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Gov. Wolf Announces $225 Million Grant Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Gov. Wolf Announces $225 Million Grant Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Today Gov. Wolf announced a $225 million statewide grant program to support small businesses that were impacted by COVID-19. The funding comes from federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

How will the funds be distributed?

  • 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. The PA CDFI Network is a group of 17 PA-based community development financial institutions that primarily provide financing options for small businesses.
  • In Philadelphia, the CDFI is Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation. You can find their website here. 

What can the funds be used for? 

  • Businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and expenses that occur as they begin to re-open. 

How will the funds be awarded? 

The funds will be available through three programs:

  • Main Street Business Revitalization Program ($100 million): for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of Covid-19 shutdowns of all non-life-sustaining businesses and have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19;
  • Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program ($100 million):  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.  Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals must own at least a 51 percent interest and also control management and daily business operations.
  • Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program ($25 million): 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 significantly increased defaults in their existing loan portfolios.

Additional Details 

The program is intended to provide funding to companies that did not receive any federal or state support. However, Gov Wolf was not clear on how that would be implemented. 

Next steps: 

Bellevue Strategies suggests that you reach out to PIDC and begin to prepare documents such as tax returns, revenue projections, and a short summary on how COVID-19 has affected your business. 

More guidelines should be released this week. 

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