Access to Low-Cost Loans Available
The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) is offering fixed rates as low as 1.5% for growing eligible Lehigh Valley businesses for land and building acquisitions, construction and renovations costs and machinery and equipment acquisitions. For complete program guidelines, click here.
PIDA provides low-interest loans through Pennsylvania’s Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDOs). LVEDC provides administrative and staff support to the Lehigh Valley’s CEDO, Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corporation.
Contact LVEDC at 610-266-6775 or email [email protected] for details.
COVID-19 Financing Options
Municipal, state and federal agencies are providing financing assistance to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the programs have closed or will soon close. This page provides important information and connections with special government financing programs, as well as regular financing options available through LVEDC and the Lehigh Valley Lending Network.
Northampton County COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grant Program
Northampton County partnered with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce on a small business grant program to distribute American Rescue Plan funds to assist Northampton County businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The county has about $4 million in funds remaining to distribute to small businesses
Grants of up to $15,000 are available to eligible businesses. Applicants must operate primarily in Northampton County and file a Pennsylvania tax return. Click here to apply.
Allentown Small Business Spark Program
The City of Allentown has allocated $250,000 of federal CARES Act funding to provide technical assistance grants for small businesses recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Allentown businesses with fewer than 50 employees may receive up to 14 hours of assistance from local experts in fields such as finance, law, marketing, e-commerce, cybersecurity, and social media.
The city is working with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Lehigh University. An application form for small businesses seeking assistance or looking to provide services to small businesses is available on the SBDC website.
Lehigh County CARES Act Tourism Grant Program
Lehigh County is using federal CARES Act funding to provide grants for tourism-related businesses in Lehigh Valley. The grant program is administered by Lehigh County in partnership with Discover Lehigh Valley. For-profit and non-profit tourism businesses of any size that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may apply.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) closed May 31, 2021. PPP borrowers can find information about loan forgiveness and other financial assistance programs on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website.
- The SBA will forgive loans if borrowers met employee retention criteria and used funds for eligible expenses.
- Borrowers receive full loan forgiveness if they spend at least 60% of their PPP loan on payroll costs over a time period of their choosing, between 8 and 24 weeks.
- Any PPP loan amount not forgiven becomes is repayable over five years at 1% interest.
- PPP loan forgiveness expenses are tax-deductible.
- Recipients of EIDL grants do not have to deduct the grant amount from their PPP loan forgiveness amount.
- US Small Business Administration (SBA) PPP Information
- Programa de Protección de Pago (PPP) en Español
- PPP Frequently Asked Questions (updated 4/6/21)
- PPP Lender Information
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Information
Other SBA Programs
The COVID-Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program is no longer accepting new applications as of Jan. 1, 2022.
The SBA is providing automatic Debt Relief to businesses with existing 7(a), 504 and Microloans. Borrowers do not need to apply for debt relief assistance.
The Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can provide assistance and additional information about SBA programs.
- US SBA Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- US SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- US SBA Debt Relief
- US SBA Elimination of Certain 504 Loan Program Fees
- US SBA Coronavirus Recovery Information in Languages Other than English
- Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Employee Retention Tax Credit Extended
The Employee Retention Tax Credit of the CARES Act, which was established to encourage employers to keep workers on their payroll, has been extended to cover 70% of qualified wages through Dec. 31, 2021. The per-employee wage cap has been increased to $7,000 in fully refundable payroll tax credits per employee per quarter, or $28,000 for the year.
Employers that received PPP loans are eligible to claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit, although payroll costs used to determine the amount of PPP loan forgiveness may not include costs for which the Employee Retention Tax Credit was claimed.
Deferral of Social Security Tax Payments
Deferral of the employers’ share of Social Security tax payments has been extended through the March 2021 period. Deferred payments may be repaid as late as 2022. The extension does not relieve employers of their obligation to pay Social Security taxes.
Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program
The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program is designed to help credit flow to small businesses that were in sound financial condition before the pandemic but now face cash flow interruptions. The program offers 5-year loans of $250,000 to $3,000,000 with floating rates and principal payments deferred for two years and interest payments deferred for one year.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is registering interested lenders through the program portal. Businesses will apply for loans from participating lenders, who will determine eligibility and loan approval.
The Federal Reserve intends to purchase 95% of Main Street Lending Program loans to share the risk that otherwise would be absorbed solely by lenders, creating additional capacity for lenders to extend more loans.
Links to COVID-19 Programs Now Closed
- Pennsylvania COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP)
- Pennsylvania DCED COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance
- Pennsylvania DCED COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant
- Recipients of Pennsylvania COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grants
- Northampton County COVID-19 Relief Block Grant Program
- Northampton County/SBDC COVID-19 Technical Assistance Grant
- Northampton County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Fund Loan Application
- Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief Block Grant Program
- Lehigh County CARES Act Tourism Grant Program
- Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Restaurant Relief Fund
- Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
- Small Business Administration Restaurant Revitalization Fund
- Small Business Administration Express Business Loan Pilot Program
- Small Business Administration COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
Lehigh Valley Lending Network
The Lehigh Valley Lending Network (LVLN) is an award-winning, nationally recognized unique partnership of local financial institutions with a goal to create efficiencies in accessing credit and other resources within the private commercial lending community. The Lending Network also provides the client with resources to maximize the use of incentives available through the economic development community and to connect borrowers to a lending network that provides business financing & commercial loans at fixed-rates in Lehigh Valley for machinery, equipment and more.
The LVLN provides a single point of access to allow business financing proposals to be broadcast to many commercial lending institutions simultaneously. Additionally, the financing programs that Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) administers on behalf of the Lehigh Valley’s regional economic development organizations may be marshaled to assist in a given project.
The membership of the LVLN is comprised of private commercial lending institutions serving the Lehigh Valley.