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Pennsylvania rolls out COVID business grant program

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Pennsylvania rolls out COVID  business grant program
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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced a $225 million statewide grant program aimed at small businesses that were hit by coronavirus and business shutdowns.

“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and shift our focus toward reopening our commonwealth, we need to help all Pennsylvanians recover. We need to provide assistance for those who were hurt by the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn,” Wolf said. “This new program will provide direct support to impacted businesses to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and the transition to reopening,” Wolf stated.

In neighboring Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan earlier  announced  a $175 million  program in late May  aimed at providing emergency  assistance for small businesses

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The Pennsylvania 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 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of which $225 million was earmarked for relief for small businesses.

In Delaware, business assistance program that would require approval from the General Assembly has been proposed by either party.

 The state offers the H.E.L.P. low-interest loan program for hospitality and other establishments with existing financial resources.

Delaware  Small Business Division  Director Damien DiStefano said the state continues to look at options to aid small businesses. He confirmed that more than $2 million in loans have been processed.

The state has more than $1 billion available for costs arising from the COVID-19 crisis under the federal CARES program. In addition, New Castle County was allocated $300 million under a provision that awards funds for counties with more than a half a million people. 

Carney and other state officials say that much of the money will be needed to pay unemployment benefits in a state that reported a 14-plus jobless rate for April.

In Pennsylvania, the  Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will then administer the funding in the form of grants.

Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to re-opening and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.

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 relating to the closure of 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.
  • $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program.

See the viewpoint post below on a proposed program from Vermont.

A $400 million COVID economic recovery plan from Land of Ben & Jerry’s deserves close look

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