Gov. Tom Wolf has urged the Pennsylvania General Assembly to act on small business finance while the body sits this week.
“Small businesses have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Wolf said. “The Small Business Assistance Program has been hugely successful, but more support is needed to support our small businesses and strengthen the economy. I call on the General Assembly to approve additional funds to support our small businesses. We cannot let another week go by without meeting this need. “
As part of his fall legislative agenda, Governor Wolf called on the General Assembly to provide additional funding of $ 225 million under the Federal Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) in the form of forgivable loans and grants to Pennsylvania small businesses through the COVID-19 Relief State-Wide Small Business Assistance Program. In addition, the governor offered $ 100 million in forgivable loans and grants for the hospitality, recreation and service sectors, including restaurants and bars, salons and barber shops.
Funding for COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the state budget, which included $ 2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds by the through the CARES law, of which $ 225 million was intended to help small businesses, including historically disadvantaged businesses.
To date, more than 10,000 businesses have received $ 192 million in grants under the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program. However, as the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, it is imperative that additional funds be allocated to help small businesses that were not awarded in the first two rounds of funding or that face persistent difficulties.
“So many small businesses in Pennsylvania have incurred additional work and costs to do the right thing and keep their employees and customers safe since the reopening,” Governor Wolf said. “They are doing everything right and they need our help to keep making ends meet.
“We have withheld some funding from the Pennsylvania CARES Act so that we can meet the needs of the Commonwealth this fall. There is a need for additional financing for small businesses in Pennsylvania at this time, and I implore the General Assembly to take action without delay to support our small business community.