COUDERSPORT — Potter County commissioners approved another funding avenue for local small businesses.

Ellen Russell, county director of community development, said the Small Business Support Grant Program is tied to state Community Development Block Grants, so certain objectives and application qualifications have to be met. Commissioners approved the program application, as well as policies and procedures at their meeting July 1.

“There’s a lot that goes into figuring out if a business qualifies. We have to do financial underwriting which is a long process,” said Russell. “So, as we’re taking applications, we’ll be able to be doing that process simultaneously.”

Applications are due Aug. 27. To apply, businesses need to provide its tax return, profit and loss statement, financial statements, balance sheet, copy of invoices and expenses, and other information. Russell said only small for-profit businesses are eligible; those in the hospitality industry are not. See for program guidelines and the application.

Commissioners also approved an extension for Community Development Block Grant funds received in 2018 for phase I of Galeton’s wastewater treatment plant improvements.

Related to municipal funding, requests were approved for Liquid Fuel Tax Funds from Oswayo Borough for $362.94, Roulette Township for $2,605.72 and an amended application from Allegany Township from $2,600 to $2,039.46.

Also at the meeting, Commissioner Nancy Grupp announced that the deadline for American Rescue Plan Funds for municipalities has been extended to July 29. She contacted about a dozen municipalities in the county that have either not yet applied or whose applications are still in the approvals process to let them know about the deadline extension.

Commissioner Paul Heimel gave an update about the county’s initiative to bring high-speed broadband internet to areas in the county lacking quality coverage.

“We’re making some progress,” said Heimel. “There are private parities out there that are interested in providing that service and the county needs to be the catalyst to get that happening.”

Heimel said there are federal grants available, as well as the possibility of tapping the county’s 911 towers to hook into broadband. Right now, the county is surveying residents to find the areas of need; the survey is available online or on paper.

Also at the meeting, commissioners approved an amended purchase agreement between Potter County Human Services and Harris Local Government, aka Computer Software Innovations, Inc. for the purchase of a new software program.

The initial cost approved was $38,993.50, which has been increased to $48,878.50. The increase, said the board, is due to the way Human Services splits its invoices between departments, which is required by the state. The provider Human Services was using is eliminating the service, so finding a new provider was necessary.

The next meeting of the Potter County Commissioners is Thursday, July 15, 11 a.m. at the Gunzburger Building, One North Main St., Coudersport. The public can also call in at 814-274-0844 and enter pin #114477 at the prompt.

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