Has your small business been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak?
As resources for become available we will post them on this webpage.
These resources can help small businesses develop a plan to protect their employees, lessen the financial impact of disasters, and re-open for business quickly to support the economic recovery of the community.
The Three Step Process: SBA Disaster Loans
While disaster loans have not been activated yet, small businesses can prepare by getting the appropriate documents gathered, using this PDF.
Comprehensive and customized business disaster preparedness planning information, materials and training videos
Have you laid off employees or been laid off yourself?
The PA Department of Labor & Industry has waived the one-week waiting period to apply for Unemployment Compensation. Eligible claimants may receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed. The fast way to apply is online: https://www.paclaims.pa.gov/UCEN/
Information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.
For questions related to COVID-19 and small businesses in Pennsylvania, individuals and business can contact the PA DCED by calling 1-866-466-3972
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information regarding business preparedness and recovery.
OUR SBDC CENTER RESOURCES:
As we continue to monitor developments, the Pennsylvania SBDC recognizes that some of our clients and their small businesses may be negatively affected by the impacts of this global outbreak. To that end, we stand ready to work with clients as they navigate potential financial hardships. If you currently have any specific concerns or questions, reach out to your current consultant or complete our online consulting request form to schedule a time to meet.
The Progress Fund has halted automatic withdrawals from borrower’s accounts and will not send out invoices for the month of April 2020.
PAID SICK LEAVE –The House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide paid sick leave and family leave for employees of companies with fewer than 500 employees. The government would pay the businesses for this sick leave and family leave. Today, Senate leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would go ahead and approve that bill as is and send to the President for signing. This also provides relief for independent contractors and gig workers who get paid by another company.
$750 BILLION-$1 TRILLION STIMULUS BILL. A bill to try and shore up the American economy is coming. Republicans in the Senate are preparing a package – expected to be worth around $1 trillion while Democrats are working on a package of around $750 million. No details yet, but small business aid could be from $50 billion-$250 billion, and might include loans, grants, tax breaks. To put the dollar figure in perspective—keep in mind the airline industry is seeking around a $60 billion bailout, and that industry employs around 700k people, while small businesses employ almost 6 million Americans.
CASH GRANTS FOR EVERY AMERICAN. There now appears to be serious bipartisan agreement for sending cash grants to every American and soon. This does not yet have a specific piece of legislation, so details are not known. Senator Mitt Romney suggested a payment of $1000 per person (likely to be lower per child), and this number seems to be getting some traction in Washington. This would also likely be phased out for higher income earners (which might be between $75k-$100k). Treasury Steven Mnuchin says he’d like these checks out in the next two weeks, but it is unlikely that that is possible—even if legislation is passed quickly.
State News Links:
PA Department of Revenue
Updates from the PA Department of Revenue
Responding to COVID-19
Federal News Links
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses, and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
National Main Street Center
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Street Resources
https://www.mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/resourcecenter/covid19resources - will include peer to peer tips and examples via "The Point" an online networking platform for Main Street America members.
Temporary Operational Changes
Before laying-off staff, consider a shared work arrangement.
Rapid Response line: 717-503-7901
Business Model Modification
Restaurants, breweries, etc. offering take-out and delivery service
Personal training, yoga, music lessons, and other service providers offering remote delivery via livestream or other video/audio platforms
Retailers offering virtual shopping via Skype/Facetime, personal shopping, delivery, curbside pickup
Salons offering personal hair & skin care advising via Instagram, Youtube, etc, and requesting Paypal, Cash app, Venmo, or other online payment
Arts-based entrepreneurs using Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/
As the leader in Industry Intelligence, Vertical IQ has created a Web page to publish and monitor how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting industries and sectors of the economy.
This industry intelligence is valuable to your organization in the following ways:
● Understanding Customer Impact: As a value-added advisor to your customers, through more clearly understanding the virus’ impact on their businesses, you are better able to help them get through this challenge. Share this knowledge with your customers.
● Get Your Knowledge from a Trusted Source: Rather than learning about industries from bits and pieces of unreliable sources, get information from an experienced industry intelligence partner whose research team solely relies on trusted sources.
● Loan Monitoring: Track how specific loans and concentrations of loans may affect your bank.
● Loan Underwriting: With many businesses shut down, meeting payroll and other working capital requirements will be difficult. Use this Web page as an efficient way to see how similar businesses are being impacted.
The Governor has ordered that all restaurants and bars close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited. These businesses offering carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage should employ social distancing best practices and be aware of the Trump Administration's guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. National Restaurant Association webinar - Preparing for the Coronavirus: Steps for Foodservice and Restaurant Readiness.
Essential services and sectors include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.
Although these businesses may remain open, the Wolf Administration continues to encourage them to employ social distancing practices, and encourages Pennsylvanians to be thoughtful in their visits.
Other businesses, including but not limited to legal services, business and management consulting, professional services and insurance services are encouraged to have employees work remotely or telecommute. If that is not possible, they should employ social distancing best practices and be aware of the Trump Administration's guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
Non-essential businesses include public-facing industries such as entertainment, hospitality, and recreation facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
PAID SICK LEAVE FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES
As of (11pm ET Monday), the House of Representatives passed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” but it had not yet been passed by the Senate. Here are the details:
1. COMPANIES WITH 500 OR FEWER EMPLOYEES must provide:
paid sick leave – 2 weeks paid leave at 100% of employee’s normal pay, up to $511 per day
paid family and medical leave – additional 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67% of normal pay, up to $200 per day (small businesses can apply for a waiver of this in some limited circumstances)
2. SMALL BUSINESSES WILL GET A TAX CREDIT TO COVER THE COSTS.
3. GIG WORKERS AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS get the same benefits in form of a tax credit.
Small businesses: you must provide paid sick leave and/or family/medical leave for any of your payroll workers (not contractors). The government will pick up the cost of this paid leave—by applying a credit for your 6.2% payroll social security taxes. If the credit is insufficient to cover those costs, the government will pay you directly. You or your workers do not have to be sick to qualify! Anyone told to quarantine, who is exposed to the virus, showing symptoms, or needs to get tests or preventive care qualifies. Family leave is easier—up to 3 months of paid leave to adhere to quarantine, take care of a sick family member or a child who is home because of their school being closed.
Gig worker/independent contractor: if you are paid by another company (e.g., a ride share company, a caterer, a worker platform like Upwork, another contracting company), you’re eligible for a tax credit of up to 2 weeks sick leave at your average pay and 12 weeks of family/medical leave at 2/3 your average pay. The same caps apply--$511/$200 per day. You must show you had to comply with self-isolation or care for family members, including children whose schools had been closed due to the coronavirus. Tax credits will be applied against your tax payments, or you will get a rebate if your tax is lower than the credit.
This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.
The Pennsylvania Chamber Educational Foundation is presenting a free 1½ hour webinar as a public service to review the facts, legal aspects and the many employment considerations that surround the potential of employee exposure to the Coronavirus.
Governor Wolf Requests Disaster Declaration for Small Businesses and Non-Profits to Obtain Loans
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today requested that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) implement an SBA disaster declaration to provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
“The impact of financial losses related to COVID-19 will be felt for years to come,” said Gov. Wolf. “But these low-interest loans can help bridge the gap between economic losses now and economic recovery in the future.”
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
The application process will be facilitated online. Details on how to apply, as well as deadlines, will be established once the governor’s request is granted.
In addition to making sure that this federal funding for small business assistance is available, the Wolf Administration is working with the General Assembly to make sure state funding is available for small business assistance too. Small businesses can apply through the Small Business First Fund (SBD), an existing PIDA loan program. More information is available at www.dced.pa.gov/PIDA.
Read Governor Wolf's Letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration as a PDF or on Scribd.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Exim has put together a factsheet with info about some of their programs and changes to policies given COVID-19.
National Main Street Center
Includes peer to peer tips and examples via “The Point” an online networking platform for Main Street America members.
To assist with business concerns relating to the spread of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), Washington State SBDC has graciously provided access to their Disaster Planning & Recovery materials as well.
Disaster Planning & Recovery
SBDC Pennsylvania / SBA / PREP Southeast / PTAC / America's SBDC / Community First Fund / LBRC
The Kutztown SBDC is partially funded by a grant from the Department of Community & Economic Development and by the U.S. Small Business Administration under Cooperative Agreement No. 4-603001-Z-0040-24. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of any of the cosponsor(s)’ or participants’ opinions, findings, conclusions, recommendations, products, or services.
Funding support and resources are provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community & Economic Development; through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration; and in part through support from Kutztown University. All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Special arrangements for persons with disabilities can be made by calling 215-204-7282. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. SBDC services are not available to individuals or entities that have been debarred or suspended by the federal government. By agreeing to receive assistance from the SBDC you are self-certifying that you are not currently federally debarred or suspended and also agree to cease using SBDC services if you become federally debarred or suspended in the future.
All SBDC programs are non-discriminatory and open to the public. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested, at least two weeks in advance. Contact the Kutztown SBDC at Old Main - Room 27 - F Wing, 15219 Kutztown Rd, Kutztown, PA 19530, (484)-646-5937.
The Kutztown University SBDC is a member of the network of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers and the National Association of Small Business Development Centers.