Small businesses that have taken a hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can begin to apply for funding through the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program starting today.

State Rep. Pam Snyder, who represents parts of Greene, Fayette and Westmoreland counties, said the program will provide $225 million in grants through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to eligible small businesses to cover operating expenses during Pennsylvania’s shutdown order and the transition to reopening. The funding can also be used for training and guidance for business owners as they work to reopen their businesses.

“Our impacted small businesses are working hard to get back to work and recover, and this funding will be a huge help in that effort,” Snyder said.

Funding will be available through three specific programs:

$100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the March order relating to the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses, including those businesses that have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations.

$100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order and costs incurred related to reopening, and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.

$25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow Community Development Financial Institutions the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses struggling due to the pandemic’s impact.

The first application window for the funding will remain open for 10 days. After that, applications will continue to be accepted and will be considered for future rounds of funding. All applications will be prioritized and selected for funding, based on the program criteria listed above.

Beginning today, eligible small businesses can apply by visiting https://pabusinessgrants.com/

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