Lower Gwynedd, Pa. – June 29, 2020 — Senator Maria Collett (D-12 Montgomery/Bucks) announced that a new COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance grant program (“PA Small Business Grant Program”) will open for applications on Tuesday, June 30. The first round of applications will remain open for 10 business days and is not first-come, first-served. After those ten days, applications will continue to be accepted for future rounds.

According to Senator Collett: “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. Here in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the COVID crisis. These two counties account for approximately 17% of Pennsylvania’s general fund; yet to date they have received less than 4% of the state’s small business relief dollars. Not only is that bad economics, it is patently inequitable. The PA Small Business Grant Program is a good opportunity for small business owners in our region, especially those who may have been overlooked by earlier, bigger programs.”

The federal CARES Act-funded PA Small Business Grant Program is for Pennsylvania-based businesses with 25 or fewer employees and under $1M in annual pre-COVID revenue that have been economically impacted by COVID-19.  Fifty percent of the grants will be awarded to “historically disadvantaged” businesses (businesses are at least 51% owned and operated by persons who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American (including Subcontinent Asian American), or Pacific Islander). The program will also give additional consideration to women-owned businesses.

Senator Collett added: “I am thankful that this program will be prioritizing hardworking middle class business owners, and that customer-facing businesses like restaurants, gyms, health and beauty services, day cares, and retailers that have been closed the longest and suffered the most will get the support they deserve. I am also glad that actual losses will be considered. These qualities describe so many of the small businesses in my district and will benefit them when they apply.”

The PA Small Business Grant Program will be administered by a network of 17 Pennsylvania Community Development Financial Institutions (“the CDFI Network”). The CDFI Network will work under a single set of criteria in conjunction with Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. While businesses will be required to work with a CDFI, the choice of CDFI will not impact their award determination and, if their chosen CDFI is unavailable, another CDFI will be assigned.

Businesses can prepare to apply by collecting and scanning the following documents: 2018 or 2019 tax returns (or interim financials through March if the business opened in 2020); entity documents; sales/revenue totals for March 1 – May 31, 2019 and March 1 – May 31 2020; a letter describing how your business was impacted by COVID; a letter describing how your business will use the grant award; and a photo ID. Online applications will be available tomorroCOw, June 30, at www.pabusinessgrants.com.

Senator Collett concluded: “My staff and I have worked hard to spread this news to as many area small businesses as possible, but we still need your help. If you know of any local business that you think could benefit from this type of grant, please be sure to let them know about it. And tell them to contact their local state senator or representative with any questions.”

Senator Collett is available to field your questions until session begins at 1 PM today.