HARRISBURG – Start-up businesses hurt by the pandemic, but ineligible for previous COVID-19 assistance, would get help under proposed legislation. Erie County Rep. Bob Merski drafted House Bill 2487 after becoming aware that many small businesses that began in January 2020 or later did not qualify under existing relief programs. The bill creates a county block grant program that would provide grants of up to $15,000 for businesses that started between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Merski said the pandemic was difficult for every business, but for startups that just opened their doors, it was like being hit by a tsunami. The bill is before the PA House Commerce Committee.