[UPDATED 5/28] On May 29, Centre County will move to the Green Phase. Businesses are permitted to reopen, but must follow PA Department of Health and CDC health guidelines. That information can be found here. Customers must wear masks upon entering a store and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you are feeling sick, please do not patronize stores.
[UPDATED ON 5/8] On May 8, 2020, Centre County moved into the Yellow Phase. In this phase, some businesses are permitted to reopen, but must follow PA Department of Health and CDC health guidelines. That information can be found here. Customers must wear masks upon entering a store and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you are feeling sick, please do not patronize stores.
[UPDATED ON 4/22] Governor Tom Wolf presented his detailed plan for reopening the commonwealth with a targeted May 8 start. The administration will categorize reopening into three phases: red, yellow, green. Phases will be assigned based on conditions in a county, counties or region. The full plan is available here.
[UPDATED ON 4/6] All Pennsylvanians are asked to wear a non-surgical mask during essential trips. Downloads of graphics for masks (what kind you should wear and how to make them) are available on the PA Dept. of Health website.
[UPDATED ON 4/3] House Approves $2 Trillion Virus Relief Bill (CARES Act). NPR.org has a well-organized and easy to understand breakdown of the Bill.
[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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
In extenuating circumstances, special exemptions will be granted to businesses that are supplying or servicing health care providers.
[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 email@example.com or (814) 933-8673.
✔ All businesses planning on reopening must sign and display the COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses in their stores.
✔ Please review Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During COVID as it contains information from PA Department of Health and a checklist for what all businesses should do to comply with the state regulations for reopening.
✔ Here is a COVID-19 Fact Sheet and FAQ for Businesses. It does not specifically address reopening, but it has addresses questions that remain relevant to businesses
✔ Just a reminder: restaurants are not permitted to open during the Yellow Phase and should continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery options.
✔ Outside seating is not permitted during the yellow phase. All tables and chairs must be removed until the green phase begins.
✔ If you need supplies, please see: Pennsylvania COVID-19 PPE & Supplies Business-2-Business (B2B) Interchange Directory.
✔ If you are in need of hand sanitizer, please consider purchasing from Big Spring Spirits. All revenue generated from the sale of hand sanitizer will be donated to the Bellefonte YMCA and The FaithCentre to support their mission to feed those in need in our community. Thank you, Big Spring Spirits!
✔ More information on the process for reopening can be found on the DCED Business Resources page.
✔ To assist small businesses in Centre and other counties, SEDA-COG has created a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program. Roughly $400,000 in new loan funds are available to for-profit companies in the 11 County SEDA-COG region. Find more information from Bellefonte SpringBoard.
✔ 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.
1. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), enables organizations to obtain up to $10 million in loans that are 100 percent forgivable if they do not lay off any employees or if they rehire employees they’ve already laid off.
2. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), includes a $10,000 grant that businesses can apply for and which they do not need to pay back. The rest of the EIDL loan, which caps out at $2 million, is not forgivable but can be more flexible than PPP in the types of expenses it covers.
✔ Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. Learn more here.
✔ 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.
✔ 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.
✔ 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.
✔ SEDA-Council of Governments: COVID-19 information.
✔ 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 still operating.
✔ 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.
✔ 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 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.
✔ 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.
✔ 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.