On June 7, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the creation of a new $225 million statewide grant for small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. The grant is a result of the $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Funds will be distributed in the form of grants and will be administered by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) under the direction of the Department of Community and Economic Development. The PA CDFI Network is a group of 17 PA-based community development financial institutions that focus on financing options for small businesses.
The funds will be allocated and available through three programs as follows:
- $100 million to the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced a loss as a result of the statewide COVID-19 shutdown
- $100 million to the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced losses due to COVID-19 and are socially and economically disadvantaged individuals owning at least a 51% interest in a business as well as controlling management and daily business operations
- $25 million to the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program which will offer loan payment relief for existing businesses struggling due to COVID-19 shutdowns as well as shore up the financial position of the CDFIs defaults in existing loan portfolios
Eligible businesses receiving grants will be able to use the funds for operating expenses such as rent, health insurance premiums, insurance payments, local taxes, and other expenses, in addition to re-opening expenses.