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COVID-19 Resources for Local Businesses

Updated April 27, 2020 Posted by East Passyunk Avenue

We hope that these resources are helpful for local businesses working through the COVID-19 crisis

 

Phila.Gov - The new Business Activity and Stay at Home Order: What you need to know

 

Promote social distancing and safe hygiene practices among patrons who are waiting outside: https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-20-social-distancing-for-essential-businesses-during-covid-19-coronavirus/ including:

  • Post signs on the front door and throughout the business, reminding patrons to practice good health habits and maintain a six-foot distance apart. Please visit our resources page for signs you can download.
  • Enforce the six-foot rule.  Consider putting down strips of tape in check-out lines or on sidewalks to indicate where customers should stand. 
  • Provide hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, tissues, and signs encouraging their use for patrons. Provide gloves and masks for employees. 
  • Communicate with your patrons via signage and regular social media posts regarding any changes in hours or other important updates. 
  • Business owners or managers who have questions about the order and restrictions can email vbeoc@phila.gov.

New funding has been made available by Congress for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides relief to small businesses, independent contractors, eligible self-employed individuals, and nonprofits.

New: Goldman Sachs, in partnership with Lendistry, a community development financial institution (CDFI), has dedicated $10 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans to help Philadelphia small businesses that may not have relationships with traditional lenders. Apply to Lendistry here. Learn more about the federal business relief programs.

SBA EIDL folks answer calls IN PERSON. Number is on this page if you have questions or want to know your status. https://covid19relief1.sba.gov/Account/Login  

New funding has also been made available for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The program offers up to $2 million of financial assistance to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury.

Small business owners can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 that does not have to be repaid. Apply here.

Better Business Bureau reminder to avoid scams related to the virus

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now available for self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers. Apply here.

SBA Credit Access – Be Aware! If you have an account with Experian/etc. please be aware. If you keep it locked so it can’t be accessed or new credit taken without approval it may block the SBA trying to run credit. Contact your company and confirm.

PIDC Webinars Recorded – Good Resource!

SCORE Resources - live webinars, recorded webinars and courses-on-demand!

 

SBA Guidance and Resources

The Merchants Fund

Temple SBDC

Additional Resources from the City

The following organizations are providing assistance: 

  • PECO is suspending fees for delays in bills and service shut offs for the next three months. 
  • Philadelphia Gas Works and Philadelphia Water Department will also suspend service shut offs.
  • KIVA has increased size of no interest loans available. 
  • Impact Loan Fund is preparing to offer a payment moratorium to businesses in need. 
  • Philly VIP will continue to remotely match businesses with Pro Bono legal services. 
  • The Business Center is offering its courses online, and encourages businesses in need of assistance in moving services online to contact them.

The PLCB has waived the requirement that licenses that are closed for more than 15 days must be placed in safekeeping, and will be extending the license renewal deadline during this time. 

Also:

For those of you still operating in allowed capacities, please still be vigilant about issues like counterfeits. Unfortunately people are out there trying to take advantage, so be extra careful around $100 bills.

In addition, you can make your voice be heard by contacting national, state and local leaders. Let them know how important small businesses are to you. Ask for state and federal funding to be directed to small businesses. Let them know that you want independent business to be part of the stimulus plan, as well as push for debt forgiveness, and changes to insurance coverage which will be critical in the coming months.