The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis continues to take a toll on both individuals and small businesses across Pennsylvania. As we enter July, relief is coming in the form of extended unemployment benefits for PA workers and grant money for PA-based businesses.
Extended Unemployment Benefits
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has announced a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits for those who have exhausted their regular and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
The additional 13 weeks is available through a program called Unemployment Compensation Extended Benefits and becomes available when PA’s unemployment rate reaches a certain level. The last time this program was enacted was during the Great Recession in 2009.
Extended payments begin the week ending July 4, 2020 and there is no application process. For those currently collecting unemployment benefits, extended benefits will kick in automatically once their PEUC claim is exhausted.
Grant Money for Small Businesses
On the small business front, help is now available through the COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program. PA has set aside $225 million from $2.6 billion in federal pandemic relief money to provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to businesses that continue to be impacted by COVID-19.
$100 million is earmarked for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program to help businesses that experienced loss when Governor Tom Wolf ordered businesses shuttered in mid-March. Another $100 million is designated for historically disadvantaged businesses and the remaining $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program.
The funds are being distributed through PA’s 17 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). In Southwestern PA, CDFIs include Bridgeway Capital in downtown Pittsburgh, The Progress Fund in Greensburg and Northside Community Development Fund on Pittsburgh’s Northside. CDFIs serving the Southeastern part of the state include Community First Fund in Lancaster and Enterprise Center Capital in Philadelphia.
For a complete list of CDFIs in Pennsylvania, click here: https://dced.pa.gov/download/community-development-financial-institutions/?wpdmdl=94944&ind=1592322192976
Small businesses will need to meet several qualifications to receive this new round of grant money. To be eligible, businesses must:
- Be physically located in PA.
- Generate at least 51% of their revenue in PA.
- Have annual revenue of $1 million or less prior to COVID-19.
- Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees prior to February 15, 2020.
- Have been in operation on February 15, 2020.
- Paid any required state or federal income taxes.
In addition, businesses will need to submit a proposal documenting their losses, projected revenues, duration of their closure and all state and federal relief that they’ve already received.
Unlike earlier stimulus packages, this is not a first-come, first-served program. There will be multiple rounds of application windows. The first application window opened on June 30, 2020 and will be open for ten days.
For more details on how to qualify for the COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program, click here: (https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-relief-statewide-small-business-assistance/).
For additional assistance, reach out to a Herbein team member, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and continue to look for COVID-19 updates at www.herbein.com.