State Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can begin to apply for a special funding program beginning today, June 30.

Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program will provide $225 million in grants to eligible small businesses to cover operating expenses during the state’s shutdown order and the transition to reopening. In addition, the funding can be used for training and guidance for owners as they work to reopen their businesses.

“Our communities depend on our small businesses and helping them to get back on their feet and recover from the pandemic’s impacts is the right thing to do,” Petrarca said.

“I encourage small businesses to consider applying, and please contact my office if you have questions or need assistance in doing so.”

Petrarca said the funding will be available through three specific programs:

  • $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the March 2020 order relating to the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses, including those businesses that have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations;
  • $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order and costs incurred related to reopening, and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations;
  • $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow Community Development Financial Institutions the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses struggling due to the pandemic’s impact.

The first application window for the funding will remain open for 10 days. After that time, Petrarca said applications will continue to be accepted and considered for future rounds of funding. All applications will be prioritized and selected for funding, based on the program criteria listed above.

Small businesses can apply by visiting the following link: https://pabusinessgrants.com/.

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