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Local businesses receive Small Business Impact funding

LOCK HAVEN — Six businesses in Clinton County were the recipients of a portion of $96 million in COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance funding this week.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that 4,933 businesses throughout the commonwealth received a portion of the funding with applications for a final round opened on Monday.

“As we continue to address this public health crisis, it’s critical that we also focus on our state’s economic recovery and supporting our small businesses across the state, which continue to be impacted by our necessary mitigation efforts,” Wolf said. “This funding will go a long way to help small businesses, including historically disadvantaged businesses, at a time when they need it most.”

Businesses in every Pennsylvania county received grants in this first of two rounds of funding, and 2,512 grants — or 51 percent — were awarded to historically disadvantaged businesses.

In Centre County, 47 businesses received funding while 28 businesses were given funds in Lycoming County.

The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of which $225 million was earmarked for relief for small businesses.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) distributed the funds to the Pennsylvania Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which are administering the grants through three programs: $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program, $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program, and $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program.

“The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly affected small businesses across the commonwealth, an unfortunate circumstance that could not have been predicted or prepared for,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “However, through the collective action of the Wolf Administration, the General Assembly, and the CDFI Network, Pennsylvania’s hardest hit and most at-risk businesses will be able to access the funding they need to shore up their resources and regain sound financial footing as we move into recovery.”

The second and final round of funding is open through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28. Eligible applicants not awarded in the first round do not need to reapply and will be rolled into the next round for consideration. More information on the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program, including how to apply, is available on DCED’s website.

“The PA CDFI Network targeted these funds to reach the smallest and most vulnerable businesses across the state and we received an immense response with close to 50,000 applications submitted in the first round and more than $860 million in total requests,” said Daniel Betancourt, chairman of the PA CDFI Network and President & CEO of Community First Fund. “We are grateful to be part of this first step with Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Legislature to get much needed resources to the small businesses that have been so adversely impacted by the pandemic.”

The grants may be used to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to re-opening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.

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