Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that non-profit lenders will distribute $225 million in grants and aid (state wide) to small businesses hurt by efforts to contain COVID-19.  The goal of the new program is to help businesses that have not benefited from earlier efforts, such as the federal Paycheck Protection Program.  Many of our “mom and pop” and sole proprietor businesses missed out on the PPP and other first round programs and need to pay attention to this opportunity.

The nonprofit lenders, known as community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, plan to have a common application ready for use statewide by the end of June.

Grants will be awarded under three programs: one for Main Street businesses in general; one for historically disadvantaged businesses (African Americans, Latinx Americans, Asian Americans and native Americans); and one for CDFIs to offer technical assistance to grant applicants and payment relief to their existing business borrowers that may be struggling due to COVID-19.  Grants will be capped at $50,000 and awarded based on priorities yet to be announced, not on a first-come, first-served basis, he added.

To qualify, businesses must have experienced loss as a result of Wolf’s orders shutting down non-essential businesses, or be incurring costs to adapt to new procedures designed to ensure health and safety.  They must also have less than 25 employees and less than $1 million in annual sales, been in operation as of Feb. 15, 2020, and submit their latest tax return.

Once again, this funding is likely to go fast, so watch our Facebook page for announcement of when and where applications may be submitted.