Lehigh County to distribute $5 million in CARES Act grants to businesses hurt by drop in regional tourism

Written by on August 20, 2020

Lehigh County to distribute $5 million in CARES Act grants to businesses hurt by drop in regional tourism 

By Chloe Nouvelle

August 20, 2020

In 2018,  nearly 17 million people visited the Lehigh Valley. But this year, the region likely won’t see nearly as many people, and local businesses are feeling the pinch.

The Lehigh Valley’s tourism industry is yet another sector struggling through the pandemic. 

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong is dedicating $5 million dollars of Cares Act funding to help the industry.

“Tourism equals money for our small businesses, so trying to help out the tourist industry, we’re also trying to help out small businesses,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong is enlisting the help of Discover Lehigh Valley. An organization that promotes tourism in the region. To review grant applications and make award recommendations. Alex Michaels is the CEO.

“When you start dividing it up. It’s gonna, it’s gonna go really quick and this is just going to be a band aid on a pretty- pretty heavy wound,” said Michaels.

Michaels says the decrease in visitors has been devastating, and predicts the region may see a 50 to 70 percent drop in visitors this year. 

More information on the application guidelines and how to apply, is available at Lehigh county’s website at LehighCounty.org.

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