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Lehigh County will distribute $33.3 million in emergency relief funding from Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to local small businesses, community agencies, local governments and others affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting closure.

Preliminary funding plans for Lehigh County’s COVID-19 County Block Grant include $10 million for affected local businesses, $10 million for emergency response expenses and municipalities, $6 million for human services, $5 million for nonprofits and $2.3 million for regional organizations and tourism industry.

A steering committee will oversee the distribution of COVID-19 County Block Grant funding. The committee will be chaired by Lehigh County Community and Economic Director Frank Kane. Other committee members include Bob Elbich, Lehigh County commissioner; Kay Achenbach, director of Human Services; George Samuelson, with Lehigh County’s Fiscal Office; Carmen Bell, with United Way of the Lehigh Valley and Bill Erdman, with Keystone Engineers.

Lehigh County will work with Northampton County to find regional funding solutions for the many entities that span both counties.

“On behalf of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis in Lehigh County, I would like to thank our state legislative delegation, led by state Senators (Pat) Browne, R-16th and (Lisa) Boscola, D-18th, who were able to secure this desperately needed help for those among us who have struggled as a result of the pandemic,” Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong said. “I would also like to thank (U.S. Rep.) Susan Wild, D-7th, who represents Lehigh County in the U.S. House of Representatives, for her tireless work and advocacy that has helped direct this funding to Pennsylvania and Lehigh County.”