Help for Businesses & Employees Affected by Governor’s Mandated Closures

March 27, 2020 – Stay at Home Order Guidance 

Types of Businesses Covered by Governor’s Mandated Closures

Updates

Applications now being accepted for new small business low-interest loan program

The COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program will feature a low interest rate, no application fees, and payments and interest waived during the first year of the loan. Loans of up to $100,000 will be available for small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees to use as working capital.

The program will be administered by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, which said it intends for the turnaround time for loan approval to be a matter of days. Additional information on the program is available at https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-working-capital-access-program-cwca/.

Business owners who are interested in applying should contact their local Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO). A list of CEDOs is available at https://dced.pa.gov/cedo/.

Wolf Administration Waiver Process

Companies that believe they should be considered a life-sustaining-business and would like to apply for a waiver should email one of the following:

ra-dcedcs@pa.gov – To send questions about whether your business needs to close

To obtain information on how to apply for a waiver, click here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

  • Administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Up to $2 million in assistance to small businesses to help overcome a temporary loss of revenue.
  • May be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • Interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • Long-term repayments up to 30 years. Terms determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • Businesses may obtain information and loan applications at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired) or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • Loan applications can also be downloaded at the SBA disaster assistance website. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at SBA disaster loan assistance. Completed applications should be returned to the local DLOC or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
  • Application deadline Dec. 21, 2020.

Assistance Available for Employees

Pennsylvanians who are unable to work because of the COVID-19 coronavirus may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation benefits.

  • Unemployment Compensation is available for:
    • Employees whose employer temporarily closes, goes out of business or reduces hours due to COVID-19.
    • Employees who are told not to work, have been told to self-isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.

UC call centers are experiencing extremely high call volumes, so claimants are encouraged to get help by email at uchelp@pa.gov, or via UC LiveChat.

Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 in their workplace could also be eligible for Workers’ Compensation.

More details about benefits for affected employees are available here.


Senate Republicans Call for Business Closure Waivers, Explanations from Governor

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34), Senate Majority Whip John Gordner (R-27) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (R-16) today issued the following response to the Governor’s order that “non-life-sustaining” employers in Pennsylvania close their physical locations:

“We understand the dire health crisis COVID-19 presents in the Commonwealth. We understand that we are in uncharted territory as we try to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. 

“At the same time, we know that every business is life-sustaining to someone – whether employers or employees. The economic devastation that is being caused will last long into the future, especially for small-business owners. Because of the manner in which the Governor released this information, we have more questions about his unilateral decision than there are answers.

“We are calling on the Governor to provide a process for the state’s employers to appeal this decree. Further, the Governor and the Secretaries of Labor and Industry and Community and Economic Development need to become transparent about their decision-making process and publicly answer the many questions this has raised.

“In the meantime, we strongly encourage employers and workers to learn more about resources that may be available to help them cope with the challenges that lie ahead. We will continue to do our part in ensuring every effort is made to help employers and our communities emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.

“We remain committed to working cooperatively with the Governor and state agencies to slow the spread of this dangerous virus and ease the impact of this crisis on individuals, families and employers. While at the same time, we will stand with our small-business owners who now face challenges that seemed unfathomable just a few weeks ago.”