To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the City of Philadelphia has prohibited the operations of non-essential businesses until further notice. We recognize the significant impact these restrictions have on businesses.
The following resources and relief are available to business owners:
Federal Relief Programs
- The Paycheck Protection Program is a new guaranteed loan program from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that will help small businesses cover payroll during the immediate crisis. Recent changes to the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aim to better help small businesses access relief funding. The changes include:
- Instead of eight weeks, borrowers will now have 24 weeks from the day they get their PPP funds to use them.
- Businesses may now use up to 40 percent of the PPP funds on non-payroll related expenses, though those expenses are still limited to utilities and mortgage interest. 60 percent of the funds must be used on payroll, reduced from 75 percent originally.
- For any portion of the loan that is not forgiven, businesses will now have up to five years to repay, increased from the original two years.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the SBA offer up to $2 million in assistance per business.
- Small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 that does not have to be repaid. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. Apply here.
- The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is Dec. 21, 2020.
- The PA SBDC Network hosts a daily webinar to explain the SBA EIDL application process every morning from 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Sign up here.
- The SBA Express Bridge Loan allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan funding.
- Learn more about these relief programs, and more, from the federal government.
Other Financial Assistance
- The Citizens Bank Minority-owned Small Business Grant is open to small businesses that are at least 51 percent minority owned, operated, and controlled.
- The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program is available to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the pandemic. The application deadline is July 31, 2020.
- Commonwealth’s $225 Million Small Business Grant Program: Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are also encouraged to apply later this month for the new $225 million grant program. Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants 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. Applications will be available through local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
- PIDC’s Restart Philadelphia Loan Fund provides flexible loans of $25,000 to $250,000 to help small businesses meet the needs related to reopening and/or adapting business models to new conditions and opportunities as a result of COVID-19. Funds will be targeted to historically disadvantaged businesses (at least 51% owned and operated by persons who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander) and businesses located in high poverty and low-moderate income areas.
- The non-profit Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans for Pennsylvania-based small businesses. The forgivable loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance to meet payroll and preserve healthcare coverage for employees.
- Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) has a list of resources for business owners affected by COVID-19, including a breakdown of funding programs that remain available.
- Entrepreneur Works provides loans to entrepreneurs and existing businesses. They have small business loan options and one-on-one guidance.
- The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation COVID-19 Loan Fund offers loans to small businesses that meet the following criteria: The business is located in Philadelphia, has been in operation for a minimum of six months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has a documented hardship.
- The Enterprise Center has also partnered with Brandywine Realty Trust on the Grow Philadelphia Small Business COVID-19 Resilience Fund, which will support minority-owned contractors and related small businesses affected by the pandemic. The fund will offer low-interest loans with flexible payment terms to eligible businesses.
- The West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution provides loans to small businesses in Philadelphia.
- The Neighborhood Progress Fund offers small business loans and business development services to entrepreneurs and businesses in distressed communities.
- William Penn Foundation, Vanguard, and Reinvestment Fund are collaborating to support Philadelphia childcare providers struggling to sustain their businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philadelphia Emergency Fund for Stabilization of Early Education provides grants to minimize the loss of capacity and expertise so that children and families continue to have access to high quality early learning opportunities once this crisis has passed.
- KIVA, which gives entrepreneurs access to zero-percent interest small business loans, has increased the size of no-interest loans available.
- The Finanta Emergency Loan is available for entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19 and other emergencies. Loans range from $5,000-$15,000 without closing fees. Contact Finanta for more information and to apply: 267-236-7030 (for English) or 267-236-7019 (para Español)
- The Women’s Opportunities Resource Center has low–interest loans, professional services, and referrals to partner banks and community loan funds for small businesses.
As business owners prepare to apply for these and other relief programs, they should begin to gather documentation such as:
- Inventory documents (delivery slips, etc.)
- Details on laid off or furloughed staff
- Debt service payments
- Mortgage/lease and utility payments
- Workers’ Compensation claims
- Signed tax return
- Financial statements
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of required documents. Individual program requirements will vary.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is available for some individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers.
- PECO is suspending fees for delays in bills and service shut-offs for three months, effective March 13, 2020 through at least May 1, 2020.
- PECO is offering programs to spread outstanding balances over several months, interest free, making monthly energy bills more affordable. Business customers with outstanding balances who would like to discuss a payment arrangement with PECO should call 1-800-220-PECO (7326) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Philadelphia Gas Works is suspending non-payment terminations and will waive new late payment charges. This termination moratorium will remain in place until further notice.
- Philadelphia Water Department is also suspending non-payment terminations and plans to waive new late payment charges. This termination moratorium will remain in place until further notice. Please note that regular billing will continue for all customers.
Other Business Resources
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Coronavirus Response & Resources page has links to helpful resources on business resilience and disaster recovery.
- Free online webinars and workshops about COVID-19 business resources can be found on our events page.
- Temple University’s Institute for Business and Information Technology is offering free digital services to small businesses and non-profits, including creating or modifying websites and online storefronts to enhance e-commerce.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has developed this list of COVID-19 Resources for Businesses, Communities, and Local Governments.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has developed a guide to help you prioritize bills during this challenging time.
- The local chambers of commerce have compiled useful resources for businesses:
- Temple University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering many free resources, webinars, and recordings, including virtual consulting every weekday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Temple University Fox School of Business can help business owners retrieve past filed tax returns by emailing email@example.com or calling (215) 326-9519.
- Duke University’s COVID-19 capital relief resource is a searchable database of grants, loans, and other cash equivalents that can help entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and businesses anywhere in the world.
- SBA’s COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources has helpful tips for business owners.
- The Business Center is offering its courses online, and encourages businesses that need help moving their services online to contact them.
- SCORE Philadelphia continues to offer business assistance and workshops online.
- For further guidance for businesses and other non-healthcare settings that are visited by the public, visit the Health Department’s COVID-19 resources page.
- The Merchants Fund has a list of resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
- The Office of Business Services at the Department of Commerce stands ready to support businesses. It can be reached via a hotline (215-683-2100) and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sign up for the Department of Commerce’s newsletter, which will be distributed as new resources and information for businesses become available.
The Widener University Small Business Development Center is providing no cost and confidential consulting services for COVID-19 related issues.
- Philly VIP can match businesses with pro bono legal services and is providing virtual legal consultations for businesses that need assistance applying for federal relief programs.
The Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is offering assistance to individual artists and creative entrepreneurs with navigation of the CARES act and the Pandemic Unemployment Act.
The Enterprise Center is offering 30-minute virtual sessions for help with loan applications and recovery plans.
SCORE Philadelphia has mentors available to participate in remote mentoring sessions via phone, email, and video/chat services.
- The Business Center (TBC) is providing free one-on-one coaching for those that need assistance. Small businesses can contact TBC at 215-247-2473 or email@example.com daily.
To provide additional relief, the City of Philadelphia has extended the filing and payment dates for some business taxes. More information from the Revenue Department can be found here.
If you are a business owner and would like to receive information about business relief programs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow these precautions to protect your business, employees, and patrons if you are operating as an essential business at this time.
Text “COVIDPHL” to 888-777 to stay connected with free alerts from the city.