Welcome to the County of Berks
Berks County CARES Grant Program Information
 

Applications are no longer being accepted for this program.

 

The Berks County CARES Grant program seeks to assist organizations that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants are being administered by the County of Berks with funds made available to Berks under the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Up to $19 million will be awarded in grants to cover four specific areas of need: Public Health Services, Municipalities and Authorities, Nonprofits, and Educational Institutions and Services.

The four categories are outlined below with a list of FAQs and guidelines for each.

 



  • Public Health Services Grant FAQs
    • What is the purpose of the Berks County CARES Grant Program?
      The COVID-19 public health crisis caused the Berks County community to confront immense challenges. The Program seeks to assist organizations providing public health services in the County that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
       
    • Who is administering this program?
      The County of Berks is administering the Grant Program.
       
    • What is the source of the grants?
      Funds were made available to Berks County under the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
       
    • Is there a cap on the amount of the grant?
      Yes. Organizations who are providing public health services can apply for up to $100,000 or up to $150,000 if primarily serving a low to moderate income area or residents (based on CDBG guidelines).
       
    • Will all applicants be awarded grant funds?
      No. Due to an anticipated high number of applicants, there is no guarantee that all applicants will receive the funding for which they have applied.
       
    • What are the eligibility requirements?
      Applicants are and/or were negatively impacted by COVID-19. Applicant must deliver services in Berks County. Applicants that have accepted or received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan, are eligible, but the level of funding received will impact the applicant’s competitiveness.
       
    • How can the funds be used?
      Public Health Initiatives
      • COVID-19 testing or screening not covered by private or government payer insurance, or FEMA Public Assistance programs
      • Contact tracing as explicitly authored by Berks County or local municipality but administered by the hospital, organization, or entity
      • Communication and community outreach to inform public of public health guidance
      • Emergency Medical or Alternate Transportation Costs for COVID-19 patients not covered by private or government payer insurance, or FEMA Public Assistance programs
      • Non-congregate sheltering costs for front-line staff interacting with COVID-19 patients
      • COVID-19 preparation and response emergency planning
       
      Protective Measures
      • Security or screening labor
      • PPE or related protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Increased disinfection costs of patient waiting, or treatment areas not already incorporated in operating costs or chargeable to private or government payer insurance programs
      • Lease and/or outfitting costs for temporary facilities to comply with Centers of Disease Control health guidance
       
      Costs associated with modifying delivery of services
      • IT/IS hardware or software costs associated with the implementation of tele-medicine
       
      Any other emerging need with a clear nexus to COVID-19 not covered by any other federal, state, or local funding source, and deemed appropriate and necessary by Berks County.
       
    • What are some examples of ineligible expenses?
      • Revenue replacement
      • Expenses for the State share of Medicaid
      • Damages covered by insurance
      • Exclusions outlined in section 5001(b) of the CARES Act [1]
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
       
    • Can the grant funds be used to cover the same items covered under another grant or loan program (i.e. Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program)?
      No. Your application for, or receipt of, federal or state funds does not disqualify you from receiving the Berks County CARES Nonprofit Grant, however, funds received may not be used for costs that have been covered under another grant or loan program. Preference will be given to nonprofits that did not receive funding through other CARES Act programs.
       
    • Will I need to pay the money back?
      This is a grant, not a loan, so you will not need to pay it back if you comply with all the terms and conditions of the grant agreement.
       
    • Does an applicant have to be following all applicable federal, state, and local laws, statutes, and regulations?
      Yes. All applicants must certify that they are following federal, state, and local laws. Questions concerning certifications should be directed to the applicant’s attorney.
       
    • Is an applicant eligible to apply if it has delinquent real estate taxes?
      No.
       
    • Will it be necessary to provide documentation at the end of the grant?
      Applicants, who receive grant funds, may be audited in the future, and are required to document how the funds are used, including all data, reports, contracts, documents, and other information relevant to the use of the funds. You may be subject to monitoring by Berks County for compliance with program and financial requirements in preparation for potential State or Treasury-OIG audits.
       
    • What are the record retention requirements of the grant?
      All required records shall be maintained by successful applicants for a period of three (3) years from the final audit or close out of the contract, except in cases where unresolved audit questions or litigation may require maintaining some or all records for a longer period.
       
    • When will the grant application process open?
      The application will be available on the County of Berks website beginning Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 9 AM.
       
    • When is the deadline to submit?
      The application is due by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 16, 2020. Late applications will not be considered.
       
    • Why is this program only open for a short time period?
      The goal is to get funding disbursed to organizations as quickly as possible. A longer process would delay payments.
       
    • Does it matter if I submit my application email or mail?
      Yes. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications, with all supporting documents, by email to CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com. Mailed applications will not be accepted. Applications may be submitted by facsimile to 610-898-7460.
       
    • How long will this process take; when will I receive the grant funds?
      The County plans to announce the awards by the end of October. Funds will be distributed before the end of the year.
       
    • If I am approved, what will be required to receive the funds?
      An executed grant agreement between the successful applicants and the County together with a completed and signed certification form, including supporting reimbursement documentation as outlined in the agreement.
       
    • Will my information be kept confidential?
      Financial information is kept confidential. Organizations that receive grants, and the dollar amount of the grant received, are public information.
       
    • If my application is not complete, can I still submit it?
      No. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
       
    • Who should I contact with questions concerning my application, eligibility or required documents?
      Please contact Jessica Blauser by phone at 610-478-6136 x6133 or email: CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com.
       
  • Public Health Services Grant Guidelines
    • Berks County CARES Grant Application Overview for Public Health Services
      • Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee who will make recommendations to the Berks County Commissioners.
      • Applicants must verify compliance with Governor Wolf's directives regarding COVID-19 safety precautions.
      • No matching funds are required.
      • All grant expenditures must be directly related to COVID-19. Expenses can be charged from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis only.
      • Applicants must serve Berks County residents.
      • Applicants must declare what other CARES Act funds have been received, though this will not preclude the organization from receiving funds from this distribution.
      • CARES Act funds cannot duplicate another funding source.
      • The intent of this grant is to supply funds to as many projects as possible; therefore, awards may be subject to partial funding.
      • Applicants will be required to report on number of residents served, how they were served, and the impact on the community. Must identify the community need and how the service will mitigate that need. Must provide data that clearly identifies the demographics of those served.
      • This overview and guidelines are subject to change as additional guidance regarding CARES Act funding is received by Berks County.
      • Applicants may request up to $100,000 or up to $150,000 if primarily serving a low to moderate income area or residents (based on CDBG guidelines).
       
    • Required Documents
      • Copy of most recent IRS 990 filing (applicable to organizations with annual revenue greater than $50,000).
      • Most recent accountant or internally prepared audit for the organization’s most recent fiscal year.
      • 2020 Year-to-Date financial statements or Revenue and Expense Report.
      • Completed W-9 Form.
      • A signed and completed application.
      • Any additional documentation to support financial loss due to COVID19.
      • IRS ruling or determination letter.
       
    • ​Eligible Uses
      ​The funds can be used for "necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019" that are incurred between March 1 and September 30, 2020.  Eligible cost categories are defined below.  The County of Berks has the authority to determine whether a particular use of the funding is allowable.
       
    • Eligible Applicants
      • Non-profit hospitals or clinics
      • For-profit hospitals or clinics with a community benefit
      • Non-profit or for-profit organization operating residential (short- or long-term) facility for historically disenfranchised or vulnerable populations
      • Non-profit or for-profit healthcare providers
      • Emergency Medical Services
       
    • ​Eligible Cost Categories
      Public Health Initiatives
      • COVID-19 testing or screening not covered by private or government payer insurance, or FEMA Public Assistance programs
      • Contact tracing as explicitly authored by Berks County or local municipality but administered by the hospital, organization, or entity
      • Communication and community outreach to inform public of public health guidance
      • Emergency Medical or Alternate Transportation Costs for COVID-19 patients not covered by private or government payer insurance, or FEMA Public Assistance programs
      • Non-congregate sheltering costs for front-line staff interacting with COVID-19 patients
      • COVID-19 preparation and response emergency planning
       
      Protective Measures
      • Security or screening labor
      • PPE or related protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Increased disinfection costs of patient waiting, or treatment areas not already incorporated in operating costs or chargeable to private or government payer insurance programs
      • Lease and/or outfitting costs for temporary facilities to comply with Centers of Disease Control health guidance
       
      Costs associated with modifying delivery of services
      • IT/IS hardware or software costs associated with the implementation of tele-medicine
       
      Any other emerging need with a clear nexus to COVID-19 not covered by any other federal, state, or local funding source, and deemed appropriate and necessary by Berks County.
       
    • ​Ineligible Cost Categories
      • Revenue replacement
      • Expenses for the State share of Medicaid
      • Damages covered by insurance
      • Exclusions outlined in section 5001(b) of the CARES Act [1]
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
       
    • Timeline
      September 30th ​Applications available at 9 AM
      ​October 16th ​Applications due by 5 PM
      ​October 20th – 26th ​Applications are reviewed
      ​October 27th ​Recommendations to County Commissioners
      ​October 29th ​Grant Awards announced by Commissioners
      ​October 30th - November 20th ​Execute Contracts and Certifications with Approved Grantees
       


  • Municipalities and Authorities Grant FAQs
    • What is the purpose of the Berks County CARES Grant Program?
      The COVID-19 public health crisis caused the Berks County community to confront immense challenges. The program seeks to assist organizations, businesses and public and private entities in the County that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
       
    • Who is administering this program?
      The County of Berks is administering the program.
       
    • What is the source of the grants?
      Funds were made available to Berks County under the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
       
    • Is there a cap on the amount of the grant?
      Yes. Municipalities and Authorities can apply for up to $100,000.
       
    • Will all applicants be awarded grant funds?
      No. Due to an anticipated high number of applicants, there is no guarantee that all applicants will receive the funding for which they have applied.
       
    • What are the eligibility requirements?
      Applicants are and/or were negatively impacted by COVID-19. Applicants that have accepted or received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan, are eligible, but the level of funding received will impact the applicant’s competitiveness.
       
    • How can the funds be used?
      The funds can be used for “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019” that are incurred between March 1 and September 30, 2020. Eligible cost categories are defined below. The County of Berks has the authority to determine whether a particular use of the funding is allowable.
       
    • What are some examples of ineligible expenses?
      Ineligible Cost Categories
      • Revenue replacement
      • Ineligible Cost Categories
      • Damages covered by insurance
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
      • Any expense reimbursed by another source
       
       
    • Can the grant funds be used to cover the same items covered under another grant or loan program (i.e. Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program)?
      No. Your application for, or receipt of, federal or state funds does not disqualify you from receiving the Berks County CARES Grant, however, funds received may not be used for costs that have been covered under another grant or loan program. Preference will be given to organizations that did not receive funding through other CARES Act programs.
       
    • Will I need to pay the money back?
      This is a grant, not a loan, so you will not need to pay it back if you comply with all the terms and conditions of the grant agreement.
       
    • Does an applicant have to be following all applicable federal, state, and local laws, statutes, and regulations?
      Yes. All applicants must certify that they are following federal, state, and local laws. Questions concerning certifications should be directed to the applicant’s attorney.
       
    • Is an applicant eligible to apply if it has delinquent real estate taxes?
      No.
       
    • Will it be necessary to provide documentation at the end of the grant?
      Applicants, who receive grant funds, may be audited in the future, and are required to document how the funds are used, including all data, reports, contracts, documents, and other information relevant to the use of the funds. You may be subject to monitoring by Berks County for compliance with program and financial requirements in preparation for potential State or Treasury-OIG audits.
       
    • What are the record retention requirements of the grant?
      All required records shall be maintained by successful applicants for a period of three (3) years from the final audit or close out of the contract, except in cases where unresolved audit questions or litigation may require maintaining some or all records for a longer period.
       
    • When will the grant application process open?
      The application will be available on the County of Berks website beginning Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 9 AM.
       
    • When is the deadline to submit?
      The application is due by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 16, 2020. Late applications will not be considered.
       
    • Why is this program only open for a short time period?
      The goal is to get funding to organizations as quickly as possible. A longer process would delay payments.
       
       
    • Does it matter if I submit my application by email or mail?
      Yes. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications, with all supporting documents, by email to CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com. Mailed applications will not be accepted. Applications may be submitted by facsimile to 610-898-7460.
       
    • How long will this process take; when will I receive the grant funds?
      The County plans to announce the awards by the end of October. Funds will be distributed before the end of the year.
       
    • If I am approved, what will be required to receive the funds?
      An executed grant agreement between the successful applicants and the County together with a completed and signed certification form, including supporting reimbursement documentation as outlined in the agreement.
       
       
    • Will my information be kept confidential?
      Financial information is kept confidential. If a Municipality or Authority receives a grant, the dollar amount of the grant received is public information.
       
    • If my application is not complete, can I still submit it?
      No. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
       
    • Who should I contact with questions concerning my application, eligibility or required documents?
      Please contact Jessica Blauser by phone at 610-478-6136 x6133 or email: CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com.
       
  • Municipalities and Authorities Grant Guidelines
    • Application Overview
      • Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee who will make recommendations to the Berks County Commissioners.
      • Applicants must verify compliance with Governor Wolf's directives regarding COVID-19 safety precautions.
      • No matching funds are required.
      • All grant expenditures must be directly related to COVID-19. Expenses can be charged from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis.
      • Applicants must serve Berks County residents.
      • Applicants must declare what other CARES Act funding has been received, though this will not preclude the organization from receiving funds from this distribution.
      • CARES Act funds cannot duplicate another funding source.
      • The intent of this grant is to supply funds to as many projects as possible; therefore, awards may be subject to partial funding.
      • Applicants will be required to report on number of residents served, how they are/were served, and the impact on the community. Must identify the community need and how the service will mitigate that need. Must provide data that clearly identifies the demographics of those served.
      • This overview and guidelines are subject to change as additional guidance regarding CARES Act funding is received by Berks County.
      • Applicants may request up to $100,000.
       
    • Required Documents
      • A signed and completed application.
      • Any additional documentation to support expenses related to COVID-19 that are not duplicative of any other funds received for those expenses.
       
    • ​Eligible Uses
      The funds can be used for "necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019" that are incurred between March 1 and September 30, 2020. Eligible cost categories are defined below. The County of Berks has the authority to determine whether a particular use of the funding is allowable.
       
    • ​Eligible Applicants
      Municipalities and Authorities located in and serving Berks County.
       
    • Eligible Cost Categories
      Payroll
      • Straight time payroll costs for staff substantially dedicated to COVID-19 response activities
      • Overtime payroll costs for staff substantially dedicated to COVID-19 response activities
      • Payroll costs for staff to backfill or surge to support COVID-19 response activities
      • Employee benefits costs for staff substantially dedicated to COVID-19 response activities
      • Direct and indirect leave payroll costs for staff quarantined due to COVID-19, either due to expenditure or confirmed positive test results
      • Direct and indirect payroll costs for staff on leave, including Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave
       
       
      Adjustments to the delivery of government services
      • Communication and community outreach to inform public of changes to essential services
      • Technology Hardware & Software necessary to transition to work from home, or digital service models
      • Cost of facility retrofits necessary to comply with local health requirements - not defined as captial projects
       
       
      PPE and related protective measures
      • PPE or related protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Costs for acquisition and installation of protective equipment
       
       
      Public Health Initiatives
      • COVID-19 testing or screening not covered by private or government payer insurance, or FEMA Public Assistance programs
      • Contact tracing
      • Communication and community outreach to inform public of public health guidance
      • Emergency Medical and Alternate Transportation Costs
      • Non-congregate sheltering costs for front-line staff interacting with COVID-19 patients
      • Disinfection of public and local congregation areas
      • COVID-19 preparation and response emergency planning
       
       
      Public Service Initiatives
      • Increased food assistance programs for vulnerable or disadvantaged populations as a result of COVID-19 impacts
       
       
    • ​Ineligible Cost Categories
      • Revenue replacement
      • Damages covered by insurance
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
       
    • Timeline
      September 30th ​Applications available at 9 AM
      ​October 16th ​Applications due by 5 PM
      ​October 20th – 26th ​Applications are reviewed
      ​October 27th ​Recommendations to County Commissioners
      ​October 29th ​Grant Awards announced by Commissioners
      ​October 30th - November 20th ​Execute Contracts and Certifications with Approved Grantees
       


  • Nonprofit Grant FAQs
    • What is the purpose of the Berks County CARES Grant Program?
      The COVID-19 public health crisis caused the Berks County nonprofit community to confront immense challenges. The Program seeks to assist nonprofits in the County that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
       
    • Who is administering this program?
      The County of Berks is administering the Berks County CARES Grant Program.
       
    • What is the source of the grants?
      Funds were made available to Berks County under the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
       
    • Is there a cap on the amount of the grant?
      Yes. Nonprofits can apply for up to $50,000.
       
    • Will all applicants be awarded grant funds?
      No. Due to an anticipated high number of applicants, there is no guarantee that all applicants will receive the funding for which they have applied.
       
    • What are the eligibility requirements?
      Applicants are and/or were negatively impacted by COVID-19.
      Applicants must be a 501(c)3 or a 501(c)19 organization.
      Applicant must deliver services in Berks County.
      Applicants that have accepted or received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan, are eligible, but the level of funding received will impact the applicant’s competitiveness.
       
    • Are faith-based organizations eligible?
      Faith-based organizations may apply for funding if they are designated as a 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 organization.
       
    • How can the funds be used?
      Social Support Initiatives
      • Costs for expanding existing services beyond pre-pandemic level of delivery
      • Increased food assistance programs for vulnerable or economically disadvantaged populations who have been impacted by COVID-19 impacts
      • Workforce development or placement support for recently displaced workers as a result of COVID-19
      • Crisis counseling for individuals and families
      • Mental health support initiatives for individuals and families
      • Government assistance enrollment initiatives or support
       
      Protective Measures
      • Facility security and/or COVID-19 screening contract labor and materials
      • PPE or related protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Costs for acquisition and installation of protective equipment
      • Increased disinfection costs of service areas
      • Lease and/or outfitting costs for temporary facilities to comply with Centers of Disease Control health guidance
      Costs associated with modifying delivery of services
      • IT/IS hardware or software costs associated with the ensuring continuity of operations amid COVID-19 public health crisis
      Any other emerging need with a clear nexus to COVID-19 not covered by any other federal, state or local funding source, and deemed appropriate and necessary by Berks County and are in accordance with all applicable state, local, and federal laws
       
    • What are some examples of ineligible expenses?
      • Revenue replacement
      • Expenses for the State share of Medicaid
      • Damages covered by insurance
      • Exclusions outlined in section 5001(b) of the CARES Act
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
      • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services
       
       
    • Can the grant funds be used to cover the same items covered under another grant or loan program (i.e. Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program)?
      No. Your application for, or receipt of, federal or state funds does not disqualify you from receiving the Berks County CARES Nonprofit Grant, however, funds received may not be used for costs that have been covered under another grant or loan program. Preference will be given to nonprofits that did not receive funding through other CARES Act programs.
       
    • If a nonprofit does not have an outside audit will it still be considered for the grant?
      Yes, please provide any financial documentation that your organization had filed with your application. Some small organizations may not have a completed financial audit by a third party.
       
    • Will I need to pay the money back?
      This is a grant, not a loan, so you will not need to pay it back if you comply with all the terms and conditions of the grant agreement.
       
    • Does an applicant have to be following all applicable federal, state, and local laws, statutes, and regulations?
      Yes. All applicants must certify that they are following federal, state, and local laws. Questions concerning certifications should be directed to the applicant’s attorney.
       
    • Is an applicant eligible to apply if it has delinquent real estate taxes?
      No.
       
    • Will it be necessary to provide documentation at the end of the grant?
      Applicants, who receive grant funds, may be audited in the future, and are required to document how the funds are used, including all data, reports, contracts, documents, and other information relevant to the use of the funds. You may be subject to monitoring by Berks County for compliance with program and financial requirements in preparation for potential State or Treasury-OIG audits.
       
    • What are the record retention requirements of the grant?
      All required records shall be maintained by successful applicants for a period of three (3) years from the final audit or close out of the contract, except in cases where unresolved audit questions or litigation may require maintaining some or all records for a longer period.
       
    • When will the grant application process open?
      The application will be available on the County of Berks website beginning, Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 9 AM.
       
    • When is the deadline to submit?
      The application is due by 5:00 PM on Friday. October 16, 2020. Late applications will not be considered.
       
    • Why is this program only open for a short time period?
      The goal is to get funding to qualified nonprofits as quickly as possible. A longer process would delay payments.
       
    • Does it matter if I submit my application by email or mail?
      Yes. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications, with all supporting documents, by email to CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com. Mailed applications will not be accepted. Applications may be submitted by facsimile to 610-898-7460.
    • How long will this process take; when will I receive the grant funds?
      The County plans to announce the awards by the end of October. Funds will be distributed before the end of the year.
       
    • If I am approved, what will be required to receive the funds?
      An executed grant agreement between the successful applicants and the County together with a completed and signed certification form, including supporting reimbursement documentation as outlined in the agreement.
       
       
    • Will my information be kept confidential?
      Financial information is kept confidential. Nonprofits that receive grants, and the dollar amount of the grant received, are public information.
       
    • If my application is not complete, can I still submit it?
      No. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
       
    • Who should I contact with questions concerning my application, eligibility or required documents?
      Please contact Jessica Blauser by phone at 610-478-6136 x6133 or email: CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com.
       
  • Nonprofit Grant Guidelines
    • Berks County CARES Grant Application Overview for Nonprofits
      • Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee who will make recommendations to the Berks County Commissioners.
      • Applicants must hold either 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 status with the IRS.
      • Applicants must verify compliance with Governor Wolf's directives regarding COVID-19 safety precautions.
      • No matching funds are required.
      • All grant expenditures must be directly related to COVID-19. Expenses can be charged from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis.
      • Applicants must serve Berks County residents.
      • Applicants must declare what other CARES Act funding has been received and for what purpose, though this will not preclude the organization from receiving funds from this distribution.
      • CARES Act funds cannot duplicate another funding source.
      • The intent of this grant is to supply funds to as many projects as possible; therefore, awards may be subject to partial funding.
      • Applicants will be required to report on the number of residents served, how they were/are served, and the impact on the community. Must identify the community need and how the service will mitigate that need. Must provide data that clearly identifies the demographics of those served.
      • This overview and guidelines are subject to change as additional guidance regarding CARES Act funding is received by Berks County.
      • Nonprofits may apply for up to $50,000.
      • Priority will be given to community libraries, food insecurity programs, substance use disorder treatment and recovery services, mental health and disabilities services. Special consideration will also include services for youth and aging populations.
       
    • Required Documents
      • Copy of most recent IRS 990 filing (applicable to organizations with annual revenue greater than $50,000).
      • Most recent accountant or internally prepared audit for the organization’s most recent fiscal year (if available)
      • 2020 Year-to-Date financial statements or Revenue and Expense Report.
      • Completed W-9 Form.
      • Any additional documentation to support a financial loss due to COVID-19.
      • A signed and completed application.
      • IRS ruling or determination letter.
       
    • ​Eligible Uses
      The funds can be used for "necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019" that are incurred between March 1 and September 30, 2020. Eligible cost categories are defined below. The County of Berks has the authority to determine whether a particular use of the funding is allowable.
       
    • ​Eligible Applicants
      • Non- and for-profit organizations predominately serving vulnerable, historically disenfranchised, or economically disadvanted populations
      • Must be a 501(c)3 or (c)19
       
    • ​Eligible Cost Categories
      Social Support Initiatives
      • Costs for expanding existing services beyond pre-pandemic level of delivery
      • Increased food assistance programs for vulnerable or economically disadvantaged populations who have been impacted by COVID-19 impacts
      • Workforce development or placement support for recently displaced workers as a result of COVID-19
      • Crisis counseling for individuals and families
      • Mental health support initiatives for individuals and families
      • Government assistance enrollment initiative or support
       
      Protective Measures
      • Facility security and/or COVID-19 screening contract labor and materials
      • PPE or related protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Costs for acquisition and installation of protective equipment
      • Increased disinfection costs of service areas
      • Lease and/or outfitting costs for temporary facilities to comply with Centers of Disease Control health guidance
       
      Costs associated with modifying delivery of services
      • IT/IS hardware or software costs associated with the ensuring continuity of operations amid COVID-19 public health crisis
       
      Any other emerging need with clear nexus to COVID-19 not covered by any other federal, state or local funding source, and deemed appropriate and necessary by Berks County.
       
    • ​Ineligible Cost Categories
      • Revenue replacement
      • Expenses for the State share of Medicaid
      • Damages covered by insurance
      • Exclusions outlined in section 5001(b) of the CARES Act
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
      • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services
       
    • Ineligible Applicants
      • Government or government-owned entities.
      • For-profit businesses.
      • Organizations not delivering services in Berks County.
      • Organizations primarily engaged in lobbying or political activities.
      • Organizations that have no additional costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
      • Private clubs/organizations that limit membership for reasons other than capacity.
      • Organizations NOT compliant with all federal, state & local laws, including taxation.
      • Organizations that are delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes.
       
    • Timeline
      September 30th ​Applications available at 9 AM
      ​October 16th ​Applications due by 5 PM
      ​October 20th – 26th ​Applications are reviewed
      ​October 27th ​Recommendations to County Commissioners
      ​October 29th ​Grant Awards announced by Commissioners
      ​October 30th - November 20th ​Execute Contracts and Certifications with Approved Grantees
       
 
  • Educational Services Grant FAQs
    • What is the purpose of the Berks County CARES Grant Program?
      The COVID-19 public health crisis caused the Berks County community to confront immense challenges. The Program seeks to assist educational institutions and educational services in the County that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
       
    • Who is administering this program?
      The County of Berks is administering the Grant Program.
       
    • What is the source of the grants?
      Funds were made available to Berks County under the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
       
    • Is there a cap on the amount of the grant?
      Yes. Organizations who are providing educational services can apply for up to $100,000.
       
    • Will all applicants be awarded grant funds?
      No. Due to an anticipated high number of applicants, there is no guarantee that all applicants will receive the funding for which they have applied.
       
    • What are the eligibility requirements?
      Applicants are and/or were negatively impacted by COVID-19.
      Applicant must deliver services in Berks County.
      Applicants that have accepted or received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan, of FEMA Public Assistance are eligible, but the level of funding received will impact the applicant’s competitiveness.
       
    • Are faith-based organizations eligible?
      Faith-based organizations may apply for funding if they are designated as a 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 organization.
       
    • How can the funds be used?
      The funds can be used for “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019” that are incurred between March 1 and September 30, 2020.
       
      Protective Measures
      • Facility security and/or COVID-19 screening contract labor and materials
      • PPE or related protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Costs for acquisition and installation of protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Increased disinfection costs of learning areas
      • Lease and/or outfitting costs for temporary facilities to comply with Centers of Disease Control health guidance
      • Materials and equipment to encourage or enforce compliance with health directives (e.g.: signage, communications, barriers, etc.)
       
      Costs associated with modifying method of teaching
      • Distance learning costs, including online or televised instruction and independent study packets
      • Information Technology hardware and software costs associated with distance learning
       
      Any other emerging need with a clear nexus to COVID-19 not covered by any other federal, state or local funding source, and deemed appropriate and necessary by Berks County.  Berks County has the authority to determine whether a particular use of the funding is allowable, and expenses must be in accordance with all applicable state, local, and federal laws.
       
    • What are some examples of ineligible expenses?
      • Revenue replacement
      • Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any federal, state, or local program such as Department of Education’s Education Stabilization Fund, FEMA Public Assistance (excluding local cost share requirement)
      • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
       
    • Can the grant funds be used to cover the same items covered under another grant or loan program (i.e. Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program)?
      No. Your application for, or receipt of, federal or state funds does not disqualify you from receiving the Berks County CARES Grant, however, funds received may not be used for costs that have been covered under another grant or loan program. Preference will be given to organizations that did not receive funding through other CARES Act programs.
       
    • If a nonprofit does not have an outside audit will it still be considered for the grant?
      Yes, please provide any financial documentation that your organization had filed with your application. Some small organizations may not have a completed financial audit by a third party.
       
    • Will I need to pay the money back?
      This is a grant, not a loan, so you will not need to pay it back if you comply with all the terms and conditions of the grant agreement.
       
    • Does an applicant have to be following all applicable federal, state, and local laws, statutes, and regulations?
      Yes. All applicants must certify that they are following federal, state, and local laws. Questions concerning certifications should be directed to the applicant’s attorney.
       
    • Is an applicant eligible to apply if it has delinquent real estate taxes?
      No.
       
    • Will it be necessary to provide documentation at the end of the grant?
      Applicants, who receive grant funds, may be audited in the future, and are required to document how the funds are used, including all data, reports, contracts, documents, and other information relevant to the use of the funds. You may be subject to monitoring by Berks County for compliance with program and financial requirements in preparation for potential State or Treasury-OIG audits.
       
    • What are the record retention requirements of the grant?
      All required records shall be maintained by successful applicants for a period of three (3) years from the final audit or close out of the contract, except in cases where unresolved audit questions or litigation may require maintaining some or all records for a longer period.
       
    • When will the grant application process open?
      The application will be available on the County of Berks website beginning Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 9 AM.
       
    • When is the deadline to submit?
      The application is due by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 16, 2020. Late applications will not be considered.
       
    • Why is this program only open for a short time period?
      The goal is to get funding dispersed to organizations as quickly as possible. A longer process would delay payments.
       
    • Does it matter if I submit my application by email or mail?
      Yes. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications, with all supporting documents, by email to CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com. Mailed applications will not be accepted. Applications may be submitted by facsimile to 610-898-7460.
       
    • How long will this process take; when will I receive the grant funds?
      The County plans to announce the awards by the end of October. Funds will be distributed before the end of the year.
       
    • If I am approved, what will be required to receive the funds?
      An executed grant agreement between the successful applicants and the County together with a completed and signed certification form, including supporting reimbursement documentation as outlined in the agreement.
       
    • Will my information be kept confidential?
      Financial information is kept confidential. Organizations that receive grants, and the dollar amount of the grant received, are public information.
       
    • If my application is not complete, can I still submit it?
      No. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
       
    • Who should I contact with questions concerning my application, eligibility or required documents?
      Please contact Jessica Blauser by phone at 610-478-6136 x6133 or email: CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com.
       
  • Educational Services Grant Guidelines
    • Application Overview
      • Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee who will make recommendations to the Berks County Commissioners.
      • Applicants must verify compliance with Governor Wolf's directives regarding COVID-19 safety precautions.
      • No matching funds are required.
      • All grant expenditures must be directly related to COVID-19. Expenses can be charged from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis.
      • Applicants must serve Berks County residents.
      • Applicants must declare what other CARES Act funding has been received, though this will not preclude the organization from receiving funds from this distribution.
      • CARES Act funds cannot duplicate another funding source.
      • The intent of this grant is to supply funds to as many projects as possible; therefore, awards may be subject to partial funding.
      • Applicants will be required to report on the number of residents served and how they are/were served, and the impact on the community. Must identify the community need and how the service will mitigate that need. Must provide data that clearly identifies the demographics of those served.
      • This overview and guidelines are subject to change as additional guidance regarding CARES Act funding is received by Berks County.
      • Applicant can request up to $100,000.
       
    • Required Documents
      • Copy of most recent IRS 990 filing (applicable to organizations with annual revenue greater than $50,000).
      • Most recent accountant or internally prepared audit for the organization’s most recent fiscal year.
      • 2020 Year-to-Date financial statements or Revenue and Expense Report.
      • January—September profit and loss for 2019 and 2020.
      • Completed W-9 Form.
      • A signed and completed application.
      • Any additional documentation to support a financial loss due to COVID-19.
      • IRS ruling or determination letter.
       
       
    • ​Eligible Uses

      The funds can be used for “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019” that are incurred between March 1 and September 30, 2020. Eligible cost categories are defined below. The County of Berks has the authority to determine whether a particular use of the funding is allowable.
       
    • ​Eligible Applicants
      • School districts located within Berks County
      • Department of Education recognized educational institutions within Berks County
      • Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU)
       
    • ​Eligible Costs

      Protective Measures
      • Facility security and/or COVID-19 screening contract labor and materials
      • PPE or related protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Costs for acquisition and installation of protective equipment not covered by FEMA Public Assistance
      • Increased disinfection costs of learning areas
      • Lease and/or outfitting costs for temporary facilities to comply with Centers of Disease Control health guidance
      • Materials and equipment to encourage or enforce compliance with health directives (e.g.: signage, communications, barriers, etc.)
       
      Costs associated with modifying method of teaching
      • Distance learning costs, including online or televised instruction and independent study packets
      • Information Technology hardware and software costs associated with distance learning
       
      Any other emerging need with a clear nexus to COVID-19 not covered by any other federal, state or local funding source, and deemed appropriate and necessary by Berks County.
       
    • Ineligible Cost Categories
      • Revenue replacement
      • Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any federal, state, or local program such as Department of Education’s Education Stabilization Fund, FEMA Public Assistance (excluding local cost share requirement)
      • Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services
      • Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime
      • Severance pay
      • Legal settlements
       
    • Timeline
      September 30th ​Applications available at 9 AM
      ​October 16th ​Applications due by 5 PM
      ​October 20th – 26th ​Applications are reviewed
      ​October 27th ​Recommendations to County Commissioners
      ​October 29th ​Grant Awards announced by Commissioners
      ​October 30th - November 20th Execute Contracts and Certifications with Approved Grantees
       

Information

Questions concerning the applications, eligibility or required documents can be directed to Jessica Blauser by phone at 610-478-6136, ext. 6133, or email at CARESAct@CountyofBerks.com.

Confirmation email messages will be sent for each submission received. Please whitelist any email messages coming from CARESAct@countyofberks.com.