HARRISBURG – Big state grant money is on the way for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During a news conference Monday, Governor Tom Wolf announced a $225 million grant program. The funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the recently enacted state budget. That state budget included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the CARES Act.
Governor Tom Wolf talks about the new grant program, wearing masks and prejudice. Listen below.
The state DCED will distribute the funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions, which will then administer the funding in the form of grants. Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to reopening. It can be also used for technical assistance, including training and guidance for business owners.
The funds will be available through three programs:
- $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses who experienced loss as a result of the governor’s March 19 order.
- $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Businesses Revitalization Program for small businesses experienced loss as a result of the order. It’s also for those socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.
- $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow financial institutions the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses.