The COVID-19 public health crisis has impacted every Pennsylvanian in every community. The recently enacted state budget includes $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
Within this allocation, the Department of Community and Economic Development has been allocated $225 million for COVID-19 relief to small businesses through a distribution to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
The COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19. This is not a first-come, first-served program. There will be multiple rounds of application windows.
DCED will distribute the funding to the Pennsylvania CDFI Network, which will then administer the funding in the form of:
- Grants to cover operating expenses for the duration of the shutdown and the transition period to re-opening
- Grants to cover technical assistance, including training and guidance, for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses
- Debt payment relief for CDFI Pennsylvania borrowers
- Loan loss reserves for CDFIs
The funds will be distributed in three ways:
- Main Street Business Revitalization Program: $100 million
- Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program: $100 million
- Loan payment deferment and loss reserve: $25 million
In addition, the program will give additional consideration to the following factors: women-owned businesses, communities targeted for business investment by state government programs like Main Street and Elm Street, and rural communities.
At least 50% of the grants to small businesses will be awarded to Historically Disadvantaged businesses. Historically Disadvantaged businesses are at least 51% owned and operated by persons who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander because they have traditionally been discriminated against and disadvantaged when seeking financial services and financial products.
All businesses must apply through an eligible CDFI and meet the program requirements which, at a minimum, include:
- Be physically located, certified to do business, and generate at least 51% of their revenues in Pennsylvania
- Have annual revenue of $1 million or less prior to the impact of COVID-19
- Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees prior to February 15, 2020.
- The business was in operation on February 15, 2020 and if required paid income taxes to the state and federal government, as reported on individual or business tax returns
- COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact and makes this grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant
- The grant will be used cover COVID-19 related costs
- During the period beginning on June 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the applicant has not and will not receive another grant under this state program
How to Apply
Eligible businesses must apply through an eligible CDFI.
Businesses are encouraged to start gathering the items that will be necessary to apply. At a minimum, the following list of items will be needed to apply. Additional items may be specified later:
- Government Issued Photo ID such as a Driver’s License or Passport
- Business financial information:
- Revenue from March 1st to May 31st for 2019 and 2020
- Most recently submitted Federal Tax Return. 2018 or 2019 business and personal tax returns including Schedule C
- If startup between January 1-February 15, 2020, Internal Profit & Loss Statement
- Proof of Business Registration with PA Department of State, as applicable:
- Articles of Incorporation (for corporations and LLCs); or
- Fictitious Name Registration/“Doing Business As” (Sole Proprietors); or
- Business License (if applicable).
- Bank Account Information
This Project is financed by a grant from the federal Department of U.S. Treasury, under the administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania CDFI Network.