On June 8, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a $225 million grant program to support the State’s small businesses that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and forced closure orders. Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to reopening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.
The funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the recently enacted state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the CARES Act, of which $225 million was carved out for relief for small businesses. The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will administer the grants.
The funds will be available through three programs:
- $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the governor’s March 19, 2020, order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses and have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19.
- $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order, have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19 and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.
- $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.