$104 Million Still Left for Businesses in the COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program

August 14, 2020
Nichole M. Baer

The COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Small Business Assistance Program is not brand new. Initially, it was anticipated to have four rounds of grants lasting until October 2020. The CARES Act passed in late March is providing the funding.  $96 million has already been distributed with about $104 million remaining for small businesses.

However, like everything else in 2020, things have changed.  Additional restrictions on bars and restaurants along with the falling GDP has caused Pennsylvania to rethink the distribution of these grants.

Now, instead of four rounds, there will be two rounds to get the money to those who need it.  The first round is already complete.  The second round opens on August 10, 2020.

Eligible Businesses

Your business must be physically located in Pennsylvania, certified to do business in Pennsylvania, and generate at least 51% of its revenues in Pennsylvania.  It must also have had less than $1 million in annual revenue before the pandemic and fewer than twenty-five full-time employees as of February 15, 2020.

Ineligible Businesses

  • Businesses that are in default with taxes or fees owned to Pennsylvania or the IRS (this does not include businesses on a payment plan).
  • Non-profits, churches, and other religious institutions
  • Government-owned entities
  • Businesses with no revenue loss or additional costs due to COVID-19
  • Businesses that are engaged in an activity that is illegal under Federal, State, or local law
  • Businesses that are engaged in socially undesirable activities or considered predatory in nature, such as pawnshops, rent to own, and adult bookstores
  • Businesses that obtained a loan from Pennsylvania or any federal agency and are currently delinquent or have defaulted on in the past seven years on said loan
  • Businesses that are primarily engaged in the business of lending
  • Passive real estate companies and investors
  • Private clubs or businesses which limit the number of memberships for reasons other than capacity

What you need to know?

Applications opened on August 10, 2020 and are due by midnight on August 28, 2020.

The grant decisions are being made by Pennsylvania nonprofit lenders (community development financial institutions).  In Lancaster County, those lenders are Community First Fund and Assets Lancaster.

They are prioritizing businesses that

  • are owned by low- or moderate-income owners
  • are located in areas of need
  • were most impacted by the economic shutdown
  • are owned by people from historically disadvantaged groups, and
  • are women-owned businesses


What grant amounts could you receive?

The grant amounts will be between $5,000 and $50,000 based on your business’s annual revenue: 

Eligible Business Annual Revenue Grant Amount Available
Up to $50,00.00 $5,000.00
$50,001.00 to $75,000.00 $10,000.00
$75,001.00 to $100,000.00 $15,000.00
$100,001.00 to $250,000.00 $20,000.00
$250,001.00 to $500,000.00 $25,000.00
$500,001.00 to $750,000.00 $35,000.00
$750,001.00 to $850,000.00 $40,000.00
$850,001.00 to $1,000,000.00 $50,000.00


What can you use the funds for?

Your business may use the funds for:

  • Payroll costs and costs related to group health benefits
  • Mortgage interest payments (so long as those payments are not mortgage prepayments or principal payments)
  • Rent payments
  • Utility payments
  • Working capital to cover the costs of reopening the business after being fully or partially closed during the state-mandated business closures
  • Any expenses incurred related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, PPE, employee training to ensure compliance, specialized equipment, and barriers

How do you apply?

  • Review the application instructions.
  • Provide a government-issued photo ID
  • Provide a business’s financial information:
    • Revenue from March 1-March 31, 2019
    • Revenue from March 1-March 31, 2020
    • Most recently submitted Federal Tax Return for business and personal.
  • Provide proof of business registration with the Department of State.
  • Provide Bank Account information.

To apply with Community First Fund, click here.

To apply with Assets Lancaster, click here.

Nichole Baer is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She received her law degree from Stetson University, College of Law and practices in several areas, including BusinessCommercial Real EstateEstate Planning, and Estate Administration.