The Wolf administration will use $225 million from its federal CARES Act allocation to provide liquidity to Pennsylvania small businesses that are financially struggling in the aftermath of the forced shutdown orders instituted to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Gov. Tom Wolf said the grant program targets businesses that didn’t participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The funding program was developed in collaboration with state lawmakers and is allocated through the recently enacted state budget that included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds from the CARES Act, according to Wolf.
Wolf said he hopes to have the program operational by the end of the week, pending successful collaboration with the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the agency tasked with overseeing the program, and the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), the nonprofit institutions that will manage the grants.
“Businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and to help them in their transitioning to reopening,” Wolf said. “The grants will also cover technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.”
The $225 million will be split among three programs:
Gordon Denlinger, director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), said he hopes the newly announced grant program helps the many small businesses that missed out on federal loan programs, like the PPP, because they didn’t have previous bank relationships or otherwise didn’t meet program requirements.
“Many small businesses lost a significant amount of revenue since March when they were ordered to close, including essential businesses that were still highly limited, so we hope these grants are a lifeline that helps them survive,” Denlinger said in a statement issued by the NFIB on Monday.