 18 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=569.

- While the 2020 Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Elk Expo is cancelled this year due to COVID-19, PA Game Commission officials will still be at the Elk Country Visitors Center in Benezette this Saturday, August 15, for a live-streamed announcement of the winners of Pennsylvania’s 2020-21 Elk Lottery. The live coverage will begin at 1pm on the Game Commission’s Facebook page. The Game Commission says the actual drawing of the elk licenses this year will be conducted in Harrisburg a few days before the live-streamed announcement, but the winners’ names will remain confidential until Saturday. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=412.

- The Big Ten Conference yesterday announced the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season, including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. That news hits home as neighboring Penn State – an economic driver for Centre as well as Clinton County – will not play football this fall. Read the full announcement here: https://bigten.org/news/2020/8/11/general-big-ten-statement-on-2020-21-fall-season.aspx.

Upcoming Webinars:

  • The Penn State Small Business Development Center co-hosts a webinar, "So You Want to Build an App," on Monday, August 17. This hour long workshop features a UX expert and an app developer who will share options for building an app and the associated costs, user experience design (UX), defining a target audience, and what to do once an app is ready to release.
  • Join the Penn State SBDC on Tuesday, August 18, at 8:30 a.m. for their weekly Quick Connectsession that will feature Sonia Smith, Public Information Officer, and Solomon Wheeler, Branch Manager, from the SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Office, who will discuss and simplify the PPP Loan forgiveness process. This event will be live-streamed on Facebook, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.
  • The Penn State SBDC is launching a new program, the "Getting a 360 Degree Perspective On Your Business" series,an interactive, 5-week cohort program that will help entrepreneurs and start-ups design and articulate an attractive business concept, build a strong organization behind it, develop lasting customer relations, and do so while maintaining profitable operations. The deadline to apply for this program is this Friday, August 14. Interested applicants should visit the above link to apply or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.   

Posted 8/11/20

- The Clinton County Commissioners today announced the county will begin accepting applications for CARES Act grant funding beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12. Click Here for the news release highlights the grant program, noting that eligible applicants include municipalities, small businesses, and nonprofits. Applications will be accepted online via the county website, www.clintoncountypa.com, through August 27.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced that a medical device company in Northampton County will expand, giving the state increased COVID-19 testing capabilities. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-medical-device-company-orasure-expansion-to-increase-covid-19-testing-capabilities-bring-new-jobs/.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,190 licensed liquor establishments over the weekend to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements and safety requirements of the liquor code. They issued 10 notices of violation and 39 warnings. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=568.

Articles of interest….

- Fifteen-thousand applications were submitted in just three hours on the day the window opened for receiving applications for the first round of COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance grants. That overwhelming response for a share of the $200 million in grant aid to help businesses impacted by the pandemic took the network of Pennsylvania Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which administered the program, by surprise. “We did not expect the damage from COVID would have been so great and the need would have been so great. I don’t know anyone could have predicted how many applications it would draw,” said Dan Betancourt, president and CEO of Lancaster-based Community First Fund and chairman of the Pennsylvania’s network of CDFIs. Receiving close to 50,000 applications during the two-week application period requesting $860 million made the CDFIs realize businesses’ need for help was so great that they decided to distribute all $200 million more quickly in two rounds instead of the original plan to dole it out over four rounds.

On Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the first round would reach nearly 5,000 businesses scattered across all 67 counties. Combined, those businesses would receive $96 million in grants that range from $5,000 to $50,000. Funding for the grant program comes from federal stimulus money provided to the state through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Businesses that were successful in landing a grant will be notified over the coming days following a second review to verify information included in their application, Betancourt said. A full listing of all the businesses that received grants will be available in two to three weeks, he said. Read More (Source: Harrisburg Patriot News)

- As schools prepare to resume teaching, the leaders of Pennsylvania’s health and education departments on Monday said districts should be consistent in approach but flexible in how they educate students. A spike in covid-19 cases in a county may require districts to change how they plan to teach students, said Health Secretary Rachel Levine. The health department will track covid-19 data and inform schools if there is a serious outbreak that will require adjusting, she said. Local school officials received guidance Monday for teaching students — in the classroom or online — that are based on tracking standard public health metrics for community transmissions that use a county’s covid-19 incidence rate and the percent of diagnostic tests that come back positive. Tracking, which could be done over a two-week period, will use county statistics, not numbers of community infections. “It’s another tool in their toolbox” for determining how students should be educated, Levine said. Using those metrics, which are available for every county on the health department’s covid-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, the state has set metrics for low, moderate and substantial levels of covid-19 transmission. As of now, 25 counties (including Clinton) are in the low level that will allow full-time, in-class instruction. Nearby Union County is alone in the substantial phase because of a breakout of the virus at the federal prison near Lewisburg, Levine said. Fewer than 10 new cases over a seven-day period for a county will move it to the low level. Universal masking for students and staff in schools is required when social distancing is not possible unless someone has a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask. Read More (Source: Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Upcoming Webinars:

- 8/13, 11:00 a.m. - The PA Restaurant & Lodging Association hosts a webinar, De-escalation Skills and Techniques in a COVID-19 WorldREGISTER

- 8/13, 3:00 p.m. – The U.S. Chamber Foundation hosts a free webinar, COVID-19 and the Reopening of K-12 Schools. Schools are making decisions about reopening during the Coronavirus pandemic, prompting questions from parents and employers about the impacts this will have on the health, safety, education, and our ability to get people back to work. Dan Domenech from the American Association of School Administrators and Dr. Rainu Kaushal from Cornell Medicine answer peoples’ most pressing questions on the re-opening of K-12 schools across the U.S. To be discussed: how schools are adapting to current challenges, what physical distancing and sanitization might look like, how schools are planning to keep students and teachers healthy, and what can we learn from other parts of the world that have reopened schools during the pandemic.

Posted 8/10/20

- As the second and final round of funding opens today for the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance grant program, PA Governor Tom Wolf announced that $96 million in grants were awarded to 4,933 small businesses during the first round of funding. Businesses in every Pennsylvania county received grants in the first round, according to the state information. The list indicates six businesses in Clinton County were first-round grant recipients, and 28 businesses in Lycoming County and 47 Centre County businesses also received funds through the program’s initial round. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-96-million-for-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/.

The current funding round will remain open through August 28. If you applied for a grant during the first round, you do not need to reapply; qualified applications will automatically be rolled over for consideration in the new funding round. To apply for this grant, businesses must go through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs will accept applications from Clinton County businesses:

- Clinton County Government this week is expected to announce details of the Clinton County CARES Relief Block Grant program, which will support county services and is also aimed at supporting local businesses, nonprofits and municipalities impacted by COVID-19. The County is to receive $3.4 million in federal CARES Act funding to support the grant program. The Partnership will pass along details as they become available.

- The PA departments of Health and Education today provided additional recommendations to help schools safely navigate COVID-19 during the 2020-21 academic year. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=914.

Meanwhile, the state’s Health, Education and Human Services departments today reminded parents to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date as part of back-to-school preparations and noted that vaccine requirements also extend to students of cyber and charter schools. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=913.

- Locally, Keystone Central School District Superintendent Jacquelyn Martin Friday issued a brief update regarding school sports: A short while ago, the PIAA provided a press release stating that the start of the fall sports season has been delayed for two weeks across Pennsylvania. In response to this requirement, (Keystone Central) teams may continue to offer voluntary workouts contingent upon strict adherence to the KCSD Return-to-Play guidelines. This change does not impact our band or cheerleading programs. For both Bucktail High School and Central Mountain High School football teams, this means that August 24, 2020 is the beginning of heat acclimatization. Our athletics department will be providing coaches and families with any schedule changes that occur due to the PIAA decision on a delayed fall schedule.

- Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine Friday released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-shares-update-on-covid-19-dashboard-mitigation-efforts-in-long-term-care-facilities/.

As of today, there are 122 cases of COVID-19 reported in Clinton County (107 of those are confirmed positive cases and another 15 are identified as probably cases), and 2,720 negative tests. Across Pennsylvania, there were 601 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported today, bringing the statewide total to 119,453.

- The PA Department of Community & Economic Development Friday issued an August update of activities. Click Here for details.

- DCNR this weekend issued an alert regarding overcrowding at some state parks and forests due to people wanting to get outdoors during the pandemic. Click Here for DCNR post for details.

- PennDOT’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) – designed to provide support to municipal roadmasters, public works directors, supervisors, council members and other appropriate officials – continues to offer a range of maintenance and safety training, but has moved from in-person classroom courses to mostly a virtual training format due to COVID-19. For more information and to see the line-up of 2020-21 training, go to the LTAP Website (all virtual classes have Virtual, PA, as their location on the website). You can also email the program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-800-FOR-LTAP or 717-787-5243.

- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service-PA is inviting potential conservation partners to submit project applications for federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The deadline for applications is November 4. Click Here for USDA file for details.

Articles that might be of interest to you….

  • Small-business owners can apply for PPP loan forgiveness soon. Experts say it might be smart to wait. --Syracuse.com
    • Read this article from Inc. magazine to learn about the funding programs currently available for business owners in need of aid during the ongoing pandemic.
  • President Donald Trump over the weekend signed several executive orders. READ MORE › in this article by the Associated Press.
  • Meanwhile, another AP article notes several state officials are questioning how President Trump’s proposal would work.

READ MORE ›

Posted 8/7/20

- Partnership President Mike Flanagan today provided an update on the local employment picture: The Clinton County unemployment situation showed some improvement during the week ending August 1, according to the state Bureau of Labor & Industry. The continued unemployment insurance claims for the county were 1,492, down from the 1,606 listed in the week ending July 25. The high number during the pandemic was 3,219, registered in early May. Of the 1,492 continued claims, 53% were female, 23% were 25 to 34 years old, and 20% were in the accommodations and food services sector.

The initial unemployment claims remained at 68 people, the same as the week before. That number included 67% who were male, 26% in the 25 to 34 age group, and 28% in construction. The high initial claim number since mid-March was 1,050, in early April.

Clinton County’s June unemployment rate was 10.9%, translating into about 1,900 unemployed. That number is about 1,000 above the pre-COVID timeframe. The July monthly rates should be released by the state later this month.

- Meanwhile, an estimated 28,671 unemployment claims were filed across Pennsylvania last week, more than 7,000 fewer claims, or a decrease of nearly 20%, from the revised total of 35,808 claims from the week before, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor. This marked the third report that Pennsylvania saw less than 40,000 claims filed in a week since the start of the shutdown orders in March. Before the pandemic reached Pennsylvania, the commonwealth was seeing between 12,000 to 15,000 unemployment claims filed every week. Pennsylvania reported fewer layoffs in the manufacturing, construction, administrative and support, and waste management and remediation services industries, according to the Department of Labor.

Nationally, 1.18 million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week, the 20th week in a row that claims exceeded more than one million. Additionally, claims filed nationally last week fell following two weeks of increased claims throughout the country. (Source: Pittsburgh Business Times)

- After joining U.S. Senator Bob Casey earlier this week to call for an extension to the $600 federal unemployment benefit, PA Governor Tom Wolf is again urging Congress to act quickly and continue the benefit for out-of-work Pennsylvanians. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-congress-must-extend-600-federal-unemployment-benefit-to-help-pennsylvanians/.

- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is a co-sponsor of legislation that would provide temporary liability from certain lawsuits arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senator’s office noted that while traveling the state, Senator Toomey heard from many, many leaders that liability protection was their number one concern. “As they move forward with their plans to reopen safely, businesses, non-profits, colleges, universities, healthcare providers, and others in Pennsylvania have asked for limited protection from lawsuits related to the pandemic brought by customers, employees, and other individuals,” said Sen. Toomey. To that end, the Senator has joined 13 of his Republican colleagues in co-sponsoring the SAFE TO WORK Act (Senate Bill 4317). Introduced July 27 by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, this legislation would provide reasonable, temporary, and limited liability protection to businesses, schools, and other entities that make reasonable efforts to follow public health guidelines. This protection would allow those who are already taking precautions to ensure everyone’s safety to focus their resources on their recovery rather than on the extensive litigation costs that can accompany frivolous lawsuits. Importantly, says Sen. Toomey, the SAFE TO WORK Act does not protect bad actors who engage in gross negligence or willful misconduct.

- As a reminder, the COVID-19 Small Business Grant program will reopen again this Monday, August 10, in what will be the last opportunity to apply for this grant for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businesses must apply through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Two CDFIs will accept applications from Clinton County businesses:

The new application window will remain open for 15 business days, through August 28. If you applied for a grant during the first round (which closed July 14), you do not need to reapply; qualified applications will automatically be rolled over for consideration in the new funding round. The state has said first-round applications should have some determination to them by this coming Monday. Grant awards for businesses in the second application period will be made in two funding rounds.

- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury Department this week released additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQs focused on PPP loan forgiveness.

- As businesses and organizations in the region work to reopen and offer activities, there are events this weekend from one end of the region to the other:

  • The Kettle Creek Music Festival celebrates it’s 20th anniversary at Quiet Oaks Campground in Cross Fork. The outdoor festival runs through Saturday and features a variety of classic rock, oldies and country music bands, a cornhole tournament, craft and food vendors, auctions, and more.
  • The Clinton County Fair Association and County Conservation District host an outdoor festival through Saturday at the Clinton County Fairgrounds in Mackeyville. There’s free admission and parking to enjoy fair food, a baby animal display, chainsaw carvers, games, vendors and the like.
  • The City of Lock Haven again opens Main Street to foot traffic Friday afternoon through Saturday evening, allowing for outdoor dining and retailing. The stage at Main and Grove Streets will feature Hybrid Ice vocalist Robert Richardson in a solo concert this evening at 6:00 p.m. and the band Speed Bump Willy takes the stage Saturday at 5:00 p.m. The City’s “Market on Main” Farmers Market is also back in business Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Down Pine Creek way, ‘Up the Crick’ Wine & Antiques along Route 44 hosts an outdoor Makers Market this Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. featuring everything from handcrafted items, kids activities, a pig roast, and the Williamsport Car Club.

For a full list of local happenings, visit the Calendar of Events on the Partnership website, www.ClintonCountyInfo.com or the Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook page.

- The Wolf Administration today applauded a business in our region. PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin highlighted the efforts of Actuated Medical, a manufacturer in Centre County that developed face shields in response to the state’s critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) through DCED’s Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal (MCAP), which mobilized manufacturers producing COVID-19-related products and supplies or could pivot to producing COVID-19-related supplies. As of the end of July, the MCAP received 2,118 submissions for face shield production. Learn more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-applauds-pennsylvania-business-that-responded-to-manufacturing-call-to-action/.

- UPMC recently published a Back-to-School Safety series in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health care provider offers their insight on the risks of the virus in schools, and what schools can do to operate as safely as possible.

Related articles from UPMC:

Is It Safe to Return to Daycare Amid COVID-19?

Coronavirus and Children: How Does COVID-19 Affect Kids?

How to Talk to Kids About COVID-19

Posted 8/6/20

- Partnership members are asked to participate in a statewide Regional Workforce Survey being administered through the PA Regional Workforce Assemblies Northern Region and Lock Haven University’s office of Workforce Development and Continuing Education. The 10-15 minute survey is designed to better define the workforce needs and challenges in different regions of the state and across six high-demand industries including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, finance, energy, information technology, and agri-business. Other objectives are to gain insight into the relationships and partnerships between industry and higher education, and to get feedback that will help address the impacts of COVID-19 on the workforce. The survey will be available through Wednesday, August 12 by clicking on the following linkhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Prepared4PA.

- The PA Chamber today announced a “Why I Wear It” campaign aimed at promoting mask-wearing at businesses across the state. Partnering with the PA Medical Society and the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of PA, the PA Chamber called the campaign a critical step toward Pennsylvania’s economic recovery. Click Here for more about the campaign, including the ability download a sign that allows you to write your own reason why your business promotes mask wearing.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf announced today he is dedicating about $10.5 million to Career and Technical Education Centers (CTCs) to help them implement public health and safety plans and resume operations. The CTC Equity grants will provide funds to help continue educational programs for students enrolled in CTCs negatively impacted by the coronavirus. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-10-5-million-to-help-career-and-technical-education-centers-resume-operations/.

- Meanwhile, the PA Department of Health and the Department of Education today jointly recommended that Pre-K through 12 school sports be postponed until at least January 1, 2021 to protect children and teens from COVID-19. The administration is also updating existing sports guidance to reflect the latest recommendation. Additional details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-provides-recommendation-for-school-and-recreational-youth-sports/.

- Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine today highlighted ongoing efforts to expand COVID-19 testing across Pennsylvania to ensure that every resident who wants a test can get one. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-highlights-increased-efforts-to-expand-covid-19-testing-availability/.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,244 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday of this week (August 3 and 4) to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation efforts and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. During the two days, officers issued 25 warnings and three notices of violation for failure to follow COVID-19 requirements. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=566.

- PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with a number of other AGs, is urging Congress to provide relief for all federal student loan borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the CARES Act only covers federal student loans owned by the federal government and excludes nearly 8 million borrowers whose federal student loans are owned by private entities. Read more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/attorney-general-shapiro-28-bipartisan-attorneys-general-urge-senate-to-pass-legislation-to-ensure-relief-for-all-federal-student-loan-borrowers-impacted-by-covid-19-pandemic/.

Posted 8/5/20

- The second round of funding for the state’s COVID-19 grants for small businesses is slated to open this coming Monday, August 10, at 9:00 a.m. and indications are this will be the final opportunity to apply for the program. The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program application window will remain open for 15 business days, closing on August 28. The grants are for small businesses with 25 or fewer full-time employees and annual revenues of $1 million or less, who were economically impacted by COVID-19. Applications must be submitted through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), two of which will accept applications from Clinton County businesses:

Businesses that applied under the first funding round of this program will be notified of their status by August 10, and if you applied in the first round, you do not need to reapply in the second round. Click Here for the program update from The Progress Fund for additional information.

- PennDOT’s Bureau of Rail, Freight, Ports & Waterways this week announced it has opened the application period for the 2020 Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP). Eligible organizations can apply for funding through either program through August 28. Learn more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=754.

- PA Treasurer Joe Torsella today called for fair pricing of the Coronavirus drug Remdesivir. Read more: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/08-05-Remdesivir.html.

- In a non-COVID-related matter….12th District U. S. Congressman Fred Keller is reaching out to constituents with a one-question survey: According to the Wall Street Journal, homicides are up 24% this year as calls to defund police departments grow stronger. Do you believe Congress should support legislation that would defund or dismantle our police? Click on the following link to respond: Click here to open in a new window.

- The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association will host a webinar, "De-escalation Skills and Techniques in a COVID-19 World," on August 13 at 11:00 a.m. REGISTER

Posted 8/4/20

- SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG), the Lewisburg-based regional community and economic development agency serving Clinton and 10 other counties, today announced the receipt of $6.3 million in CARES Act funding that it will use to create a new revolving loan fund to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for loans of at least $10,000. Click Here for the news release or visit the SEDA-COG website, https://seda-cog.org/covid-19/, for application materials.

- Last week, the U.S. Senate unveiled a legislative proposal called the ‘Safe to Work Act’ that would provide employers with targeted and temporary safe harbor protections from pandemic-related lawsuits. -> Read More.

Meanwhile, legislation recently introduced at the state level would offer limited liability protections for manufacturers, companies making personal protective equipment, certain medical services and those that have opened up their businesses and followed state and CDC-issued health guidelines during the pandemic. -> Read More.

- Not COVID related, but a new apprenticeship program for career and technology students interested in precision machining training will be a boost for local businesses as well as students. Click Here for the news release passed along by Keystone Central School District, a partner in planning for the new program.

- The Clinton County Housing Coalition (CCHC) offers a quick reference document for people who may be in a housing crisis, or will be in the near future (this could be related to COVID-19 or not), to refer to as a way to help determine if they may be eligible for any programs.  Click Here for document.

- The U.S. Census Bureau this week is making a strong plea for rural America in particular to ‘be counted.’ According to the Census Bureau, as of July 30, Clinton County’s response rate was 58.4 percent. Those who have yet to take their census survey are asked to do so right away. You can complete the survey online, by phone or by mail. Visit https://2020census.gov for details.

Low census responses come at a cost. Estimates show that every Pennsylvanian not counted in the Census amounts to roughly $2,100 in lost federal funding for such critical programs as Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, and the National School Lunch Program. It also determines the number of congressional districts the state will have. Currently, Pennsylvania has 18 congressional seats, but with slow population growth in comparison to other states, it has lost five seats since the 1990 census. Census forms must be turned in by the end of October, and by law, the Census Bureau must get population counts to the president and Congress by December 31.

- The PA Department of Human Services today reminded Pennsylvanians who receive assistance in the form of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Medical Assistance, that the CARES Act Economic Impact Payments do not affect their benefits. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=577.

Upcoming Webinars:

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection will hold an informational webinar this Thursday, August 6, at 6pm on how Pennsylvania can reduce climate pollution by participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Click here for details https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21845&typeid=1 or here to Register for the presentation.

- Penn State Extension hosts a webinar, Planning Food Events for Non-Profits with COVID-19 in Mind, next Tuesday, August 11, at noon and again at 6:30 p.m. The session will offer the most recent guidance from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Restaurant Association, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance to help plan for resumption of activities related to food and food service. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions, and materials will be provided. Visit the Event Website for More Details.

- Penn State Extension also offers a recorded webinar series, ‘Refining the Retail New Normalwhich people can access on-demand. The series covers the following topics:

Posted 8/3/20

- The PA Department of Revenue today announced the state collected $4.1 billion in General Fund revenue in July, the first month of the 2020-21 fiscal year. They said about $1.6 billion of that can be attributed to extending due dates for various taxes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Revenue-Details.aspx?newsid=322.

- The Pennsylvania Economy League – a Wilkes Barre-based nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent voice for good government – has introduced a new state and county COVID-19 Economic Impact Dashboard, which highlights health department statistics, as well as labor and industry data. Click here to see the dashboard: https://pelcentral.shinyapps.io/COVIDimpactPA/.

Clinton County Economic Partnership President & CEO Mike Flanagan has been keeping CCEP members and the community up-to-date on similar information and issued the following:

     Clinton County saw a slight increase  in the number of continued unemployment claims in late July, according to information released by the state Department of Labor & Industry. As of the week ending July 25, Clinton County residents had 1,606 continued unemployment insurance claims, up from 1,558 the week before. Although there was an increase, the numbers are about half of the 3,219 continued claims registered in early May, near the beginning of the pandemic. Of the 1,606 continued claims, 53% were female, 22% were ages 25 to 34, and 20% were in the accommodations and food service sector.

     The number of initial claims decreased slightly during the same time frame. As of July 25, 68 people had filed initial claims, compared to 86 the week before. Of the 68 new claims, 51% were female, 28% were ages 25 to 34, and 25% were in the health care/social assistance field.

     Clinton County had a 10.9% monthly unemployment rate in June, according to information released last week by the state. That was down from 11.8% in May, and the 16.1% reading in April. In June 2019, the county unemployment rate was 5.2%.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry says state and federal partners have so far prevented scammers from stealing $44 million from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. And they’re reminding people to report instances of unemployment compensation fraud to L&I and local police. For signs of scams and details on how to report them, click here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=474.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today said he’s dedicating approximately $28 million to postsecondary institutions and adult basic education providers to assist them in implementing public health and safety plans and help them resume operations in the fall. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-28-million-to-help-higher-education-resume-operations/.

- While fewer cases of COVID-19 were reported over the weekend and today, the Governor Friday said the week-to-week cases of the virus were increasing statewide, with several counties showing high percent-positives. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/dashboard-data-shows-weekly-covid-case-increases-statewide-multiple-counties-with-high-percent-positives/.

- The PA Department of Health has announced that beginning this Wednesday, August 5, nine new drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites will open at various Walmart locations across the state. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=943.

The Health Department is also partnering with Insight Global, a staffing agency, to hire 1,000 more COVID-19 contact tracers. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=938.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,262 liquor establishments over the weekend (Friday through Sunday) to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. Officers issued three notices of violation and 52 warnings. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=565.

Meanwhile, Governor Wolf today stressed the important roles that education and understanding play in the enforcement of COVID-19 orders. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-local-law-enforcement-stress-important-roles-education-and-understanding-play-in-enforcement-of-covid-19-orders/.

- The PA Department of General Services has canceled a Vehicle Auction that had been scheduled for August 11. It was the fourth of six vehicle auctions scheduled this year (the next auction is slated for October 13). For more Commonwealth Auto Auction information, visit the DGS Auto Auction Information page.

- COVID-19 has also affected transportation planning, funding and operations in the state. SEDA-COG provides the following update:

• Meetings - Formerly in-person meetings have migrated to virtual meetings using teleconference/videoconference capabilities. The SEDA-COG Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO is the transportation planning organization for eight central PA counties, including Clinton) public meetings from April and June, along with the May Transportation Improvement Program public meeting, are available as recordings on SEDA-COG's YouTube channel. Upcoming MPO meetings will also be uploaded to this channel.

• Funding Programs - Applications for the Multimodal Transportation Fund administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) are usually due by July 31 each year. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the CFA has extended the deadline for Multimodal Transportation Fund submissions to September 30, 2020. Click here for more. The FY 2020-21 PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund round grant awards were delayed, but approved projects were announced on July 16, 2020.

• PennDOT is implementing the following changes to the Green Light-Go program to address revenue shortfalls in the Motor License Fund resulting from COVID-19:

·     Pending grant applications submitted for Year 6 of the program will not be awarded in 2020 as originally planned;

·     Grant contracts for projects awarded in prior rounds with no work started will be terminated;

·     Projects currently in design will be able to finish design but funding for construction will not be available at this time;

·     Projects with active construction contracts may continue through completion.

• Traffic Data - Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) dropped significantly across the MPO region in March and April due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place and other restrictions. The VMT picked up in late April and returned to more normal levels in late June.

 

- The PA Department of Human Services reminds Pennsylvanians that help is available and they encourage anyone affected financially by the COVID-19 public health crisis to take advantage of rent and mortgage assistance programs to help those experiencing homelessness or are at risk of losing their housing. A U.S. Census Bureau survey found that since mid-April, the percentage of Pennsylvania adults who consider themselves housing insecure has risen by 2.4 percent. The survey also notes that nearly 24 percent of PA residents, or 1.6 million people, are living with housing insecurity. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=576.

- The Department of State has announced it will provide funding for postage so all eligible voters can return their mail-in and absentee ballots at no costs for the November 3 general election. For more information, including how to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot, click here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=391.

- The Penn State Small Business Development Center hosts a Quick Connect Coaching Session: Managing a Business: Navigating SBDC Tools & Resources, tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4, at 8:30 a.m. Register at: https://psu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-JdWLQTJQv2zlBSMhu2NIw. The SBDC also offers numerous webinars relating to COVID-19. Search All Offerings

Posted 7/30/20

- 12th District Congressman Fred Keller hosts another Tele-Town Hall today (7/30) at 5:00 p.m. The Congressman’s team will provide an update on the latest COVID-19 recovery negotiations, re-opening the economy and schools, and other general legislative updates. Those interested in participating can call-in at 866-641-6837 or view the event online at Keller.house.gov/live.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today took the opportunity to thank emergency responders for their part in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a visit to an emergency medical services (EMS) organization in Millersville. The Governor and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner also noted that the state has made $50 million in grants available to first responders and fire companies negatively affected by COVID, with applications for those funds due next Friday, August 7. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-visits-lancaster-ems-to-thank-emergency-responders-for-work-during-covid-19/.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,650 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday of this week, issuing one notice of violation and 26 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. Out of the Williamsport Enforcement Office (which covers Clinton County establishments with liquor licenses), LCE officers conducted 63 license checks and issued four warnings. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=562.

- The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association this week approved return-to-play guidelines for fall high school athletics. On Wednesday, the PIAA Board of Directors approved a set of return to competition guidelines that provides schools with guidance for how to safely have competitive sports. To view the PIAA guidelines, click here.

- From Inc. magazine: A new poll from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife says small-business owners across the country are girding for a second wave of Covid-19 closures.

- In the battle against Chronic Wasting Disease in Pennsylvania’s deer population: Starting today, the PA Game Commission is offering special Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permits for eight Enhanced Surveillance Units (ESUs). While none of those units are in Clinton County, there are some in surrounding counties. The permits allow hunters to take antlerless deer during the 2020-21 hunting season, then submit the heads from those doe for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=410.

Posted 7/29/20

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry will hold its tenth live Virtual Unemployment Compensation Town Hall tomorrow, Thursday, July 30, at 1pm. The session gives people a chance to ask questions directly to UC experts. The event will feature information about regular unemployment compensation and other new COVID-19-related benefits programs, including the end of the $600 federal weekly benefit. Access the session online at https://access.live/PAlabor or call in at 1-833-380-0719. See more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=472.

- The Internal Revenue Service today issued a reminder that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act can help eligible taxpayers in need by providing favorable tax treatment for withdrawals from retirement plans and IRAs and allowing certain retirement plans to offer expanded loan options. Details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-new-law-provides-relief-for-eligible-taxpayers-who-need-funds-from-iras-and-other-retirement-plans.

- Governor Tom Wolf’s office today reminded Pennsylvanians to continue doing their part of prevent the spread of COVID-19, and highlighted the various state and local agencies responsible for enforcing the state’s virus mitigation orders. The following news release also includes several important ‘links’ to the various state orders, COVID resources, and Frequently Asked Questions associated with the mitigation orders. See more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/state-local-agencies-remind-pennsylvanians-of-covid-19-mitigation-enforcement-roles-advise-how-to-report-suspected-violations/.

 

- PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin today reminded all Pennsylvanians respond to the 2020 Census as soon as possible. Davin said every Pennsylvanian’s response to the Census matters as it determines funding, congressional representation, and policy for the state. In Pennsylvania, 65.4 percent of residents have already responded to the Census, 3.1 percent higher than the national average, although responses from rural areas are low at this point. Census data are used to decide how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent every year. Pennsylvania receives $26.8 billion annually through its 16 largest federally-funded programs, or about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year. Learn more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-reminds-pennsylvanians-respond-to-2020-census/.

You can complete the Census online at https://my2020census.gov/; by phone at 844-330-2020; or you can mail back the paper questionnaire sent to your home.

 

- PennDOT announced today that a streetscape project in Lock Haven will get underway next week. Starting Monday, August 3, crews will be on East Church Street (Route 150), working between Bellefonte Avenue down to Grove Street. Crews are slated to begin work on the right side of the street. As work takes place, drivers could encounter flaggers and lane restrictions. At least one lane will remain open to traffic during work hours. Lane restrictions will be lifted when work is not taking place. Overall work includes excavation, new cement concrete sidewalk, brick sidewalk, curbing, inlet and pipe replacement, paving, and miscellaneous items. Click Here for the PennDOT news release.

- The U.S. Chamber Foundation’s ‘Path Forward: Navigating the Return to Work’ webinar series hosts “COVID-19 and the Future of Work” tomorrow, July 30, at 3:00 p.m. With six in 10 people working from home, many employers and employees are navigating the new world of remove work and how it impacts productivity, employee engagement, building and maintaining strong teams, and more. Wharton School’s Nancy Rothbard, Cognizant’s Ben Pring, and Gallup’s Jim Harter answer peoples’ most pressing questions about what COVID-19 means for the future of work and how to prepare for the months and years to come.

- Penn State Extension hosts PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding tomorrow evening, July 30, for a 6:30 p.m. webinar, Guidance on COVID-19 Workplace Protection. The live webinar is an open forum for growers and farmers. Visit the Event Website for More Details.

Posted 7/28/20

- Clinton County’s unemployment rate continued to show improvement during June, according to monthly data released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor & Industry. The June rate was 10.9%, down from 11.8% in May, and 16.1% in April, the first full month of employment figures during the Coronavirus. Clinton County had an estimated 1,900 people unemployed in June, compared to 2,100 in May. In April, 2,800 county residents were unemployed. A year ago, the June 2019 unemployment rate was 5.2% with an estimated 900 people out of work.

Clinton County’s 10.9% reading in June was the 16th best out of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties. Centre County was first with an unemployment rate of 7.8%, while Monroe had the highest at 18.0%. Of the seven neighboring counties, only Centre County and Union County (9.5%) had lower unemployment rates than Clinton. Despite the improvement, Clinton County has had an unemployment rate in double digits for three consecutive months. The last time that happened was in 1995.

“While showing improvement, we still have around 1,000 residents that had a pre-virus job in February that did not have one in June,” said Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan. “We will need to keep an eye on the numbers since the continued unemployment claim numbers went up for a week or two in July and we are having other assistance programs end or soon come to an end.”   

- The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced all 693 nursing homes in Pennsylvania have completed testing all residents and staff for COVID-19 at least once, in accordance with Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine’s universal testing order issued June 8. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=934. According to Health Department statistics, to date, nursing homes, as well as personal care homes, account for 19,225 positive cases of COVID-19 among residents, and 3,868 cases among employees, and there have been 4,857 deaths of residents in nursing or personal care facilities.

- The Governor’s office today announced the availability of 24/7 call centers to provide clinical and operational support to long-term care facilities as they protect residents and staff from COVID-19. The call centers are staffed and operated by health systems participating in the state’s Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP), an education and clinical support network launched earlier this month for long-term care providers. Geisinger is the designated RRHCP health system that will support long-term care facilities in Clinton and surrounding counties. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=574.

- Applications are being accepted through this Friday, July 31, for the Hazard Pay grant program to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the pandemic. The funds may only be used to pay hazard pay for eligible employees for the 10-week period from August 16 through October 24. Businesses can submit applications directly through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development’s electronic Single Application for Assistance, or through a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO). The CEDO representing Clinton County is SEDA-COG and people can contact John Reichard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-850-0195 for help with their application. See more: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-pa-hazard-pay-grant/.

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hosts a webinar tomorrow, July 29 at 11:00 a.m. for businesses (as well as contractors) interested in applying for a 2020 Small Business Advantage Grant. The program provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,000, to eligible small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or adopt waste reduction processes. DEP is encouraging interested applicants to participate in tomorrow’s webinar, which includes a review of the program guidelines. Click here to join the webinar. To participate via audio only, call 267-332-8737 and use ID number 522347507#.

Applications for the Small Business Advantage Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s suggested businesses apply as soon as possible. Applications are accepted until funds are exhausted for this fiscal year. Visit the Small Business Advantage Grant webpage for more information. Questions can be directed to DEP’s Ed Boito at (717)395-7435 or Caroline Zepp at (717)772-5160.

- Governor Wolf today visited the PA CareerLink in York County to highlight the virtual services available to people looking for work and employers seeking qualified candidates. The Governor also urged Republicans in Congress to extend the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program that provides an extra $600 a week to people receiving unemployment compensation. The federal program ended July 25. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-visits-careerlink-york-county-to-highlight-virtual-services-for-pennsylvanians-seeking-jobs/.

- Governor Wolf today announced the state is dedicating approximately $3 million for Preschool Early Intervention Programs serving children 3 to 5-years-old to purchase personal protective equipment and other pandemic-related supplies. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-3-million-for-preschool-early-intervention-programs-to-purchase-pandemic-related-supplies/.

- Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today joined with the fiscal watchdogs of other states to announce a first-of-its-kind project to review how COVID-19 data has been tracked and reported. Learn more: https://www.paauditor.gov/press-releases/auditor-general-depasquale-fiscal-watchdogs-in-pennsylvania-other-states-to-review-covid-19-data-reporting-monitoring.

- The Partnership continues to “Spotlight” Member Businesses as we work together to get through the pandemic. More than 70 members have so far taken advantage of no-cost publicity – having their business featured on the Partnership and Visitors Bureau Facebook pages. We continue to post the daily ‘Support Clinton County Business! Member Spotlights’. It’s easy to get your business in the Spotlight: simply Click Here for the form and send us a couple photos of your business.

- Penn State Extension hosts a Mental Wellness during COVID-19: Emotional Overload webinar September 8 at 11:30 a.m. The focus will be on offering information on strategies to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Visit the Event Website for More Details.

Non-COVID updates:

  • The PA Health Department today released preliminary 2019 drug-related overdose death data estimates, which show a decease of more than one percent across the state compared to 2018, when there were 4,348 drug-related deaths in Pennsylvania. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=931.
  • Outdoor recreational pursuits greatly support Clinton County’s economy. The Partnership’s Tourist Promotion Agency asks those interested to offer their input to a statewide survey being conducted by the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) as they develop branding to market PA’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Take the 10 minute survey at:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PAoutdoors.

Posted 7/27/20

- With the upward trend in COVID-19 cases, Lock Haven University today announced major changes to their fall reopening plan, moving to a mostly remote learning environment. LHU President Dr. Robert Pignatello said about 85 percent of the fall courses will be taught remotely, while a select number of hands-on courses will still include face-to-face instruction. “This decision comes as the virus continues to surge through much of the country, including here in PA, and has been made to prevent and mitigate spread of the virus among all of us and our families,” said President Pignatello. “Our students come from all parts of Pennsylvania, many from areas where the virus is now surging; they also come from 11 states and 7 countries. This reality is of great concern and requires major changes to our operational plan. We can do a lot to mitigate the risk, and our original plan did so, but we have concluded that we cannot do enough to reduce the risk to our students, faculty, and staff.” Click Here fo LHU news release.

- As Congress considers another COVID relief package, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sending a letter requesting Congress include liability protection as part of that package. Review and sign on to the letter HERE.

- The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) today announced that applications for the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) and the Neighborhood Assistance Program, Enterprise Zone Tax Credit (EZP) are now open for the 2020-21 program year. There will be a special emphasis on and priority given to projects that seek to address the critical problems that have arisen related to the pandemic and its aftermath, social justice and support for policy changing movements, and improving opportunities for marginalized populations during the pandemic. The department will also prioritize any EZP projects that provide for the manufacturing of critical and necessary medical supplies. EZP is an incentive program that provides tax credits to private companies investing in rehabilitating, expanding, or improving buildings or land located within designated enterprise zones (businesses can contact the Clinton County Economic Partnership for help in determining if land is located in one of the designated Enterprise Zones in Clinton County). Applications will be accepted until August 31. Learn more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-neighborhood-assistance-program-now-open-for-applications/.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf says data from the state’s COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard shows increases in cases statewide, with a number of counties showing high percent-positive cases of COVID-19. Today, the PA Department of Health confirmed an additional 839 positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 108,264. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/dashboard-data-shows-weekly-case-increases-statewide-multiple-counties-with-high-percent-positives-2/.

Meanwhile, the Health Department has updated its travel recommendations to add Missouri and Wyoming to the list of states recommended for domestic travelers returning from to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. 20 states are now included in that recommendation.

And, the Department of Health is now hiring Contact Tracing Field Managers for regions across the state. Clinton County falls in the Department’s northcentral region. Click here to see more on the position opening (based out of Lycoming County): Contact Tracing Field Manager (12324). Additional details here: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Contact-Tracing.aspx

- Over the weekend, Governor Wolf allowed Right-to-Know legislation to become law without his signature. House Bill 2463 had received unanimous approval by the General Assembly.

- PA CareerLink Clinton County continues to offer virtual solutions for businesses looking for ways to recruit employees while respecting social distancing requirements. They are hosting two more ‘Get To Know’ sessions this Thursday, July 30, featuring First Quality – one at 10:30am, followed by another one at 5:30pm. The sessions – conducted via the online Zoom application – allow employers to provide information…in this instance for anyone interested in working at First Quality or anyone who wants to learn more about Clinton County's largest employer. Click Here for flyer on this week’s sessions. Businesses interested in hosting a ‘Get To Know’ session can contact PA CareerLink Clinton County representative Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- In non-COVID news….

   • Last week, Governor Wolf signed a tax credit bill for manufacturing companies using natural gas. Read more in this article from the PA Chamber: https://www.pachamber.org/media/3152/Governor_Signs_Tax_Credit_Bill_for_Manufacturing/.

Posted 7/24/20

- Partnership President Mike Flanagan today offered an update to the local employment picture. Clinton County’s unemployment situation continues to show slight improvement during the pandemic, according to information released Thursday by the state Bureau of Labor & Industry. For the week ending July 18, initial unemployment claims in the county were 86, down from 112 the week before, according to the Bureau. Of the 86, 57% were female, 28% were in the manufacturing field, and 22% were in the age group of 55 to 64.

The state reported a continued unemployment insurance claim from 1,558 county residents for the week ending July 18, down from the 1,826 reported the week before. Of the 1,558, 50.6% were female, 17.5% were in the food and accommodations field, and 22% were ages 25 to 34. Although the continued claim number was down, it is still almost 1,000 above the pre-Covid continued claim number of 577, which was recorded the week ending February 29.

Flanagan also said the state is expected to release June monthly unemployment numbers for the 67 counties on Tuesday, July 28. Clinton County’s May unemployment number was 11.7%.

- While not a Covid-related grant, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today began accepting applications for its 2020 Small Business Advantage Grant, which provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,000, to eligible small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or adopt waste reduction processes. Examples of eligible projects include HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency LED lighting, digital X-ray equipment, solvent recovery systems, water and waste recycling processes, auxiliary power units (APUs), and agricultural BMPs. For-profit PA small businesses with fewer than 100 full-time equivalent employees are eligible to apply. Eligible projects must save the applicant a minimum of $500 annually and reduce their costs by a minimum of 25%. Applications are reviewed and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and interested businesses are encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible as applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted for this fiscal year.

DEP has created short instructional videos to assist small businesses with completing the application. The videos are project specific (Lighting Upgrades, Medical Equipment, Natural Resource Protection, and All Other Projects) and will make the application process easier. Interested applicants are also encouraged to participate in a webinar scheduled for Wednesday, July 29 at 11:00 a.m. The webinar will review the guidelines for the 2020-21 grant year. Applicants and contractors are encouraged to participate. To join the webinar, click here. To participate via audio only, call 267-332-8737, use ID number 522347507#.

All documents needed to apply for the grant, as well as the instructional videos, can be found at the Small Business Advantage Grant webpage. Questions can be directed to DEP’s Ed Boito at (717)395-7435 or Caroline Zepp at (717)772-5160.

- The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), in partnership with the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), today awarded nearly $1.5 million in grants to each of the four Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTPs), which will provide funds to businesses for access to capital, business expertise, and technology commercialization services to advance the development of new technologies. Clinton County falls within the State College-based BFTP serving Central and Northern PA.

The BFTDA board also approved the extension of its COVID-19 Venture Loan Program (BCVL) through September. The program, created in April to help businesses impacted by COVID, is designed to provide emergency funding to BFTDA-sponsored start-ups struggling with coronavirus-related issues. Read more here: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-announces-additional-technology-industry-funding/.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,804 licensed liquor establishments Wednesday and Thursday of this week (July 22 & 23) to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. Officers issued 42 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=560.

- The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and U.S. Department of the Treasury have approved Pennsylvania’s Section 1332 Waiver application for a reinsurance program. Governor Wolf today said PA’s Reinsurance Program (PA Re) – which is designed to directly pay some health care costs for high-cost individuals – is authorized to operate from 2021 through 2025. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-reinsurance-program-application-receives-federal-approval/.

The PA Insurance Department this week issued a notice to insurers highlighting inappropriate billing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Insurance-Details.aspx?newsid=430.

- It’s only July, but there’s little doubt that COVID-19 will reshape this year’s holiday retail season. This week, Amazon announced that its Prime Day will be delayed indefinitely, and Walmart announced that it will be closed on Thanksgiving for the first time in 30 years. While it’s tough to make any predictions in this environment, National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz offers his take on some emerging trends. Kleinhenz says, “There’s always room someone to find the budget for either Christmas or Hanukkah or for the holidays, but this year will be a challenging one.” Read this Inc. magazine article to learn four other retail trends you’ll need to know for this year’s holiday retail season.

- Locally, we are seeing modest growth in events and activities, and there continues to be virtual event options. Today and tomorrow, Lock Haven’s Main Street becomes a pedestrian walkway closed to vehicle traffic to allow restaurants and retailers to expand their operations out onto the sidewalk and street. The City’s Friday night free summer concert featuring classic country music is tonight at 6pm at the Main & Grove Streets stage, and the floating stage concert Sunday night 6:30pm at the Corman Amphitheater features an AC/DC tribute band. On Saturday, the City also kicks off it’s ‘Market on Main’ farmer’s market from 10am-2pm. Situated in front of the Main Street dining park, the market will offer raw produce (pay with credit or debit card only at this point). Also this weekend, there are a number of events at the Clinton County Fairgrounds (Friday night Clinton County Speedway dirt track racing, and tractor pulls as well as horse mounted black powder target shooting competitions on Saturday), the Clinton County SPCA hosts their annual Furry 5k & 1-mile Dog Jog tomorrow; and the Bland J. Rossman VFW stages a motorcycle ride Saturday to benefit Lock Haven’s Veterans Park, to name a few. For a full list of events, visit the Calendar of Events page on the Partnership’s website at www.ClintonCountyInfo.com or the Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook page.

- Upcoming Webiner: Penn State Extension hosts a COVID-19 Relief Funds for Farm and Food Retail webinar next Friday, July 31, at noon. Learn about the new grant available to food retailers impacted by COVID-19. PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding will be on hand for the webinar. Visit the Event Website for More Details or Register Now.

- A couple non-COVID-related items to pass along:

  • For those traveling Route 150 in the Beech Creek area: PennDOT says drivers can expect significant delays Monday, July 27, as a new box culvert is set into place along Route 150 near Beech Creek. The temporary traffic signal currently in place will be deactivated, and flaggers will enforce alternating traffic as the work takes place. Click Here for the PennDOT news release.
  • The PA Department of Environmental Protection this week said the state’s first probable human case of West Nile Virus infection in 2020 has been detected in a neighboring Potter County resident. Samples are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing, and both DEP and the department of Health are reminding people to take steps to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes and avoid infection. Read more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21839&typeid=1.

Posted 7/23/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf signed several bills into law today, among them House Bill 2455, which requires the governor and Department of Health to submit information to the legislature about COVID-19 testing, and Senate Bill 1125, which gives school districts the option during the 2020-21 school year to extend the real estate property tax discount period, waive penalties for late payments, or both. Click the following link for a fill list of the Governor’s actions: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-first-responders-bill-other-legislation/.

- The additional $600 federal unemployment benefit is set to end this weekend, and the PA Departments of Labor & Industry and Human Services are reminding Pennsylvanians that other state programs are available. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which funds the extra $600 in unemployment compensation each week, ends Saturday, July 25, unless extended by the federal government. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=471.

- The Department of Human Services (DHS) today also shared the latest public-assistance enrollment data, and reminded Pennsylvanians that safety-net programs are available to individuals and families who are struggling to afford food or access to health care. DHS Secretary Teresa Miller said while there has not been an overwhelming surge of program enrollments, they have steadily climbed since the pandemic began. Enrollments statewide for Medicaid increased to 2.98 million people in June, a 5.1 percent increase since February, and enrollments for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) statewide increased to 1.9 million in June, a 9.6 percent increase since February. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=572.

- The PA 30 Day Fund – a nonprofit established to provide funds to support small businesses in Pennsylvania – this week announced it has awarded $3,000 forgivable loans to 465 small businesses in the state. The funds - $1.4 million to date – have come from donors (private individuals and other businesses) which have given anywhere between $3 and $1 million. The small loans are meant to help small businesses weather the coronavirus, bridging the financial gap for a month for meeting payroll, rent, insurance or any other businesses expenses. Small businesses can apply on the fund’s website. The brief, 10-minute application also requires business owners to submit a short video, which gives the grant review board a glimpse of the business and its impact on the community. To be eligible, businesses must have been open for at least one year and must have between three and 30 employees. For more, visit https://pa30dayfund.com/.

- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) offers a wealth of good information specific to business and industry on their COVID-19 webpage: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/.

- The PA Liquor Control Board yesterday issued clarifying PLCB guidance for licensees to reinforce the recent targeted statewide mitigation efforts in response to the rise in COVID cases. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=586.

Meanwhile, PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited more than 1,800 licensed liquor establishments Monday and Tuesday of this week (July 20 and 21) to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. Officers issued one notice of violation and 47 warnings. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=559.

- The Partnership continues to make our members aware of product resources for businesses seeking various COVID-related supplies. Our first suggestion always is to buy local and support fellow Partnership members. Two such local resources are CCEP members M & J Supply Company, Inc. (570)748-3802; and Hub’s Home Oxygen & Medical Supplies (570)893-7550, both in Lock Haven. In addition, the state Department of Community & Economic Development has established an online site to support the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs of businesses. Click here for that portal: https://dced.pa.gov/pa-covid-19-medical-supply-portals/pennsylvania-covid-19-ppe-supplies-business-2-business-b2b-interchange-directory/. In addition, the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association offers product resources at the following links: Business Resources / Employee Resources.

- Amidst ongoing coronavirus concerns, Keystone Central School District yesterday announced it has cancelled plans for the in-person graduation ceremonies tentatively scheduled for August 7 at Bucktail High School and August 8 for Central Mountain High School. District Superintendent Jacque Martin said the decision came after much deliberation and considering a number of factors. “We made this decision out of an abundance of caution to protect the safety and well-being of our students and families. We also consulted with local health officials, senior class advisors and senior class officers.” Keystone Central hosted virtual ceremonies for the 2020 graduating classes from both schools on June 2. The ceremonies can be viewed on the District’s www.kcsd.us website on the home pages of both Bucktail (https://bucktail.kcsd.k12.pa.us/) and Central Mountain (https://cmhs.kcsd.k12.pa.us/) high schools.

- Penn State President Eric Barron yesterday joined presidents of Pitt and Temple universities in voicing support for mask-wearing and mitigation efforts by Governor Tom Wolf to stop the recent rise in cases of COVID-19. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pitt-penn-state-temple-university-presidents-voice-support-for-mask-wearing-mitigation-efforts/.

Posted 7/21/20

- A ‘Thank You’ to Partnership member Hub’s Home Oxygen & Medical Supplies at 948 Bellefonte Avenue in Lock Haven. Hub’s has infrared touchless thermometers for $60, but they are offering a 25% discount to Partnership Members, making them $45. “We want to do our part to help the local business community fight this pandemic and stay safe,” says Hub’s president Caryn Plessinger. Call Hub’s team members Shelia or Liz at 570-893-7550 or stop by. Remember to identify yourself as a Partnership Member so they can issue you the discount. As a convenience, Plessinger says people can pay by phone and request curbside pick-up. 

- Applications are due this Friday, July 24, for companies seeking grant funds through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments, and Therapies (CV-VTT) program to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments, and therapies by qualified biotechnology entities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-10-million-in-new-funding-available-to-support-advancement-of-covid-19-treatments/.

- Applications are being accepted through next Friday, July 31, for the so-called Hazard Pay grant program, which is offering $50 million in grants to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania. Funds may only be used to pay hazard pay for eligible employees for the 10-week period from August 16 through October 24, 2020. You can submit applications directly through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development’s electronic Single Application for Assistance, or through a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO). The CEDO representing Clinton County is SEDA-COG and people can contact John Reichard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-850-0195 for help with their application. Click here for more information on the program: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-pa-hazard-pay-grant/.

- The deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is now August 8 (it was originally June 30, but was extended). Interested businesses should begin the PPP application process by talking with a lender they have a preexisting relationship with to see if it is participating. If the lender they normally work with is not taking part or they don’t have a lender, a wide array of traditional banks and fintech lenders are accepting applications. Once an application has been accepted by a lender, it goes to the SBA for final approval. Apply Now.

- Congress is meeting this week to hammer out a new COVID-19 stimulus measure. Inc. magazine offers a look at the “Phase 4” relief packaging, saying there’s still no compromise among the U.S. House and Senate on the bill’s cost. The House passed a $3.5 trillion Phase 4 bill, known as the HEROES Act, in May. However, Senate Republicans this week are expected to introduce their own version, likely with a much lower price tag. According to Inc., while the package’s financial heft has yet to be determined – it will be reviewed and negotiated by lawmakers between now and early August – several economic proposals meant to help small business owners have been building consensus in Congress and there will likely be elements of all of them in the final version that eventually will go to President Trump for his signature. Read the Inc. article to learn what business owners should expect in the Phase 4 bill.

- With the recent rise in COVID cases and subsequent additional targeted mitigation efforts put in place, Governor Tom Wolf today visited WellSpan York Hospital, where he thanked the staff and emphasized the need to wear masks and practice social distancing to fight the spread of the virus. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-visits-wellspan-york-hospital-thanks-staff-discusses-mask-wearing-benefits/.

The PA Department of Health today confirmed an additional 1,027 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 102,765.

- A heads up to motorists to travel in to Centre County: PennDOT today announced that preliminary work is scheduled to begin this coming Monday, July 27, on the Route 26 Local Interchange project. Crews last week placed work zone and traffic control signals between the Interstate-80 exit 161 and Jacksonville Road. The signs will remain covered until project activity begins Monday. Preliminary work includes erosion and sedimentation controls as well as construction of emergency pull-offs. Once work begins, drivers may encounter lane and shoulder restrictions. Learn more here: https://www.penndot.gov/regionaloffices/district-2/pages/details.aspx?newsid=1749.

Upcoming Webinars:

- Tuesday, 8/11 at 12:00-1:00 p.m. or 6:30-7:30 p.m. - Penn State Extension hosts a Planning Food Events for Non-Profits with COVID-19 in Mind webinar to discuss the most recent guidance from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Restaurant Association, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to help nonprofits plan for resumption of activities related to food and food service. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions, and materials will be provided. Visit the Event Website for More Details.

Posted 7/20/20

- The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry is speaking out about new COVID-19 mandates issued last week by Governor Tom Wolf. PA Chamber Gene Barr issued a statement expressing the business community’s concerns about the impact of these new orders on many employers. Read more: https://www.pachamber.org/media/3146/PA_Chamber_Issues_Statement_on_New_COVID19/.

Last Wednesday, July 15, Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine signed new orders for targeted mitigation efforts for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework, in response to the recent rise in COVID cases. Since then, the Health Department has issued Frequently Asked Questions associated with the new mandates: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Guidance/Targeted-Mitigation-FAQ.aspx.

The new mitigation efforts are drawing concern from many groups. In addition to the PA Chamber, Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan last week expressed concerns about the impact to local businesses, and the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) also expressed concern. PRLA has initiated a petition opposing the targeting of one industry: https://www.votervoice.net/PRLA/Petitions/2321/Respond, and has established a set of legislative priorities that PRLA says will help restaurants recover: https://www.prla.org/parestreliefpriorities.html.

Meanwhile, national health policy leaders today endorsed Governor Wolf’s most recent action, calling it a ‘bold’ more to prevent another surge of the virus in Pennsylvania. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/national-health-policy-leaders-endorse-gov-wolfs-bold-action-to-stop-another-covid-surge-in-pa/.

Governor Wolf says data the state is collecting on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard shows weekly case increases of the coronavirus statewide. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/dashboard-data-shows-weekly-case-increases-statewide-multiple-counties-with-high-percent-positives/. The PA Department of Health today confirmed an additional 711 positive cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, bringing the statewide total to 101,738.

- The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement continues checks on licensed liquor establishments, visiting more than 1,500 over the weekend and issuing 44 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=558.

- The Centers for Disease Control has published different scenarios explaining when someone can be around others after having or likely having COVID-19. The CDC says when you can end home isolation depends on different factors for different situations. Read more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM33441.

- Geisinger President & CEO Jaewon Ryu – in an editorial published Friday – said Beating COVID-19 is a team effort and our masks are our jerseys. Read his comments here: https://www.geisinger.org/about-geisinger/news-and-media/news-releases/2020/07/17/12/39/beating-covid-19-is-a-team-effort-our-masks-are-our-jerseys.

- The PA Chamber reports the state legislature last week passed a constitutional amendment which would limit executive powers during disaster emergencies. More here: https://www.pachamber.org/media/3147/Legislature_Passes_Amendment_Limiting_Executive_Disaster_Powers/.

- Prior to adjourning last week, the legislature sent Governor Wolf two COVID-19 related bills that would help to mitigate the financial impacts of the pandemic on business and individual taxpayers:

  • Senate Bill 1125, which passed the House and Senate unanimously, gives school districts the option to extend the property tax rate discount and penalty payment periods through June 30, 2021. Under current law, taxpayers who fail to make a payment of property taxes for four months after the date of the tax notice are charged a penalty of up to 10 percent of the amount owed. The PA Chamber supports this bill as it will help to alleviate tax burdens for employers who are struggling to make payments at this time to decreased revenue resulting from the pandemic.
  • House Bill 2463, which also earned the unanimous approval of House and Senate lawmakers, would require that state agencies establish a fair process for answering right-to-know requests if they have to close their physical locations due to COVID-19 or any other future emergency. This process is intended to help to ensure transparency in government, even in the midst of a crisis.

A non-COVID related measure the legislature also sent to the Governor last week for his signature is  House Bill 732, which would establish a tax credit for manufacturers using natural gas. Details here: https://www.pachamber.org/media/3148/Tax_Credit_for_Manufacturers_Using_Natural_Gas/.

- For those who missed the July 15 tax deadline and didn’t request an extension, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers about some important tips, including filing electronically as soon as possible to reduce potential penaltieshttps://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-advice-for-those-who-missed-the-july-15-deadline-file-now-to-avoid-bigger-bill

- PennDOT is seeking applicants for its seasonal, winter maintenance program that runs from September through April. While most of the positions are for temporary equipment operators (TEO), there are also positions available for mechanics, trade helpers, clerks and typists. Applications are accepted online at www.employment.pa.gov through August 7.

- The PA Department of Human Services today reminded Pennsylvanians of the ability to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds to purchase groceries online through select retailers. This flexibility allows SNAP recipients to purchase groceries from home, which can help limit trips out of the home as Pennsylvania sees rising cases of COVD-19. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=571

- The PA Fish & Boat Board of Commissioners today held their quarterly meeting virtually, due to the COVID pandemic. The Board adopted a new strategic plan, elected new officers, and took actions to further protect wild trout populations. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/fish-and-Boat-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=332.

- Close to 60 percent of Clinton County is state-owned land, much of it state forest and state park lands managed by the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. And as more and more people are getting outdoors amidst the pandemic, DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry currently is seeking public input as they craft a new Strategic Plan that will set the bureau’s mission and overarching goals. The plan guides how the Bureau provides leadership in forest management and conservation on both public and private lands in urban and rural areas. We encourage you to take the brief (less than 10 minutes) survey, which is available via the following link through August 31: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BOFplan.

Posted 7/17/20

- Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan reports the number of continued and initial unemployment claims for Clinton County residents increased during the week ending July 11, according to the state Department of Labor & Industry.

The initial claims were 112 during the week of July 11, up about 50 from the week before. The high initial claim for the county during the coronavirus came during the week ending April 4, when 1,050 residents filed for unemployment compensation insurance. Of the 112 new claims, 60% were male, 31% were in the manufacturing field, and 20% of them were ages 25 to 34.

The continued claims rose to 1,826, the highest number registered in that category since the 1,960 continued claims for the week ending June 13. Of the 1,826, 54% were female, 24% were in the accommodations and food sector, and 24% were ages 25 to 34. The highest continued claim number during the virus time period was 3,219 during the week ending May 2.

The state’s unemployment rate for June is 13.0%, according to information issued today by Labor & Industry. That is down from 13.4% in May. The county-by-county monthly rates for June should be released July 28. Clinton County’s May unemployment reading was 11.7%. More information on today’s June unemployment announcement is available here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=469.

- The PA Department of Health today announced more than 1,000 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to nearly 100,000. Both Allegheny County and Philadelphia continue to report a heavy up-tick in cases. Click here for more on today’s COVID-19 counts, https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=917, and here to view the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- Governor Tom Wolf today said action to provide COVID-19 relief to the restaurant industry needs to come from the federal level. He urged Congress to pass legislation called the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS), which would provide $120 billion to help independent restaurants with economic challenges created by the pandemic. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-congress-must-take-action-to-help-restaurants/.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited nearly 3,900 licensed liquor establishments, issuing 44 warnings this week as part of efforts to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements that include social distancing, masking, and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=557.

And, three former Pennsylvania governors – Mark Schweiker, Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell – today voice support for how Governor Wolf has responded  to the COVID-19 pandemic, including endorsing statewide mitigation efforts and mask wearing. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/former-pennsylvania-governors-voice-support-for-wolf-administration-response-to-covid-19/.

- The Federal Reserve Board today announced modifications to the Main Street Lending Program – a loan program established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – to provide greater access to credit for nonprofit organizations such as educational institutions, hospitals, and social service organizations. As detailed in term sheets released today, the Board approved two new loan options to provide support to a broad set of nonprofit organizations that were in sound financial condition prior to the pandemic. See more here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20200717a.htm.

- The Internal Revenue Service today reminded seniors and retirees that they are not required to take money out of their IRAs and workplace retirement plans this year. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, waives required minimum distributions during 2020 for IRAs and retirement plans. See more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-seniors-retirees-not-required-to-take-distributions-from-retirement-accounts-this-year-under-new-law.

- As federal leaders discuss a ‘Phase 4” COVID relief package, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week sent a letter to the Trump Administration and Congress applauding the actions taken to date to mitigate the direct and indirect economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic while urging swift action to provide economic relief to families, businesses, and communities across the country. The U.S. Chamber requested that Congress enact targeted and temporary measures that address the following five key areas:

  • Liability Protection Against Unwarranted Lawsuits
  • Support for Small and Mid-Size Employers
  • Financial Assistance for Childcare and K-12 Schools
  • Unemployment Benefits and Funding for Job Training
  • Assistance for State and Local Governments

Click here to view the U.S. Chamber’s letter.

- The City of Lock Haven this afternoon and all day tomorrow “Opens the Downtown” as part of an effort to allow restaurants and retailers to expand their business out onto the sidewalks and parking spaces in front of their businesses. Main Street between Jay and Vesper Streets, and Grove Street between Main and Church, closes to vehicle traffic today at 3pm through Saturday at 9pm and the street becomes a pedestrian walkway. A portable stage at Main and Grove Streets features Americana music from the group Biscuit Jam tonight at 6pm. The City has also announced a “Kids Fest” will be held in the pedestrian area on Saturday from 10am-2pm featuring some fun events:

  • The Complete Count Committee will host a ‘Chalk the Walk’ event in front of the Dining Park (the Main Street Parking lot next to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church), to educate the public on the importance of filling out their 2020 Census questionnaire;
  • The City will host a table where kids can make take-home crafts;
  • First Quality will have a table near the dining park; and
  • Downtown business Fierce & Fit Nutrition will host a craft table at their Grove Street location.

And mark your calendar and plan to come downtown next Saturday, July 25, as the City begins its Saturday downtown Farmers Market. The weekly market will run from 10am to 2pm along Main Street, in front of the dining park.

- PennDOT issued an update today on its high friction surface treatment project at four sites in Clinton, Juniata and Mifflin counties, noting that some work is expected in Clinton County next week. Click Here for the news release.

Posted 7/16/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the coronavirus pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania. Funds may only be used to pay hazard pay for eligible employees for the 10-week period from August 16 through October 24, 2020. Applicants can submit directly through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development’s electronic Single Application for Assistance, or through a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO). The CEDO representing Clinton County is SEDA-COG and people can contact John Reichard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-850-0195 for help with their application. Click here for more information on the grant: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-pa-hazard-pay-grant/, and here for the Governor’s announcement: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-hazard-pay-grants-now-available-for-front-line-workers-in-life-sustaining-industries/. NOTE: The grant application period is short – it opened today and grants will be accepted only until July 31.

- Governor Wolf today also announced the availability of $10 million in grant funding through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments, and Therapies (CV-VTT) program to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments, and therapies by qualified biotechnology entities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-10-million-in-new-funding-available-to-support-advancement-of-covid-19-treatments/, and apply for a CV-VTT grant here: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-vaccines-treatments-and-therapies-cv-vtt/. NOTE: The application period is very short for this grant program; applications are due by next Friday, July 24.

- PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera today jointly announced updated guidance to help Pre-K to 12 schools prepare to reopen and safely educate students for in-person learning. Each school entity will determine if classes resume in person at school buildings, remotely, or a combination of both options. The guidance provides a list of best practices for schools to consider before the start of in-person classes. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=905. The guidance for school sports is unchanged.

- Clinton County Economic Partnership President & CEO Mike Flanagan today issued the following comments regarding new statewide coronavirus restrictions that focus on bars and restaurants: “The new covid-related restrictions are another blow for our Clinton County businesses in the restaurant and bar sector that are just now trying to recover from essentially being closed for some three months. Many of them have followed the rules to reopen the right way, and now they get hit with a 25% occupancy restriction as well as the essential closing of bars. This, unfortunately, could be the final blow for some. We were just seeing some light at the end of the tunnel for some of these restaurants, and the City of Lock Haven assisted greatly with a pedestrian mall. But when outside dining is not available and with a 25% occupancy rate now permitted, you don’t have many options to make it work. Some of the local social clubs have already closed down – yet again. It is obviously important to stop the spread of COVID-19 and we respect the difficult jobs facing Governor Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. We encourage mask wearing and social distancing, but if one or two areas are having flare-ups, shouldn’t it be one or two areas that get flagged? We hope that the case counts get under control for the next couple of weeks and we can get back to at least giving our restaurants and bar operators a fighting chance. We ask that you support these businesses as much as possible.”

John Longstreet, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, also had a swift response to yesterday’s action, saying, “While we understand the need and urgency in taking steps to mitigate the spread of covid19, we are disappointed and frustrated by the course of action taken by Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine in targeting the entire hospitality industry. Since the start of the pandemic, the hospitality industry has had to make numerous sacrifices for the greater good and it has done so with overwhelming compliance. However, now because of a few bad operators, we are being targeted again in a way that will cause irreparable harm to many businesses and the jobs they provide. Reduction to 25 percent capacity is essentially the same as eliminating indoor dining entirely and there is no scenario that restaurants can survive at that level of occupancy. The solution should be enforcement and shutting down those bad actors not punishing those who have been doing it right all along. Instead, the solution presented today punishes an entire industry rather than targets those operations that have blatantly eschewed following the rules and doing the right things in the interest of public health. There is no scientific basis for 25 percent capacity when masks and social distancing have been proven effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

- In positive economic news locally….

  • Truck-Lite Co., LLC, a Clarience Technologies company, today announced it is expanding its McElhattan facility by adding a 15,000-square-foot addition that will incorporate 12 new work centers and add six new job positions. The expansion will house work within the heavy-injection molding department and will be completed by October 2020. Headquartered in Falconer, New York with additional facilities in Wellsboro and Coudersport and international facilities in Harlow, England and Puebla, Mexico, Truck-Lite is a worldwide leader in forward and safety lighting, wiring harness, turnsignal and safety system technologies serving the medium- and heavy-duty truck, trailer and commercial vehicle industries. “We thank Truck-Lite for its investment in our area,” said Mike Flanagan of the Clinton County Economic Partnership. “Truck-Lite has been a community supporter for many years and we welcome this addition. We also thank the Wayne Township officials for helping to make this project a reality.”
  • Another of Clinton County’s leading manufacturers is helping to make a positive difference in our community. Croda Inc. is lending a helping hand to several local nonprofit organizations to help with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Representatives from the company’s Mill Hall manufacturing site in Bald Eagle Township recently presented donations of $4,000 each to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Goodwill Hose Fire Company and Ambulance Association in Flemington, and Mill Hall Volunteer Fire Company. Click Here for the Croda Spreads Kindness news release.

- As part of the ongoing redesign of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the State System’s Board of Governors has authorized a review of the financial impacts of integrating operations at selected System universities, one being the integration of Lock Haven and Mansfield University. Click Here for LHU President, Dr. Robert Pignatello’s, update to the LHU team.

State System Chancellor Dr. Dan Greenstein, in a blog post, “Giving new meaning to sharing,” called the Board’s action an important step forward and said a detailed, transparent, and broadly consultative review will be undertaken over the next two years.

- While the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference yesterday announced athletes at state-system universities (including Lock Haven University) will not be playing fall sports this year due to coronavirus concerns, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) – a governing body for high school and junior high school sports – says it will continue to monitor guidelines from the governor and state, but that the plan is for athletics to continue as planned this fall. The PIAA yesterday issued a statement on Fall Sports, saying, “PIAA is moving forward with the normal start of the fall sports season unless otherwise directed by the Commonwealth. Heat acclimatization for football will begin on August 10 and the first practice date for the remaining Fall Sports will begin on August 17. Our focus is the health and safety of student athletes which is paramount in moving forward with athletics. Each member school has developed health and safety guidelines to allow athletics to continue as an important part of the school day. Participation in athletics has known health benefits, including promoting physical fitness and mental wellness which is necessary in a time of uncertainty for our student athletes. PIAA is committed to providing a season for all sports in the upcoming school year and will be flexible if conditions would change.”

- The Internal Revenue Service today announced its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams with a special emphasis on aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-unveils-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2020-americans-urged-to-be-vigilant-to-these-threats-during-the-pandemic-and-its-aftermath.

- PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today released an updated guide to help Pennsylvanians make informed decisions about nursing homes during the outbreak of COVID-19. See more: https://www.paauditor.gov/press-releases/auditor-general-depasquale-releases-updated-nursing-home-guide-to-help-consumers-make-informed-decisions-during-pandemic. Click here for the Nursing Home Guide.

Posted 7/15/20

- Citing what they called an “alarming escalation” of COVID-19 cases in the state, PA Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine today announced they are implementing – as of midnight tonight – new, targeted virus mitigation efforts statewide, in addition to the measures currently in place. The new measures further restrict indoor dining at bars and restaurants, close nightclubs, limit indoor events and gatherings, require businesses to implement telework whenever possible, and require additional considerations for gyms and fitness facilities. Details of the new order can be found here.

- In an unfortunate, but not unexpected move, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced today it will not be playing fall sports in 2020 due to coronavirus concerns. The PSAC instead is looking at moving fall sports to next spring. The move means no fall sports at Lock Haven University and the 13 other state system schools and today, LHU president Dr. Robert Pignatello, communicated that move to the campus community. Click Here for the “LHU announces no sports” file. You can also Click Here to read the PSAC announcement in the attached file from the LHU sports information office.

- The Internal Revenue Service has started sending letters to taxpayers who have experienced a delay in the processing of their Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits, due to COVID-19. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-is-sending-letters-to-those-experiencing-a-delay-with-advance-payment-of-employer-credits. For more information on the employer credits, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-tax-relief-for-businesses-and-tax-exempt-entities.

- The Federal Reserve today reports total industrial production in the U.S. rose 5.4 percent in June after increasing 1.4 percent in May; even so, it remained 10.9 percent below its pre-pandemic February level. For the second quarter as a whole, the index fell 42.6 percent at an annual rate, its largest quarterly decrease since the industrial sector retrenched after World War II. Manufacturing output climbed 7.2 percent in June, as all major industries posted increases. Read more: https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/current/default.htm.

- 12th U.S. District Congressman Fred Keller is seeking input on his recently-introduced “Rural Help Act” aimed at ensuring rural hospitals deliver high-quality, cost effective health care to our rural communities. Congressman Keller is asking people to click on the following link to answer a single-question survey: Do you agree that we must support our rural hospitals and make services more affordable? Click here to open in a new window

- The PA Department of Health today recognized nursing homes for reporting their COVID-19 facility information and 349 of the state’s 563 nursing homes for completing mandated universal testing. In Clinton County, the county-owned Susque-View Home Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has had no cases of COVID-19, and the facility has completed the mandated universal testing of residents, staff and contracted employees. Nursing homes are required to report data daily and complete universal testing at least once by July 24. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=912.

Meanwhile, a June 2020 Department of Health report highlights nursing home inspections and complaint investigations during the pandemic. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=913.

- The PA State Police today announced that Governor Wolf has granted an additional extension to license to carry firearms permits. Permits expiring on March 19 or later are now valid through September 30. The previous extension was set to expire July 31. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=556.

Posted 7/14/20

Positive news on the local economic front: Medical marijuana grower/processor Terrapin Pennsylvania today announced a $6 million, 35,000 square foot expansion at its South Avis, Pine Creek Township facility that is expected to create 30 new jobs locally. Click Here for the news release.

- Lock Haven University has announced its plan for reopening the local campus for the fall semester. The semester will begin on August 23 as scheduled, however, face-to-face instruction will end before Thanksgiving on November 20. LHU president Dr. Robert Pignatello said classes will be spread out more throughout the day and be a mix of face-to-face and remote learning. Click Here for the news release. More details about campus plans, requirements and guidelines can be found at the Return to The Haven website, www.lockhaven.edu/fallreturn.

The COVID-19 PA Statewide Small Business Assistance grant application closes at 11:59 p.m. tonight, July 14. These grants will range from $5,000 - $50,000 for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Clinton County businesses can apply through one of two Community Development Financial Institutions: The Progress Fund, www.progressfund.org, or The Reinvestment Fund, www.reinvestment.com.

With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases among younger people, PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine this week said the commonwealth is on the verge or repeating the pattern that led to widespread community shut-downs in the spring to mitigate the virus. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=909.

As of today, the Health Department reported 96,671 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide. In the past seven days, 130,315 people have been tested, with 5,438 testing positive for COVID-19. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the state’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

- PA State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited thousands of licensed liquor establishments from July 6 to July 12 as part of its regular work to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements that include social distancing, masking, and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. See details: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=555. The statistics are updated weekly. More information is available on the enforcement page of the state police COVID-19 portal.

- The Internal Revenue Service today reminded business taxpayers that their 2019 tax returns and tax payments, as well as their first two 2020 estimated tax payments, are due tomorrow, July 15. More here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-reminder-file-and-pay-2019-business-taxes-by-july-15-2020-estimated-tax-also-due.

The IRS also reminds taxpayers they have until the postponed due date of tomorrow, July 15, to file an extension for their 2019 federal tax return. The extension gives taxpayers until October 15 to file, but taxes owed are due by July 15. See more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-reminder-taxpayers-can-get-an-extension-to-oct-15-to-file-taxes.

- The PA Department of Human Services today announced applicants selected to participate in the state’s Regional Response Health Collaboration Program, aimed at supporting COVID-19 continued readiness and response planning in long-term residential care facilities. UPMC, Geisinger and Penn State University are among the select participants. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=569.

We want to clarify/correct information we recently published: The Summer Activities Calendar introduced last week – chock full of fun, locally-based virtual and in-person activities for children and families – was created by Clinton County Children and Youth Services through the county’s #KeystoneCares initiative. The idea for a calendar was in response to the loss of many local activities for children due to the pandemic. Input came from people around the community and school district, with CYS team members Tristan Rock and Autumn Bower taking on the task of putting the Calendar together. If you haven’t yet seen it, check it out at http://www.clintoncountypa.com/resources/pdfs/2020SummerActivitiesCalendar.pdf.

Posted 7/13/20

- Tomorrow, July 14, is the deadline to submit an application for first-round funding consideration in the state’s COVID-19 Small Business Assistance grant program, designed to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications must go through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), two of which are accepting applications from businesses in Clinton and surrounding counties. Applications can be made through The Progress Fund at www.progressfund.org, or the Reinvestment Fund at www.reinvestment.com.

- The federal government recently released the names of companies that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding during the pandemic. Over 40 Clinton County based businesses received at least $150,000 or more. Two businesses received between $2 and $5 million (specific amounts were not released, just ranges). Click on the following link to see the recently-released list of PA businesses receiving PPP loans: https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/3097474/.

According to news reports, about 165,000 organizations in the state have received PPP funding so far, totalling $20.7 billion - making Pennsylvania one of the top users of the loan program. Pennsylvania loan recipients reported 1.8 million “jobs retained” due to the money, though the data was self-reported and many organizations didn’t list any number at all. Businesses in New Jersey secured 147,000 loans worth $17.2 billion, while Delaware businesses received about 12,500 loans totalling $1.2 billion.

Nationwide, the average loan size was about $100,000, but loans of $150,000 or more account for about 75% of the PPP’s total funding. About 85% of Pennsylvania’s PPP loans were worth $150,000 or less. No data was released on businesses who received loans of less than $150,000.

There are still funds available in the Paycheck Protection Program. Interested businesses have until August 8 to apply and applications are made through local lenders. For more information, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

- The PA Department of Revenue is reminding Pennsylvanians the deadline to file 2019 personal income tax returns is this Wednesday, July 15. The filing deadline was extended 90 days this year to provide relief to taxpayers during the pandemic. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Revenue-Details.aspx?newsid=321.

- The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers with a filing requirement to file an accurate tax return on time even if a balance due can’t be paid in full. The deadline to submit 2019 tax returns is this Wednesday for most people. The IRS offers tips on filing, paying electronically, and checking refunds online. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-gives-tips-on-filing-paying-electronically-and-checking-refunds-online-2019-tax-returns-and-payments-due-july-15.

- In response to the pandemic and to help reduce unnecessary in-person contact, Governor Tom Wolf Friday signed an executive order authorizing state agencies to conduct administrative proceedings remotely. The order took effect immediately and allows administrative proceedings to occur by phone, video or online. The state is encouraging independent agencies to implement the executive order. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-signs-executive-order-authorizing-commonwealth-agencies-to-conduct-remote-administrative-proceedings/.

Meanwhile, the Governor also released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard that he says confirms the need for masking and social distancing. More here:  https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/dashboard-data-confirms-need-for-masking-social-distancing/.

- Your participation is needed as Clinton County residents are lagging behind. As of last week, only 57.6 percent of the local population had completed the 2020 U.S. Census, and Clinton County currently ranks 51st out of 67 counties in their response.

Every household should complete the Census and this year the process is easier than ever. You can take a simple questionnaire online at www.my2020census.gov; by phone at 844-330-2020; or complete and mail back the paper questionnaire that was sent to your home. Next month, Census interviewers are slated to visit homes that have not yet responded.

Close to 69 percent of Clinton County residents completed the 2010 Census. Participation is important as Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. The current Census process will end October 31, 2020.

- The PPL Foundation has announced over $500,000 in grants to 116 nonprofit organizations across central and eastern Pennsylvania to support education initiatives and strengthen community resources. Local organizations receiving grants include the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the Clinton County Economic Partnership Foundation (in support of Leadership Clinton County), and River Valley Regional YMCA. Earlier this year, the PPL Foundation provided $800,000 to support those struggling with economic hardships due to COVID-19 and $100,000 for racial justice and equity initiatives. The foundation’s next grant cycle will be open in January 2021. For more information, click here.

- Clinton County has always been high on the list for others looking to ‘get away from it all,’ and even more so with current circumstances. Today’s Penn Live online edition (Harrisburg Patriot News) features two articles that call out locations in Clinton County. In the Cabin Fever article, the inviting Doll House cabin at the Ponderosa Lodge outside of Lock Haven is among the highlighted get-aways. The second article on “Must-sees” notes 19 unique spots in Pennsylvania state parks, among them: Bucktail State Park, the Route 120 scenic byway between Lock Haven, through Renovo and up to Emporium; and, of course, Hyner View State Park, as well as nearby attractions Cherry Springs in Potter County and the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in Tioga and Lycoming counties. See the following links for both articles.

  • Cabin fever: Looking for a getaway where hustle and bustle are not on the to-do list? A cabin may be the best spot. Read more.
  • Must-sees: State parks all have great features, but there are 19 unique spots in Pa. that shouldn't be missed. Read more.

Posted 7/10/20

- Small businesses have until 11:59 p.m. this Tuesday, July 14 to apply for a first-round grant through the state’s COVID-19 Small Business Assistance program. The Progress Fund, one of the organizations accepting applications from Clinton County businesses, today issued an update on what you need to do if you haven’t yet applied, and what you should do if you have applied. Click Here for Progress Fund Update for details.

According to The Progress Fund, once the initial application window closes next week, the grant review and selection process will begin and is expected to take a few weeks. Notice about approvals will occur on a rolling basis starting as early as July 31. They anticipate that all applicants will receive notice no later than August 10 as to the status of their application, whether it is approved or held over for a future round consideration, or declined.

- There are roughly four weeks left – until August 8 – for businesses and organizations to apply for a forgivable/low interest loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP is administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration, with applications being made through local lenders. For information on the PPP and other SBA loan and debt relief offerings, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.

And from Inc. magazine, an informational article on getting your Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiven. Take these steps to ensure you're complying with the law.

- The PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) today recognized the 300,000 women-owned businesses in the state and announced a list of go-to resources for female entrepreneurs. Learn More: https://dced.pa.gov/paproudblog/6-resources-pa-women-owned-businesses-2020/.

- Governor Wolf, DCED Secretary Dennis Davin and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today reminded Pennsylvanians to wear masks while shopping and dining to protect and support local businesses. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-wear-masks-to-protect-and-support-local-businesses/. Meanwhile, today marked the highest single day increase in COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania since May 10.

- As schools make preparations for the swiftly approaching 2020-21 school year, there’s one safety element that they’ll have to incorporate into their plans – mask wearing. In accordance with state and national health experts’ determination that face coverings prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID-19, an order from the Department of Health came down just this week that everyone in physical school settings – from teachers to support staff to students – must wear face masks if they are 2 years of age or older, with limited exceptions. You can read more about this order on the Department of Education’s website. It will be in effect until further notice – meaning, at least until a proven treatment or vaccine is available.

- As states begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions, many sports organizations — youth, high school, and collegiate — are preparing for a return to play. As they do so, it’s important to keep all players, coaches, officials, workers, and fans safe. To provide guidelines to keep sports safe from COVID-19 spread, a team of UPMC experts created the Return to Sports Playbook. The playbook includes recommendations on how sports leagues can maintain safety as they get ready to begin competition.

- Governor Tom Wolf today announced nearly $19 million in funding awards to assist in mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus on homeless families and individuals and to prevent future homelessness across the commonwealth. The award includes $192,565 that will go to the Clinton County Housing Coalition as a regional grant that will distribute funding to Clinton, Lycoming and Tioga counties. Click here for more information. https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-awards-nearly-19-million-for-homelessness-assistance-and-prevention/.

- The PA Department of Human Services today encouraged Pennsylvanians who have been affected financially by the COVID-19 public-health crisis to take advantage of programs designed to help with rent payments and utility bills. They also advised of the upcoming July 12 deadline to apply for the Emergency Assistance Program, a one-time cash assistance program for families and pregnant women who have lost income or employment due to COVID-19. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=567.

- The pandemic has also brought mental health to the forefront. Mental Health America created a toolkit to provide some simple steps for people to manage their mental health.

Learn More

- With the July 15 tax-filing deadline − postponed from April 15 – only a few days away, the IRS is reminding taxpayers who have yet to file their tax returns that IRS.gov has tools and services to help them meet their tax obligations. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-provides-last-minute-tips-for-last-minute-filers.

Clinton County Updates….

- Partnership President Mike Flanagan reports that Berkshire Hathaway Energy (Warren Buffett financial group) will purchase the Dominion Energy gas transmission lines and storage areas, including the operation at Leidy. The purchase price is about $10 billion, which includes assuming about $5 billion in debt. Dominion Energy officials tell the Partnership that it is business as usual, and the sale should be completed around October 1. There are 55 employees at Dominion Leidy/Tamarack. The business will have a different name and signage on or about October 1.

- 76th District State Representative Stephanie Borowicz this week was appointed to serve on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, which is responsible for legislative oversight of environmental laws and regulations administered by both the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The committee addresses issues involving conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas drilling and development, environmental permitting, and coal mining. Rep. Borowicz also serves on the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Health, State Government and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees.

The City of Lock Haven continues to “Open the Downtown” Fridays and Saturdays part of an effort to permit restaurants and retailers to do business on the sidewalks and parking spaces in front of their businesses. Main Street between Jay and Vesper Streets, and Grove Street between Main and Church, closes to vehicle traffic Friday at 3:00 p.m. through Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. so the street becomes a pedestrian walkway. A portable stage at the intersection of Main and Grove Streets will feature live jazz from the Cadillac Cats starting at 6:00 p.m. Friday, and local musician Jason Dumm is slated to perform Saturday night from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (all concerts are weather permitting). On Sunday, Santana tribute band, Inca, will perform on the floating stage at the Corman Amphitheater along Water Street at 6:30 p.m.

The City is seeking feedback on the Pedestrian Walkway. To date, about 350 people have offered their thoughts. To take a brief survey, click here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd6IO0H6ZbsPnWakXygKMwBaDVXWPEUuM9H42nrbhHBwLgqgQ/viewform?fbclid=IwAR3jP0KFU3GY_0LVFo-er4yqyn4PY_apgBOUlEpzecmC56uQ0V_qGTnjh1U.

And a heads up…. the City also is putting the finishing touches on a Saturday downtown Farmers Market, which is scheduled to get underway July 25. The 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. market will be set up on Main Street, in front of the recently-established ‘dine-in’ area at the Main Street parking lot next to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

- If you have children and are looking for family-friendly activities in Clinton County this summer, check out the Activities Calendar developed by Keystone Central School District's #KeystoneCares initiative and a group of local community leaders. You'll find both in-person and virtual happenings: http://www.clintoncountypa.com/resources/pdfs/2020SummerActivitiesCalendar.pdf

Posted 7/9/20

- Governor Tom Wolf today announced that $10 million is now available for Pennsylvania businesses that have worked to maintain access to fresh, healthy food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fresh Food Financing Initiative COVID-19 Relief Fund – funded through the CARES Act – is available to for-profit, nonprofit, or cooperative entities impacted by COVID-19, including grocery stores, corner stores, convenience stores, neighborhood markets, mobile markets, farmers markets, on-farm markets, and more. Details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-10-million-available-to-support-pennsylvanias-food-system/.

- Small businesses have until Tuesday, July 14, to apply for first-round funding consideration for the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance grant program. Applications must go through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), two of which are accepting applications from businesses in Clinton and surrounding counties. Applications can be made through The Progress Fund at www.progressfund.org, or the Reinvestment Fund at www.reinvestment.com.

- The Office of State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) this week opened registration for state grants aimed at providing direct financial relief to fire, rescue and emergency medical service (EMS) companies negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Of the $50 million in funding set aside for this new program, $44 million will be made available to fire and rescue companies and the remaining $6 million will go to EMS companies. Grant funds must be used for operational and equipment expenses. Details are available online at OSFC’s website. The registration period for the grant program ends August 7, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

- The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today provided guidance in Notice 2020-54 to employers requiring them to report the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on Form W-2. Details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-issue-guidance-on-reporting-qualified-sick-and-family-leave-wages-paid.

- The IRS is also reminding people that contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) made by the postponed tax return due date of July 15, 2020, are deductible on a 2019 tax return. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/ira-contributions-made-by-july-15-count-as-2019-tax-deduction.

- The PA Department of Health today announced an additional partnership to assist the state with COVID-19 response in nursing homes. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=901.

- Governor Wolf today signed a new executive order that protects homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosure. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-protections-from-foreclosures-and-evictions-through-aug-31/.

- The Pennsylvania State Police has added Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement statistics to the state’s COVID-19 portal. Read more: Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=554.

- The Wolf Administration today released updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) about summer recreation, camps and pools. See details: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-releases-updated-faqs-for-summer-recreation-camps-and-pools/.

- The state is reminding Pennsylvanians to wear masks while enjoying the outdoors when they are not able to maintain social distancing. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-reminds-pennsylvanians-to-wear-mask-while-enjoying-the-outdoors/.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health reinforced the need to wear masks, practice social distancing and be aware of pool safety, saying masks should not be worn in the water. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=902.

Posted 7/8/20

- PPP Loan Application Period Extended – As reported yesterday, legislation was passed and signed into law extending the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to August 8, 2020. Roughly $125 billion in funding remains in the PPP. Businesses and organizations who need assistance and have not yet obtained a loan are encouraged to speak with their local lender as soon as possible.

A PPP loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (at least 60% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll).

  • PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%.
  • Loans issued prior to June 5 have a maturity of 2 years. Loans issued after June 5 have a maturity of 5 years.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
  • No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
  • Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Small Business Administration continues to accept applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advances. This program is geared toward small businesses, sole proprietors and independent contractors, agricultural enterprises, and nonprofits who have suffered economic losses due to COVID-19. The EIDL Advance can be for up to $10,000 and is an advance that does not have to be repaid. Recipients do not have to be approved for a loan in order to receive the advance, but the amount of the loan advance will be deducted from total loan eligibility.

For more on the PPP and EIDL loan programs, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is hosting another live virtual town hall tomorrow, July 9, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. to share information about regular unemployment compensation (UC) and other new COVID-19-related benefits programs and give Pennsylvanians the opportunity to ask questions directly of UC experts. People can livestream the event online at https://access.live/PAlabor. Click Here for the L&I news release for details.

- In related news, the dedicated UC Courtesy Phone at the PA CareerLink Clinton County office in Lock Haven has been disabled. Click Here for the PA CareerLink news release which says UC claimants can use several other methods to reach the Unemployment Compensation service centers. While no date has been set for the local CareerLink office to reopen, the news release says plans are being put into place for the reopening and that, once reopened, services will be by appointment only.

- Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services this week issued information on masking as a business requirement. Click Here for the attached DGS flyer for details.

For more on COVID-19 guidance for businesses, visit https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/business-guidance/. This site includes employer information on understanding the symptoms of COVID-19, it offers a safety checklist and printable business safety signs, and outlines how to handle cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and worker protections and responsibilities.

- The outdoor recreation industry is one of Clinton County’s key economic drivers, and today, the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources today highlighted the role that industry has on Pennsylvania’s workforce and economy – even more so in light of COVID-19. See details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=668.

Meanwhile, the PA Department of Health is reminding people to take proper precautions against tick and mosquito bites as they spend time in the outdoors. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=899.

- PennDOT today announced guidance for groups looking to beautify their communities as Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) activities – which had been suspended due to COVID-19 – resume across the state. AAH volunteers must wear masks, practice social distancing, and sanitize their hands. Learn more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=748.

Posted 7/7/20

- A reminder that applications need to be submitted by next Tuesday, July 14, in order to be considered for a grant through the ‘COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program’ for small businesses. This is the first round of funding for the new program, although additional funding rounds are anticipated. Grant applications must be submitted through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). There are two CDFIs that will accept applications from businesses located in Clinton, Lycoming and Centre counties:

- The federally-administered Paycheck Protection Program is once again accepting applications. The program had expired June 30, but Congress and the President last week approved the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, which now gives businesses until August 8 to apply for a PPP loan. A PPP loan is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses and organizations to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan can be forgiven if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

You can apply for a PPP through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. We recommend you talk with your local lender to see if they are participating in the program. View a list of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by state. If you are interested in applying, download a copy of the PPP borrower application form (revised June 24, 2020) to see the information that will be requested from you when you apply with a lender. For more on the PPP, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program#section-header-0.

If you have received a PPP loan, Click here to read more about PPP loan forgiveness.

- The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department this week released detailed loan-level data regarding the loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program. The data covers each of the 4.9 million PPP loans that have been made to date, totaling $521 billion. Learn more: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1052.

More than 165,000 businesses or organizations based in Pennsylvania received federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, intended to support the economy as the U.S. shut down to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The report only identifies borrowers that got more than $150,000 (some 26,000 businesses and organizations). The average loan amount for the entire program was $107,000.

According to an Associated Press analysis of the loan recipients:

  • Prominent among those businesses are full-service restaurant owners, receiving more loans — almost 6,000 — as a business sector than any other in Pennsylvania.
  • Religious organizations, including churches, received more than 4,000, while law firms, dentists’ offices and insurance and real estate agents or brokerages each landed more than 3,000 loans apiece. Limited-service restaurant owners were right behind them, receiving more than 2,900 loans.

- U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin says the Main Street Lending Program is now fully operational and ready to purchase qualifying loans. The Main Street program was established to provide a safety net for small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the pandemic and require bridge financing to get through this challenging period. Mnuchin encouraged all eligible lenders to participate and to begin submitting qualifying loans. For more information on the Main Street Lending Program visit www.bostonfed.org/mslp.

- The Internal Revenue Service today reminds tax-exempt organizations that certain forms they file with the IRS are due next Wednesday, July 15. For organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis, this includes the 2019 Form 990 they would have normally filed on May 15. The upcoming July 15 deadline applies to many forms that were originally due May 15. See more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/reminder-to-tax-exempt-organizations-990s-other-forms-due-july-15-e-file-best-way-to-file.

- The PA Department of Health today confirmed 995 additional positive cases of COVID-19 (note: 643 of those new patients are considered as probable cases), bringing the statewide total to 91,299. The department also noted it is seeing significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases among younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=898.

Meanwhile, state and federal officials joined Governor Tom Wolf in reminding Pennsylvanians to wear a mask to reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/legislators-join-gov-wolf-in-call-for-masking/. The Pa. Department of Health has also issued updated FAQs on the expanded mask order.

- Unable to carry out their summer season due to COVID-19 limitations, Millbrook Playhouse today announced it will host another virtual Millbrook Reunion this Thursday, July 9, at 7:00 p.m. featuring members from their mega-hit musical FUN HOME. Millbrook Artistic Director David Leidholdt catches up with the actors and takes viewers back stage, virtually. Expect a few songs from the production, a Broadway hit musical based on Clinton County native Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel. Click Here To View On Thursday, July 9th at 7PM! The event is free, but donations toward Millbrook’s continued success are appreciated. www.millbrookplayhouse.org.

Posted 7/6/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf continues to remind people that mask-wearing is required and critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/mask-wearing-is-required-and-critical-to-prevent-the-spread-of-covid-19/.

The state is also asking travelers coming from 15 states to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in the Keystone State. A news release from Wolf’s office last week said anyone entering PA from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah “will need to quarantine for 14 days”. It did not say, however, how that directive would be enforced. Likewise, it is recommended to stay home for 14 days if you return from a place with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health today confirmed 450 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 90,304. Although today’s count is the lowest in a number of days, there continues to be spikes in western PA; the number of new cases in Allegheny County increased by 218 overnight. Statewide, there are 6,754 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of one new death reported since yesterday.

- Keystone Central School District this afternoon posted information regarding the reopening of schools. Click on the following KCSD link https://www.kcsd.k12.pa.us/reopening-of-schools-information-f327f547#, which highlights a video, a letter to parents, and frequently asked questions. NOTE: the School District issued a correction to one bit of information in Superintendent Jacque Martin’s video, noting that the first informational meeting will be held Tuesday, July 21, at 8:30 a.m., not Wednesday.

- With local employers having limited ability to meet directly with prospective employees due to COVID restrictions, PA CareerLink Clinton County has created a virtual option. The second round of First Quality-hosted ‘Get To Know’ sessions will be held this Wednesday and Thursday, July 8 and 9. The virtual sessions, sponsored by PA CareerLink Clinton County, provide great information for anyone interested in working at First Quality or people wanting to learn more about Clinton County's largest employer. Click Here for details on this week’s sessions. Other local employers interested in hosting a ‘Get to Know’ session can contact PA CareerLink representative Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Governor Wolf announced today that 309 nonprofit arts organizations will receive grants totaling $2.3 million to help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds from the CARES Act support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) distributed $1.8 million to 36 organizations that will each receive a $50,000 grant (none local). The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts distributed the remaining $527,000 to 273 organizations – including Millbrook Playhouse in Mill Hall – that will each receive a $1,930 grant. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-arts-organizations-receive-2-3-million-in-pandemic-relief/.

- The state also today announced $53 million in additional financial support for child care providers that have suffered during COVID-19. Last month, the state distributed $51 million in CARES Act Child Care Development Funds to eligible child care providers. The $53 million announced today is also from CARES Act funding and will be distributed this month. Another $116 million from Act 24 will be distributed in the coming months, bringing the total sum of financial support to $220 million. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-53-million-in-additional-support-for-child-care-providers/.

- As the 2019 tax filing and payment deadline approaches, the IRS reminds taxpayers and businesses that 2019 income tax liabilities as well as postponed April 15 and June 15, 2020 estimated tax payments are due next Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-july-15-tax-payment-deadline-approaching-plan-on-scheduling-multiple-payments-now

In non-COVID-related news….

- PennDOT today alerted motorists that repairs to the structural steel on a Route 220 bridge in Clinton County are set to begin tomorrow. The bridge spans Bald Eagle Creek approximately two miles east of Mill Hall. Starting tomorrow, motorists will encounter alternating closures of the right (travel) and left (passing) lanes in the northbound and southbound lanes. Click Here for the PennDOT news release for more on the project.

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released the draft 2020 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, detailing the health of Pennsylvania’s 86,000 plus miles of streams and rivers and more than 160,000 acres of lakes. The draft report is open for public comment until August 11, 2020, and comments can be made through the DEP eComment system. Learn more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21832&typeid=1.

Posted 7/2/20

- The U.S. House of Representatives voted by unanimous consent to pass a Senate bill that would extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through August 8. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. NOTE: This bill does not change the PPP; it simply extends the window to apply for a PPP loan for another five weeks. The PPP, a federal program through the CARES Act, allows businesses to apply for forgivable loans through local lenders, that can be used to keep employees on the payroll and for other specific costs. The window to apply for a PPP loan closed June 30. Recent reports note there is still about $130 billion in available funding, hence Congress’s move to open the application window for another five weeks.

- PennDOT today issued two late afternoon news releases (click the links below):

Posted 7/2/20

The last Pennsylvania county in the yellow reopening phase, Lebanon County, will move to green tomorrow, July 3, putting all 67 counties in the least restrictive reopening phase.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court yesterday upheld Governor Tom Wolf’s COVID emergency declaration, ruling that an attempt by Republican state lawmakers to end the Governor’s pandemic shutdown orders is unconstitutional. The majority opinion, written by Justice David Wecht, joined by three of his colleagues, comes less than a month after the House and Senate passed a resolution that sought to topple the declaration that Wolf issued on March 6.

- Amidst a spike in COVID cases in a couple areas of the state, Governor Wolf yesterday announced that state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has signed a new order that takes the mask-wearing directive one step further, requiring masks to be worn whenever anyone leaves home. According to the new order, masks are mandatory in all public spaces, effective immediately. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-sec-of-health-signs-expanded-mask-wearing-order/?utm_source=PRLA+Prospects&utm_campaign=b2c0bae7a6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_cvupdate_july1_pspts&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4292e72792-b2c0bae7a6-200132363. Again today – in advance of the July 4 holiday weekend - the Governor emphasized the importance of wearing a mask: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-wear-a-mask-pennsylvania/.

The Department of Health today confirmed an additional 832 positive cases of COVID-19, bring the statewide total to nearly 81,000. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=892.

The Health Department this week distributed the sixth shipment of the investigational antiviral medication, remdesivir, to treat COVID-19 patients in the hospital. More than 3,100 doses of medication were sent to 80 hospitals yesterday. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=891.

Pennsylvania closed out its fiscal year Tuesday with a $3.2 billion shortfall, with revenues falling 9 percent below official estimates as the state continues to grapple with the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Revenue-Details.aspx?newsid=319.

With the upcoming July 15 deadline to file 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers who need help with their returns to call the department’s main call center at 717-787-8201. The call center will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays through July 15 to assist taxpayers who need help with their returns. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Revenue-Details.aspx?newsid=320.

- The PA Departments of Labor & Industry and Human Services are reminding Pennsylvanians that state assistance is available when the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides an extra $600 per week to everyone receiving unemployment benefit payments, ends July 25, 2020. Under federal guidelines, the week ending Saturday, July 25, 2020, will be the final claim week for the additional $600 payments. Eligible claimants who are waiting on FPUC payments for any claim weeks from April 4 through July 25 will receive those payments. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=468.

Related to Clinton County….

Applications are currently being accepted for the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program, which offers grants for small businesses to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses have until July 14 to apply during the first round of funding, and applications must be submitted through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDF). The two CDFIs accepting applications from Clinton and surrounding counties are The Progress Fund, www.progressfund.org, and the Reinvestment Fund, www.reinvestment.comThe Progress Fund has established a call center to answer questions and provide guidance to applicants who are using their application portal. People can call 724-216-9160, then press 6.

- As part of the local recovery effort, the Partnership is partnering with the City of Lock Haven to gauge the impact of an initiative to bring more foot traffic into Lock Haven’s downtown business district through the Friday/Saturday closing of sections of Main and Grove Streets to vehicle traffic. We encourage you to complete the Lock Haven Pedestrian Walkway Survey by Clicking Here and return it by this Sunday, July 5. Partnership members are welcome to email their completed survey to our office via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Motorists who travel Route 220 are advised that lane restrictions will be implemented next week in Woodward and Piatt Townships, Lycoming County. Work will be conducted during off-peak hours to minimize traffic impacts and will include shoulder widening, sewer relocation and overhead utility relocation. Miscellaneous construction activities will continue through the next week. Motorists can expect alternating lane closures during off-peak hours. Learn more: https://www.penndot.gov/regionaloffices/district-3/pages/details.aspx?newsid=2994.

Posted 7/1/20

- The first window for applications opened yesterday for a new statewide grant program for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Businesses interested in applying must do so through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The CDFI accepting applications for Clinton County and the rest of the counties within the PA Wilds Region is The Progress Fund, www.progressfund.org, which last night offered several tips for successfully navigating the application portal. Click Here for the Progress Fund Application Tips. Use this link to get to their grant application page: https://www.progressfund.org/grants-for-small-businesses/

The Philadelphia-based Reinvestment Fund, www.reinvestment.com, is another CDFI that will accept grants from Clinton County Businesses (they are accepting grants from all counties). Click on the following links for details from their website: Apply NowProgram GuideFact Sheet (English).

- In the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases in some other parts of the state, PA Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians of the requirements put in place for restaurants and bars to protect the health and safety of workers and patrons from COVID-19, including wearing masks and operating at 50 percent of capacity. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-restaurants-and-bars-required-to-protect-workers-and-patrons-during-covid-19/.

- Locally, the Partnership is partnering with the City of Lock Haven to gauge the impact of an initiative to bring more foot traffic into Lock Haven’s downtown business district through the Friday/Saturday closing of sections of Main and Grove Streets to vehicle traffic. We encourage you to complete the Lock Haven Pedestrian Walkway Survey by Clicking Here and return it by this Sunday, July 5. Partnership members are welcome to email their completed survey to our office via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- First Quality kicked off the first “Get to Know’ session earlier today and is offering another information session today at 5pm. PA CareerLink Clinton County recently established these virtual sessions so job seekers can become familiar with local employers, during times when in-person meetings are difficult. Anyone interested in learning more about First Quality can participate in today’s 5pm session using the link: https://paiu.zoom.us/j/96488263420. Those unable to join via computer can also call in at 1-855-880-1246 or 1-877-369-0926. The session includes a presentation followed by Questions & Answers.

Businesses interested in more information on the ‘Get to Know’ program can Click Here or contact PA CareerLink representative Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- PennDOT’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) announced today that it is accepting unsolicited proposals for transportation projects from the private sector through July 31. PennDOT usually holds an unsolicited proposal period in April and October each year. However, due to COVID-19, the April submission period was postponed until July. Details here: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=747.

- The state today announced more than 310,000 Pennsylvanians have received their Property Tax/Rent Rebate program rebates early, to provide support during the pandemic. The program provides support to older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/more-than-310000-pennsylvanians-receive-rebates-early-to-provide-support-during-covid-19-pandemic/.

Posted 6/30/20

- Clinton County’s unemployment rate dropped more than four percentage points during the month of May, according to information released today by the state Department of Labor & Industry. The May unemployment rate for Clinton County was 11.7%, down from the 16.1% registered in April, the first full month after the mid-March shutdown because of the pandemic.  There were an estimated 2,100 people unemployed in May, down from the 2,800 listed in April. In March, the rate was 7.3% with 1,300 unemployed, and the rate one year ago was 5.2% with 900 unemployed.

Clinton County ranked no. 20 out of the 67 counties with May’s 11.7%, and Centre County was listed no. 1 with 8.3%. Cameron County was no. 67 with a 20.3% unemployment rate for May. Clinton County, for the first time in recent memory, had a better unemployment rate than the state (13.1%) and the country (13.3%). The county also had a better unemployment rate than five of the seven nearby counties, coming in only behind Centre and Union County.

“Based on the June claims information, the next monthly report should be even better, but we can’t forget that we still had some 800 people out of work at the end of May as compared to just two months before,” said Clinton County Economic Partnership President Mike Flanagan. “On one hand, we are slowly getting back in the batter’s box following the shutdown, but we still had a double digit month for unemployment, something we have not seen locally for two months in a row since 1994.”

​- The PA Department of Labor & Industry today announced that people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC) and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) may now qualify for 13 additional weeks of payments through the state's Unemployment Compensation Extended Benefits program. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=467.

- The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program is now open. Pennsylvania small businesses with 25 or fewer full-time employees, have annual revenues of $1 million or less, and were economically impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for relief. Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Applications must be submitted through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The Progress Fund based out of Greensburg, PA, and the Reinvestment Fund out of Philadelphia are the two CDFIs that are accepting applications from Clinton County businesses. There were some reports that the application portals were overwhelmed today (the first day to apply). This first application window will open for ten business days. There will be a total of four applications rounds, and applications will be prioritized and selected for funding based on the program criteria.

- The PA Department of Health today launched a COVID-19 online early warning monitoring dashboard. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=888.

-​ The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today called on licensed liquor establishments and their patrons to abide by social distancing and masking requirements to help slow the spread of COVID-19. See more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=584.

- As Pennsylvania continues to reopen, PennDOT and the State Police are reminding Pennsylvanians to celebrate responsibly ahead of the Independence Day holiday. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=746.

- With the July 4th weekend and some of the downtown businesses observing shortened hours due to the holiday, the City will not close off Main Street to vehicle traffic this Friday and Saturday, meaning the opening of the street to foot traffic and outdoor dining on the street will take a weekend off. Because Main Street will be open to vehicle traffic, the city’s regular Friday night summer concert moves to Triangle Park this weekend. The 6:00 p.m. concert features the John Stevens Polka Band. There is no Sunday night concert scheduled this weekend at the Corman Amphitheater along Jay Street. For more on the city’s Summer Concert Series, visit www.lockhavenpa.gov.

- General contractors have an opportunity to perform housing rehabilitation work with SEDA-COG. Contractors are especially needed in Bloomsburg, Milton, and Shamokin, but SEDA-COG also does housing rehabilitation work in Lock Haven, Jersey Shore, South Williamsport, Berwick, Mount Carmel and Sunbury, and in Juniata, Montour, Snyder and Sullivan counties. Housing rehabilitation bids typically range from $20,000 to $65,000, with timely payment to contractors. Contractor work may include structural, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating/furnace, window replacement, radon mitigation, energy-related improvements, and, if they have certain certifications, lead-based paint mitigation. Contact SEDA-COG’s Danielle King at 570-524-4491 ext. 7325 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Read more here.

Meanwhile, residents in the City of Lock Haven and the Borough of Jersey Shore may be eligible to receive no-cost home repairs through a program coordinated through SEDA-COG. Eligible repairs include structural, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating/furnace, window replacement, radon and lead-based paint mitigation, and energy-related improvements. Also included are modifications for mobility-impaired residents. There is no cost to homeowners who maintain home residency over a five-year period from the date of signing. Interested homeowners are encouraged to get on the wait lists now by contacting SEDA-COG’s Stacy Anderson at 800-326-9310 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Renters and homeowners financially impacted by the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic are now able to access applications for rent and mortgage relief. As of June 29, applications are available through the PA Housing Finance Agency’s website at www.PHFA.org, and completed applications can be submitted for review starting Monday, July 6. Learn more: https://www.phfa.org/forms/press_releases/2020/phfa-caresfundingreminder-final-06262020.pdf.

- The PA Department of Human Services today encouraged Pennsylvanians to make socially responsible decisions that protect themselves, their families, their communities and vulnerable populations, such as individuals with disabilities, from the COVID-19 virus. They also announced that starting tomorrow, July 1, funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will begin to go out to long-term care, LIFE program, personal assistance service providers as well as Community HealthChoices (CHC) managed care organizations. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=561.

- The PA Attorney General’s Office today announced it has saved $1.65 Million for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/pa-attorney-generals-office-has-saved-1-65-million-for-consumers-during-covid-19-pandemic/.

The AG’s office also announced a partnership with Summer, a social enterprise, to provide free student loan assistance for all residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Details here: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/ag-shapiro-announces-partnership-aimed-to-unlock-100m-in-student-loan-savings-for-all-pennsylvanians-during-by-covid-19-pandemic/.

Posted 6/29/20

- A state grant program to assist small Main Street-type businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns launches tomorrow, June 30, at 9 a.m., and officials say more than 60 communities in the Pennsylvania Wilds are targeted for investment. Click Here for PA Wilds region news release “COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program Launches Tomorrow” for details you should know if you are considering applying for a grant.

The $225 million statewide program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19. It targets Main Street type businesses with 25 or fewer employees and annual gross revenue of $1 million or less. Hard-hit sectors, including retail, food and hospitality, health and wellness, personal care businesses (such as salons), and child and adult day care, are a priority under the program. Click Here for COVID-19 Relief FACT SHEET provides further details on the grant program. 

Those interested in applying for this grant need to make application through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). There are two CDFIs in the state that are accepting applications from small businesses in Clinton, as well as Centre and Lycoming counties. The grant application will be on their website:

  • The Progress Fund – www.progressfund.org (Counties Served: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland).
  • Reinvestment Fund – www.reinvestment.com (Counties Served: All Counties).

Meanwhile, PA Governor Tom Wolf also promoted the new grant program today. Read here for details: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-cares-act-funding-for-small-businesses-available-tomorrow/.

- The deadline to apply for a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan is tomorrow, June 30. This Inc. magazine article highlights reasons why businesses might want to consider applying: https://www.inc.com/brit-morse/ppp-loan-application-deadline-small-business.html?utm_source=incthismorning.

- The national Centers for Disease Control updated a number of COVID-19 guidelines over the weekend. Click here for an overview: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/whats-new-all.html

- The Pennsylvania departments of Health and Human Services over the weekend issued updated guidance to ensure a safe return to activities, visitation, and other events for residents in nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living residences and private intermediate care facilities. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=882.

Both departments also emphasized the work being done through testing, education and resources to assist long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 to protect residents and staff living and working in these congregate care facilities. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=881.

- UPMC recently provided information on how Contact Tracing is used in the fight against COVID-19. In contact tracing, trained investigators interview someone who has become ill with an infectious disease. These interviews attempt to find out whom the sick person was in close contact with while infected. Those people are then notified of their potential exposure and are given instructions on what they can do to avoid spreading the disease. Click here to read the article: https://share.upmc.com/2020/06/contact-tracing-for-covid19/?emb=CTA1Button_contact-tracing_4&et_cid=823094&et_rid=1472996&utm_medium=email&utm_source=salesforce&utm_campaign=healthbeat-newsletter&utm_content=HealthBeat-Newsletter-062520&em_id=sc_HealthBeat-Newsletter-062520_Jun-20_e1

- The PA Attorney General’s office today announced they have stopped illegal price gouging by an Amazon.com third party seller called Goods And More Incorporated (“Goods And More”), based in Scranton. Learn more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/ag-shapiro-stops-price-gouging-on-amazon-by-scranton-seller/

- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today announced it has resumed expanded E-Commerce sales at www.FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=583.

Posted 6/26/20

- Keystone Central School District today announced that three different school environments – Learning at Home; Hybrid Learning; and Learning at School with precautions in place – will be offered when the school year resumes. Click Here for updated information.

- By way of a local workforce update from Partnership President Mike Flanagan: Clinton County’s job numbers continued to improve for the week ending June 30, according to PA Department of Labor and Industry. A total of 68 people filed for an initial claim during that week, which is the lowest weekly number since the pandemic began. The “continued” claims also went down significantly, dropping 599 to 1,361 in just a week’s time. The May county unemployment rate should be released June 30. The April rate was 16.6%, the highest in almost 40 years.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Lebanon County is slated to move to the green phase of reopening next Friday, July 3, putting all 67 counties in green. Twelve counties moved to green today, joining 54 others (including Clinton) already in the least restrictive phase of reopening. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-last-pa-county-will-move-to-green-on-july-3/.

The Governor also reminded all Pennsylvania residents and businesses that masks are mandatory when visiting a business: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-masks-are-mandatory-in-pennsylvania-businesses/.

The $225 million ‘COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program’ program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by the pandemic. It targets Main Street type businesses with 25 or fewer employees and annual gross revenue of $1M or less. The application window for the first round of funding is slated to open Tuesday morning, June 30. Click here for the latest details on the grant program.

- The PA Department of Community and Economic Development today announced that the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority (PMBDA), and Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) are extending business loan deferrals by three additional calendar months. Details here: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-business-loan-deferrals-extended-for-three-months/.

- Governor Wolf today announced the availability of $20 million in grant funding for cultural organizations and museums to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-cares-act-funding-now-available-to-museums-and-cultural-organizations/.

- PennDOT this week announced that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, and learner's permits, will be extended until July 31, 2020, for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=744..

Posted 6/25/20

- As of midnight, most of Pennsylvania will be in the “green” reopening phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine this afternoon signed amended green phase orders for the next 12 counties moving to green tomorrow. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/reopening-phase-orders-updated-to-include-12-additional-counties-moving-to-green-on-june-26/.

- There are still funds available through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), created to help businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, but the opportunity to apply is drawing short; the program will close this coming Tuesday, June 30. The federal rules for the program state, “Specifically, small businesses that have yet to apply for and receive a PPP loan need to be informed of the terms of PPP loans as soon as possible, because the last day on which a lender can obtain an SBA loan number for a PPP loan is June 30, 2020.”

The PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Small businesses, nonprofits, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed, are eligible to apply, and applications are made through eligible local lenders. For more on the PPP, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

-  A state grant program, the COVID-19 Relief Grant for Small Businesses, is slated to begin accepting applications this coming Tuesday, June 30. For the first funding round, the application window will be open for only 10 business days. While the grants will be reviewed based on a set of criteria, not first-come, first served, we encourage businesses interested in applying to review the guidelines and be ready to apply when the application window opens next week. The program is for small businesses with 25 or fewer FTE (full-time equivalent) employees. Grants between $5,000 and $50,000 will be available. Applicants must apply through a Pennsylvania Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and there are two CDFIs that will accept applications from Clinton and surrounding counties – The Progress Fund based out of Greensburg, PA, and The Reinvestment Fund out of Philadelphia.

  • Progress Fund – www.progressfund.org (Counties Served: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland).
  • Reinvestment Fund – www.reinvestment.com (Counties Served: All Counties).

The grant program is administered through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), which also has information on the program: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-relief-statewide-small-business-assistance/.

- Lock Haven University will resume on-campus visits for perspective students beginning July 13, and the opening date of classes for the fall semester will be August 24, as originally planned. Click Here for the news releases.

- The PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) is waging an educational campaign, asking the business community to remain vigilant in requiring employees as well as customers to wear masks. Click Here for DCED information.

Governor Wolf this week reaffirmed the need to continue wearing face masks, and today, that call was also endorsed by some Pennsylvania businesses. See more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-pennsylvania-businesses-endorse-mask-wearing-to-protect-employees-customers-communities/.

- UPMC leaders yesterday held a press conference to provide updated data on COVID-19 in the communities UPMC serves and discuss ongoing preparations for the fall. Dr. Donald Yealy, UPMC senior medical director and chair of the Department of Emergency medicine at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, said total coronavirus cases in the state have been on a downward trend for weeks and suggested the country is focusing too much on rising COVID-19 case counts. “We need to change our mindset and focus not exclusively on the number of cases, but on the severity of illness. We shouldn’t just be counting those who have a diagnosed infection,” Yealy said. “For the vast majority of people testing positive, their illness is mild, or they don’t even know they have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection.”

Tami Minnier, chief quality officer at UPMC said the health system is preparing for a potential uptick in COVID-19 cases in the fall. She said people need to stay vigilant and emphasized that continued social distancing, wearing masks, and handwashing is the right thing to do. Listen to a video recording of the 35-minute update here: https://www.upmc.com/coronavirus.

- The PA Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are partnering with CVS Health to offer COVID-19 testing services to skilled nursing facilities statewide, free of charge. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=877.

- The PA Department of Human Services today discussed application and enrollment trends for public assistance programs and reminded Pennsylvanians that public assistance programs are still available. Anyone who may need help with buying groceries, accessing health care, and affording other basic necessities are encouraged to apply for assistance. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=556.

DHS today also advised Medicaid providers that Medicaid recipients may not be charged for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in connection with medical or dental services. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=557.

- In news regarding a highly contagious disease in not humans, but deer, the PA Game Commission today announced it is expanding its three Disease Management Areas across the state in an effort to control  Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The areas are geographic regions featuring special rules for hunters and the general public meant to slow the disease’s spread while increasing chances of detecting it. The expanded areas move into nearby counties including Centre and Clearfield. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=404

- As states continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including economic recovery efforts, Governor Wolf and a bipartisan coalition of 11 governors today urged the president and Congressional leaders to make critical investments to ensure that all Americans have access to broadband internet connectivity. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-leads-bipartisan-effort-in-calling-on-president-congressional-leaders-to-invest-in-broadband-internet-access/.

Posted 6/24/20

- A new State Grant program for small businesses is preparing to launch, and we are encouraging businesses interested in applying to prepare now. Guidelines are being finalized for the recently announced ‘COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program.’ Here’s what we know so far: the program will provide grants ranging from $5000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19, and it targets businesses with fewer than 25 employees and less than $1M in annual gross revenue. Full guidelines are expected to be available by this Friday, June 26, and the application window for the first round of funding is expected to open this coming Tuesday, June 30. The application period will be open only for 10 business days, so we are encouraging people to look at the information available right now and start preparing to apply (applications will still be accepted after the initial window closes, but will be considered for future rounds of funding to be announced at a later date).

The PA Department of Community & Economic Development oversees the new program, but the funds are being administered through the state’s network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). An organization called The Progress Fund is the CDFI that will accept grant applications from businesses in Clinton County, as well as other counties in the central and western part of the state. The Progress Fund website currently lists background on the new grant program and highlights who is eligible, how you can prepare an application, and how to apply. Use the following link to get to The Progress Fund’s website page for the program: https://www.progressfund.org/grants-for-small-businesses/.

Another informational website for prospective applicants has been created by the statewide CDFI Network that is administering the program: https://pabusinessgrants.com/. The site also allows you to sign up to be included on a mailing list to receive information about the program.

The PA Wilds Center, which helps promote tourism-related businesses in the PA Wilds Region (which includes Clinton County), also encourages businesses to apply. “We are encouraging outfitters, lodges, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, B&Bs, retailers, makers, craft ag food producers, creative services companies and other small Main Street type businesses in the PA Wilds that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns to apply to this program,” says Ta Enos, PA Wilds Center Founder and CEO. “PA Wilds Center has teamed up with The Progress Fund, the CDFI serving the PA Wilds region, to get COVID grant funds into the important tourism economy of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Tourism is a $1.8B industry that makes up 11 percent of the regional economy and has been impacted due to closures and restrictions on travel, as highlighted in the Center’s recent white paper.”

- The Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury updated their rule for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness. For those who may be interested, there are still funds available through this program, which is administered through local lenders. For more information on the PPP, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also offers updated guidance on both PPP Loan Forgiveness, as well as the Main Street Lending Program:

  • Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness- Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. This guide is designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.
  •  Guide To The Main Street Lending Program - The MSLP will provide a total of $600 billion in financing for small and medium-sized businesses. This guide outlines how businesses can check eligibility and what they need to do to get ready to apply.

- PennDOT has issued an update on two bridge replacements along Route 150 in Beech Creek, noting that traffic pattern changes will begin tomorrow, June 25. Click Here for PennDOT news release.

- If you are looking to get out of the house but avoid large crowds, consider taking a local Mountain Laurel Driving Tour. Developed by the Partnership’s Visitors Bureau in collaboration with DCNR’s Sproul Forestry Office, this approximate 60-mile driving tour takes you through some beautiful sections of the county during what currently is peak time for the bloom of our state flower. Click here for driving tour directions.

Posted 6/23/20

- PA Govermor Tom Wolf has released updated Frequently Asked Questions for businesses operating during the COVID-19 disaster emergency. Updates of note include face shields, mask requirements, and temperature screening. UPDATED FAQS

The Governor today said research confirms the importance of wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 and he confirmed that Pennsylvanians are required to wear masks when entering any business in all counties in both yellow and green phases of reopening. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-masks-help-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19/.

The state’s business guidance outlines mask-wearing requirements and additional safety parameters for both employees and customers.

- The Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced more than 4,000 close contacts of COVID-19 cases have been identified and monitored to date through the contact tracing efforts of 500 trained contact tracers throughout the state, including 130 state health nurses. These efforts include the support from the six county health departments and four municipal health departments who have primary responsibility for all efforts inside their jurisdiction.

- The PA Insurance Department today issued a notice to insurers highlighting inappropriate billing practices. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Insurance-Details.aspx?newsid=430.

- Governor Wolf says the state has reduced prison population by a record-setting 3,471 since March 1 and prevented an outbreak of COVID-19 in correctional facilities. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-pennsylvania-reduced-prison-population-by-record-setting-3471-since-march-1/.

Meanwhile, the Governor is thanking food banks, farmers, volunteers and others across the state for helping to feed Pennsylvania families during the pandemic. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-thanks-pennsylvanias-food-banks-for-helping-those-in-need/.

- PA CareerLink® Clinton County next Tuesday will kick off a new virtual program aimed at allowing job seekers a chance to ‘Get To Know’ local employers. In our update yesterday, we listed correct dates, but incorrect days for the initial sessions, which are scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, June 30 and July 1 featuring First Quality. The Get to Know information sessions feature employers discussing their business, an overview of work at the business and available positions, benefits and perks. Attendees will gain insight into what the business is looking for in their employees and have a chance to ask questions. Click Here for the Get to Know session flyer, and for more on the new program contact PA CareerLink representative Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- PA CareerLink is currently enrolling new participants between the ages of 16 to 24 in their ‘YES to the Future’ Out of School Youth Program. The program assists young people with employment and educational goals, offering opportunities such as Paid Internships, Career Exploration, and Job Shadowing. Eligible individuals receive one on one support and guidance throughout their enrollment as well as follow up services to assist them after they have met their goals. Click Here for the Yes to the Future flyer or contact Yes to the Future Career Counselor Tammy Swortwood-Hoffman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-380-3806.

- The Salvation Army in Lock Haven will soon be resuming a number of their programs, but with changes, including the More than Bread lunch program, their feeding program for those in need, and their annual bookbag distribution for youth in grades K-12. Click Here for specifics.

- When the CARES Act was passed back in late March, much attention was paid to the relief given to small businesses by the Paycheck Protection Program. But another, lesser-known part of the bill is also providing for many small-business owners who are smart enough to take advantage of a significant opportunity. That portion has to do with a loan program from the Small Business Administration. The program, called Section 7(a), has been in existence for many years. And like the Paycheck Protection Program, it's delivered through the SBA's member lenders. But, unlike PPP, this is not a grant program. It's a loan that can be used for purchasing equipment and real estate, and even to acquire another company. Or it can be used just for working capital. Because the loans are backed by the SBA, bankers can provide this crucial type of financing for small businesses that otherwise wouldn't be able to receive the help. Now, thanks to the CARES Act, these loans are even more enticing. That's because for any Section 7(a) loan closed before Sept. 27, 2020, the CARES Act provides for the forgiveness of the first six months of both principal and interest payments, plus any related fees, for the borrower. In real terms, it means that a small-business owner can save about $33,000 on a $500,000 loan. To qualify for this loan — that lets you borrow as much as $5 million — you must have fewer than 500 employees or less than $7.5 million in average annual receipts. You must operate as a for-profit business, be based in the United States, and not be delinquent on any debt (such as taxes) owed to the government. Read More in this newspaper report from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

- In non-COVID-19-related news, Centre County Republican Kerry Benninghoff was elected on Monday as the majority leader in the GOP-controlled PA House of Representatives. Benninghoff, 58, has served as majority whip in the House since last year. He is in his 24th year of service in the House. Prior to his election as whip, Benninghoff served two terms as Republican Policy Committee chairman for two terms as well as chaired the finance and state government committees. He succeeds floor leader Rep. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster County, who was elevated on Monday to become speaker and now presides over the chamber. The mid-term caucus elections were triggered by former House Speaker Mike Turzai's mid-term resignation on June 15 from his House seat to take a job as general counsel at Peoples, a Pittsburgh-based gas utility. Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion County, was elected to serve as majority whip to fill the vacancy created by Benninghoff's election as majority leader. Oberlander had been serving as majority policy committee chairwoman. These newly elected leaders will serve for the remainder of the legislative session, which ends in November. With Benninghoff's election, that means Centre County will now have two members of its delegation in majority leader positions. Sen. Jake Corman is the majority leader in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Posted 6/22/20

Clinton County Updates:

- PA CareerLink® Clinton County has announced a new virtual program aimed at allowing job seekers a chance to ‘Get To Know’ local employers. The Get to Know information sessions feature employers discussing their business, an overview of work at the business and available positions, benefits and perks. Attendees will gain insight into what the business is looking for in their employees and have a chance to ask questions. The first Get To Know sessions, featuring First Quality, will be next Wednesday and Thursday, June 30 and July 1. Click Here for the Get to Know session flyer, and for more on the new program contact PA CareerLink representative Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- PennDOT today announced that a culvert replacement project over Little Plum Run is slated for early July. The project will necessitate the closure of Weaver Hill Road, Dunnstable Township, at the culvert site, starting July 6, and a detour will be in place during the work. Click Here for the PennDOT news release and map of the project site/detour.

Statewide Updates:

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection today announced a new online permit application tool to assist businesses. The new tool, OnBase-DEP Upload Form, will allow applicants to submit applications for all DEP authorizations. Learn more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21828&typeid=1.

- The state’s Independent Fiscal Office this week provided a clearer fiscal picture as Pennsylvania gradually reopens, and economic experts are paying close attention to revenue collections in the coming weeks and months to get a fuller picture of Pennsylvania's post-pandemic economic recovery. Read more in this article from the PA Chamber: https://www.pachamber.org/media/3127/IFO_Provides_Clearer_Fiscal_Picture_of_PA/

- While county-level unemployment figures for May aren’t expected out until next week, there continues to be signs of a recovering Pennsylvania economy. Click Here for the Jobless rate article and more on statewide unemployment statistics.

- PennDOT is reminding customers that beginning today, any customer in need of an appointment for a skills test, including motorcycle skills tests, may now schedule online by visiting www.dmv.pa.gov or by contacting the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services Call Center at 717-412-5300. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=743.

Posted 6/19/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced that 12 more counties will move to the green phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic next Friday, June 26. They include Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Susquehanna. When that happens next week, all counties with the exception of Lebanon County will be in the green reopening phase. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-12-more-counties-to-go-green-on-june-26/.

The Governor Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine last night signed amended green phase orders for the 8 counties that moved to green today, June 19. Currently, 54 counties are in the green reopening phase.

- Clinton County continued to see a slight improvement in employment numbers issued today by the state Department of Labor and Industry. The continued unemployment insurance claims filed by county residents declined for the sixth straight week during the time of the coronavirus, with 1,960 on the continued claims list for the week ending June 13,  down 40 from a week prior.  Of the 1,960, 53%  were females, 21% were in the food/accommodations sector, and 22% were ages 25 to 34. The high mark throughout the virus period took place during the week ending May 2, when 3,211 were on the continued claim rolls.

Regarding initial weekly claims, 92 residents filed for the first time, up from the 80 for the week ending June 6. Of the 92,  55% were male, 24% came from the warehousing/transportation sector, and 24% were between the ages of 45 to 54.  The high initial claims number came during the week ending April 4 with 1,049 residents filing for jobless benefits.

Partnership President Mike Flanagan said, “The good news is that the continued claim numbers continue to go down but we are still some 1,000 or more above what the numbers were pre-virus and pre-shutdown. Also, having 92 people file for an initial claim in the middle of June probably goes against historical trends, but these are different times. Nevertheless it appears many are or have been going back to work since the continued claims are down some 1,250 people since its peak in early April.”

Labor & Industry released the state’s unemployment rate for May, which checked in at 13.1%, three full points down from April’s reading. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=465. The local area data for the month of May is expected to be released on or around June 30. The April unemployment rate for Clinton County was 16.6%, the highest since 1983, and more than double the March reading of 7.9%.

- The City of Lock Haven continues to “Open the Downtown” this afternoon and tomorrow, part of an effort to permit restaurants and retailers to do business on the sidewalks and parking spaces in front of their businesses. Main Street between Jay and Grove Streets closes to vehicle traffic this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. until tomorrow, Saturday night at 9:00. A portable stage at the intersection of Main and Grove Streets will feature several bands (weather permitting), including Private Stock tonight at 6pm, sponsored by the Texas Restaurant and Stella A’s Bar & Grill. Saturday, Gino Lundy will play at 5:00 p.m. followed by Jason Dumm at 7:00 p.m. For more, visit www.lockhavenpa.gov.

The City’s Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series will begin next Friday, June 26, with the group Big Willy playing at the Main/Grove Streets stage. Click Here for the Summer Concert Schedule.

- The PA Department of Health has applied for a more than $301 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to strengthen state and local public health capacity in Pennsylvania. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=867.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health distributed the fifth shipment of the investigational antiviral medication, remdesivir, to treat patients in the hospital with COVID-19. Today, 4,788 doses of medication were sent to 82 hospitals (including UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport, Geisinger Medical Center, and Mt. Nittany Medical Center in the region). Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=868.

- Amidst opposing views on whether Governor Wolf’s disaster declaration is still necessary, two more state officials today noted the importance of that declaration. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said the declaration helps Pennsylvanians get needed services. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=390. Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) director Randy Padfield said the emergency declaration is needed to continue commonwealth response efforts and make state, county and local governments eligible for federal reimbursement of costs associated with the COVID-19 response. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PEMA-Details.aspx?newsid=141.

- The Internal Revenue Service today released information to help retirement plan participants affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus take advantage of the CARES Act provisions providing enhanced access to plan distributions and plan loans. Learn more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/relief-for-taxpayers-affected-by-covid-19-who-take-distributions-or-loans-from-retirement-plans.

- The Mill Hall Walmart continues to serve as one of more than 250 COVID-19 testing sites situated in Walmart parking lots across 31 states. To date, more than 83,000 people have been tested at those sites alone. The drive-through testing site allows people administer the tests themselves while in their vehicle and under observation of a healthcare professional. The local site is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 to 9am, and tests are by appointment only. People must qualify by meeting guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers, others with symptoms of COVID-19 and those in high risk groups without symptoms. The Mill Hall site is operated through Quest Diagnostics. Click HERE for more information, or visit MyQuestCOVIDTest.com.

- For a limited time, the American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies as an additional health service to donors. This testing will provide critical insight into whether donors may have possibly been exposed to this coronavirus. An antibody test screens for antibodies in your blood, which are formed when fighting an infection, like COVID-19. An antibody test assesses whether your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present. The COVID-19 antibody test is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Learn more: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/covid-19-antibody-testing.html.

Over the next couple of weeks, American Red Cross Blood Drives are scheduled locally on June 29 at the Big Woods Bible Church on Hanna St. in Lock Haven, and on July 1 at the Porter Township Building along Spring Run Rd., Mill Hall. For a list of upcoming Red Cross Blood Drives near you, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.

Posted 6/18/20

- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this week announced a new "EZ" version of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application that's more borrower-friendly. An article in INC. magazine says the EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. The "EZ" application is not for everyone. Here's a rundown of EZ's eligibility requirements:

  • Borrowers who are self-employed and have no employees.
  • Borrowers who have employees, but did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25 percent, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees.
  • Borrowers who experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to Covid-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25 percent.

For those eligible to use the EZ PPP loan forgiveness application: Click here to download the Paycheck Protection Program EZ Loan Forgiveness Application (06-16-2020) and Click here to download instructions for the Paycheck Protection Program EZ Loan Forgiveness Application.

For all others: Click here to download the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (06-16-2020) and  Click here to download instructions for the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (06-16-2020).

- Another eight PA counties move from yellow to the green reopening phase at midnight tonight, and as of tomorrow, 54 of the state’s 67 counties will be in green (including Clinton, Lycoming and Centre counties), with the remaining counties in the yellow phase. The Governor’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania outlines remaining restrictions for both phases.

Governor Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians that mask-wearing is required when entering any business in all counties in both yellow and green phases of reopening. He said masks are considered critical in stopping the spread of COVID, now and in preparation for a possible resurgence of the virus in the fall. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-mask-wearing-is-required-critical-to-stop-covid-19-spread/.

- As counties across Pennsylvania move into the green phase and teenagers begin summer employment, the PA Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is reminding Pennsylvanians that the state’s Child Labor Law limits working hours and the types of work that may be performed by minors. L&I is also urging businesses hiring minors to continue following COVID-19 social distancing and mitigation recommendations to ensure their health and safety. More information here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=887.

- L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today highlighted the importance of Governor Wolf's disaster declaration to help Pennsylvanians who are out of work get unemployment compensation benefits and reduce costs for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prematurely ending the disaster declaration, said Oleksiak, will increase the burden on workers and the employers who depend on them. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=463.

- In support of the local business recovery effort, the City of Lock Haven will again close off a section of Main Street to vehicle traffic tomorrow to open the street for more foot traffic and allow restaurants and retailers to bring their business out onto the sidewalk and street. Last Friday was the first for the new ‘Open the Streets for Business’ initiative, and, responding to input from local businesses, the City did make some minor adjustments to the original plan. Main Street between Jay and Grove Streets will now close at 3:00 p.m. Friday (instead of 9:00 a.m.) and remain closed through 9:00 p.m. Saturday. Click Here for a map of shows  and restaurants offering outdoor dining, as well as locations for free parking after 5:00 p.m. Friday (the City-owned lots and Courthouse Parking Lot). Partnership member Davis Insurance Agency, LLC, also invites Partnership members to use their lot at 208 East Church Street for parking that’s close to Main Street after 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Weather permitting, there will be several free concerts downtown this weekend on a portable stage at Main and Grove Streets. Partnership members and Main Street restaurants, the Texas Lunch and Stella A’s Bar & Grill are sponsoring the Friday 6:00 p.m. concert featuring the group Private Stock. On Saturday, Gino Lundy is slated for a 5:00 p.m. concert, followed by Jason Dumm at 7:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, the City’s Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series kicks off next weekend, with a concert at the Main/Grove Streets stage Friday, June 26, at 6:00 p.m. featuring the group Big Willy. On Sunday, rock band Black Star Sunrise will kick off the 6:30 p.m. floating stage concerts at the Corman Amphitheater along Jay Street. Visit the City’s website at www.lockhavenpa.gov for a full Summer Concert schedule.

- Millbrook Playhouse premieres a virtual performance of the comedy ‘Leading Ladies’ tomorrow, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. from the Playhouse’s website, www.MillbrookPlayhouse.org. The show will be available for viewing through 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 21. Millbrook is requesting a $10 donation to view the performance to help cover costs of the production and support the Playhouse, which had to postpone its regular summer season until next year due to COVID-19 restrictions. For more information, call 570-748-8083 or visit www.millbrookplayhouse.org.

Posted 6/17/20

- Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today said Pennsylvania is one of three states recognized by the national Centers for Disease Control for successfully reducing the number of COVID-19 cases. Governor Wolf said Pennsylvania has had a downward trajectory of cases for more than 42 days. He also noted 24 states are seeing an increase in cases. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-pa-is-one-of-three-states-recognized-by-cdc-for-covid-19-reduction-success/.

The Department of Health today reported 335 additional positive cases of COVID-19 since yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 79,818. To date, 533,013 patients have tested negative for COVID-19. There are 6,319 total deaths attributed to COVID-19. Health Secretary Levine said about 75 percent of those who tested positive have recovered and she urged those people to donate plasma to help combat the virus.

- A revised Paycheck Protection Program application was released by the U.S. Treasury to reflect the recent legislative changes to the program. Click here to DOWNLOAD the new application. As a reminder, there is still funding available through this program, but applications will only be accepted through June 30, 2020.

- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has updated its four-page Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness. This guide reflects recent substantive changes made by Congress and the administration to the PPP program to provide borrowers with more flexibility. These changes include:

  • Extending the time to spend PPP funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks;
  • Lowering the amount that must be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%;
  • Extending the deadline to restore FTEs and payroll from June 30, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020; and
  • Setting the repayment term for loans made after June 4, 2020 at five years.

The U.S. Chamber continues to create, update, and evolve its various guides and resources to continue bringing businesses needed information during these challenging times. View their list of COVID-19 related resources:

- PA Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced his strong support for a new grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts and subsequent business closures. The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program (which is not yet accepting applications), is being overseen by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, with grants being issued by Community Development Financial Institutions. Read more on Torsella’s announcement: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/06-17-SB-Grant.html.

- Governor Wolf today announced four universities – Carnegie Mellon, Lehigh, University of Pittsburgh, and Villanova – will receive $174,000 in new funding for COVID-19 response through the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program Challenge. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-four-universities-receive-funding-for-covid-19-response-through-manufacturing-innovation-challenge/.

- PA The Game Commission is extending its Wildlife on WiFi virtual learning campaign. The campaign was originally launched to provide parents, youth, and educators with at-home wildlife-education resources during the academic year school closures. While schools are out for the summer, the need for virtual learning opportunities remains and the Game Commission is committed to connecting Pennsylvania residents to wildlife no matter where they are. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=402. To check out WoW, go to www.pgc.pa.gov and select “At Home Learning” under Quick Clicks. To schedule a WoW virtual field trip or inquire about any of the Game Commission’s educational resources, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Posted 6/16/20

- The U.S. Small Business Administration is again accepting new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and forgivable EIDL Advance program. Eligible businesses who are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000, which does not have to be repaid, and can also apply for an EIDL Loan. Click on the following link to get to the EIDL information on the SBAs website: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance, or click here to go directly to the EIDL Loan and Advance Application: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.

The initial EIDL funding through the federal CARES Act was quickly depleted and the SBA stopped accepting applications. Then, more recently, funds were allocated strictly for agricultural businesses. The new application round opened yesterday.

- The U.S. Federal Reserve has finalized guidelines for their ‘Main Street Lending Program’ to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is for businesses with 15,000 or fewer employees who had 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less, and requires minimum loans of $250,000. Loans through this program will go through eligible lenders. Read more here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/mainstreetlending.htm. (See webinar info below on this program)

The Fed has been accepting comment on the Main Street Lending Program for the past couple of months. In addition to finalizing guidelines for businesses, the Federal Reserve and the U. S. Department of Treasury are accepting comments through Monday, June 22, to expand the program to support lending to nonprofit organizations.

- New guidance reflecting the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act, titled “Interim Final Rule on Revisions to First Interim Final Rule,” was issued last week by the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Treasury. Of note:

    • There is no 60% “cliff” that could have invalidated loan forgiveness
    • Borrowers can choose an 8-week period (if receiving the loan before June 5) or the 24-week period 
    • More guidance will be coming soon on loan forgiveness

- There continues to be job opportunities in the area. PA CareerLink Clinton County provides this updated listing of local employers who have available positions, including: Bechdel Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning; Brodart Co.; Browns Hill Tavern; Clinton County Government; Curt’s Smokin’ Ribs; First Quality Hygienic; First Quality Products; First Quality Tissue; Full Body Health and Fitness Center, LLC; Goodwill Industries of North Central PA; Lock Haven Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; Masters Excavating, LLC; Nutek Disposables, Inc.; SA Piper Logistics; Susque-View Home Nursing & Rehabilitation Center; VETFORCE, Inc.; Wayne Township; Wayne Township Landfill; Associates for Training & Development; Bayada Home Health Care; Caris Sub Shop; Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc.; Community Resources for Independence; County Homemakers; ESS (aka Source4Teachers); Fulmer’s Personal Care Home; Imperial Renovators, Inc.; Industrial Trade Services; Interim Healthcare; Kohen Cleaning; My Home Care, LLC; Nicholas Meats; Nittany Mountain Trail Rides; OSL Retail Services, Inc.; PA Liquor Control Board; Powdr Woodward-PA, LLC Woodward Camp; Ragu, Inc.; Randy Auman Construction; RBR Transport Services; Roe-Ada Well Support, LLC; S and S Plumbing and Heating, Inc.; Tractor Supply Co.; TruGreen Lawncare; United States Census Bureau; Wolfe Coal and Excavating, Inc.

Employers with hiring needs can contact PA CareerLink® Clinton County representatives Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bob Bechdel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Job seekers who have questions on any job posting can also contact Gilmore or Bechdel.

- The Federal Reserve today said total industrial production increased 1.4 percent in May, as many factories resumed at least partial operations following suspensions related to COVID-19. Even so, total industrial production in May was 15.4 percent below its pre-pandemic level in February. Read more: https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/current/default.htm.

- Lock Haven University has announced ‘Return to The Haven’ reopening plans for the fall semester. The university is preparing to resume a more normal, but very modified, campus experience, that will include a mix of in-person, face-to-face and remote instruction. Click Here for the LHU news release.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf announced today that $157.5 million is now available for school health and safety grants to address COVID-19. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-157-5-million-now-available-for-school-health-and-safety-grants-to-address-covid-19/.

Meanwhile, First Lady Frances Wolf offered encouraging messages to children, parents, teachers, and caregivers through the release of a series of videos created in collaboration with Pennsylvania PBS titled #TogetherPennsylvania. See more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/first-lady-frances-wolf-partners-with-pennsylvania-pbs-to-deliver-encouraging-messages-to-children-and-caregivers/.

- Based on this past weekend’s initial success in closing off Lock Haven’s Main Street to vehicle traffic Friday and Saturday to allow for increased foot traffic to restaurants and retailers, the City is making a few revisions to better support businesses. The closure of Main Street between Jay and Vesper Streets and Grove Street between Main and Church Streets will now begin at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays (versus earlier in the day) and run until 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays, through September 26. The street closure allows restaurants and retail shops to bring their business out onto the sidewalks and parking spaces. A stage at Grove and Main Streets is already hosting musicians offering free concerts and will also serve as the site of the Friday evening concerts for the City’s free outdoor summer concerts starting next Friday, June 26 (there will also be Sunday night concerts from the floating stage at the Corman Amphitheater beginning June 28).

During this period, parking is free in City parking lots beginning at 5pm on Fridays, and there’s space at the Courthouse Parking lot after 5pm Fridays. But if you are having trouble finding a spot, Partnership member Davis Insurance Agency, LLC, at 208 East Church Street also welcomes CCEP members to park in their parking lot as a convenient way to access the downtown!

- PennDOT has resumed road and bridge project activity, and today announced that work will begin this coming Monday, June 22, to replace the bridge over Long Run on Route 477 in the Rote/Salona area of Lamar Township. A detour – using Auction Road and Route 220 – will be in place during the project. Partnership member, Lock Haven-based Nestlerode Contracting Company, Inc., is the contractor for the project, which is expected to run through mid-November. Click Here for the PennDOT news release, which includes a detour map and photo of the existing bridge.

- The Internal Revenue Service today alerted nursing home and other care facilities that Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) generally belong to the recipients, not the organizations providing the care. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-alert-economic-impact-payments-belong-to-recipient-not-nursing-homes-or-care-facilities.

- Governor Wolf today announced $40 million in CARES Act funding is available to address dairy industry relief and food security. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-40-million-in-cares-act-funding-available-to-address-dairy-industry-relief-food-security/.

Posted 6/15/20

- Partnership President Mike Flanagan offers the following update on our local unemployment picture: Clinton County’s continued unemployment claims declined for the fifth week in a row during the pandemic, while new claims went up slightly. The PA Department of Labor and Industry reports that during the week ending June 6, 2020, Clinton County had 1,999 continued unemployment  claims, down from the 2,242 on the rolls the week prior. Of the 1,999, 50.2% are female, 18% are in the food and accommodations sector, and 23% of them are ages 25 to 34. On May 2, there was a high of 3,211 continued claims.

Clinton County had 80 workers seek initial claims during the week ending June 6, up slightly from the 76 listed the prior week. Of the 80, 66% were male, 16% were in the manufacturing field, and 24% of them were ages 25 to 34. April 4 saw 1,049 seek initial claims, the highest weekly total during the virus period.

Clinton County’s April unemployment rate was 16.6%, the highest in almost four decades, but ranked 31 out of the state’s 67 counties. The May county unemployment rate should be released at the end of June.

- As part of your business recovery, the Partnership is offering some FREE promotional advertising! We are highlighting our member businesses on Facebook as part of the ‘Support Clinton County Business! Member Spotlight.’ Information and photos of Partnership member businesses are posted on both the Clinton County Economic Partnership and Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook pages (check out these Facebook pages to see what we’ve done for other members). Click Here to for the CCEP COVID-19 Member Spotlight form to give us some quick information so we can help promote your business.

- Amidst ongoing shortages of cleaning supplies, Partnership member M&J Industrial Supply in Lock Haven has a wide range of products for local businesses, including a new, disinfectant wipe system. The system includes a case of six rolls (220 sheets per roll) of dry wipes and a dispenser. By simply adding ready-to-use disinfectant, you now have a wet wipe. M&J has various disinfectants, both concentrated and ready-to-use; hand sanitizer, dispensers, dispenser stands, face masks, infrared thermometers, and more. Contact M&J Industrial Supply at 570-748-3802.

- The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that estimated tax payments for tax year 2020, originally due April 15 and June 15, are now due July 15. This means that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due has until July 15 to make that payment without penalty. More here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-reminder-deadline-postponed-to-july-15-for-those-who-pay-estimated-taxes.

- The PA Wilds Center, of which the Partnership and Clinton County government are a part, today indicated that tourism-related businesses will be one of the areas of emphasis for a recently-announced small business grant program. Click Here for the PA Wilds Center news release for details.

​- The PA Insurance Department today announced the availability of a remote testing option for insurance license exams. Candidates can opt for remote testing beginning July 1, 2020. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Insurance-Details.aspx?newsid=429.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf announced today that beginning this Wednesday, June 17, nine more COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites will open in Walmart parking lots across the state, bringing the total to 19 sites at Walmart locations. The locations to begin testing this week include the parking lot at the Walmart Supercenter along North Atherton Street in State College. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-10-more-testing-sites-in-areas-with-limited-access/.

- Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine today announced a partnership with General Healthcare Resources to assist with the state’s COVID-19 response with regard to congregate settings, particularly long-term care facilities. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=859.

- Governor Wolf today announced that people with intellectual disabilities and autism and the providers of support services for these vulnerable Pennsylvanians will receive $260 million in CARES Act funding to help continue to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-260-million-in-funding-to-help-people-with-intellectual-disabilities-and-autism-during-pandemic/.

- Saying social isolation is a leading factor contributing to the financial exploitation of older investors, the PA Department of Banking and Securities today reminded Pennsylvanians about signs of senior financial exploitation and ways to help prevent this type of abuse. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/banking_details.aspx?newsid=314.

- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to pull together guides and checklists to help businesses navigate the various loan programs available through the stimulus bill for small businesses, including:

6/12/20

- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced today that eight more counties will move to the green phase of reopening next Friday, June 19, including Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Luzerne, Monroe, Perry, Pike, and Schuylkill counties. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-eight-more-counties-going-green-on-june-19/.

The Governor and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine last night signed amended green phase orders for the 12 counties that moved to green today, June 12 (Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York). With these orders, there are now 46 counties in green (including Clinton, Centre and Lycoming counties) and the state’s remaining 21 counties are in yellow. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/reopening-phase-orders-updated-to-include-12-additional-counties-moving-to-green-on-june-12/.

The Governor also said today that the steady decline in COVID-19 cases is an indicator that Pennsylvania’s measured, phased reopening plan is working, whereas some other states are seeing cases rise. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-states-measured-phased-reopening-plan-succeeding-as-other-states-see-cases-rise/.

- The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission has put together a “Reopening Resources” page for museums, historical societies and preservation organizations as they begin to consider reopening in accordance with Governor Wolf's Process to Reopen Pennsylvania plan. The Reopening Resources page contains advice collected from organizations around the country and includes resources such as guidelines for managing collections after closures, sample reopening plans, discussions on community recovery and revitalization, visitor sentiments as a result of COVID-19, and much more. Click here for more information: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PHMC-Details.aspx?newsid=370.

- STEP, the community action agency serving Clinton and Lycoming counties, today provided an update on services, noting that STEP’s facilities (such as senior centers) will be opening for customers by appointment only, starting Monday, June 15. STEP Transportation is now scheduling customers for trips to banks and businesses that are open, and STEP Head Start is now enrolling children for the 2020-21 school year. Click Here for the STEP Update.

- The PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) continues to reopen state park and forest operations. While state parks have been open, facilities such as cabins, cottages, lodges, and yurts opened statewide today, June 12; state beaches reopened last weekend; and pools, including the pool at Hyner Run State Park, is slated to reopen tomorrow, June 13.

Meanwhile, DCNR is also recommending a few resources to explore your local environment while staying close to home:

- Millbrook Playhouse today announced it will feature a virtual musical, ‘Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies’ premiering next Friday, June 19 and running through June 21. The performance will star some favorite Millbrook actors. For more, visit www.millbrookplayhouse.org.

• The Penn State Small Business Development Center will host a webinar series, R3: Designing a Resiliency Roadmap for the next 30/60/90 Days, beginning June 29 at 9:00 a.m. Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and the global pandemic and economic shut down have certainly required small business owners to respond and adapt in rapid time. To help businesses navigate the next several months, the Penn State SBDC developed R3, a guided three-month program to help businesses develop their roadmap to better business operations. This 4-part series in Small Business Resiliency will address small business Re-evaluation, Recovery, and Regeneration strategies in the introductory workshop followed by 3 check-ins at the 30-60-90 day marks. The R3 program will give business leaders a chance to learn from experts, network with other businesses, and create a new way of doing business. Meeting Times: 

  • Monday June 29th 9:00 am – noon 
  • Monday July 27th 8:30 am – 9:30 am
  • Monday August 24th 8:30 am – 9:30 am
  • Monday September 28th 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Register Here

6/11/20

- The PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) today released guidelines and the application process for the recently announced COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program. The state has allocated $225 million for COVID-19 relief to small businesses, which will be disbursed through the state’s network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The funds will be distributed in three ways: Main Street Business Revitalization Program: $100 million; Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program: $100 million; Loan payment deferment and loss reserve: $25 million.

The PA Wilds Center, of which the Partnership and the County are a part, is working with The Progress Fund . Click Here for view the news release regarding the new program.

DCED also announced today that new funding is available to 60 Pennsylvania counties under the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant. Clinton is among the eligible counties, and the County Commissioners are reviewing program specifics and intend to apply for funding. Read more on the state’s announcement here: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-announces-new-covid-19-funding-available-for-pennsylvania-counties/.

- The Pennsylvania Humanities Council is offering PHC CARES, an emergency relief fund for humanities organizations facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of up to $10,000 are available and no match funding is required. Applications are due by this coming Monday, June 15. Details here.

- The Internal Revenue Service today provided guidance for employers whose employees forgo sick, vacation or personal leave because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-provides-guidance-on-employer-leave-based-donation-programs-that-aid-victims-of-the-covid-19-pandemic.

- As the July 15 tax-filing deadline − postponed from April 15 − draws near, the IR is reminding all taxpayers who have yet to file their 2019 federal tax return to file electronically now, choose direct deposit for their refund, or pay any tax owed electronically. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-reminder-deadline-postponed-to-july-15-for-those-who-pay-estimated-taxes.

To help borrowers recover from the ongoing COVID crisis without having to deal with the consequences of student loan delinquency and default as well, PA Treasurer Joe Torsella has announced that the five-month PA budget package, signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on May 29, provides relief for borrowers of private student loans that are owned by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). Borrowers of PA Forward Student Loan Program, Keystone Extra loans, and MedBest loans will automatically receive relief. Read more: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/06-11-PHEAA.html.

- Lock Haven University President Robert Pignatello today updated the campus community on several initiatives, noting the University continues to plan for how to safely open campus for the fall semester. He noted enrollment projections look promising, and said he plans to announce tomorrow, several University actions focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion. Click Here for the LHU update.

- The City of Lock Haven earlier this week announced its annual Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series will take place this year. Last night, they announced the series will begin Friday, June 26, and include a line-up of 16 concerts, split between a downtown stage at Main and Grove Streets and concerts from the floating stage at the Corman Amphitheater along Jay Street. Click Here to view the Concert Series news release for details and the concert schedule.

Schlesinger Communications, Inc. (WSQV/WBPZ Radio) in Lock Haven, is staging a "Think Big Shop Small" radio campaign to promote locally owned, locally operated small businesses throughout Clinton County. For more information, contact the radio station at 570-748-5782 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced a one-month extension of the temporary Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) and reminded Pennsylvanians of other assistance programs that remain available as the commonwealth reopens and Pennsylvanians recover from economic challenges caused by COVID-19. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=550.

- The Department of Human Services today also announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for its new Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP). The RRHCP is designed to directly support COVID-19 readiness and response in long-term residential care facilities, improve infection prevention, and facilitate continuity of care and other services provided by long-term care facilities in a manner that mitigates risk of spread of COVID-19 to staff or residents. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=551.

- And, DHS Secretary Teresa Miller urged Pennsylvanians to remain vigilant in the shared responsibility to keep all children safe and prevent child abuse. DHS administers ChildLine, which is a 24/7 hotline available to anyone concerned for the safety or well-being of a child. To report a concern, call 1-800-932-0313. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=879.

Posted 6/10/20

- The Clinton County Economic Partnership today released information on its recent survey of members regarding the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. Partnership President Mike Flanagan says despite unprecedented times, many businesses remain optimistic about the future. Click Here for the news release on the survey results.

- The Partnership wants to support your business. We are highlighting our member businesses on Facebook as part of the ‘Support Clinton County Business! Member Spotlight.’ We are posting information and photos of Partnership member businesses on both the Clinton County Economic Partnership and Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook pages. Click Here for the CCEP COVID-19 Member Spotlight form to give us some quick information so we can help promote your business.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today released updated guidance for several sectors, including:

- In response to efforts this week by the Pennsylvania legislature to adopt a resolution to end the state’s COVID-19 disaster declaration, Governor Wolf today said the legislature cannot end the disaster declaration unilaterally. He also said the existing disaster declaration is separate from the Secretary of Health’s business guideline orders. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-outlines-impacts-of-ending-disaster-declaration/.

- As per PA Department of Health guidelines, businesses conducting in-person operations or serving the public are required to make employees and customers aware of the guidance provided by the Commonwealth to keep people at their establishment safe. Businesses must print, sign, and post the “COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses” flyer on their premises (choose one: 8.5" x 11" Sign  | 8.5" x 14" Sign).

- The Internal Revenue Service yesterday issued what they are calling a COVID-19 Tax Tip, outlining who qualifies for which new employer tax credit. See that information here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USIRS/bulletins/28fcd37?reqfrom=share.

- The Federal Reserve today said it is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals. Read more here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20200610a.htm.

- We are glad to note the Roxy Theatre in downtown Lock Haven will reopen for business this Friday, June 12, with movies in all three theatres starting at 7:00 p.m. Seating will be limited and there will be restrictions in place. Visit www.roxymovies.com for a list of movies and show times.

- We are also happy to pass along an announcement today that the Ross Library in Lock Haven will reopen more fully to patrons as of next Friday, June 19. The first and second floors will be open to the public with some restrictions. Click Here for the news release and visit www.rosslibrary.org for more on library services.

- COVID-19 Resources (Green Phase Guidance):

Additional Resources:

Posted 6/9/20

- It’s a new date, but the same great networking event! The Partnership plans to host its annual summer picnic, now set for Wednesday, August 5, at the Castanea Fire Company Picnic Grounds. Click Here for the Picnic Registration Form to sign up!

- Leadership Clinton County – a leadership development program run through the Partnership – is accepting applications until July 1 for its innovative training program starting in September. Do you have an employee or someone you know who could benefit from the program? People interested in making a difference in their community and developing their personal leadership potential are encouraged to apply. Click Here for brochure for more on Leadership Clinton County, and contact April Bittner at 570-748-5782 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an application. People can also visit the Partnership web site, www.clintoncountyinfo.com, for more on Leadership Clinton County.

- Businesses within the City of Lock Haven looking for funds to help in the recovery from impacts due to COVID-19 have until this Thursday, June 11, to apply for a grant through the City’s CDBG-CV program. The initial deadline to apply was this past Friday, however, the City extended the deadline to June 11. Click Here for the CDBG-CV grant application. The Penn State Small Business Development Center is available to assist with the application. Interested businesses can contact SBDC local Business Consultant Tom Keiffer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For questions on the City’s CDBG-CV grant program, contact City Planner Abbey Roberts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-893-5903. Grant information is also available on the City’s website at lockhavenpa.gov/cdbg-cv-wave-1.

- The City of Lock Haven is taking a number of other measures to support local businesses, including closing Main Street to vehicle traffic Fridays and Saturdays to allow for restaurants and retailers to move operations outdoors and allow for more foot traffic in the downtown business district. The City today also announced that the free outdoor summer concert series will begin later this month, with the Friday night concerts moved to a stage at Main and Grove Streets. Click Here for the news release for details on both initiatives.

- The PA Treasury and the Department of Labor & Industry today announced that, starting today, the state will pay Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments by debit card to provide faster and more secure payments. Pennsylvania Treasury To Pay PUA Payments By Debit Card Moving Forward. Details here: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/06-09-PUA-Payments.html.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf announced today that beginning tomorrow, June 10, five more COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites will open in Walmart parking lots across the state, including the Walmart Supercenter parking lot at 167 Hogan Blvd, Mill Hall. The sites will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. to test up to 50 registered patients daily. Registration is required one day in advance. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-additional-covid-19-testing-sites-opening-in-areas-with-limited-access/.

- The PA Department of Health today issued an order requiring that all hospitals take additional steps to further protect their staff and patients from COVID-19. The order requires all hospitals to develop, implement and adhere to safety measures by Monday, June 15. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=854.

- The Wolf Administration is urging the public to consider how COVID-19 could change or alter emergency preparedness plans leading into summer, when people face the threat of severe weather that comes with warmer weather. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PEMA-Details.aspx?newsid=140.

- The PA Insurance Department today released guidance to Pennsylvania businesses damaged during the civil unrest across the state. The information is intended to assist business owners identify what is generally covered by understanding the terms in their policies and how and when to file claims. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Insurance-Details.aspx?newsid=428.

- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration yesterday issued a news release noting that the continuing COVID-19 national emergency warrants the extension and modification of their Emergency Declaration. Click here for the news release for details.

Posted 6/8/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced a $225 million grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. NOTE from the Partnership: Guidelines for this grant program are still being developed, so no application exists at this point. According to the state, the funds will be distributed to lending agencies designated as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will then administer the funds in the form of grants. We have spoken with representatives of The Progress Fund, the CDFI that covers our area, and will work with them to announce funding guidelines once they are available. Read the Governor’s news release here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-225-million-grant-program-for-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/.

- President Donald Trump on Friday signed House Resolution 7010, the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, to amend the small business forgivable loan program known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more: https://www.pachamber.org/media/3113/Paycheck_Protection_Program_Flexibility_Act_Signed/. The new Act allows for important changes to the PPP. Read a National Restaurant Association summary of bill changes.

To date, Pennsylvania small businesses have received more than $20 billion in Paycheck Protection Program benefits. NOTE: June 30 is the final day to be issued a PPP loan (you can only be issued one PPP loan). 

- The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to guard against tax fraud and other financial scams related to COVID-19. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-warns-against-covid-19-fraud-other-financial-schemes. Coronavirus-related (COVID-19) scams should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or submitted through the NCDF Web Complaint Form.

Meanwhile, both state and federal prosecutors are offering the following advice due to scams associated with unemployment compensation:

  • If you receive a paper check for unemployment benefits in the mail but did not file for assistance, do not cash the check.
  • Did you receive a direct deposit for unemployment benefits even though you didn’t apply? Again, don’t use the funds. The labor department website offers instructions for returning the money.
  • Victims should report suspected identity theft to the labor department. A form is available on the department’s website. Identity theft and fraud can also be reported to the labor department’s fraud hotline: 800-692-7469.

- Governor Wolf today announced that the state has launched an enhanced dashboard to pull Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 data and information together to inform Pennsylvanians. The dashboard further enhances data on demographics of cases, demographics of deaths and the reopening status. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-enhanced-dashboard-launched-that-highlights-demographic-testing-and-reopening-data/. To see the Department of Health Coronavirus Dashboard, including data specific to Clinton County, click here: VIEW

- The Wolf Administration today issued a universal testing order requiring all nursing homes to complete initial baseline testing no later than July 24. Additionally, the department issued updated testing guidance to all long-term care facilities through the Health Alert Network. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=849.

As of today, 16,167 of Pennsylvania’s reported 75,943 cases of COVID-19 involve residents of nursing and personal care homes, and 2,807 cases involve nursing and personal care home employees. Of the 5,953 deaths from COVID-19 in the state, 4,094 were residents living in nursing or personal care facilities. 

- The state today announced it has selected a health care emergency preparedness vendor to assist in preparations for a fall resurgence of COVID-19. Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) of Philadelphia is the vendor, effective July 8, 2020. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=852.

- The PIAA says it's working with the state on guidelines for resuming high school sports. There will be significant changes, however. In a Friday news release, though, the PIAA outlined some “return-to-play policies” that come after PA K-12 schools were given the go-ahead for in-person learning as of July 1. At that time, high school sports “may engage in voluntary out-of-season activities,” and the PIAA previously said it will follow Pennsylvania reopening guidelines from Gov. Wolf. Read more: https://www.piaa.org/assets/web/documents/PIAA%20Press%20Release%20-%20Return%20to%20Play%20-%20June%205,%202020.pdf.

- We are sad to note that the long-standing Pennsylvania State Fleming Foliage Festival in Renovo will not be held this year, due to uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus. The Flaming Foliage Committee made the tough decision yesterday, but also said they planned to meet next month to discuss whether some type of scaled-down version of the weekend could still take place. We hope that is the case. Click Here for the news release.

- The PA Department of Community & Economic Development today issued the following reopening information. (The Partnership has previously offered this data in part as it has been issued, however, this flyer puts the details all in one place, so we wanted to provide it again)

Posted 6/5/20

- Clinton County, as of today, is one of 34 Pennsylvania counties now in the state’s green reopening phase. And Governor Tom Wolf this afternoon announced the remaining 33 counties are now in the yellow phase, with 12 of those counties slated to move from yellow to green next Friday, June 12. Read more on today’s announcement here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-12-more-counties-going-green-on-june-12/, and view Governor Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, which outlines any remaining restrictions for counties that are either yellow or green.

As all counties in the state are now out of the red stay-at-home phase, Governor Wolf noted that the state continues to see a decline in new cases of COVID-19, and an estimated 70 percent of those infected have recovered. Nearly 75,000 Pennsylvanians have to-date tested positive for COVID-19, and the virus has resulted in 5,886 deaths.

Asked what “phase” is next after green, the Governor said his administration is working to establish guidelines for what he called our ‘new normal’ way of life, which he says will likely include the need for precautions such as masking and social distancing should there be a resurgence of the virus when flu season returns in the fall…likely before there will be a vaccine or the ability to carry out universal testing.

- The PA departments of Health and Human Services today issued guidance for nursing homes, personal care homes, and other long-term and congregate care facilities as counties enter the green phase of the state’s reopening process. To further prevent outbreaks within these vulnerable populations, ongoing restrictions in long-term and congregate care facilities will remain in place at least 28 days after the respective facility’s county enters the green phase. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=844.

- Today is the deadline for businesses located within the City of Lock Haven to submit application information to be considered for a CDBG-CV grant. The City plans to offer grants to Lock Haven businesses through Community Development Block Grant funding generated through the federal CARES Act. Applications should be submitted to City Planner & Development Coordinator Abigail Roberts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- The U.S. Senate this week passed the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act, which fundamentally changes PPP forgiveness criteria by easing certain forgiveness requirements to the favor of PPP loan recipients. The measure now goes to the president for his signature. Read a summary of the provisions in the act: National Restaurant Association summary of bill changes. Inc. magazine also summarizes the changes that would occur through this reform bill: Click Here for the PPP Reform Bill file for details.

- Another federal loan program, the Main Street Lending Program, is being met with skepticism even before it opens. Read more here: https://www.inc.com/diana-ransom/main-street-lending-program-credit-markets.html?utm_source=incthismorning.

- The Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund – a non-profit with the simple mission of saving as many of Pennsylvania’s small businesses as possible – is now accepting applications for a forgivable loan of $3,000. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements to qualify. LEARN MORE. (Source: the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association)

- The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced that 133 more companies have been approved for funding in the final disbursement of the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA). Over the course of the program, nearly $61 million was awarded to businesses across Pennsylvania. In total, 745 businesses were approved for loans totaling $60,722,641. View a list of approved projects (new projects are highlighted in yellow). Read more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-approves-10-8-million-in-new-covid-19-working-capital-access-program-funding/.

- Great idea all the way around! The Wayne Township Landfill/Clinton County Solid Waste Authority is giving their employees some well-deserved recognition and, at the same time, supporting area restaurants. Earlier this year, the 80 employees at the Landfill surpassed two years without a lost-time accident, a tremendous accomplishment. Landfill manager Jay Alexander says the COVID-19 pandemic set in and WTL didn’t get a chance to recognize the achievement. Fast forward a couple months as our community tries to come out on the other side of this pandemic, and the discussion shifted to “how can we do something for the employees and something for the community all in the same motion,” says Alexander. So, Landfill employees were polled and asked where they like to take their family for a nice meal. The responses were narrowed down to nine locally-owned restaurants and the Landfill is now purchasing 80 $100 gift cards from those businesses to present to their employees. Says Alexander, “Our hopes are that this will help a little bit for these locally owned shops to have some extra cash flow when they need it…and reward our folks with a nice dinner with their family, compliments of the Wayne Township Landfill.” Congratulations to the WTL team for an awesome safety milestone!

- We are glad to pass along word that the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven will reopen this Monday, June 8, at 9:00 a.m. Click Here for the news releases.

- The PA Attorney General’s office says it has received more than 5,000 complaints from Pennsylvanians reporting price hikes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any instance of price gouging should be reported to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Read more here: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/ag-shapiro-price-gouging-complaints-top-5000-tips/.

- The PA Department of Human Services today announced that recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are now able to purchase groceries online through participating retailers. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=549.

- The PA Game Commission today reopened the last of its closed shooting ranges in counties upgraded to the yellow reopening phase, and all region offices will be reopened as of this Monday, June 8. The agency’s Harrisburg headquarters will remain closed to the public until further notice. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=400.

Posted 6/4/20

- On the eve of Clinton County’s transition to the state’s “green” reopening phase, the Clinton County Community Coalition – made up of government and community leaders – this afternoon issued a message encouraging county businesses and residents to move forward with care, respect and caution. Click Here for the ‘Clinton County Community Coalition - Going Green news release’ for more.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine today signed amended reopening phase orders to include 10 additional counties moving to yellow and 16 counties (including Clinton County) to green tomorrow, June 5. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/reopening-phase-orders-updated-to-include-10-additional-counties-moving-to-yellow-and-16-to-green-on-june-5/.

- Governor Wolf today said $50 million in grants will be available to support fire and emergency medical service (EMS) companies negatively affected by COVID-19. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-50-million-in-grants-available-to-support-fire-and-ems-companies-negatively-affected-by-covid-19/.

​- The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) says the phased reopening of state parks and forest facilities continues tomorrow, June 5, in southeast and northeast Pennsylvania. Facilities in 19 state parks will reopen as counties currently in the red phase move to the yellow reopening phase. In addition, all of the state’s 58 state park beaches will be open for swimming (with restrictions) as of Saturday, June 6 – including the beach at nearby Bald Eagle State Park. Swimming pools in state parks will remain closed through next Friday, June 12, and some pools in yellow and green phase counties will reopen on June 13. Locally, the swimming pool at Hyner Run State Park is slated to reopen (also with restrictions) on Saturday, June 13, 11am-7pm, weather permitting. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=656.

- Online news source Northcentralpa.com reported today that Little Leagues in Clinton and Lycoming counties have been given guidance to prepare for summer play. Click Here for a news report.

- With construction activities, including bridge and highway work, back on track, PennDOT announced today that preliminary work to replace a pair of bridges along Route 150 in Beech Creek Township, Clinton County, is set to begin this coming Monday, June 8. One spans Peters Hollow about two miles east of Beech Creek and the other spans a tributary of Bald Eagle Creek about one mile east of Beech Creek. Replacing them will allow PennDOT to remove the structures from Clinton County’s list of bridges in poor condition. Click Here to read the PennDOT news release for details.

- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today announced that 176 more Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in counties designated in the yellow phase of COVID-19 mitigation efforts will resume limited in-store public access beginning tomorrow, June 5. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=578.

A new national survey finds that most businesses have reopened, but owners expect a slow return to normal. According to the poll taken by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most entrepreneurs have their companies back up and running, but few are expecting it'll be business as usual anytime soon.

   While eight in 10 small businesses in the U.S. have fully or partially reopened, owners expect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic to stick around: 55 percent say that it will be six months to a year before the economic climate returns to "normal." That's according to a poll on the impact of the coronavirus on small businesses released Wednesday​ by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife. The online survey of approximately 500 U.S. business owners, the latest in a monthly series, took place between May 21 and 27.

   This latest survey, "not surprisingly, looks different from the two prior ones, in both good and optimistic ways--and ways that ought to inform public policymaking going forward," says Neil Bradley, executive vice president of the Chamber. Bradley calls the figure on reopening "good news," but says the long-term outlook for recovery is concerning. 

   The level of optimism varied by location. Among businesses in the West, 77 percent said they are anxious about having to close again or stay closed because of a potential second wave of the coronavirus, compared with 74 percent in the Northeast, 62 percent in the Midwest, and 55 percent in the South.

   Overall, more than half of small businesses that lost employees due to the pandemic said they hope to rehire them in the next six months. Meanwhile, eight in 10 business owners surveyed said they are planning to make changes to promote safety in their workplaces. Roughly 40 percent of respondents said they will require employees to wear protective equipment and customers to stand six feet away from one another. Nearly half plan to increase their cleaning or disinfection efforts.

- The Pennsylvania Department of Aging's Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman announced it is partnering with AARP Pennsylvania to offer communication devices to long-term care facilities that will help residents increase contact with their family and friends. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/aging_details.aspx?newsid=260.

- The Internal Revenue Service today announced that interest rates will decrease for the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2020. More here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/interest-rates-decrease-for-the-third-quarter-of-2020.

Non-COVID-19 News of Note….

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled three public hearings this month on proposed regulations to reduce air pollution from existing shale gas drilling, processing and pipelines. The draft regulation, aimed at reining in emissions of volatile organic compounds and climate changing greenhouse gases, would require additional emissions controls at all of the approximately 11,500 existing unconventional natural gas well sites and connecting infrastructure, including compressor stations. In addition to limiting VOCs, the regulations would, according to the DEP, have a "co-benefit of reducing methane emissions." The virtual hearings are scheduled for June 23 at 6 p.m., June 24 at 2 p.m. and June 25 at 6 p.m. The DEP will accept additional comments through July 27. "This regulation is part of Gov. Wolf's Methane Reduction Strategy, which is an important part of fighting climate change in Pennsylvania," said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, in a news release. "By utilizing reasonable pollution controls we can reduce air pollution from gas wells and related infrastructure and improve air quality." The proposed regulation would reduce air pollution by 4,404 tons per year of VOCs and 75,603 tons per year of methane. Read more here: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21824&typeid=1.

Posted 6/3/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today renewed the 90-day disaster declaration he originally signed on March 6 following announcement of the first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth. The declaration was set to expire tomorrow, June 4. He also announced he would allow the amended stay-at-home order (for counties still in the red phase) to expire at midnight June 4. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-renews-covid-19-disaster-declaration-for-state-response-and-recovery-stay-at-home-order-ends-june-4/.

- The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today said elementary and secondary schools in the state’s yellow and green phases may resume in-person instruction and activities beginning July 1 under a phased reopening approach that first requires schools to develop health and safety plans based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state Department of Health (DOH). PDE also released guidance that allows postsecondary institutions and adult basic education programs, effective this Friday, June 5, to begin in-person instruction immediately following the development of a health and safety plan outlining strategies for safe operations. The preliminary documents follow Governor Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, which has been updated to reflect the new guidance. The two guidance documents released today provide a list of decisions that schools need to consider prior to reopening. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=870. 

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry is hosting a live virtual town hall from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, June 4, to share information about Pennsylvania's regular unemployment compensation (UC) and other new COVID-19-related benefits programs including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). People can livestream the program online at https://access.live/PAlabor. There will also be limited participation available by phone at 1-833-380-0719. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=461.

- Governor Wolf today announced that the Department of Health reached its COVID-19 testing goal last month, and continues to increase testing in several regions. One of the new testing sites that will open as of this Friday is at the Walmart Supercenter parking lot, 1015 N Loyalsock Ave, Montoursville. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-department-of-health-reaches-covid-19-testing-goal-in-may-continues-to-increase-testing-in-several-regions/.

- Supplementing guidance issued by Governor Tom Wolf for businesses in the restaurant industry and to facilitate outdoor dining and service, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today announced an expedited approval process for licensees wishing to temporarily extend their licensed premises to include additional outdoor areas. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=576.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry announced that PA CareerLink® offices are increasing virtual services and offering limited in-person appointments for job seekers and employers in counties in the green reopening phase. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=460. NOTE: The PA CareerLink Clinton County office has not yet reopened. To reach a Clinton County CareerLink representative, contact Jennifer Shultz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-291-7745.

- The PA Department of Health today released an update to the dental health care guidance as part of the commonwealth’s phased COVID-19 reopening plan. This guidance allows dental health care providers the ability to safely provide oral healthcare, including routine cleanings. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=841.

- The PA Recreation & Park Society (PRPS) recently issued updated reopening guidance for recreation and park facilities. It should be noted that guidelines for Pennsylvania continue to evolve, and, where the PRPS Reopening Guidelines differ with local regulations or future definitive state guidance, PRPS defers to those authorities. Click Here for the PRPS Reopening Guide. 

- The Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee has put together a quick overview of Coronavirus Relief Fund appropriations that are now part of the state’s 2020-21 Fiscal  Code. The overview, which we received compliments of SEDA-COG, highlights the funds that are available by department and for what industry segment. Click Here for the Coronavirus Relief Fund Appropriations details.

- The IRS today announced the federal government has processed 150-million economic impact payments, and reminded many low-income Americans who don’t usually file tax returns to register for a payment by October 15. Read more here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/159-million-economic-impact-payments-processed-low-income-people-and-others-who-arent-required-to-file-tax-returns-can-quickly-register-for-payment-with-irs-non-filers-tool.

- PA Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar reported that yesterday's primary election in Pennsylvania ran smoothly despite unprecedented challenges in the weeks and months before the voting. See more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=388.

- PennDOT’s tourism services office today announced that the state’s 14 Keystone Welcome Centers will reopen this Saturday, June 6, at noon. The Welcome Centers are strategically located just inside the state boundaries and carry a wealth of tourism-related information for travelers, including brochures from the Partnership’s Clinton County Visitors Bureau.

- The Department of Health last week held its first regional contract tracing meeting in southwestern PA. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=839.Additional Resources: - An article by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lists six questions businesses should ask their employees as they return to work. Read more here:

Posted 6/2/20

- Clinton County’s unemployment rate was impacted greatly by the Covid-19 pandemic as the county registered a 16.6% unemployment rate for April 2020, the  highest in almost four decades. The PA Department of Labor & Industry, in numbers released today, estimated that 2,900 county residents were out of work in April, resulting in the doubling of the county unemployment rate from March, which had a 7.3% reading. One year ago in April 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.0% in Clinton County.

The April 2020 numbers are the highest locally since an 18.3% unemployment reading in September 1983. The last time the Clinton County figures hit double digits was some 25 years ago when the July 1995 numbers were 11.3%. Every county in the area had a double digit unemployment rate for April 2020, including Centre County’s 10.4% and Lycoming County’s 17.5%. The highest unemployment number in the region was Cameron County’s 24.7%. The state unemployment rate for April was 15.1%, and the national reading was 14.7%.

“The numbers are very high, especially considering that most of the county’s manufacturing sector have kept its employees working through the pandemic,” said Mike Flanagan, Clinton County Economic Partnership President & CEO. “It is hard to believe that just two months prior in February, we had a reading that was more than 10 points below the April figure. The good news is that the initial unemployment insurance claims continue to drop on a weekly basis and we are headed to the green reopening phase that hopefully means more people back to work.”

- The PA Department of Human Services today released a Frequently Asked Questions guide for families in need of child care and parents with children that will be returning to a child care facility in counties moving to the yellow or green phase of reopening. Read more here https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=869 or Click Here for Child Care FAQs for parents.

- PennDOT) announced today that driver's skills test, including motorcycle skills test, will resume at reopened Driver License Centers as of today. For more, click here: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=739.

- More than 260 seniors will graduate from Keystone Central School District tonight during virtual ceremonies. Both Central Mountain High School and Bucktail Area High School will offer virtual graduation ceremonies at 7:00 p.m. People can watch the ceremonies via a link on the school district’s website, www.kcsd.us. Congratulations and best wishes to the CMHS and BAHS Classes of 2020!

Meanwhile, Keystone Central School District today offered information on plans and preparations for the reopening of schools that include a collaboration with Lock Haven Catholic School and the Sugar Valley Rural Charter School. Click Here for KSCD news release.

- Exercise your right to vote today! Polling locations across Clinton County – all 34 precincts – are open until 8:00 p.m. as people cast their ballots in the Pennsylvania Primary Election. For voters using a mail-in ballot, that completed ballot must returned to the Clinton County Piper Building in Lock Haven by 8:00 p.m. today. While the building remains closed to the public, there is a drop-off box at the front entrance for the ballots. County Voter Registration Director Maria Boileau this afternoon said, of the 3,589 mail-in ballots issued, 2,770 voters have so far returned those ballots, or about 77 percent. If you applied for but did not receive a mail-in ballot, Boileau says you can go to your regular polling place to vote in person. Poll workers are ensuring social distancing and cleaning after every voter.

- As Clinton County transitions from the yellow to the green reopening phase, the Clinton County Economic Partnership continues to highlight our member businesses on Facebook. As part of the “Support Clinton County Business! Member Spotlight” we are posting information and photos of Partnership member businesses on both the Clinton County Economic Partnership and Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook pages. Click Here to complete the CCEP Covid-19 Member Spotlight form to give us some quick information so we can help promote your business.

- Late last week, the legislature approved and sent to Gov. Tom Wolf several bills to fund government operations as the 2020-21 Fiscal Year approaches, along with legislation that appropriates a substantial portion of the federal CARES act dollars allocated to Pennsylvania. Read more in this article from the PA Chamber of Business & Industry: https://www.pachamber.org/media/3105/Five_Month_Budget_Federal_Spending_Bill_Enacted/.

- The Susquehanna River Basin Commission has announced new guidance for projects within the basin that are regulated as consumptive use, as well as providing flexibility with some water usage fees. Learn more: https://www.srbc.net/about/news/news-release.html?id=1224.

​- The PA Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association today reminded Pennsylvanians of the importance of getting back on track with regularly scheduled pet vaccinations and boosters. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=931.

- Partnership members are invited to participate in the second “Back to Business” virtual meeting hosted by Geisinger, this Thursday, June 4, at 11:00 a.m. The meeting will feature three Geisinger representatives – Dr. Stanley Martin, Director of Infectious Diseases; Allison Hess, Vice President of Health Innovations; and Brion Lieberman, Vice President of Human Resources – who will offer information and respond to questions from the business community. You can pre-register for the meeting and submit questions for the panel at: Go.geisinger.org/BackToBusiness. You can access Geisinger resources for businesses at www.geisinger.com/businessresources.

Posted 6/1/20

- The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue today reported less-than-anticipated collections in May, due, they said, to moving due dates for various taxes and reduced economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Revenue-Details.aspx?newsid=317.

- The federal Centers for Disease Control has issued new guidance covering COVID-19 employer information for office buildings. Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html.

- Supplementing guidance issued by Governor Tom Wolf for businesses in the restaurant industry, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Friday issued additional information for licensees operating in counties that have transitioned into the green phase of COVID-19 recovery and reopening, informing them of permissible and impermissible activities.  More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=575.

- Do you need help navigating the PPP loan forgiveness process? In this 15-minute video, Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, walks you through all the essential steps, including forgiveness calculations and repayment terms: PPP Loan Forgiveness: A Step-By-Step Explainer.

You can also download the U.S. Chamber’s step-by-step guide to PPP loan forgiveness here: https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-ppp-loan-forgiveness.

- Lock Haven University president Robert Pignatello Friday provided an update on the University and efforts to safety plan for the fall semester. Click Here for his comments.

- The Fairfield by Marriott hotel in Lock Haven today reopened for business, having been temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manager Rachel Harkey says the facility is welcoming guests, and she expressed appreciation for peoples’ patience during the closure. For information, contact the Fairfield at 570-748-1580 or www.marriott.com.

- Fierce & Fit Nutrition recently relocated to 201 East Church Street, Lock Haven, and today is celebrating their store opening. The shop has a dual purpose – offering nutritional shakes and teas as well as coaching people to better fitness. Click Here for photo, which includes, seated, Fierce & Fit Nutrition owner Aprie Bower-Brennan with her husband Justin and daughter Brianna at her right, and fitness coaches Tiffany Bowman and Jennifer Young on her left. For more, go to www.Facebook.com/FierceAndFitNutrition.

- North Central Sight Services in Williamsport is offering more specifics on the hand sanitizer and disposable masks they have available for sale. Click Here for flyer. To purchase, call 866-320-2580 or email sales at ncsight.org.

- Pennsylvania’s Departments of Health and Aging Secretaries today highlighted efforts to protect seniors and other vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Of the 72,282  Pennsylvanians who have tested positive for COVID-19, 28% are ages 65 or older. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=837.

- The PA Department of Agriculture has received approval to continue operating the Disaster Household Distribution program, through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), to provide food to Pennsylvanians adversely affected by COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Originally approved by the USDA on March 27, the Disaster Household Distribution program, set to expire the end of May, has been approved through June 25. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=930.

- The PA Department of Health today warned Pennsylvania’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants of potential scams and cautioned them not to disclose their personal information without verifying the identity of the caller. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=835.

- The Penn State Small Business Development Center is co-hosting a free webinar ‘Preparing Foodservice establishments to Reopen’ tomorrow, June 2, at 2pm. Click Here for flyer, or click here to register: https://pasbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/26832.

Additional Resources:

- The U.S. Chamber continues to create, update, and evolve its various guides and resources to continue bringing businesses needed information during this difficult time. Click on the following links for more:

Posted 5/29/20

- The Clinton County Commissioners today expressed support for our county moving into the green reopening phase next week. Click Here for a news release from the county, which encourages Clinton Countians to continue to support local businesses and notes that the county is working to establish a process for county buildings and departments to transition from yellow to green. The news release also highlights the state’s green phase order and associated guidance and restrictions.

- Clinton and Lycoming counties are among 16 Pennsylvania counties that will be next to move into the “Green” reopening phase next Friday, June 5. Governor Tom Wolf this afternoon made the announcement as the state continues a phased reopening. A total of 18 counties – including Centre, Clearfield, Cameron, Potter – were among the first to move into the green phase today, while another eight counties moved from the red to the yellow phase. The remaining red phase counties are expected to move to yellow by next Friday. As of today, nearly 71,000 people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties have tested positive for the coronavirus, which has claimed 5,464 lives in the state. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-state-continues-phased-reopening-with-16-more-counties-set-to-go-green-on-june-5/.

- The City of Lock Haven is working on several fronts to support local businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic:

  • The City plans to offer grants to Lock Haven businesses through Community Development Block Grant funding generated through the federal CARES Act. Businesses within the City limits can click here for the CDBG-CV application to seek the grant funding. Because CDBG-CV funds can be used for a number of purposes, the City is using the application process to help determine need from local businesses. Applications should be submitted by next Friday, June 5, at 4:00 p.m. to City Planner & Development Coordinator Abigail Roberts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. As part of the process, the City will host a virtual public hearing this coming Monday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. to get input on use of the CDBG-CV funds. The public hearing will be live streamed on the “Lock Haven City” Facebook page and the City of Lock Haven PA YouTube Channel.
  • The City has also received the go-ahead from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a special loan program – through its existing Commercial Revolving Loan Program – to help businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. This program offers loans of up to $50,000 at a 1% interest rate to businesses within the City, with payments deferred for 6 months. Click Here for the COVID-19 Commercial Loan Program guidelines. Loans will be offered until December of this year, at which time the City will review the needs of the community. Abigail Roberts is also the contact for this program: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 570-893-5903. Applications should also be submitted to Roberts by email or by mail to 20 East Church Street, Lock Haven, PA 17745.
  • City of Lock Haven officials are also paving the way (once our area enters the green reopening phase) to close off key sections of the downtown business district to vehicle traffic to encourage more foot traffic. Pending approval from PennDOT, the City plans to close off Main Street between Jay and Vesper Streets, as well as Grove Street between Water and Church Street, every Friday and Saturday through September to allow restaurants, for example, to offer outside seating on the sidewalk and street in front of their establishment, and other retailers outside floor space for shopping. The effort has support from the business community and is something communities across the state and beyond are interested in trying as a way to allow more people into their communities to help offset indoor seating and customer restrictions. People with questions on this effort can contact City Manager Greg Wilson at 570-893-5907 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Updated Construction Guidelines have been issued by the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center for counties moving into the green phase. They note the following changes in moving from yellow to green:

  • There are no limitations to the number of workers on residential and commercial job sites.
  • Gatherings can now be up to 25 people. Social distancing should still be observed while gathering.
  • Workers may travel to the job site together, as long as the occupancy of the vehicle is limited to half the occupancy load and face asks are worn by the occupants.

Click here for more: Construction Guidance During COVID-19 FAQs. Note: These guidelines are fluid and under the purview of the Governor. Please always check Construction Guidance During COVID-19 FAQs for official guidance.

- Clinton County’s continued unemployment insurance claims are going down on a weekly basis. According to the PA Department of Labor & Industry, there were over 3,200 continued claims as of May 2, and three weeks later the number was down to 2,100. The food service/accommodations category accounted for 17% of the 2,100.  Also, weekly new claims continue to go down. Clinton County’s April unemployment number is expected to be announced June 2.

- The PA Treasury is taking steps to further safeguard funds intended for unemployed Pennsylvanians, at the request of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry (L&I). This is in response to widespread reporting of fraudulent activity in at least 8 states, including the Commonwealth, primarily focused on the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Starting today, the department will issue payments for all PUA-related claims by paper check, delivered to the claimant’s home address on file. This will include payments for PUA-associated Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) claims. No other form of unemployment compensation or associated FPUC payments will be affected, at this time. Read more here: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/05-28-RLS-PUA.html.

- As Pennsylvania continues to address public health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Wolf today signed a state budget that will provide 12 months of sustained public education funding at 2019-20 levels and makes important investments in communities and programs to help begin to restore the economy. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-budget-to-sustain-education-support-communities-amid-pandemic/.

- The PA Department of State today reminded Pennsylvania voters of Tuesday's absentee and mail-in ballot voting deadline and urged those planning to vote at the polls to follow recommended precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Absentee and mail-in ballots must be received in the county election office by 8 pm on Election Day, and as the election is just a few days away, the state is recommending that voters consider delivering their ballots in person to make sure they arrive in time to be counted. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=386. For questions about submitting absentee and mail-in ballots in Clinton County, contact the Voter Registration office at 570-893-4019.

Posted 5/29/20

- Attention businesses located within the City of Lock Haven: The City has received the go-ahead from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a special loan program – through its existing Commercial Revolving Loan Program – to help businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. This program offers loans of up to $50,000 at a 1% interest rate to businesses within the City, with payments deferred for 6 months. Click Here for the COVID-19 Commercial Loan Program guidelines. Loans will be offered until December of this year, at which time the City will review the needs of the community. For questions contact City Planner & Development Coordinator Abigail Roberts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 570-893-5903. Applications should also be submitted to Roberts by email or by mail to 20 East Church Street, Lock Haven, PA 17745. The County, through its Revolving Loan Fund program, recently offered a similar program.

- Keystone Central School District today announced that both Central Mountain High School and Bucktail Area High School will hold virtual graduation ceremonies at 7:00 p.m. this Tuesday, June 2. Our congratulations to the 237 soon-to-graduate seniors from Central Mountain and the 27 graduating seniors from Bucktail. Click Here for news release.

- The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week issued new and updated COVID-19 related guidance:

Additional CDC resources and guidance includes:

For more, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf announced today that additional shipments of COVID-19 testing supplies were distributed to hospitals across Pennsylvania this week. Since March 9, the PA Department of Health has distributed supplies to more than 60 hospitals, health care facilities, and county and municipal health departments to help test more than 67,000 patients. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-distributes-testing-supplies-to-hospitals-more-than-67000-patients-tested-since-march/.

- Clinton County Economic Partnership member North Central Sight Services in Williamsport has hand sanitizer and disposable masks for sale, with both small and large quantities available. Click Here for flyer. To purchase, call 866-320-2580 or email sales at ncsight.org.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) says it has free cloth masks available for the Food and Agriculture critical infrastructure sector. To aid in the recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency, PEMA has secured personal protective equipment (PPE) for distribution to Pennsylvania’s Essential Food Businesses at no cost. Food Processors and Food Retailers operating within Pennsylvania are encouraged to complete a survey to request shipment. Complete the survey and submit a request here: www.pda.pa.gov/covid/pema_ppe_info.

- A shout-out to Partnership members Avenue 209 Coffee House in Lock Haven. Avenue 209 representatives Josh Grimes and Jared Conti were featured recently on a ‘The Wilds are Working’ interview hosted by the PA Wilds Center. They talked about their business, why they love Lock Haven, and how they have pivoted to try to successfully make it through current times.  Take 12 minutes and watch their interview here…  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2z-KlxYqK8&feature=youtu.be&goal=0_087c158462-5b48e771c3-101492287&mc_cid=5b48e771c3&mc_eid=b33f23e17b

- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today said 60 more Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in counties designated in the yellow phase of COVID-19 mitigation efforts will resume limited in-store public access beginning tomorrow, May 29. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=574.

- The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) today announced a phased opening of all state park swimming beaches and some pools in keeping with Governor Wolf’s direction to ensure Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation and help maintain positive physical and mental health. Effective Saturday, June 6, all 58 state park beaches will be open to swimming. State park pools will remain closed through at least Friday, June 12, with most in designated yellow and green counties reopening Saturday, June 13. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=655.

- Business-Related Legislative Updates: 

  • According to news reports, Pennsylvania nursing homes, small businesses and counties would be among the biggest recipients of some of the federal stimulus money under a plan that the PA House Appropriations Committee was expected to consider this week. The plan proposes to distribute two-thirds of the state's $3.9 billion allotment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, money. Nursing homes would be one of the biggest beneficiaries in the plan's distribution of $2.6 billion, receiving over $600 million for test kits, personal protective equipment, and other expenses to support their operation. Other highlights of the proposal include $200 million for grants to small businesses, $600 million for county block grants, and nearly $260 million for the Intellectual Disabilities Community Waiver Program and Autism intervention services provided through the state Department of Human Services. The remaining $1.3 billion would be held in reserve until it becomes clear where more resources may be needed as the state continues to combat the disease, the news report says. But lawmakers wanted to get an initial portion of the money out to those on the front-line who are deeply affected by the pandemic. Nursing and personal care homes have been among the hardest hit by the disease. As of today, according to the Department of Health, 17,721 people at 600 nursing and personal care facilities in 44 counties tested positive for the coronavirus…a quarter of the state's cases to date. Out of the state's 5,279 COVID-19-related deaths, 3,501 – or two-thirds – occurred in residents of those facilities.
  • The PA House passed legislation that will establish community block grants for businesses with 100 employees or less. The funds must be distributed by July 15. The PA Senate is expected to pass this measure shortly.

- The PA Department of Human Services today reminded Pennsylvanians that assistance programs and support outlets are available to help ease the COVID-19 recovery period. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=545.

- The PA Department of State is offering accessible write-in ballots for voters with disabilities for this Tuesday’s primary election. For details, click here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=385.

- The PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has established a new educational grant program. PFBC is accepting applications for the R3 program (Recruiting new participants, Retaining existing participants, and Reactivating former participants), which will offer grants to support programs that contribute to the Commission’s efforts to increase the number of anglers and boaters in the state. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/fish-and-Boat-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=325.

Posted 5/27/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf this afternoon issued more guidance for counties that will be moving into the green reopening phase, and guidance for restaurants/retail food service businesses and professional sports. Read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-issues-updated-green-phase-order-guidance-on-dining-and-professional-sports/.

The dining guidance allows outdoor eating, with restrictions, at establishments in counties in the yellow reopening phase, beginning next Friday, June 5. The new guidelines also allow, with limitations, indoor and outdoor dine-in services at restaurants and bars in counties in the green reopening phase. Click Here ‘Restaurant Industry Guidance’ for details.

- PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce will join U.S. Senator Bob Casey and U.S. Congressman Glenn Thompson for a virtual town hall tonight to answer questions about the $16 billion available to Pennsylvania farms in direct relief payments, through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The town hall will be livestreamed on Facebook at 6pm. Read more at: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=928.

- In an unprecedented move, state legislators are advancing a five-month temporary, stop-gap budget that maintains current spending levels and meets the July 1 deadline for passing a state budget while buying time to figure out how deeply state revenues will be impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. The proposed $25.8 million, no-new-taxes spending plan does, however, carry full-year funds for public schools and state-supported universities.

- Lock Haven University today announced planning is underway to develop a reopening strategy for fall, with a goal of announcing a decision on the fall semester in June. Click Here for LHU news release

- Keystone Central School District today provided a June update to their program of free meals for children. In addition to the breakfast and lunch meals the children are receiving now, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is partnering with the School District and will be serving ‘Farm to Family Food Boxes.’ Click Here for flyer.

- The Department of Human Services today released guidance for its providers (child care, long term care facilities, home & community-based services, behavioral health services, child welfare, and employment and training agencies) as counties enter the yellow phase stressing continued vigilance for mitigation efforts to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=544.

- General contractors are reminded of housing rehabilitation work opportunities through SEDA-COG’s Housing Rehab Program. Contractors are especially needed in Bloomsburg, Milton and Shamokin, however, SEDA-GOG also does housing rehabilitation work in Lock Haven, Jersey Shore, South Williamsport, Berwick, Mount Carmel and Sunbury, and in Juniata, Montour, Snyder and Sullivan counties. Housing rehabilitation bids typically range from $20,000 to $65,000, with timely payment to contractors. Contractor work may include structural, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating/furnace, window replacement, radon mitigation, energy-related improvements, and, if they have certain certifications, lead-based paint mitigation. Read more here. Contact SEDA-COG’s Danielle King at 570-524-4491 ext. 7325 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

​- PennDOT today extended expiration dates on driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16 through June 30,2020. More information here: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=736.

- PennDOT is slated to begin guide rail improvement work locally on Monday, June 1. The project will start along Interstate 80 at the eastern end of Clinton County and work westward, with traffic control and daytime lane closures. Click Here for news release for details.

- The River Valley Regional YMCA system, which includes the Lock Haven Area and Jersey Shore YMCAs, this week begins holding free outdoor group exercise classes for active ‘Y’ members. The first class, called a Mix n’ Mash, is scheduled for tonight at 6pm. Members can use the following link to register online: Register Here! 

River Valley is also looking for input as they prepare a reopening plan. Although no specific details have been finalized for reopening YMCA facilities, they are asking members to participate in a brief survey to better understand and take into consideration peoples’ questions and needs: Click Here For Survey!

- The Internal Revenue Service today issued a notice that Economic Impact Payments are being sent to nearly four million people via prepaid debit cards (instead of a check) that arrive in a plain envelope. The IRS also directed people to its website, IRS.gov, for responses to frequently asked questions. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-being-sent-by-prepaid-debit-cards-arrive-in-plain-envelope-irsgov-answers-frequently-asked-questions.

Additional Resources:

- The U.S. Treasury recently released Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) guidance documents. The following have been complied by the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association:

Of Note: If you offer an employee their job back and they refuse, you must inform the state unemployment office and provide proof of that to not be held responsible for that portion of the PPP loan.

Posted 5/26/20

- Please participate by tomorrow, May 27: The Clinton County Economic Partnership asks that you complete a brief survey to help in capturing the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on our business community. If you haven’t already, please take the survey by clicking on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Coronavirus-Economic-Impact-Survey.

- The Partnership is highlighting our member businesses on Facebook. As part of the “Support Clinton County Business! Member Spotlight” we are posting information and photos of Partnership member businesses on both the Clinton County Economic Partnership and Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook pages. Please complete the CCEP Covid-19 Member Spotlight form by Clicking Here to give us some quick information so we can help promote your business.

- PA CareerLink Clinton County is hosting virtual career information sessions for soon-to-graduate high school seniors. Employers participating in sessions tomorrow, May 27, include Clinton County Government; Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc.: and First Quality. This Thursday, May 28, virtual sessions will feature the City of Lock Haven and the Wayne Township Landfill. Senior students will be able to join the sessions via Zoom, to learn about the employers and job opportunities with those businesses. Click Here for the CareerLink flyer or contact CareerLink’s Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Meanwhile, First Quality will host a virtual Career Fair this Thursday, May 28 from 8-11am and 4-6pm for positions at its McElhattan operations. For career opportunities, visit www.joinFQ.com.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced that neighboring Centre County will be among the first counties in the state to move to the “green” reopening phase this Friday, May 29. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-thanks-pennsylvanians-for-continuing-to-do-their-part-to-slow-the-spread-of-covid-19/.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry is warning of COVID-19 unemployment scams and said Pennsylvanians should stay vigilant and report suspected fraud. Learn more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=458.

L&I also announced that their anti-fraud division had uncovered attempted scams, but none of the state’s L&I systems or data were breached. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=459.

- Pennsylvania lawmakers continue to work on economic recovery legislation. Two additional bills recently advanced from House committees that would help the economic recovery efforts. The House Finance Committee voted to send to H.B. 2497 to the House floor. This measure would exempt from state and local taxes federal Paycheck Protection Program loans that are forgiven and essentially converted from loans into grants. House Bill 2452, passed by the House Commerce Committee, would establish a $50 million small business grant program within the Department of Community & Economic Development to support employers impacted by the pandemic. Small business as defined in the legislation includes those businesses with less than $1.5 million in gross annual receipts each year and have fewer than 10 employees. Both bills now await further consideration by the full House.

Posted 5/22/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf this afternoon announced that 17 counties will be the first to transition into the “green” reopening phase next Friday, May 29 (Clinton, Centre and Lycoming counties are not included and remain in the “yellow” reopening phase). As of today, 49 counties are in the yellow phase, and as part of today’s update, the Governor said eight more counties will transition from red to yellow next Friday, with the rest of the state expected to move from red to yellow by June 5. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-adds-eight-counties-to-yellow-and-17-to-green-on-may-29-remainder-to-yellow-on-june-5/.

According to a report from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, worldwide cases of COVID-19 surpassed 5 million as of yesterday, with more than 330,000 deaths.

- With an understanding of the need for Pennsylvania families to secure child care options this summer, the state today issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) to provide guidance to parents, summer camp operators, public bathing places, part-day school-age programs, and other entities that provide child care and enrichment and recreational activities for children and youth during the summer months. The PA Department of Health FAQs are available here, and you can read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-releases-summer-camp-and-recreation-guidance/.

- The state Department of Labor and Industry announced today that Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for the month of April was 15.1%, the highest state jobless rate  in almost four decades. The numbers take in the impact of the coronavirus and school/business closures. The rate increased 9.3 points over the March reading of 5.8%. Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force dropped by 91,000 over the month of April. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=457.

The county by county April unemployment rates are expected to be released by the Department on or about June 2. Clinton County’s March unemployment percentage was 7.9%.

- Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined a bipartisan group of 39 Attorneys General in urging Congress to expand high speed internet access, saying broadband is critical for those studying, working, and seeking healthcare from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/attorney-general-shapiro-urges-congress-to-expand-high-speed-internet-access/.

- The PA Department of Health today said it will close the COVID-19 public testing site at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, next Friday, May 29, and direct resources to higher need areas. More than 2,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 at the site since it opened on April 20. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=821.

- Governor Wolf has amended his executive order that suspends foreclosures and evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment specifies that the order only suspends evictions or foreclosures due to lack of payment or because a tenant has overstayed a lease, and does not affect proceedings for other issues, such as property damage or illegal activity. The Governor’s order is in effect until July 10. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-modifies-executive-order-on-foreclosure-and-eviction-suspensions/.

- The PA Department of Corrections today announced that, beginning this Tuesday, May 26, they will begin the demobilization (or reopening) process for state prisons and will use a system of five levels that is guided by the governor’s statewide reopening plans. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/corrections_details.aspx?newsid=463.

- The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today released updated state-by-state figures for Economic Impact Payments. The information shows that 6,258,107 Pennsylvanians have received a total of $10,596,406,088. Learn more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-release-latest-state-by-state-economic-impact-payment-figures-for-may-22-2020.

- PA Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin will share details of the Wolf administration's phased county re-opening plan during the first of the PA Chamber's free, five-part "Bringing PA Back” webinar series next week. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, the webinar kicks off with Secretary Davin providing an overview of the red, yellow and green phase guidelines and the differences between the three; along with determinations that have been made regarding what businesses should remain open or be allowed to re-open; restrictions for work and social settings that are in place for each phase; and the latest guidelines from the state and Centers for Disease Control. Tuesday's webinar is the first of five online sessions that will prepare companies to re-open and safely welcome back employees and customers. For more information and to register for the "Bringing PA Back" webinar series, visit www.BringingPABack.com

Posted 5/21/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf says he plans to announce tomorrow, more counties that will be moving from the red to yellow reopening phase, and he added there’s hopes that some counties will be able to move from yellow to the less restrictive green phase. So far, 37 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are in the yellow phase, while another 12 will move from red to yellow as of midnight tonight. The remaining 18 counties are still in the red, stay-at-home phase.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry’s Center for Workforce Information & Analysis has launched an interactive dashboard for Weekly Unemployment Compensation Claims. The Weekly Unemployment Compensation Claims Dashboard provides an interactive look at the weekly reports located on the PA Unemployment Compensation Activity page. People can select a week-ending date, the type of claim (initial or continued), and an area (county or statewide). A breakdown of claims based on age group, gender, race/ethnicity, and industry sector will then be displayed. People can download the data via the toolbar located in the bottom right-hand corner of the dashboard.

- The national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released two resources to assist states in reopening. One summarizes the CDC’s initiatives, activities, and tools in support of the response to COVID-19. The second resource is a set of health considerations to be used by schools, institutes of higher education, summer camps, youth sports organizations, and restaurants and bars. Noting these are not mandates, the CDC says the considerations are meant to supplement, not replace, any local and state health and safety laws, rules and regulations. READ MORE.

- Governor Wolf today signed House Bill 327, now Act 21 of 2020, allowing the temporary sale of cocktails-to-go from bars, restaurants or hotels with a liquor license. The measure takes effect immediately. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-cocktails-to-go-bill/.

Meanwhile, 50 More Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores will begin limited in-store public access in yellow-phase counties, starting tomorrow. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=572.

- The Pennsylvania State Police today announced that Governor Wolf has granted an additional extension to license to carry firearms permits. Permits that expired on March 19, 2020 or later, have now been extended to July 31, 2020. The previous extension was set to expire May 30. The extension is necessary due to the closure of some county courthouses and sheriff's offices, as well as other ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=547.

- The state will be awarding more than $9 million to non-profit entities for projects to fight hunger and prevent food waste. The recipients of the 145 awards include food banks, soup kitchens and churches from across the commonwealth. The New Love Center, which is based out of Lycoming County and provides services in Clinton County, is listed as being eligible for $4,319. More here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-awards-9-6-million-in-grants-to-help-the-charitable-food-system/.

- The PA State Police and PennDOT today highlighted traffic safety as the state continues its phased reopening and in light of the upcoming holiday weekend. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=735.

- For those wanting to venture to nearby state parks and forests, DCNR this week introduced an interactive map where you can click on a specific county to see what state facilities are open or closed. See more: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/FacilitiesMap/Pages/default.aspx.

- The PA Game Commission today said it will reopen shooting ranges on additional state game lands in counties to be upgraded to the yellow reopening phase, including: Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming and York counties. For more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=396.

- Concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic have, sadly, forced the cancellation of yet another fair. The Centre County Grange Fair Committee announced that the August 21-29, 2020 Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair will not be held. For more, go to www.grangefair.com.

In addition, Mill Hall Borough Council this week made the difficult decision to not open the Community Pool at Mill Hall this summer, amid COVID-19 concerns. For more, visit the Community Pool at Mill Hall Facebook page.

On a more positive note, two of Clinton County’s three libraries will reopen next week, with limitations. Annie Halenbake Ross Library in Lock Haven and Friendship Community Library in Beech Creek will reopen for pickup service, on Tuesday, May 26. There are renovations underway at the Renovo Area Library in Renovo, so that facility will reopen at a later date. Temporary hours for Ross are: Tuesdays 10am-7pm; Wednesdays 10am-4pm; Thursdays 10am-7pm; Friday and Saturdays 10am-4pm; Closed Sundays and Mondays. Friendship Community Library hours will be their regular Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-7pm. Library Executive Director Tammy Garrison says patrons must call ahead or use a form on the library’s website, www.clintoncountylibraries.org to schedule an appointment for pickup of materials.

- On a non-COVID-19-related note, Clinton County will have a new state senator after the November election as 25th District State Senator Joe Scarnati has announced his retirement from political office at the end of his term. The Record newspaper’s Online newspaper, The Record-Online, will host a Virtual Town Hall tomorrow, Friday, May 22 at 7pm, featuring the three candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the June 2 Primary Election, James Brown, Chris Dush, and John “Herm” Suplizio. To watch the forum, go to www.therecord-online.com. The Record plans to have a similar Town Hall event with the successful primary GOP candidate and the lone Democratic nominee, Margie Brown, prior to the November 3 General Election.

Posted 5/20/20

- The Clinton County Economic Partnership is asking your help in capturing the impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on our business community. If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to complete a brief survey by clicking on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Coronavirus-Economic-Impact-Survey. We appreciate your input and ask that you complete the survey by next Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

- The Partnership is also highlighting our member businesses on Facebook. The “Support Clinton County Business! Member Spotlight” was launched last week when we began posting information and photos of Partnership member businesses on both the Clinton County Economic Partnership and Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook pages. Click Here for the CCEP Covid-19 Member Spotlight form to give us some quick information so we can help promote your business. Working together is the best way to successfully get through these challenging times.

- PA Careerlink Clinton County is hosting virtual career information sessions for soon-to-graduate high school seniors. Students will be able to join the sessions via Zoom, an online meeting platform, to learn about local employers and job opportunities with those businesses. Employers participating in sessions next Wednesday, May 27, include Clinton County Government; Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc.; and First Quality. On May 28, virtual career information sessions will feature the City of Lock Haven and the Wayne Township Landfill. Click here for the CareerLink flyer or contact CareerLink’s Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- The U.S. Chamber today published a new Paycheck Protection Program Guide to Forgiveness. The document provides businesses with an easy-to-understand explanation of what they need to do to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans. Click here to download the guide. (Note: the guide will be updated as new guidance is issued by the Dept. of the Treasury).

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced the state will distribute $51 million in CARES Act funding to support child care providers. According to the state, this initial funding will reach nearly 7,000 child care centers, including $187,600 in funds that are earmarked for child care operations in Clinton County; $421,500 to Lycoming County; and $502,800 to  Centre County. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-state-to-distribute-51-million-in-cares-funding-to-support-child-care-providers/.

- The state has received federal approval to launch online grocery purchasing for SNAP (formerly known as food stamp) recipients during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=541.

Posted 5/19/20

- The U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury have released the application form that businesses need to use to request loan forgiveness for their Paycheck Protection Program loan. The SBA says it will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities. Read more here: PRESS RELEASE, and see the Application.

Meanwhile, two business articles offer some insight on the PPP loan forgiveness: Fox Business Article, plus an article from Inc. magazine saying the SBA loan forgiveness application just shed light on several long-standing questions about the PPP. 

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the real estate industry can conduct limited business transactions, effective immediately. Read more here, including guidance to operate and the Governor’s and Health Department’s amended business closure orders: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-announces-real-estate-industry-may-conduct-limited-business-transactions-statewide/.- Governor Wolf today vetoed three bills related to the state’s response to COVID-19. Senate Bill 327 would have authorized counties to develop their own mitigation plans, while House Bills 2388 and 2412 would have allowed various industries to reopen in red phase counties. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-vetoes-sb-327-hb-2388-and-hb-2412/.

- Governor Wolf and state Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced Property Tax/Rent Rebates will arrive early to help seniors and others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for details: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-treasurer-torsella-announce-property-tax-rent-rebates-arriving-early-to-help-seniors-others-during-covid-19-pandemic/.

- The state has today released data on COVID-19 cases by long-term care facilities (no Clinton County facilities were included on the list). Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=817. - The PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources today announced plans to reopen more state park and state forest facilities. State park and forest offices opened last Friday in Clinton and other counties that were the first to move into the state’s yellow reopening phase. Similar operations in the other yellow phase counties will open this Friday, May 22. Tent and RV camping also will open May 22. Facilities such as cabins, cottages, lodges, and yurts in most recent rounds of announced yellow counties will open June 12. More here:  https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=653.

- Governor Wolf today announced that PA food distributors will receive $50 million for the Farmers to Families Food Boxes program Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-pa-food-distributors-receive-50-million-for-farmers-to-families-food-boxes/.

Posted 5/18/20

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry over the weekend launched a program for those who exhaust their unemployment compensation benefits. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program will provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=456.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced the availability of federal funding for COVID-19 testing and treatment for uninsured patients. Learn more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-federal-funding-available-for-covid-19-testing-and-treatment-for-uninsured-patients/.

- PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that Pennsylvania has been awarded $255,373, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm to Food Bank Program, which will be distributed to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to reimburse farmers for costs associated with harvesting, packing, processing, and distributing donated agricultural surplus. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=925.​- PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trails in state forests will open tomorrow, May 19, several days ahead of the normal season to reduce opening weekend crowding and provide more opportunities for social distancing. Learn more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=652.

- Gov. Wolf today stressed the important roles of the PA Emergency Management Agency and National Guard in the state’s pandemic response. For more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-stresses-roles-of-pa-emergency-management-agency-national-guard-in-pandemic-response/.

- Partnership members are invited to participate in a UPMC & Clinton County Economic Partnership-hosted virtual ‘Back to Business’ Forum tomorrow, May 19, at 3pm. The forum will offer local input into reopening, repairing and restoring Clinton County’s economy and a COVID-19 update from UPMC. Special guests will be Clinton County Commissioners Miles Kessinger, Jeff Snyder and Angela Harding. The forum will be moderated by Partnership CEO Mike Flanagan and will allow for Q&A. To join the forum:

  • Download Microsoft Teams for free before the event

  • Click on this Link to Join on May 19 at 3 p.m. to join the UPMC/Clinton County Chamber Back to Business Forum

  • If you’re unable to join via video, call 412-447-5295 and use Conference ID: 513 998 322#

- The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has issued decision tools for Business and Workplaces: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

The U.S. Chamber continues to create and update various informational guides and resources. We share with you the following:

- According to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) is now available in Pennsylvania. The program provides free N95 respirator decontamination to healthcare facilities, first responders, and other eligible organizations that may be experiencing a shortage of the respirators due to limited availability through normal procurement channels. An eligible organization that wishes to use the system for N95 decontamination must register and enter into a use agreement with Battelle, at which time they will receive additional guidance regarding the types of N95s that are allowed and instructions for shipping and delivery. The service is available free of charge for use by eligible organizations – the federal government is absorbing 100% of the cost. The only cost to an eligible organization is for shipping to and from the site. For more, visit: https://www.battelle.org/inb/battelle-ccds-for-covid19-satellite-locations utm_source=email&utm_medium=respoder&utm_campaign=fy20-covid&utm_content=v1.

- The Internal Revenue Service today began using phone operators to answer questions about economic impact payments. Learn more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-adds-phone-operators-to-answer-economic-impact-payment-questions.- Today is the deadline to register to vote if you want to participate in Pennsylvania’s June 2 primary election. You can check your status at www.votesPA.com, then register or update your existing voter registration information using the state’s Online Voter Registration (OVR) website. For the first time, voters will be able to Vote by mail-in ballot without having to provide a reason. The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is next Tuesday, May 26. For more information, contact the Clinton County Elections Office at 570-893-4019 or click here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=383. As of today, the County Elections Office reports that more than 3,000 people have applied for a mail-in ballot. Clinton County currently has 20,791 registered voters.

Posted 5/15/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf this afternoon announced that 12 more counties will move into the state’s yellow phase of reopening next Friday, May 22. Last Friday, 24 counties – including Clinton – moved into the yellow phase, and they were joined today by 13 more counties, leaving 18 counties still in the red phase. Read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-12-more-counties-to-move-to-yellow-phase-on-may-22/.

- As a follow-up to an initial economic impact survey issued two months ago, the Clinton County Economic Partnership is again asking your help in capturing the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had and continues to have on our business community.  Please take a few moments to complete a brief survey by clicking on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Coronavirus-Economic-Impact-Survey. We appreciate your input and ask that you complete the survey by May 27, 2020.

​- State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today highlighted the department's efforts to reduce food waste and decrease stress on our food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also outlined steps Pennsylvanians can take at home to reduce food waste, and connect with organizations across the commonwealth working to recover food and distribute to those in need. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=924.

- The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission today announced that their historical sites and museums will remain closed to the public until the counties in which they are located enter the green phase of the Governor’s reopening plan. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PHMC-Details.aspx?newsid=369.

Posted 5/14/20

- As part of the effort to help rebuild our local economy, the Economic Partnership is highlighting local businesses on Facebook. The “Support Clinton County Business! Member Spotlight” was launched yesterday when we began posting information and photos of Partnership member businesses on both the Clinton County Economic Partnership and Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook pages. Click Here for CCEP Covid-19 Member Spotlight form to give us some quick information so we can help promote your business. Working together is the best way to successfully get through these challenging times.

- The Federal Reserve Board today issued a report on the economic well-being of U.S. households, which shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The news release from the Federal Reserve also include a video that offers highlights of the report. Learn more: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/other20200514a.htm.

- 25th District State Senator and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, whose district includes Clinton County, and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman of neighboring Centre County last night issued a news release about four Senate Bills that they say are designed to protect lives and livelihoods. Click Here for more on the proposed reopening legislation.

- The Department of Agriculture today outlined the order of enforcement actions that would be taken against restaurants offering dine-in services to patrons in violation of Governor Tom Wolf's March 19 business closure order. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=922.

- The state today launched a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Recovery Crisis Program to ease utility costs for Pennsylvanians affected by the COVID-19 crisis. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=537.

- What are the most pressing needs in our community and how can we best meets those needs, are always important questions, and now even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. STEP, Inc., the community action agency serving people in Clinton and Lycoming counties, is asking those who have not yet done so, to complete their Community Needs Assessment by tomorrow, May 16. Clinton County residents can complete the survey here; Lycoming County residents here.

- Special thanks to The Collision Center in Lock Haven, which is offering a June special for local emergency response heroes on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. First responders -- firefighters, EMTs police and emergency personnel – are able to have the interior of their personal vehicles cleaned. The Collision Center is offering the cleaning at no cost. First responders can call 570-748-MEND (6363) to schedule an appointment.

Posted 5/13/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the state will receive $523 million in one-time federal emergency funds to support schools. Starting today, school districts can apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education to receive their allocation of the funding. The proposed allocation for local schools includes $1,206,952 for Keystone Central School District; $105,001 for Sugar Valley Rural Charter School; and $399,044 for Jersey Shore Area School District. Click here for more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/pennsylvania-receives-523-million-in-one-time-federal-emergency-funds-to-support-schools/.

- PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding is seeking federal stimulus support from Congress for Pennsylvania’s agriculture and food industries. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=921.

Secretary Redding, meanwhile, today reminded people of the importance of practicing respect when patronizing businesses. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=920.

- Amidst continued concerns and uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus, the Clinton County Fair Board last night made the tough decision to cancel this year’s Clinton County Fair, which had been scheduled for August 1-8. The Board issued the following statement: "It is with deep sadness that the Clinton County Fair Board has decided to cancel the 2020, 48th annual Clinton County Fair. The decision is based on the restrictions from the state of social distancing, limitations of groups and strict cleaning guidelines.”

In an effort to continue to support local youth, the Fair Board said it is discussing an online Junior Livestock Sale.

In the meantime, all fair-sponsored events, including the weekly Farmers Market that had been scheduled to begin this month at the fairgrounds, are cancelled until further notice. For pulling and speedway events, people are asked to refer to the websites and Facebook pages of those organizations -- the Clinton County Tractor Pullers Association (CCTPA of PA on Facebook) and the Clinton County Speedway, website www.clintoncountyspeedway.com or Facebook Clinton County Speedway.

- The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) today highlighted plans for reopening state park and state forest facilities, including reopening park and forest district offices, as well was tent and RV camping, this Friday, May 15, in the counties in the ‘yellow’ reopening phase….which includes Clinton County. In addition, The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park will open this Friday (facilities such as cabins, cottages, lodges, and yurts in those same counties are slated to open June 12). Read more.

- National Safe Boating Week begins this Saturday, May 16, and the PA Fish & Boat Commission and DCNR are taking the opportunity to promote boating safety, including encouraging people to consider how their boating activities could be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=651.

- The PA Department of Community & Economic Development today announced more funds have been awarded to businesses through the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program. Read more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/covid-19-working-capital-access-program-provides-funding-assistance-to-additional-pennsylvania-businesses/.

- The U.S. Treasury has released its second round report on the Paycheck Protection Program. It indicates that, nationwide, 2,571,167 loans totaling $188,943,588,568 have been approved through 5,463 lenders. In Pennsylvania, 81,093 loans totaling $5,740,697,808 were approved in this latest round of funding announcements. READ REPORT.

- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and U.S. Congressman Lloyd Smucker will co-host a virtual panel discussion on the issue of safely reopening Pennsylvania’s economy tomorrow, May 14, at 10am. You can stream the roundtable via Senator Toomey’s YouTube page. Panelists include Steve Massini, CEO, Penn State Health (Hershey); Reverend Georgette Morgan-Thomas, Owner, American Hats LLC; Joshua Parsons, Chairman of the Lancaster County Commissioners; and Tonia Ulsh, Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer, Mountz Jewelers.

- PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro today issued a Child Abuse Alert, urging Pennsylvanians to report suspected instances of child abuse as data suggests there could be a surge in unreported cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/child-abuse-alert-surge-in-unreported-abuse-expected/.

- The PA Department of Human Services is reminding Pennsylvanians struggling with mental health and substance use disorders that help is available. People needing help can access a toll-free Support & Referral Helpline that offers round-the-clock support at 1-855-284-2494. Click here for more information: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=536.

Meanwhile, the Department today also reminded people that online services are available for those on public assistance. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=535.

- As more counties move into the yellow reopening phase, more services are reopening. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced today that 155 more Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores will begin limited in-store public access as 13 more counties move into the ‘yellow’ reopening phase this Friday. Details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=571.

The PA Game Commission will open more shooting ranges and its Southwest Region Office this Friday, May 15, in conjunction with more counties moving into the yellow phase. Learn more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=393.

- The Clinton County Voter Registration/Elections Office is seeking Poll Workers for Primary Election Day, June 2. Workers are needed in several precincts, including Porter Township, Lamar Township, Crawford Township, and the City of Lock Haven. Poll Workers are compensated and training is provided. Click Here for a description of duties and an application. For questions, contact Director of Voter Registration Maria Boileau at 570-893-4019 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Posted 5/13/20

The SBDC today begins a series of no-cost webinars called “Quick Connect Sessions” – on demand coaching for small business owners to get immediate answers to questions related to disaster recovery, reopening, stabilizing, and projecting for growth. Today’s Quick Connect Session will be held at 1:00 p.m, with additional Quick Connect Sessions scheduled for 1pm on May 20 and 27. Click here for Event Details and Registration.

For other SBDC offerings, visit https://sbdc.psu.edu/events/.

Posted 5/12/20

- As part of the effort to help rebuild our local economy, the Economic Partnership plans to highlight our member businesses on Facebook. We’d like to get some quick information from you to help in that promotion. Click Here to complete the Member Spotlight Form and get it back to us as soon as you can. We’ll use that information to tell people about your products and services. Working together is the best way to successfully get through these challenging times.

- PennDOT today announced they will use existing photos for Driver License and Identification Card renewals. More details here:https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=729.

- The PA Department of Health says it continues to fight COVID-19 in nursing homes through testing, education and resources. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=806.

- The PA Recreation & Park Society (PRPS) today issued Recreation and Park Facility Reopening Guidelines. PRPS called the guidelines “advice to assist park owners and stewards to comply with guidance from the PA Dept. of Health and Governor Wolf’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania, especially where specific recreation and park directives remain undefined.” They further cautioned, “Certain of these recommendations may differ with local regulations or future definitive state guidance when issued; and PRPS defers to those authorities.”  Download Document(CCEP Note: It is the Partnership’s understanding that details of the “Green” Phase and specific guidelines for businesses under that phase, have not been determined or finalized, so the information in this document should not be taken as official guidance from the state). 

- The Wayne Township Landfill today announced that Curbside Recycling collection in Clinton County will resume this coming Monday, May 18. The Landfill asks that curbside recycling participants place their recyclables at the curb on their scheduled day. If someone in a household has been sick, is quarantined or has tested positive for COVID-19, they are being asked to throw away any recyclables. The Landfill reopened to the general public on April 28. There was no interruption in Landfill service at community recycling drop-off locations, which accept recyclables including newspaper, office paper, junk mail, plastic bottles and jugs, aluminum and tin cans, and corrugated cardboard.

Posted 5/11/20

- Clinton County businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have until tomorrow, May 12, to seek a local loan through a program offered through the County Commissioners in conjunction with the county revolving loan fund board, the Clinton County Economic Partnership and SEDA-COG. Under program guidelines, no payments are due in the first six months of the new loan program, which is part of the existing Clinton County Revolving Loan Fund. The loan will be amortized over three years and the interest rate is anticipated to be 2.5%. Loan fund requests are expected to range from $5,000 to $25,000, with the ability to go higher in special circumstances. The total available is approximately $350,000. Funds can be used for working capital and can be disbursed based on past working capital expenses. SEDA-COG will review applications and make recommendations to the county revolving loan board, which then will make recommendations to the county commissioners. For more information or an application, contact Mike Flanagan of the Clinton County Economic Partnership at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 570-748-5782. SEDA-COG’s John Reichard can also be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- In response to commissioners in some PA counties still in the “red” stay-at-home phase who say they want to open their counties back up, Governor Wolf today urged Pennsylvanians to stay the course and follow the law. Read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-to-pennsylvania-we-must-stay-the-course-we-must-follow-the-law/.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department today also issued a warning of risks and increased liability with non-compliance of business closure orders, for counties in both the red and yellow phases. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Insurance-Details.aspx?newsid=427.

- The PA Department of Community and Economic Development has released information about approved business exemptions associated with the Coronavirus, including a map of approved exemptions by county. Click here for details: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-releases-information-regarding-approved-business-exemptions/.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry is advising that anyone who receives a denial of their unemployment compensation claim after the time for appeal has expired and believes the denial was incorrect, may still file an appeal. For more, click here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=455.

- PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro today issued a consumer alert, encouraging Pennsylvanians to check their credit more often during the COVID-19 emergency. Read more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/consumer-alerts/shapiro-issues-consumer-alert-check-your-credit-more-often-through-covid-19-emergency/.

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health are encouraging owners/operators of buildings closed for extended periods due to the COVID-19 pandemic to flush water systems prior to reopening. More here: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21822&typeid=1.

- Additional PennDOT Driver License and Photo License Centers in yellow phase counties reopened as of this past Saturday, adhering to the state’s restrictions on work and social interaction. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=727.

Meanwhile, PennDOT is also opening additional rest areas across the state. Click Here for a map that shows the Carroll rest areas along Interstate-80 in Clinton County remain closed. Those east- and west-bound rest areas are expected to be closed for another four weeks to allow for completion of a water service tank replacement, a project that was delayed due to closures associated with the pandemic.

- The PA Department of Human Services today announced support for child care providers as they transition to reopening. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=850.

- Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar today reminded voters that they have their choice of voting by mail-in ballot or going to their polling place on June 2, primary election day. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=382.

- The State Game Commission says 2019-20 shooting-range permits will remain valid for an additional two months after their printed expiration date to make up for lost opportunity from the agency closing ranges in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=392.

- The Internal Revenue Service’s Economic Impact Payment Information Center continues to update information. Recently-added questions and answers on the site address how to return an economic impact payment, whether the IRS will contact you about your payment, and how to handle a payment mistakenly sent to a deceased individual. For more, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center.

- Our two leading health care organizations locally – UPMC and Geisinger – last week hosted virtual informational updates for the local business community that focused on safely getting businesses back up and running. As a follow-up, both UPMC and Geisinger have developed guides to support a safe reopening process:

Posted 5/8/20

- Governor Tom Wolf this afternoon announced that 13 additional counties in the state will move to the ‘yellow’ phase of reopening as of next Friday, May 15. View more details here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-13-counties-will-move-to-yellow-phase-of-reopening-on-may-15/.

Meanwhile, the Governor and PA Health Secretary Rachel Levine last night updated their orders governing the 24 counties – including Clinton County – that today moved into the yellow phase of reopening, and they extended the ‘red’ stay-at-home order for the state’s remaining 43 counties until June 4. The initial orders had been set to expire last night, so the extension was a necessary action. Read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-sec-of-health-take-actions-on-stay-at-home-orders-issue-yellow-phase-orders/.

- The PA Department of Health has issued a ‘Safety Procedures for Business’ poster that Life Sustaining Businesses in all counties, as well as Non-Life Sustaining Businesses who have opened in the yellow phase counties, are required to sign and display.  Click Here for flyer.

- For up-to-date COVID-19 resources for businesses, communities and local governments, visit the following PA Department of Community & Economic Development webpage: https://dced.pa.gov/resources/.

- The Health Department today released revised dental health care guidance for treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=800.

- The PA Department of Human Services today launched an Emergency Assistance Program to help low-income families amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Details are here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=529.

- The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service today released updated state-by-state figures for Economic Impact Payments, with approximately 130 million individuals receiving payments worth more than $200 billion in the program’s first four weeks. The number for Pennsylvania shows 5,215,824 Economic Impact Payments made, totaling $8,821,284,132. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-release-latest-state-by-state-economic-impact-payment-figures.

Meanwhile, Treasury and the IRS today urged people to use the Get My Payment tool by noon Wednesday, May 13, for a chance to get a quicker delivery of their Economic Impact Payments. More details here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/act-by-wednesday-for-chance-to-get-quicker-economic-impact-payment-timeline-for-payments-continues-to-accelerate.

- The Penn State Small Business Development Center is hosting several virtual workshops this month, including “Quick Connect” sessions during which businesses can get an immediate answer to questions related to disaster recovery, reopening, stabilizing, and projecting for growth. The first Quick Connect session will be held Wednesday, May 13 at 1pm. Details and registration for these no-cost sessions are found here: https://sbdc.psu.edu/events/.

Posted 5/7/20

- UPDATE:  PA Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today announced that eligible self-employed, independent contractors and others not normally eligible to apply for regular unemployment compensation (UC) can begin filing back-dated claims. Claims should be filed through the state’s new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) website. Read more here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=454.

- The Partnership today offered public testimony in support of efforts by the Clinton County Commissioners to establish a local grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, using emergency Community Development Block Grant funds that are slated to come to Clinton County as part of the federal CARES Act. The Clinton County Planning Office currently is establishing guidelines for the grant program and is expected to submit information to the state in mid-June for approval, after which the grant program will be formally announced. The County program will be for businesses situated outside the City of Lock Haven, which receives separate CDBG funding.

- The state’s document that offers Guidance for Businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be updated. The full guidelines are posted here, or you can Click Here for the most recent version of this document, updated as of yesterday. Businesses that have questions about whether this guidance applies to them should contact the PA Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).

Meanwhile, there’s also a file of frequently asked questions related to the Governor's Executive Order mandating closures for COVID-19 mitigation, which is also updated regularly (as of today): https://www.scribd.com/document/452553495/UPDATED-9-00-AM-May-7-2020-Life-Sustaining-Business-FAQs.

- The Central PA Chapter of SCORE is offering to assist businesses and non-profit organizations in Clinton County in developing a strategy for resuming operations that were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Based out of State College, the local SCORE chapter’s service area includes Clinton as well as Centre, Mifflin, Clearfield and Huntingdon counties. SCORE is made up of ‘mentors’ who are retired and current members of the business community who offer no cost, one-on-one assistance and support. Click Here for more information.

- We have received word through Gearhart Herr Insurance in Lock Haven that the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner has approved temporary changes to Workers Compensation (WC) insurance premiums due to COVID-19 that may result in premium reductions for businesses. All workers compensation policies are rated based on yearly payroll totals and separated into various class codes. If you have employees working from home, the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau that oversees PA Workers Comp is allowing businesses to place their payroll into the cheapest class code, clerical (code 0953). This may save you money as the rate for this class code is very inexpensive. Also, if you have furloughed workers (you paid them but they did not perform any duties), you may exclude this payroll from your WC audit (use class code 1212). Businesses should remember this when audited at the end of the policy. Contact your insurance agent if you have questions.

- The Internal Revenue Service today issued a reminder that three new credits are available to many businesses hit by COVID-19. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-three-new-credits-are-available-to-many-businesses-hit-by-covid-19.

- PA Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced measures to protect Pennsylvanians from foreclosures and evictions through July 10. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-attorney-general-shapiro-announce-protections-from-foreclosures-and-evictions-through-july-10/.

- The Wolf Administration this week outlined food assistance programs available for Pennsylvanians to enroll in to get them through current COVID-19-induced tough times. More details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=919.

Meanwhile, the Governor’s office today announced it has received federal approval to launch a food access program for students during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=846.

- Governor Wolf last night signed an executive order to afford health care practitioners protection against liability for good faith actions taken in response to the call to supplement the health care provider workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-signs-executive-order-to-provide-civil-immunity-for-health-care-providers/.

In response to the Governor’s order, the PA Chamber of Business & Industry says the state needs to go further to protect all businesses. Click here to read the PA Chamber statement.

- The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the availability of $1.5 billion in CARES Act funds to aid communities impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Click Here for details.

- Lock Haven University President Robert Pignatello continues to offer updates on LHU’s response to COVID-19 and future plans. Click Here for the latest.

- River Valley Regional YMCA CEO Chad Eberhart today offered an update on what moving into the ‘yellow’ phase means for RVR YMCA’s, including the Lock Haven Y. Click Here for more.

- The Woolrich Company Store in Woolrich – a shopping destination for people near and far – will be among the local businesses reopening tomorrow as Clinton and surrounding counties transition into the ‘yellow’ phase of the state’s reopening stages. The store will resume normal operating hours – weekdays and Saturdays 10am to 6pm, and Sundays noon to 5pm. Businesses – whether they have been open during the pandemic or are just reopening – are still being asked to use precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, so for the time being, the Woolrich Store will require all customers to wear masks.

Posted 5/6/20

- PA Governor Tom Wolf today announced plans to create a Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps to support the safe reopening and recovery of the state’s economy. Read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-outlines-plans-to-create-commonwealth-civilian-coronavirus-corps-to-support-fall-covid-19-recovery-efforts/.

- The Clinton County Commissioners – during a Facebook public hearing tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock – are seeking input on how emergency funds coming from the federal CARES Act to local governments via the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program will be used locally. The County anticipates receiving more than $160,000 in CDBG-CV funds to help support local response to the impact of the coronavirus. One of the eligible uses for the funds is business assistance programs, which could include grants or loans for local businesses. Tomorrow, May 7, at 10:00 a.m., the Commissioners will host a virtual public hearing via the Clinton County Government Facebook page to accept public comment on the funding. If you feel grants or loans for local business would be a good use of these funds, please make your thoughts known, either during this public hearing or in writing to the County Commissioners.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Chamber president Gene Barr this week outlined a set of initiatives designed to safely re-open the business sector and jumpstart the coronavirus stalled state economy. Barr noted policies that he said were critical to the successful relaunching of the Pennsylvania economy, including providing some form of safe harbor to businesses against coronavirus-related liability as well as business friendly public policies. Barr stressed that the goal of the chamber's initiative is to promote economic recovery. "It's incredible thinking about this year ...that less than two months ago we had a vibrant economy that we literally slammed the brakes on and stopped this economy" Barr said. "Now the goal is again to take a look at what we need to do to reopen safely....and find out what we need to do to get people to reinvest and invest perhaps for the first time in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." He advocated a policy that would establish a safe harbor for the business sector to protect businesses from liability. Barr said the policy should be narrow, targeted and temporary. "We are hearing from members who say, 'I could do everything right. I could follow all protection, follow all the guidelines and could still be hit with a lawsuit," Barr said. "We are already seeing trial lawyers on social media trying to find clients to bring litigation. That is a real problem. We have people expressing reservations about bringing their business back because they don't want to have to say, 'I did everything right and still got sued." Since the March 15 order that shuttered the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, more than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians have filed for regular unemployment compensation as the economy has taken a behemoth hit with thousands of businesses being forced to shutter. Read More

- New guidance for several programs under the CARES Act was released in the last week as the federal government worked out more details. The U.S. Travel Association has updated their fact sheets to reflect this new guidance:

  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program portal has reopened, but the Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently only accepting applications from agricultural businesses. Reference the U.S. Travel EIDL factsheet for more.
  • The Federal Reserve announced changes to the scope and eligibility for its Main Street Lending Program that will allow larger businesses to participate. Reference the U.S. Travel Exchange Stabilization Fund factsheet and the Federal Reserve website for more information.
  • The SBA released updated guidance on how seasonal businesses should calculate costs for the Paycheck Protection Program. Click here for the U.S. Travel PPP factsheet.

- Governor Wolf today announced a program to provide free N95 respirator decontamination to healthcare facilities, first responders, and other eligible organizations that may be experiencing a shortage of the respirators due to limited availability through normal procurement channels. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-free-n95-decontamination-system-for-healthcare-facilities-first-responders-now-available/.

- The Wolf Administration this week applied for $523 million in federal Emergency Funds to support schools across the state, including Keystone Central School District. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=842.

- PA Wine & Good Spirits stores in Clinton County and in the other counties slated to move into the state’s “yellow” phase this Friday will resume limited, in-store public access beginning this Friday. Read details: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Liquor-Control-Board-Details.aspx?newsid=570.

Posted 5/5/20

- As part of its new initiative to help businesses safely re-open their facilities and jumpstart the economy, the PA Chamber today announced the launch of the 'Bringing PA Back' website. The website features critical information for employers, including: guidance from trusted sources on workplace readiness – such as cleaning and safety standards; employment opportunities; industry-specific guidance; and policy recommendations that will help to revive Pennsylvania's economy. The website includes a map of the Commonwealth – identifying which phase of the re-opening process each county is currently in – along with an overview of the state's guidance for each phase.

- Pennsylvania’s U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Health Care, will host a virtual roundtable “Gradually and Safely Re-Opening the Economy” at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, May 6. People can stream and listen in via Senator Toomey’s YouTube page. Among Toomey’s guests will be Steven Shapiro with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Mark McClellan with Duke University, and Paul Romer, New York University.

- Geisinger hosts a ‘Back to Business: Working through COVID19’ virtual discussion on preparing our businesses – tomorrow, May 6, at 10:30 a.m. Hosted in collaboration with Chambers of Commerce (including the Partnership) in Geisinger’s service region, this session will feature Geisinger President & CEO Jaewon Ryu; Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer Dr. J. Edward Hartle; and Vice President of Health & Wellness Allison Hess. Registration is requested and is being coordinated through the Scranton Chamber. Click here to register: https://weblink.scrantonchamber.com/events/BACK-TO-BUSINESS-Working-through-COVID19-Virtual-discussion-on-preparing-our-businesses-4108/details.

- There continues to be job opportunities in northcentral PA. PA CareerLink Clinton County provides an updated listing of local employers who have available positions, including: Air Parts of Lock Haven, Inc.; Avery Dennison Performance Polymers; Bechdel Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning; Brodart Co.; Browns Hill Tavern; Clinton County Government (Department of Emergency Services dispatcher trainees and Clinton County Corrections Officer positions); First Quality Hygienic; First Quality Products; First Quality Tissue; Lock Haven Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; Nutek Disposables, Inc.; Quality Inn of Lamar; SA Piper Logistics; Susque-View Home Nursing & Rehabilitation Center; VETFORCE, Inc.; Wayne Township; Wayne Township Landfill; Anderson Merchandisers, LP; Associates for Training & Development; Bayada Home Health Care; Caris Sub Shop; Community Resources for Independence; Community Services Group (CSG); ESS (aka Source4Teachers); Fulmer’s Personal Care Home; Interim Healthcare; Kohen Cleaning; Lowe’s Home Center, Inc.; My Home Care, LLC; Nicholas Meats; Novitex; OSL Retail Services, Inc.; RBR Transport Services; Roe-Ada Well Support, LLC; TDS Telecommunications Corp.; Todd’s Auto Body; Tractor Supply Co.; TruGreen Lawncare; United States Census; Wal Mart; and Weis.

Employers with hiring needs can contact PA CareerLink® Clinton County representatives Dorie Gilmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bob Bechdel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Job seekers who have questions on any job posting can also contact Gilmore or Bechdel.

- The PA Department of Community and Economic Development today announced that 173 companies in 39 counties have received $14 million in funding during the third round of the state’s COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA). To date, more than $37 million has been awarded from a fund of $61 million the state has made available to provide loans to small  businesses. The state continues to review submitted applications for approval (the application process was closed several weeks ago when requests exceeded available funds) and is working to disburse more CWCA funds. Information on future awardees will be released as it becomes available. Read more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/covid-19-working-capital-access-program-provides-relief-to-hundreds-of-additional-businesses/.

- Veteran Community Initiatives – a Johnstown-based organization that covers a 14-county region, including Clinton County – is launching a temporary program to assist veterans whose employment has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have established a Veteran Assistance Care Program and will distribute a one-time award of $100 to up to 200 affected veterans on a first-come, first-served basis. Click Here for the news release.

- PA Treasurer Joe Torsella is calling on financial institutions to waive fees and offsets on stimulus checks. Read more: https://www.patreasury.gov/newsroom/archive/2020/05-04-Stimulus-Fees.html.

- PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro today urged businesses to honor their promised refund policies for customers who had their trips and events cancelled due to COVID-19 closures. Read more: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/covid-19/ag-shapiro-travel-event-refund-policies-must-be-honored-during-covid-19-emergency/

- The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania has released a Landlord Toolkit to provide a framework of tools and resources for small- and large-scale landlords as they face rental income losses and general uncertainty. The toolkit includes:

 - The state has canceled its annual spring Heavy Equipment Auction – typically held in May for municipalities and June for the general public – in response to COVID-19. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DGS_details.aspx?newsid=144.

- Millbrook Playhouse kicks off their 57th season this weekend with a Friday, May 8, virtual performance featuring the Millbrook Playhouse Youth Ensemble. The 7pm performance, recommended for all ages, features nearly 25 young, local performers in the virtual children’s musical “The Show Must Go Online!” Visit www.millbrookplayhouse.org to stream the show at no cost. Donations are welcome to help cover costs associated with the performance and can be made by visiting www.millbrookplayhouse or calling 570-748-8083. Due to the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus, Millbrook postponed their regular season shows until next year, but is working on both virtual and in-person options for this season.

Posted 5/4/20

- The Governor's Office this afternoon released additional guidance for businesses in the 24 counties – including Clinton County – that will move into the yellow phase this Friday, May 8. He encouraged all businesses, but especially those that were closed completely during the red phase under the state’s business closure orders, to ‘carefully review the guidance and commit to ensuring the health and safety of their employees and their communities.’ Click to review guidance.

- The PA Department of Labor & Industry is saying their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is expected to be fully operational this week, and they are reminding people – the self-employed, independent contractors and others who would not normally be eligible for regular unemployment compensation – to apply for benefits at www.up.pa.gov/PUA. For the latest on PUA, click here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=452.

- The Pa. Office of Unemployment Compensation has updated its FAQ document for businesses to include information on when an employee refuses to return to work and “relief from charges” for businesses. Meanwhile, while legislation has been passed to ensure “relief from charges” to employers for employees collecting unemployment during the pandemic, computer systems have not yet been updated to stop the automatic mailing of the “relief from charges” form to employers. If you receive this notice, complete section E (Disaster) on the form.

- Additional Paycheck Protection Program details are starting to emerge from the U.S. Treasury Department with a recently updated FAQ document. Question #40 relates to loan forgiveness. More information is expected this week, according to the PA Restaurant & Lodging Association.

- The Internal Revenue Service has released a Questions & Answer document on the Employee Retention Tax Credit under the CARES Act. Click here: FAQs on the Employee Retention Credit.

- A reminder that Clinton County businesses impacted by the COVID-19 can seek a local loan through a program now being offered through the County Commissioners in conjunction with the county revolving loan fund board, the Clinton County Economic Partnership and SEDA-COG.

   Under the program guidelines, no payments are due in the first six months of the new loan program, which is part of the existing county revolving loan fund. The loan will amortized over three years and the interest rate is anticipated to be 2.5%. Loan fund requests are expected to be in the $5,000 to $25,000 range with the ability to go higher in special circumstances. The total available is approximately $350,000. The deadline to submit an application is May 12 or until the loan is exhausted.

   Funds can be used for working capital and can be disbursed based on past working capital expenses. SEDA-COG will review applications and make recommendations to the county revolving loan board, which then makes a recommendation to the county commissioners.

   For more information or an application, contact Mike Flanagan of the Clinton County Economic Partnership at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 570-748-5782. SEDA-COG’s John Reichard can also be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Two health care leaders this week are hosting virtual forums specifically geared for businesses. We encourage Partnership members to take advantage of these informational opportunities:

  • UPMC Virtual ‘Back to Business’ Forum – Tuesday, May 5, 2pm – Specifically for businesses in Clinton and Lycoming counties, UPMC Infectious Disease medical director, Dr. Rutul Dalal, will talk about what’s known about COVID-19, how we can prevent the spread, and preventive measures needed in the workplace. There will be opportunity for Q&As. The session is hosted by the Partnership, the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber, and UPMC. Follow these steps to join:
  • Click here toDownload Microsoft Teamsfor free before the event.
  • Then click here to Join Meeting on May 5 at 2:00 p.m.
  • If you’re unable to join via video, you can call 412-447-5295 and use Conference ID: 851 064 116#
  • Geisinger ‘Back to Business: Working through COVID19’ virtual discussion on preparing our businesses – Wednesday, May 6, 10:30 a.m. Hosted by Geisinger in collaboration with Chambers of Commerce (including the Partnership) in their service region, this session will feature Geisinger representatives Jaewon Ryu, MD JD, President & Chief Executive Officer; J. Edward Hartle, MD, Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer; and Allison Hess, Vice President of Health & Wellness. Registration is requested and is being coordinated through the Scranton Chamber. Click here: https://weblink.scrantonchamber.com/events/BACK-TO-BUSINESS-Working-through-COVID19-Virtual-discussion-on-preparing-our-businesses-4108/details.

- As the reopening process begins, there will be new practices and guidelines to consider, many that involve the need for various cleaning supplies and personal protection items. Partnership member M&J Supply Company, Inc. in Lock Haven has a range of available products, including hand sanitizer (by the gallon and portable, and alcohol and non-alcohol based), dispensers, disinfectants, sanitizer sprays for cleaning purposes, gloves, surgical masks and face shields. They can deliver or items can be picked up. Contact M&J Supply at 570-748-3802 or 570-394-2209.   

- The PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) has announced plans to begin reopening some state parks and state forest facilities, beginning this Friday, May 8. In our area and all counties moving into the ‘yellow’ phase, state park and forest facilities including offices, campgrounds, and the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle will be open to the public next Friday, May 15, however, cabins in these areas will not open until June 12. Campgrounds and cabins in all other state parks will remain closed. Read details here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=650

Posted 5/2/20

- On Monday, Governor Wolf’s administration is expected to release additional guidance for businesses in the 24 “yellow” phase counties (including Clinton County) that will be permitted to reopen on May 8. The guidance is being developed by various state agencies in collaboration with county representatives and will build upon safety orders already in place. The transition from the red ‘stay-at-home’ order phase to the yellow phase will allow for the easing of some but not all of the restrictions on work and social interaction.

 - As some Clinton County businesses begin to reopen May 8 – amidst the hope that others soon will be able to follow – there will be a ‘new normal’ to every operation big or small. We are very fortunate to live in an area served by two of the leading health care providers in the state, UPMC and Geisinger, both of which this coming week are offering information in support of local business. We encourage Partnership members to take advantage of these informational opportunities:

  • UPMC Virtual ‘Back to Business’ Forum – Tuesday, May 5, 2pm – Specifically for businesses in Clinton and Lycoming counties, UPMC Infectious Disease medical director, Dr. Rutul Dalal, will talk about what the phased-in approach to reopening means for our region. He will offer advice on how to properly reopen your business, and steps you can take to reassure both employees and customers that their safety is your priority. The session is hosted by the Partnership, the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber, and UPMC. Click Here for UPMC Save the Date flyer. Registration details will be available on Monday.
  • Geisinger ‘Back to Business: Working through COVID19’ virtual discussion on preparing our businesses – Wednesday, May 6, 10:30 a.m. Hosted by Geisinger in collaboration with Chambers of Commerce (including the Partnership) in their service region, this session will feature Geisinger representatives Jaewon Ryu, MD JD, President & Chief Executive Officer; J. Edward Hartle, MD, Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer; and Allison Hess, Vice President of Health & Wellness. Registration is requested and is being coordinated through the Scranton Chamber. Click here: https://weblink.scrantonchamber.com/events/BACK-TO-BUSINESS-Working-through-COVID19-Virtual-discussion-on-preparing-our-businesses-4108/details.

- PennDOT has announced that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, and learner's permits, will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Those scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020, through May 31, 2020, are now extended through June 30, 2020. READ MORE

- As anticipated, revenue collections for the state were down significantly last month, according to information released Friday by the PA Department of Revenue: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Revenue-Details.aspx?newsid=315.

Posted 5/1/20

- Clinton County residents will move into the yellow phase of the state’s COVID-19 recovery effort, beginning next Friday, May 8. That was the word today from Governor Tom Wolf and State Health Secretary Rachel Levine, who outlined a transition plan that will allow 24 counties, primarily those in the northcentral and northwestern regions of the state, to move into the yellow phase. The Governor emphasized that the transition to “yellow” means people in those counties will need to ‘proceed with caution.’ “Your actions will guide our future,” said Wolf, who said people must continue to social distance, refrain from large gatherings and more (Click Here for Coronavirus – Reopening Phases file for information on what is and what is not permitted during each phase). The Governor said people should recognize that outbreaks of the COVID-19 are still possible, noting every human contact is a chance for the virus to spread.

The Department of Health today issued updated Q&As on Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses, Click Here for file. Health Secretary Levine noted that the state is providing plans for contact tracing (a protocol used in investigating and mitigating cases of COVID-19) to the counties who will move into the yellow phase next Friday. She said the state also plans to ensure testing is both available and accessible for those counties. Levine said the state will rely on many local, state and federal partners for those efforts.

Read more on today’s announcement here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-announces-reopening-of-24-counties-beginning-may-8/.

- The Clinton County Commissioners are seeking input on how emergency funds coming from the federal CARES Act to local governments via the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program will be used locally. The County anticipates receiving $159,506 in what is being called CDBG-CV funds to help support local response to the impact of the coronavirus. One of the eligible uses for the funds is business assistance programs, which could include grants or loans for local businesses. On Thursday, May 7, at 10:00 a.m., the Commissioners will host a virtual public hearing via the Clinton County Government Facebook page to accept public comment on the funding.

- This Sunday, May 3, is "Bells Across Pennsylvania Day," a declaration by the Pennsylvania State Mayors' Association. Beginning at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Pennsylvanians possessing bells, houses of worship and others are encouraged to join the three-minute bell ringing salute. The event was created to honor "hometown heroes" including first responders, healthcare workers, postal workers, grocery store and pharmacy employees, and others; to show solidarity between all Pennsylvanians across all municipalities; and as a demonstration of determination: a nonverbal declaration that Pennsylvanians will eventually prevail over COVID-19 and businesses and civic life will thrive once again.

In a show of support for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle and for our greater community, Lock Haven University’s Frederick’s carillon will be among the bells ringing for three minutes Sunday night.

- Lock Haven University has instituted several incentives – ranging from financial aid, to SAT requirements, to tuition – to help attract students to LHU this fall. Click Here for ‘LHU recruitment efforts’ news release for more.

- As Economic Impact Payments continue to be delivered to people across the country, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that their website, www.IRS.gov, includes answers to many common questions, including help in using two recently launched Economic Impact Payment tools. The IRS is regularly updating the Frequently Asked Questions on their ‘Economic Impact Payment’ tool and their ‘Get My Payment’ tool as more information becomes available. Quick links to the Frequently Asked Questions on IRS.gov:
   • Economic Impact Payments: www.irs.gov/eipfaq
   • Get My Payment tool: www.irs.gov/getmypaymentfaq

- We join many in noting our sadness that the 2020 Little League World Series has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. Our greater community truly enjoys the camaraderie, teamwork and sportsmanship our local teams display throughout their season…characteristics that extend to the World Series in South Williamsport. The notoriety and attention Little League brings to the region is also a real shot in the arm to our local economy. It is our hope that local Little League games will be able to be played this season.

Posted 4/30/20

- Governor Wolf tomorrow is expected to announce which counties and/or regions of the state can begin to emerge from the most restrictive Coronavirus guidelines beginning May 8. Pennsylvanians are expected to learn which counties will move into the ‘yellow’ phase of reopening. Friday is also when construction and a number of recreational activities are allowed to resume operations. Although the Governor’s office has not yet announced what time his remarks will occur tomorrow, You can watch online here on the Governor’s live stream site.

 - Businesses should be on the lookout for potential flooding as rain continues to fall in Clinton County and across the state. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says heavy rains may produce pockets of flash, urban and stream flooding late today into tonight, with rivers rising into the weekend. Click Here for AccuWeather Update that was provided by the Clinton County Department of Emergency Services.

- PA Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today offered suggestions to help people receive their unemployment benefits more quickly. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=451.

 Meanwhile, Click Here for a flyer from the PA CareerLink Clinton County highlighting Unemployment Compensation Benefits Information.

- Another loan program for small to medium-sized businesses created through the federal CARES Act is moving a step closer to reality. The Federal Reserve has been taking public comment on the Main Street Lending Program and today announced it is expanding the program’s scope and eligibility. While this program is not yet available, you can read more information here: https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20200430a.htm.

- The PA Department of Environmental Protection is alerting businesses and homeowners not to flush items such as disinfecting wipes down toilets, saying non-flushable materials can be harmful for your sewage system and for sewage treatment facilities. Read more: https://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21820&typeid=1.

- PennDOT today announced that highway and bridge construction projects will resume tomorrow, May 1. Read more: https://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=724.

- The state has announced nearly $324 million in funding to 31 hospitals across the Commonwealth, aimed at providing financial relief as those facilities combat the coronavirus. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-new-funding-awarded-to-assist-hospitals-across-pennsylvania/.

- Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Department has adopted a temporary food nutrition labeling policy that consumers will likely see in grocery stores. More here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=917.

- Applications are now being accepted for the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program, which provides assistance to registered nonprofit organizations such as food banks for the proper management and operation of food to reduce waste. Applications must be submitted through the Department of Community and Economic Development's (DCED) Electronic Single Application website. The application deadline is May 8. For questions people can contact the DCED Customer Service Center at 1-800-379-7448.

- As part of the federal government's response to the COVID-19 emergency, the PA Department of Aging says the state has received $34 million to support services authorized by the Older Americans Act. These services include home-delivered meals; in-home care services; respite care and other support to families and caregivers; and information and referral services. Read more: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/aging_details.aspx?newsid=254.

Posted 4/29/20

- The state this Friday plans to announce which areas of the state will be the first to begin to reopen following an unprecedented shutdown and stay-at-home period to reduce the threat of the Coronavirus. PA Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said officials will announce the first areas that will be allowed to enter the “yellow” zone (Click Here for ‘COVID-19 Reopening Phases’ flyer). Wolf Administration officials also plan to provide details on the state’s goals for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, factors they say will help them decide which counties and/or regions can begin to relax restrictions on May 8. In moving from the current “red” status to the yellow phase, many businesses would be allowed to call back employees to work, as long as they provide masks and ensure social distancing. Businesses including gyms, theaters, and schools would remain closed, and large gatherings would still be prohibited.

Meanwhile, beginning this Friday, May 1, certain recreational businesses across the state – including golf courses and private campgrounds – are permitted to resume operations as long as certain restrictions are in place. Clinton County businesses planning to reopen include:

  • Belles Springs Golf Course in Mackeyville - opening Friday (weather permitting). For tee times, www.bellessprings.com or 570-726-4222.
  • Clinton Country Club in Mill Hall will also open Friday (weather permitting). For tee times, www.clintoncountryclub.com or 570-748-2310.
  • Ponderosa Lodge 9-hole golf course, outside of Lock Haven (a private course open to the public with advance reservations) will open Saturday, May 2. Call 570-769-2771 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a tee time.
  • Holiday Pines Campground in Loganton opens Friday. For reservations, www.holidaypines.com or 570-725-2267.
  • Quiet Oaks Campground in Cross Fork also opens Friday. For reservations, www.quietoaks.org or 570-923-2386.

- The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry today released the March unemployment information for the Commonwealth’s 67 counties. The March 2020 unemployment rate for Clinton County  was 7.6%, up from the 5.9% reading in February. The March 2019 reading was 5.1%. There were an estimated 1,400 people unemployed in our county in March 2020, up from 1,100 the month before. Partnership CEO Mike Flanagan anticipates the rate will go higher based on the number of late March/April unemployment insurance claims as the coronavirus continues to hammer the economy. Pennsylvania’s statewide unemployment rate for March was 6.0%, up from 4.7% in February. The April 2020 employment figures are expected to be released in late May.

- Meanwhile, there continues to be issues with Pennsylvanians trying to file and receive Unemployment Compensation. The Department of Labor and Industry is now recommending that anyone who applied for Unemployment Compensation and requested a PIN # three weeks ago or longer, should request a new PIN.

To file an application for UC benefits:

  • Online: An online application can be filed using the Department of Labor & Industry’s secure website any time of the day, seven days a week.
  • Telephone: An application can be filed on the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number, 1-888-313-7284.
  • Mail: A paper application can be mailed to a UC service center.

- On the other side of the unemployment coin, employers across the state are asking what they should do if an employee quits or refuses an offer to come back to work and opts instead to file for unemployment compensation. There continue to be reports of this scenario becoming more frequent, particularly following enactment of the federal $600 per week benefit UC enhancement. Pennsylvania Labor & Industry officials state that an individual who turns down work in order to apply for UC should not be eligible for benefits. CLICK HERE for more information or to report a refusal of work or use the state’s newly-created Refusal of Suitable Work form, UC-1921W, which employers should use to notify the state that suitable work was refused. Employers must notify the department within seven days of the offer by submitting the UC-1921W form online. Employers are also directed to CLICK HERE for more information or to report potential UC fraud.

- Governor Wolf and State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding this afternoon highlighted the state’s comprehensive efforts to ensure food security. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-highlights-comprehensive-food-security-efforts/.

- PPP & EIDL Updates: The U.S. Small Business Administration began accepting loan applications from financial institutions for the new round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on Monday. By Tuesday, the SBA had reportedly already approved more than 475,000 new loans worth over $52 billion. Business experts predict that the allotted money could be exhausted by today or Thursday, with business owners likely learning whether their applications got approved early next week. Meanwhile, a notice on the SBA website continues to state that the SBA is unable to accept new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. It’s reported the SBA is still working to address applications submitted during the original phase of the program to see if there will even be any funds remaining.

- R.S. Associates Insurance of Beech Creek is available to assist people who find themselves needing individual healthcare coverage, including those who may have lost coverage due to losing their job during the pandemic. Click Here for letter.

Posted 4/28/20

- An announcement this week by Governor Wolf will allow people more options for outdoor activities. Beginning this Friday, May 1, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds can reopen (marinas in state parks can open as early as next Friday, May 8, and campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through at least May 14). Read more here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-announces-may-1-statewide-reopening-of-limited-outdoor-recreational-activities-to-help-pennsylvanians-maintain-positive-physical-mental-health/.

In response to that announcement, we are very pleased to note that Belles Springs Golf Course in Mackeyville and Quiet Oaks Campground in Cross Fork are two local businesses planning to reopen this Friday. In addition, Governor Wolf had previously announced that construction activities could resume operations starting May 1, and state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said hospitals can resume some surgical procedures as long as they continue to be able to handle any surge in COVID-19 patients and protect non-COVID-19 patients from getting infected. Click on the following link for an updated list of businesses allowed to operate: https://www.scribd.com/document/452553026/UPDATED-4-30pm-April-27-2020-Industry-Operation-Guidance#fullscreen&from_embed

- Governor Wolf today announced immediate changes to the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program to help ensure food banks are adequately supplied to meet the needs of Pennsylvania residents. The changes include closing the current grant eligibility on May 8 so the state can review applications and deliver awards as soon as possible; expanding potential partners beyond retailers and wholesalers to include farms, processors and cooperatives; and removing pre-application meeting requirements. More information here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-expands-food-recovery-infrastructure-grants-to-help-the-charitable-food-system/.

- PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin this week announced that 160 companies in 43 counties have received $13.5 million in funding during the second round of the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA). In late March, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority authorized making $61 million available to provide loans of $100,000 or less to for-profit businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees. Quickly, the program received more requests for funding than what was available and the application window was closed. Funds awarded under the program to-date total more than $23 million, with PIDA staff continuing to review submitted applications. Read more: https://dced.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-announces-second-round-of-state-funding-for-pennsylvania-businesses/.

- Voters across the state would normally be headed to the polls today, but the state’s Primary Election was postponed due to the coronavirus and is now scheduled for June 2, 2020. Clinton County director of Voter Registration/Elections Maria Boileau says eligible residents now have until May 18 to update their voter registration or register to vote. And, voters now have the option to vote by mail if they so choose. May 26 is the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot and Boileau says about 2,000 of Clinton County’s 20,500 registered voters have so far submitted applications. If voters feel comfortable voting by mail, Boileau says the county is encouraging them to get a mail-in ballot, which will reduce the number of people physically having to be at polling locations on election day. Go to www.VotesPA.com if you have the ability to apply online for a mail-in ballot; otherwise, contact the Clinton County Voter Registration Office at 570-893-4019 and they will either mail or email you an application. Boileau says the county has started mailing ballots to voters who requested absentee or mail-in ballots for the June 2 election. She added that, at this point, there are no plans to consolidate any of Clinton County’s polling locations.

- Remote notarization – when a personal appearance before a notary public is made via audiovisual communication or technology – has been temporarily authorized for all Pennsylvania notaries public, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Click on the following link for more information: https://www.dos.pa.gov/OtherServices/Notaries/NotaryServices/Documents/Update/Remote%20notarization%20SB%20841.pdf.

- Businesses interested in using PA Department of Health graphics regarding protective measures such as social distancing and hand washing can find information here: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Social-Media.aspx

Posted 4/27/20

- The Clinton County Commissioners, in conjunction with the county revolving loan fund board, the Clinton County Economic Partnership and SEDA-COG, today announced a loan program to help county businesses impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

   Under the program guidelines, no payments are due in the first six months of the new loan program, which is part of the existing county revolving loan fund. The loan will amortized over three years and the interest rate is anticipated to be 2.5%. Loan fund requests are expected to be in the $5,000 to $25,000 range with the ability to go higher in special circumstances. The total available is approximately $350,000. The deadline to submit an application is May 12 or until the loan is exhausted.

   “We know there is a lot of pain with our local businesses as we all try to get through the coronavirus and we hope these loans can help some businesses at least in a small way,” said revolving loan board chairman Tim Horner. “We want to thank County Commissioners Miles Kessinger, Jeff Snyder and Angela Harding for being at the forefront of this loan fund concept, and we are thankful for the assistance of the Economic Partnership, SEDA-COG, the Economic Development Administration, and the support of the revolving loan board members.”

   Funds can be used for working capital and can be disbursed based on past working capital expenses. SEDA-COG will review any applications and make recommendations to the county revolving loan board, which then makes a recommendation to the county commissioners.

   For more information or an application form, contact Mike Flanagan of the Clinton County Economic Partnership at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 570-748-5782 (leave a message if need be). SEDA-COG’s John Reichard can also be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- Financial institutions working to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses can begin submitting applications  to the federal government starting today. The U.S. Small Business Administration said it would resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders as of 10:30 this morning. Meanwhile, according to a notice on the SBA website, the “SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.” Both programs last week received additional federal funding after the original allocation under CARES Act funding had been depleted.

- Governor Wolf this weekend offered more details on the criteria that will be used to determine when areas of the state will begin to reopen. Read more: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/wolf-administration-elaborates-on-data-driven-reopening-standard/.

- As the Commonwealth works to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Chamber is working to help businesses re-open their facilities safely and jumpstart the economy through their initiative, "Bringing PA Back." As part of this effort, they want to hear from you. Your feedback is essential to helping guide employers in the right direction toward a smooth, responsible and safe transition back to work for themselves and their employees. You – the business community – are the experts on the challenges that face employers as the state looks to re-open. We encourage you to take a moment to highlight what challenges your business faces in re-opening and what can be done to help ease this process, by filling out the form on the PA Chamber website.

- Pennsylvanians who have lost their employer-provided health insurance coverage due to COVID-19 shutdowns are eligible to obtain health insurance through www.healthcare.gov. Though the open enrollment period has passed, loss of employer-provided insurance qualifies individuals for special exceptions. To check whether you are qualified for a special enrollment period, visit the eligibility screening tool located here.

- The IRS over the weekend announced it has enhanced the “Get My Payment” tool for people checking their eligibility to receive Economic Impact Payments. Read more: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-enhances-get-my-payment-online-application-to-help-taxpayers

- The Wayne Township Landfill will open to the general public tomorrow, April 28, at 7:00 a.m. Landfill General Manager Jay Alexander says strict COVID-19 orders are to be adhered to, for example, all customers must wear masks. Normal Business Hours for the Landfill starting tomorrow will be: Weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturdays 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Alexander outlined the following Landfill services:

  • Customers going to the Self-Dump area are asked to go to the scale-house.
  • Mulch customers should go to the Administration Building.
  • Brush and yard waste customers can go directly to the mulch area to unload without stopping at the office.
  • Commercial customers should notice no change in operation, although Alexander asks for some patience as everyone gets comfortable with the temporary new normal.

Alexander says Curbside Recycling will not be in operation until further notice. Drop off locations will continue to be serviced daily, accepting recyclables including newspaper, office paper, junk mail, plastic bottles and jugs, aluminum and tin cans, and corrugated cardboard. As a reminder, the WTL does not recycle glass bottles.

- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is expanding curbside pick-up service at its Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores, starting today. Some 565 stores across the state, including the Lock Haven and Renovo stores, now have the service. Last Monday, an initial 176 stores began accepting orders over the phone for curbside pick-up. Click here for store information: https://www.lcb.pa.gov/Consumers/Documents/Store_List_Phase_2.pdf.

Posted 4/24/20

- More small business aid is on the way after President Trump this afternoon signed his approval to a measure passed last night by Congress to provide $484 billion to replenish emergency loan and grant programs for small businesses, self-employed individuals and independent contractors. The measure includes an additional $310 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is being administered through local lenders, and an additional $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce expects this new funding to go quickly because there were many applicants still in line when the initial funds ran out.

The measure signed by the President today also includes an additional $75 billion for hospitals and community health centers, and another $25 billion to boost COVID-19 testing, divided between state and federal governments.

- For a quick overview of funding resources for small businesses through the CARES Act, Click Here for CARES Act Assistance Chart.

- With construction work allowed to resume in the Commonwealth next Friday, May 1, the Wolf administration has issued guidance for all construction businesses and employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

All business and employees in the construction industry must adhere to the Secretary of Health's