COVID-19 related announcements and resources

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Our list of links to business’ updates has moved to this link.

Resources for Businesses

Penn State Small Business Development Center:
For the more current news and resources related to businesses. They are still offering consulting via the phone and Zoom meeting technology. If you have business needs SBDC is happy to help and guide you not just to SBDC services but also to the correct local, and state business organizations and Government Groups.

✔ PA Government Website: for current news and press release statements from the Governor’s office.

PA Department of Health: COVID-19 information for the general public and for businesses.

PA Department of Community and Economic Development: COVID-19 Resources for Businesses, Communities, and Local Governments

PA Department of Labor: information on applying for unemployment compensation for those adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. FYI, you’ll need some patience in working through the system; they are on overload right now.

  • Here is a handy checklist on what you’ll need to file a claim.
  • Here you can read the FAQs of receiving unemployment compensation.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

✔ Be sure to check out the Small Business Reference Center resource on the The Centre County Library & Historical Museum website. This digital resource includes everything from start-up kits to industry information to guides for the basics of running a business (and so much more). SBRC is available to use with your Centre County Library and Historical Museum (or Schlow Centre Region Library) library card number. Information on how to access the SBRC can be found here.

✔ The U.S. Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses recover from declared disasters, which would include a pandemic such as COVID-19. The PA Governor’s office is working with SBA and the PA Department of Community and Economic Development to make these loans available to Pennsylvania small businesses. If you need help with filling out these forms or understanding what’s available, please reach out to Penn State SBDC.

✔ If you are a bartender, bar back, or cocktail server that needs financial assistance, you can apply USBG National Charitable Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Relief Fund.

✔ The National Main Street Center is also compiling information that’s available to the public.

✔ Pennsylvania Downtown Center will post any updates to these and other resources on their webpage.

Honeycomb Credit connects business owners with funding opportunities through community crowdfunding. Right now they are offering a Small Business Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find more information on their website.

✔ Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. Learn more here.

✔ The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) *We apologize, but PIDA is no longer accepting applications at this time
Provides critical working capital financing to small businesses located within the Commonwealth that are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. All CWCA loan applications must be submitted through a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO).  Our local certified economic development organization is SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) in Lewisburg. If you have questions about the loan program, please reach out to Doug Wilburn, Director of Business Finance at dwillburn@seda-cog.org. You can find more information on the COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) Program on the DCED website. Additionally, here is a quick fact sheet.

 

Marketing Opportunities

 Help Main Street allows you to support local businesses by buying gift cards to provide critical cash support during the COVID-19 crisis. If you don’t see your favorite business on the list, you can add them here.

StateCollege.com is offering a unique opportunity: Inviting any Centre County business, nonprofit organization or agency to share their stories in briefs of 200 words or less, which it will publish at no charge on StateCollege.com. Get the full parameters here.

Canva is offering helpful graphic resources to with messages geared towards helping stop the spread of COVID-19.

The PA Restaurant and Lodging Association is encouraging restaurants & food service businesses to submit their information regarding modified services/hours of operation during this crisis. Responses will be populated into a spreadsheet which will be shared with the public in an effort to keep them better informed. Submit your restaurant’s information in their Google Form.

American Express Small Business has a resources and tools for marketing your small business.

News Updates

[UPDATED ON 4/1] The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

[UPDATED ON 3/28]  Today Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine revised their “Stay at Home” orders to include CENTRE COUNTY. This order takes effect at 8:00 PM Saturday, March 28, 2020, and will continue until April 6, 2020.More information can be found here.

[UPDATED ON 3/25] The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) will provide $61 million in low-interest loans to small employers in the state. Here are a few quick facts:

  • Loans of up to $100,000 will be available through the Commonwealth Financing Authority for small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees to use as working capital.
  • No application fees will be require
  • Terms will include no payments and no interest for the first year of the loan.

You can find more information about the PIDA Low-Interest Loans here at the DCED website. Our local certified economic development organization is SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) in Lewisburg. If you have questions about the loan program, please reach out to Doug Wilburn, Director of Business Finance at dwillburn@seda-cog.org.

 

[POSTED ON 3/20] Governor Tom Wolf today ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. on March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21.

Gov. Wolf’s order is here.
A video statement from Gov. Wolf is here.
Sec. of Health’s order is here.
A list of life-sustaining businesses is here.
Life-sustaining businesses FAQ is here

In extenuating circumstances, special exemptions will be granted to businesses that are supplying or servicing health care providers.

[POSTED ON 3/20] Please read our latest newsletter with the updated information from the PA Governor and resources for small businesses. 

[POSTED ON 3/16] In a press conference on Monday, PA Governor Tom Wolf ordered a statewide recommendation to close all non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania to close, including non-essential stores, bars and restaurants, except for takeout offerings. Grocery and convenience stores, drug stores, and gas stations will remain open. You can find more information from the press conference on the governor website.

Already, many businesses have altered their hours or made accommodations for online shopping or pick up services. We encourage you to offer your customers other ways of supporting your business besides in-person shopping. If you need assistance with this, please contact Gina Thompson, Main Street Manager, at manager@downtownbellefonteinc.com or (814) 933-8673.

Archived Info

✔ Rosie’s Pierogies and BBQ by Clem will be offering free lunches to families in need on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20. Please see their flyer for complete information. They will be parked at the Bellefonte Area High School.