Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced on Monday, June 8, that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is launching a new program to provide direct support to impacted small businesses to help cover the loss of operating expenses they have incurred during the coronavirus shutdown or will encounter in the transition to reopening.
The $225 million that is earmarked for small business relief is part of the $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds that are available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was developed in partnership with state lawmakers.
Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to re-opening, as well as for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses. Grant awards may not exceed $50,000.
Governor Wolf announced that the funds will be available through three programs:
- $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program to help for-profit businesses located and operating in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that experienced losses as a result of the Governor’s March 19, 2020, order relating to the closure of all businesses that were not life sustaining, has or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19, and has 25 or fewer employees;
- $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program to assist for-profit business located and operating in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that experienced loses as a result of the Governor’s March 19, 2020, order relating to the closure of all businesses that are not life sustaining, has or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19, has 25 or fewer employees, and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations and meets the definition of “targeted population” as defined by 12 CFR 1805.201(b)(3)(iii).
- $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow the CDFIs the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses that are struggling due to the impact of COVID, as well as shore up the financial position of the CDFIs that are experiencing significant increased defaults in their existing loan portfolios.