COVID-19 UPDATE: Business Resources Available After Gov. Wolf’s Closure Order
By Colin McEvoy on March 20, 2020
Portions of the below message have been adapted from communication issued by our regional economic partner, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
On March 19, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf mandated that all non-life-sustaining businesses close their physical locations.
The governor says he is granted extraordinary powers to take this action upon his declaration of a disaster emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
To view the governor’s list of non-life-sustaining vs. life-sustaining businesses, click here. (In extenuating circumstances, special exemptions will be granted to businesses that are supplying or servicing health care providers.)
Failure to comply with these requirements will result in enforcement action that could include citations, fines, or license suspensions.
Enforcement actions for non-compliance will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.
If you would like to seek a waiver for your business, at this time the process available is to email: RAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to contact the Administration with questions about whether you need to close your business, the process provided is to email: email@example.com.
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) also invites Lehigh Valley businesses to participate in a brief survey about the impact of COVID-19 on the regional economy and your company. Responses will be collected through Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Additionally, on March 20, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) extended its approval of disaster loan assistance to ALL PA Counties. For more information or to apply, click here.
The staff of the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are trained to assist clients with questions and the application process, and SCORE chapters are available to help as well. For more information, visit their website, or contact them at 610-758-3980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
State officials have also announced they are working with the General Assembly to allocate $61 million in funding for small business assistance. Small businesses can apply through the Small Business First Fund (SBD), an existing PIDA loan program for working capital loans of up to $100,000. The current interest rate is 3% but state officials have indicated that the rate may be adjusted. The PA Industrial Development Authority expects applications could be accepted as early as next week. As information about state emergency assistance becomes available, Lehigh Valley businesses can visit here for more information.
Visit LVEDC’s COVID-19 resources and information website at lehighvalley.org/covid19
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