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 


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. 



Anna and Allegra


Anna Shipp
Executive Director


Allegra Derengowski
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.






  • SBA Paycheck Protection ProgramDeadline: 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 RISEDeadline: 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 FundDeadline: 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 ProgramOPEN
    • 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 LoanDeadline: 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 LoansOPEN
    • 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 GrantOPEN
    • 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.


  • 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. 


As business operations in our region begin to reopen we will continue to update this section with pertinent information.






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.


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, and LinkedIn channels for COVID-19 related news, announcements, resources, and other helpful links.