Coronavirus Small Business Financial Relief Options

This article was updated on March 20, 2020.  Updates to this article will be made as new information becomes available.

Schneider Downs continues to track the evolving landscape of financial programs offered to small businesses disrupted by the coronavirus (“COVID-19”).   This is a summary of resources and programs that are available, specifically to small businesses.  Schneider Downs can assist with any of these programs.

The Federal government is attempting to fast-track legislation to address COVID-19. Currently, there are three phases to this legislation:

  • Phase I, H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, was enacted into law on March 6, 2020. This act provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding, including a provision that impacted small businesses can qualify for the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (“EIDLs”).  This phase also addresses funding to ensure vaccines developed are affordable, and that Medicare recipients can consult with their providers by telephone if necessary.
  • Phase II, H R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, was enacted into law on March 18, 2020 and provided provisions for the following:
    • Paid sick leave – requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks’ worth of paid sick leave if employees are unable to work due to COVID-19,
    • Free COVID-19 testing to the public, without having to use deductibles or copayments,
    • Expanded food assistance – nearly a billion dollars to provide access to meals for those without food security, and $400 million allocated for an emergency food assistance program,
    • Additional unemployment benefits - nearly $1 billion in state grants to cover processing and paying unemployment insurance, and
    • Requirements that employers provide additional protection for healthcare workers
  • Phase III is being developed and hopefully will be passed soon.  To help stimulate the U.S. economy, Phase III proposes to give small businesses $300 billion in federally guaranteed loans and $200 billion in loans for certain industries. This phase also proposes to make cash payments, or rebates, to individuals and families.  It appears the amount of the rebate to individuals could be up to $1,200, while families could receive up to $2,400.  The amount of the payment will depend on the individual’s or families’ 2018 taxable income and number of dependents.  This bill may cost over $1 trillion.
    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put a deadline for the $1 trillion package of midnight on Friday, March 20, 2020 - they did not meet this deadline.  We anticipate that this bill will be passed by Monday, March 23, 2020 and we will update when the details arrive.

In addition, to the Federal laws that are being passed or will soon be passed, there are a multitude of resources that were available or are now being made available , in the Pittsburgh area for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, to provide financial relief.  The following are some of the many COVID-19 resources available for impacted small businesses in the Pittsburgh area.

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19.  The Wolf Administration today announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”).

Small Business Administration Coronavirus Small Business Disaster Loans

The U.S. SBA is offering loans through additional funding provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act recently signed by President Donald Trump.  

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration will make Disaster Loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses, targeting food service and manufacturing, along with private, nonprofit organizations in states that are approved for the program.

For more information on the SBA Disaster Loan program and how to apply, please visit the link below.

Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) today announced that, pending Board approval, it is taking the following steps to help mitigate the unprecedented potential ramifications of COVID-19 to Pittsburgh's small business community.

The URA is offering to its existing small business borrowers Emergency Extended Credit to help ease potential cash flow difficulties over the next several weeks. 

The URA is temporarily easing and streamlining its Micro-Enterprise Loan Program to support up to 30, 0% loans for small businesses that are not currently URA borrowers. 

For more information, on the URA small business funding program, please visit the link below.

Hebrew Free Loan Association Pittsburgh

The Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loan Program provides interest-free loans on a nonsectarian basis for up to $5,000 to residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland, Washington, and Armstrong counties who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. 

For more information on the loan program, please visit the link below.

DVI Funding (National Program)

The Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loan Program provides unsecured cash loans up to $100,000 to U.S. Citizens nationwide.  To review the program and start the pre-approval process, please visit the link below.

Honeycomb Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loan (National Program)

To help deliver the working capital that businesses need, Honeycomb is offering 45-day payment free periods,  6-month interest-only periods and reducing posting, success, and investor fees. 

For more information on the loan program, please visit the link below.

Bridgeway Capital

Bridgeway is offering capital for small businesses and nonprofits in Western Pennsylvania, and loan modifications for customers in need of financial relief.

Progress Fund

The Progress Fund provides financing from $20,000 to over $1 million to people who are starting, expanding or buying small businesses.  These loans can be used to purchase property, restore and rehabilitate buildings, purchase inventory or equipment, buy the assets of an existing business, and for working capital.

Fay-Pen Economic Development Council

A variety of low-interest financing programs are available for companies in Fayette County through the Fay-Penn Loan Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED) and various regional funding organizations.

Washington County Council on Economic Development

Washington County offers various loan programs, including a Pennsylvania SBA Microloan and a West Virginia SBA Microloan up to $50,000 and a Manufacturing Loan Program up to $100,000.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (“SPC”)

SPC’s Business Finance Assistance program works with entrepreneurs to assist them in starting, developing and expanding their businesses. SPC can make loans and provide assistance to high tech, oil and gas, agricultural, tourism, recycling, manufactures, and many additional types of for profit companies.  Loan programs include the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (“PIDA”) and revolving loan funds.


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