LVEDC continues to monitor effects of COVID-19 on Lehigh Valley’s economy. We update this page often with information about resources available to businesses.


Our financing page has information about assistance to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Visit here for more information.


Lehigh Valley in Green Phase of Reopening

Governor Tom Wolf’s plan for reopening Pennsylvania’s economy has three phases: red, yellow, and green. Phases are based on conditions by counties or regions.

Lehigh and Northampton counties are in the green phase. Some restrictions on work and social interaction are eased, but limits on large gatherings remain in effect. Work at home is encouraged. Businesses operating at 50% capacity in the yellow phase may increase to 75% capacity. Masks are required when entering a business.

The governor implemented statewide targeted mitigation efforts in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases. These efforts include:

  • Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited
  • Outdoor events and gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited
  • Unless not possible, businesses are required to operate remotely; where telework is not possible, businesses must comply fully with state safety and masking orders

COVID-19 Resources and Information Sources:


COVID-19 Business Reopening Information:


Pennsylvania DCED COVID-19 Statewide Small Business Assistance

This program, administered by Community Development Financial Institutions, closed Aug. 28. Grants of $5,000 to $50,000 for small businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic were administered for Lehigh Valley by the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund.

At least 50% of the grants went to businesses at least 51% owned and operated by people who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander. Additional consideration was given to women-owned businesses, rural communities, and communities targeted for state investment by programs such as Main Street.


Pennsylvania DCED COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant

This program, which closed July 31, provided employers with hazard pay funding to help retain employees in life-sustaining occupations.

Of the more than 10,000 applications, 639 employers were awarded $50 million in funding to support a $3 per hour increase in pay for more than 40,000 workers.


US Small Business Administration Programs

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) closed Aug. 8. Businesses that received PPP loans may request repayment forgiveness if they meet employee retention criteria and used PPP funds for eligible expenses. Businesses that received PPP loans and did not apply for repayment forgiveness have 10 months from the PPP expiration date to begin making repayments. Borrowers or lenders with questions about PPP loan forgiveness policies and procedures may send them to [email protected]. Technical questions about the use of SBA’s loan forgiveness platform may be sent to [email protected].

The SBA is accepting applications from eligible businesses for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). These loans provide financial assistance for small businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Some businesses not eligible to receive PPP loans may qualify under the EIDL program.

SBA Express Bridge Loans provide small businesses with existing relationships with SBA Express lenders access to up to $25,000 to bridge the gap while applying for an EIDL loan. The bridge loan will be repaid in full or in part with proceeds from the EIDL loan.

The SBA also provides Debt Relief to small businesses with existing 7(a), 504, and Microloans. The SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and associated fees. Borrowers do not need to apply for payment relief. It will occur automatically.


Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program has opened for lender registration. Lenders can register through the program portal and are encouraged to begin making Main Street loans immediately.

Loans range in size from $250,000 to $3,000,000. They are 5-year loans with floating rates. Principal payments are deferred for two years. Interest payments are deferred for one year. Lenders will work directly with businesses to determine eligibility and loan approval. Information for borrowers is available here.


Northampton County COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grant Program

Northampton County awarded $8.75 million in grants to 661 businesses with fewer than 100 employees to help cover pandemic-related expenses. Grants were awarded in two rounds. In the last round, 358 businesses received $4.76 million, or an average of $13,300 per business. The program is closed.

The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce administered the program on behalf of the county. Grants of up to $15,000 were available to help cover payroll costs, costs related to continuation of group health care benefits, insurance premiums, mortgage and rent payments, utility bills, working capital for the costs of reopening businesses that were closed due to the pandemic, costs related to compliance with reopening guidelines (specialized equipment, barriers, protective equipment, employee training, etc.), and any COVID-19 expense not already covered by other federal, state, or regional grant or loan programs.


Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grant Program

Lehigh County allocated $5 million in federal CARES Act funding to establish a COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grant Program for companies in Lehigh County with 100 or fewer employees. The program is closed.

Grants of up to $15,000 were available to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce administered the program on behalf of the county.


Lehigh County CARES Act Tourism Grant Program

Lehigh County has allocated federal CARES Act funding for a grant program to assist tourism-related businesses in Lehigh Valley. The program will be administered by Lehigh County administration in partnership with Discover Lehigh Valley. For-profit and non-profit tourism businesses of any size are eligible to apply.


NBC10, Telemundo62 Campaign to Highlight Area Businesses

The “In the Name of Love” campaign seeks to support regional businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

LVEDC is partnering with the news organizations of NBC10 and Telemundo62 for a promotional campaign called “In the Name of Love,” designed to support businesses throughout the region that have been affected by the pandemic. The television stations will air news stories featuring businesses, people, organizations, and neighborhoods that are coming together to recharge, rebuild, and recover.


LVEDC Blog Posts Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$41.2 Billion

2018 Gross Domestic Product

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City Center Lehigh Valley
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10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

By the Numbers
$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

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Air Products
By the Numbers
$65,119

Median Household Income

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PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
672,907

Population

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Olympus
By the Numbers
358,000

Labor Force

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Lutron Electronics
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26.1% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

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Mack Trucks
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UGI
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NFI
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14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

By the Numbers
$7.3 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

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BB&T
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69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

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Seedcopa
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10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

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Fuling
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85,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

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Workforce Board