Pennsylvania’s newest COVID-19 small business relief program is here
As part of the state’s $2.6 billion in CARES Act relief, $225 million is allotted for small business grants.
On Monday, June 8, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a new slate of funding going towards small businesses across the state affected by both COVID-19 and its subsequent shutdown worth $225 million.
The funds, which come from the state’s $2.6 billion allocation from the federal CARES Act, will be for eligible businesses to cover operating costs during the shutdown, to help them as they reopen and for other guidance and training services for business owners.
There are three programs being created to distribute the $225 million. The Main Street Business Revitalization program is offering $100 million for businesses that have sustained losses since Wolf’s March 19 shutdown order and need funding to adapt to new business operations.
The Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program is the same, but targets business owners with 51% or more interest in their business that are socially or economically disadvantaged.
That group of business owners wasn’t further defined, but Wolf said his administration would be providing more guidance in the coming days.
“This will focus on businesses that are too often left behind,” he said.
A final $25 million in grants is earmarked for businesses to use to pay off loans they took during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) will be in charge of distributing the funds with oversight from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
A previous loan program rolled out at the beginning of the shutdown was worth $60 million and helped 745 businesses in the state according to the governor.
"If we fail to assist the small businesses that we rely on, the landmarks of our main streets, we're going to walk toward empty windows, leaving the fabric of our community behind," said Wolf.
This article is part of Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting