PITTSBURGH — Small businesses in Pennsylvania are about to get a new life-line to help them recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The application process for $225 million in grants will be open starting Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.
“The mom and pop shops, the barber shops, shoe shine, nail salons... to get them the help that they need in response to the pandemic we know as COVID-19,” said state senator Vincent Hughes.
It is a grant program, not a loan program. That means businesses will not have to pay the money back. To qualify a business must:
- Have less than $1 million in revenue
- Have fewer than 24 full-time equivalent employees
- Be based in and operate primarily in Pennsylvania
- Have opened prior to February 15
$100 million is being set aside for historically disadvantaged, minority owned businesses.
“This is not a first come, first serve program. It’s based on need, trying to get the most money to the most small businesses as we can,” said state senator John Blake.
To apply, businesses must go through local community development financial institutions like the Northside Community Development Fund.
“There are more than one million small businesses in PA that can qualify and more than 100,000 in Allegheny County,” Mark Masterson with the organization said.
The application period for the first round of grants begins Tuesday at 9 a.m. Businesses have 10 days to apply with the money expected to be distributed within two weeks.
Grants will be handed out in size ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. The first application window will be open for 10 days, according to Gov. Tom Wolf’s office. Applications will still be accepted after that 10 day window, but they will be considered for future rounds of funding.
CLICK HERE for more details about how to apply for a grant
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