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Business grants available

HARRISBURG — Pennsyl­vania small businesses can apply for grants to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order.

“In unprecedented times, like those we are currently facing, collaboration is imperative to getting help to those who need it most, as quickly and effectively as possible,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement.

“This joint effort between my administration, the Legislature and the Penn­sylvania Community De­velop­ment Financial In­stitutions Fund will assist Pennsylvania’s small businesses as they begin to reopen,” Wolf said.

The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program will provide $225 million in grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to eligible businesses through Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding.

The application period opened Wednesday and will remain open for 10 business days. Applications received after that will be considered for future rounds of funding. Applications will be prioritized and selected for funding based on the program criteria.

The Department of Community and Economic Development will distribute the funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions, which will then administer the grant funding.

Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to reopening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners.

The funds will be available through three programs:

— $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the governor’s March 19 order closing non-life-sustaining businesses and have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19.

— $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order, have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51 percent interest and also control management and daily business operations.

— $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow the CDFIs to offer forbearance and payment relief. This project is financed by a grant from the U.S. Treasury.

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