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: August 11, 2021 


Dear SBN members:
We can’t stop thinking about you, your businesses, and your employees, or the ways SBN can best help in the rapidly changing circumstances around COVID-19 precautions. 

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. 


In partnership,

Anna Shipp


Anna Shipp
Executive Director



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.






  • Founders First Job Creators Quest Grant (Philadelphia/ New Jersey) – Deadline: August 20, 2021
    • Founders First is committed to increasing diverse founder-led businesses generating over $1 million in revenues and creating premium wage jobs.
    • A total of $60,000 ($50K cash + scholarships) will be awarded to 20 small businesses: (2) $10,000 grant (2) $4,000 grant; (4) $2,500 grants; (12) $1,000 grants plus each grant recipient will receive a tuition scholarship for one of Founders First CDC’s stellar business accelerator programs.
    • Program Qualifications:
      • Must be in the Philadelphia/New Jersey metro area (Philadelphia County, Camden County, Burlington County, Mercer County, and Essex County)
      • Must have a current staff of 2-20 employees
      • Will have the ability to add 1-2+ net new premium wage jobs in the next 12 months.
      • Founders must be Black, Indigenous, Person of Color, LGBTQIA+, Military Veteran, Woman, or located in a Low to Moderate Income area.
      • Be a for-profit company with annual revenues between $100K and $3 million.
  • SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant – OPEN
    • The grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act and includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
    • Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
    • Eligible entities include: Live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums who meet specific criteria, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives.
  • 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. 
  • 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.


  • West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution (WPFSI) LoansOPEN
    • 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 LoanOPEN 
    • 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 Capital InitiativeOPEN 
    • 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.
  • Small Landlord Rental Improvement FundOPEN
    • 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 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.


    • 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 CreditOPEN 
    • Provides community sourced low-interest loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 
    • Offers three options for loan relief, generally between $10K – $50K. 


  • PA SBDC – Provides a guide on ways business owners can track expenses for the PPP.
  • Temple University’s SBDC – Provides a guide on loan forgiveness for both the PPP and EIDL. 
  • Your Outsourced CFO – Gives an outline of managing PPP loan forgiveness. 


This section will periodically update on guidelines for Greater Philadelphia area local businesses. 







Vaccinations are available to all Philadelphia residents 16 and older. Get an appointment or visit the Convention Center or Esperanza walk-up sites.


The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium  –  Provides both free testing and vaccination to Philadelphia residents. 


The City of Philadelphia has created a map of testing sites throughout the city. The tool can help you find a COVID-19 test nearest to you. 


Philadelphia Department of Public Health – Provides updated information and guidance for COVID-19. There is a section specifically for businesses and nonprofits


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.






Follow SBN’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for COVID-19 related news, announcements, resources, and other helpful links.