Blake: $200 Million in Small Business Grants Available Beginning Today

Blake: $200 Million in Small Business Grants Available Beginning Today

SCRANTON, June 30, 2020 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that beginning at 9 a.m. today, small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can begin applying for $200 million in federal grants available through the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program. 

This 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. Locally, applications will be accepted through MetroAction and at www.metroaction.org.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact our communities and our economy, I knew we had to do something to ensure small businesses – our mom and pop Main Street stores, our barbers and neighborhood bars and restaurants – were able to find a way to pull through to the other side of the pandemic,” Blake said. “We fought for and we advocated for a main street grant program since April and today I am proud to see $200 million in grant funding – not loans – will be made available to our small businesses – small businesses which have always been the backbone of our economy, a source of community pride, and a place of employment for so many of our friends.”

Blake noted that unlike previous small business grant and loan programs, this is not a first-come, first-served program, it will be based on need. The initial application window will open today and remain open for 10 days. There will be at least three or more rounds of applications in the coming months.

In order to be eligible for grant funding, a business must be physically located in PA; be certified to do business here; generate at least 51% of their revenues in Pennsylvania; have annual revenue of $1 million or less prior to the impact of COVID-19; and have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees prior to February 15, 2020.

Blake indicated, again, that this is only the first round of the grant program and that additional rounds of funding and application windows will be announced in the months ahead.

For more information on the program, visit www.pabusinessgrants.com

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Blake: $61 Million in State Aid Available to PA Small Businesses

HARRISBURG, March 18, 2020 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced that $61 million in low-interest loans will be available to Pennsylvania small businesses to deal with the effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $61 million will fund working capital loans of up to $100,000 for small businesses that employ fewer than 100 employees through the Small Business First Fund. The interest rate is currently 3 percent; however, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) board has the authority to adjust the interest rates lower. $40 million of the available funding was moved from the Commonwealth Financing Authority through an agreement between the General Assembly and Governor Tom Wolf.

“There have been devastating impacts across the spectrum as our Commonwealth and our country deal with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our small business community has been among the hardest hit by the closure of non-essential businesses and the CDC recommendations to avoid public places and gatherings,” Blake said. “Both the state and the federal governments need to ensure that our small business community has adequate and available resources to weather this unprecedented global pandemic. This funding is available to all small businesses – including our neighborhood restaurants and bars.”

Blake noted that the Small Business First Fund has the structure along with the needed regional infrastructure to help small businesses immediately.  As these loans have a maximum amount of $100,000, they can all be approved by the staff and thus, if all requirements are met, and a complete application is submitted, each loan can be turned around rather quickly without Board approval.   

Small businesses can begin applying for funding next week at www.dced.pa.gov.

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