SBN’s Response to COVID-19
SBN remains fully operational to serve our local independent business community during COVID-19. This page, as well as our FAQ, will remain updated with accurate, relevant, and timely resources to help you through this time. With your health and safety in mind, we have postponed all in-person programs and events until further notice.
Please see our open letter to our city, state, and federal legislators and government officials on the challenges and needs of local businesses in the wake of COVID-19.
Update: February 24, 2021
Somehow there is both a plethora of resources being offered and not enough or not the right ones, which is contributing to your feelings of confusion and overwhelm.
SBN will continue to curate resources for you. We remain your community of practicing triple bottom line businesses; please lean on us so we can ensure we know your needs and ideas for additional resources, and raise them to the attention of City, State, and Federal decision-makers. We have created a task force and are meeting regularly to discuss the greatest challenges and needs that we can bring to the powers that be.
Meantime, please continue to communicate with us and track your losses. What resources or ideas do you want to share with SBN and your peers to help our community? Please email: [email protected].
This is not an easy time, so please also allow yourself to feel your feelings, remember you are not alone, and reach out for support.
Anna and Allegra
Chief Operating Officer
UPDATE: Due to the reduced frequency of relief and recovery resources and support for businesses in our region, SBN will transition to providing our members with up-to-date news and updates via our newsletters and virtual programming. In the meantime, this page will periodically update. We’ll also continue to provide advocacy, content, and community in our programming and events to ensure economic recovery centers local independent businesses, equity, and climate resilience. Please contact [email protected] for any questions.
In communication with our members, including through our COVID-19 Task Force, we have pulled questions together and offer as many answers in our SBN COVID-19 FAQ for Local Independent Businesses. This document will update with questions and answers as they surface. Please message Allegra Derengowski, [email protected] with additional questions and/or answers you have.
COVID-19 LOCAL INDEPENDENT BUSINESS RESOURCES
- FUNDING & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
- SBA LOAN FORGIVENESS
- BUSINESS REOPENING GUIDELINES
- BUSINESS SUPPORT
- PUBLIC HEALTH
- EMPLOYMENT/ UNEMPLOYMENT & TAX RESOURCES
- WORKSHOPS & WEBINARS
- GSI PARTNERS
- EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING & SELF CARE
FUNDING & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
CITY, STATE, FEDERAL & CORPORATE
- SBA Paycheck Protection Program – Deadline: March 31, 2021
- UPDATE: In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with 20 or less employees and sole proprietors only from Wednesday, February 24 through Wednesday, March 10, 2021. President Biden has also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable.
- The loan provides a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- Businesses that did not receive a loan last year (“First Draw” businesses) are eligible to apply if they have 0-500 employees. Businesses that received a PPP loan last year and are seeking another PPP loan (“Second Draw” businesses) are eligible to apply if they have 0-300 employees.
- To find out more about eligibility and qualifications, please see the program update and 1/13/21 press release.
- Comcast RISE – Deadline: May 7, 2021
- A multi-year commitment to provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses.
- Qualifying businesses will have the opportunity to receive marketing consultations, media placements, commercial creative production services, or technology services, in addition to possible grants.
- PA 30 Day Fund – Deadline: December 31, 2023
- 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 (within maximum three days) to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees and save jobs while they await recently approved federal funding.
- The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program – OPEN
- The program helps to allow credit flow to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before COVID-19, and now need loans to help maintain their operations until they have recovered from, or adapted to, the impacts of the pandemic.
- Loan ranges are between $250K – $3M.
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Deadline: December 31, 2021
- The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital for vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
- Loans are up to $2M dollars with up to a 30 year term.
- Advances up to $10K do not have to be repaid, and covers the period of February 15, 2020 to December 21, 2020.
- Any small business with less than 500 employees, private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations is eligible.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans – OPEN
- These loans provide an urgent need for cash while waiting for a decision and disbursement on EIDL.
- The loan temporarily increases the maximum loan from $350K to $1M for loans approved from March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
- All loans to veteran-owned small businesses approved on or after March 27, 2020, the upfront guaranty fee will permanently be zero.
- PA’s DEP 2020 Small Business Advantage Grant – OPEN
- Provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7K to enable Pennsylvania small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment, or adopt waste reduction processes.
- PA COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) – UPDATE: Application period TBA
- The Pennsylvania COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) is a $145 million statewide fund created by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to alleviate revenue losses and pay eligible operating expenses for certain businesses in the hospital industry severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Philadelphia County is receiving approximately $17.9M in funding to provide grants to eligible businesses through this program.
- Grants may be awarded between $5,000 – $50,000 with an average grant expected to be $25,000.
- SBA Shuttered Venue Operator (SVO) Grant – UPDATE: Application period TBA
- SBA grant program for eligible entities that have been adversely impacted by building closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Eligible entities are identified as live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives.
- The grant requires the facility to have fixed-seating. Grants may be awarded equal to 45% of gross earned revenue.
PHILADELPHIA AREA MICROLENDERS/ CFDIs/ MICRO RELIEF FUNDS
- West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution (WPFSI) Loans – OPEN
- WPFSI provides small business loans throughout Philadelphia for: Working Capital, Purchasing Real Estate, Renovation or Construction on an Existing Building, Purchasing Inventory, Taking Advantage of Business Opportunities, and Purchasing Equipment or Furniture.
- Provides a variety of loans that range from $1K to $100K.
- The Enterprise Center COVID-19 Loan – OPEN
- The tiered fund provides a loan of up to $100K for businesses with up to $250K revenue and a $20K loan for businesses with up to $50K revenue.
- Eligibility requires Philadelphia-based small businesses with at least one employee operating for at least six months prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Small business owners must attend a virtual office hour.
- Grow Philadelphia Small Business COVID-19 Resilience Fund – OPEN
- Supports minority-owned contractors and related small businesses affected by the pandemic. The fund offers low-interest loans with flexible payment terms to eligible businesses.
- Grow Philadelphia Capital Initiative – OPEN
- The fund offers low interest loans to qualified minority-owned construction businesses to cover the cost of service contracts.
- Can finance construction loans for a maximum of $50K
- The fund is eligible for construction business owned and operated by ethnic minorities working on a contract(s).
- Neighborhood Progress Fund – OPEN
- Offers Philadelphia area small business loans and business development services to entrepreneurs and businesses in distressed communities.
- Women’s Opportunities Resource Center Loans – OPEN
- Provides low–interest loans, including professional services, and referrals to partner banks and community loan funds for small businesses.
- Small Landlord Rental Improvement Fund – OPEN
- PHDC, in partnership with Impact Loan Fund, has launched a pilot program to finance repairs and renovations for landlords to improve apartments for affordable rentals. The fund will lend to landlords who own fewer than ten apartments in Philadelphia, and who need to improve their units to address health and safety-related repairs.
- Loans are between $10K to $25K.
- PBA COVID-19 RELIEF FUND – OPEN
- PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund provides $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
- The funding, if awarded, is intended to be emergency aid for short-term immediate needs such as food and bills.
- KIVA – OPEN
- Gives entrepreneurs access to zero percent interest small business loans. These loans are funded by hundreds of lenders from around the world.
- First loans through Kiva can be up to $10K. They will approve your loan amount before the crowdfunding begins. Once you meet your goal, loans must be repaid in 36 months or less.
- Loans are interest free.
- Honeycomb Credit – OPEN
- Provides community sourced low-interest loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
- Offers three options for loan relief, generally between $10K – $50K.
BUSINESS REOPENING GUIDELINES
As business operations in our region begin to reopen we will continue to update this section with pertinent information.
- CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Reopening Resources – Recommendations and resources for businesses and workplaces planning, preparing, and responding to COVID-19.
- OSHA (U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration) – Offers guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19.
- PA’s Process to Reopen – Gov. Wolf’s guide and recommendations for businesses to reopen in Pennsylvania.
- Here’s a guide from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on public health safety measures for businesses that are permitted to maintain in-person operations.
- The City of Philadelphia
- The City of Philadelphia announced new “Safer at Home” restrictions that begins on November 20, 2020 and will remain until January 2, 2021
- The City of Philadelphia
- Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce and PIDC are gathering information about the impact that COVID-19 has on Philadelphia-based businesses. Their survey is in the following languages: English, Spanish, Chinese Mandarin, and French.
- U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops – Offers resources linking to webinars, CDC news and updates, financial relief resources, emergency planning checklists, and more.
- Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA) – Offers guidance and updates on landscape services, greenhouse nursery and floriculture production, and retail garden centers throughout Pa.
- Ballard Spahr – Provides small businesses with legal guidance and resources during COVID-19. Sign up to receive alerts and specify which topics are pertinent to your business.
- PHL Emergency Business Insurance Support – Provides assistance for small business owners on insurance policies, filing and reviewing claims.
- Women’s Business Enterprise Center – Offers assistance with preparing SBA EIDL applications and ongoing workshops.
- U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship – Offers a guide on The CARES Act.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Provides a guide to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
- SBA’s COVID-19 Relief Loan Overview – This guide explains and outlines Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Philadelphia’s Commerce Department’s Office of Business Services – Stands ready to support businesses. They can be reached via a hotline (215-683-2100) and by email.
- ICIC – Is supporting local businesses by sharing a wealth of information and external resources as they become available.
- Philly VIP – Matches businesses with pro bono legal services during COVID-19.
- Social Distancing Posters – Operating an essential business? Download, print, and hang these informational posters about social distancing in your business. Different languages available. – Download here.
- 76ers Spirit of Small Business – The 76ers’ program allow business owners to be featured on their social media feeds. Through the Spirit of Small Businesses initiative, the 76ers will have a local small business announce the game, opponent, jersey, and where to watch the game. Participating businesses will also be given the opportunity to promote their business via 76ers digital channels (Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
Philadelphia restaurant workers and their families still have access to free weekly COVID-19 testing at The Goat restaurant (1907 Sansom Street). If you want to participate in the free testing, email [email protected].
The City of Philadelphia has launched a Workforce COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Form for Philadelphia-based organizations and companies that employ workers in Phase 1b or 1c. Employers can complete the questionnaire to help inform the City of Philadelphia’s plans for distributing vaccine.
The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) – Provides up to date information on the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to its variants and vaccination protocols.
World Health Organization (WHO) – Provides national and international updates and resources for international public health.
EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT & TAX RESOURCES
- PA’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Provides individuals in PA who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits can apply. Those eligible are: self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers.
- PA’s Office of Unemployment Compensation – Employees in PA whose hours have been reduced or eliminated as a result of COVID-19 are eligible for unemployment or workers compensation benefits. You can file a claim here.
- PA Career Link: Unemployment Compensation – Has a one pager response to COVID-19. Download PDF here.
- City of Philadelphia’s Sick Leave Policy – Requires sick staff to stay home.
- What to Do if an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19 – Download PDF here.
WORKSHOPS & WEBINARS
- PA SBDC – Offers webinars on the SBA’s EIDL program.
- Temple University SBDC – The center remains operational during COVID-19. In addition to specialized workshops on resources, response and management amid the crisis (see their events below), Temple SBDC is offering free office hours with a business consultant Monday – Friday from 3 – 5pm via Zoom.
- Widener University SBDC – The center offers information and resources to business owners during COVID-19, including past slides and recordings of webinars.
- Women’s Opportunities Resource Center – Offers webinars on ways businesses can navigate during COVID-19.
- PIDC – Provides webinars for small business owners.
- The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has released their Stormwater Grant Application Criteria with a deadline of September 15, 2020. This is the only scheduled grant deadline for the next year.
- Philadelphia Water Department’s Private Development Services – The website provides updates on construction projects.
EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING & SELF CARE
- Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services – Offers mental health and addiction services to residents.
- Mental Health America – Provides resources and information with those coping with COVID-19.
- CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – Offers advice on managing stress and anxiety.
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – Provides information and a resource page for coping with COVID-19.