COVID-19 has resulted in financial hardship for the majority of Greensburg businesses. The GCDC recently conducted a survey to gauge how recent shutdowns have affected a wide variety of local businesses, including retail (non-food), grocery, food service, professional services, personal care (salons, spas, etc.), healthcare, social services, private clubs, auto services, manufacturing, and gyms/fitness centers. Of the 77 business owners who responded, 60 percent of these businesses have been in operation for more than ten years while 10 percent have just opened their doors within the past year. 97 percent of business owners have experienced loss of revenue, 60 percent of which have suffered a decrease of more than 75 percent in sales. When asked how soon they believe their business will be at risk of closing permanently, 64 percent said five months or less.
Therefore, the Greensburg Community Development Corporation urges small businesses and nonprofits to take advantage of the following relief programs for which they may be eligible.
1. Westmoreland CARES Small Business Support Grant
The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners has allocated $5 million to the Westmoreland County Small Business Support Grant Program. The program will provide up to $25,000, or 25% of calculated loss due to COVID-19, whichever is less, to small businesses in the County that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Grant eligibility requirements and Frequently Asked Questions are being made available in advance of the application period to allow Westmoreland County small businesses the opportunity to determine if they are eligible to participate in the Program and to gather the required documents.
Please understand that it is anticipated that this will be a competitive funding round.
- Only fully completed applications will be considered.
- Not all applicants will be funded.
- There is no application fee.
- Grant information and Frequently Asked Questions
Grant Program Timeline
Thursday, July 16, 2020 — Grant Program Announcement and information release.
Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 10 AM —Period to submit Grant Applications will be open. Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 5 PM—Period to submit Grant Applications will be closed. Applications for the grant will not be accepted after this time.
- Small businesses include sole proprietors – self-employed and individual/single-owner LLC; Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships.
- Applicants are and/or were negatively impacted by COVID-19, including loss of revenue and declines in cash reserves.
- Applicants must have less than 100 employees to be considered, per Act 24.
- Applicants must have been formed and in operation no later than December 31, 2018.
- Applicants must be a for-profit business head quartered and operated in Westmoreland County.
- Franchises must have less than 15 employees.
- Applicants that have accepted or received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan are eligible, but the level of funding received will impact the applicant’s competitiveness.
- Businesses not headquartered in Westmoreland County, PA.
- Businesses that did not experience revenue loss due to COVID-19 and/or businesses that have no additional costs associated with the pandemic.
- Businesses that were not operational by December 31, 2018.
- Passive businesses such as commercial or residential landlords.
- Government or government-owned entities.
- Non-Profits and for-profit businesses with a direct tie to a non-profit.
- Private clubs/businesses that limit membership for reasons other than capacity.
- Businesses primarily engaged in lobbying or political activities.
- Businesses NOT compliant with all federal, state & local laws, including taxation.
- Businesses that are delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes.
How can the funds be used?
Per current statutory provisions and federal and Commonwealth guidance relating to Pennsylvania Act 24 of 2020 (“Act 24”), the Pennsylvania COVID-19 – County Relief Block Grant Program, and the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) Coronavirus Relief Fund, funds can be used to cover working capital costs necessary to maintaining a business during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Funding may not be used to pay owner’s salary or pay the owner outright. Applicants are required to provide details as to how the award will be used. Grant funding can also be used for costs of items needed to operate safely during COVID-19 and meet public health requirements (masks, barriers, signage, gloves, etc.) to the extent not compensated by another funding program.
Non-exclusive examples of eligible uses include:
- Payroll (preference will be given to those applicants that did not receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds)
- PPE and other COVID-19 related supplies
- Operating expenses
- Complete copies of corporate or partnership federal tax returns from 2018 AND 2019Individuals (Sole proprietor, Individual/Single-Owner LLC) should submit copies of 2018 and 2019 Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040) including Schedule C. If 2019 federal tax return has not yet been completed, applicant will need to submit an internally prepared statement of profit and loss to have details showing at least the information shown on a tax return.
- 2020 Year-to-Date Financial Statements.
- Completed W-9 Form.
- January—June profit and loss for 2019 and 2020.
- Employee headcount as of March 1 and July 1, 2020.
- Monthly budget or financial projections for the period July 1 – December 30, 2020.
- A signed and completed application.
- Any additional documentation to support a calculated loss due to COVID-19.
SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on June 15 to qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.
The SBA is providing low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and nonprofits who have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus.
- The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75%. 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.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (or working capital loans) are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private non-profit organizations
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
- The stimulus updated the program so that sole proprietors and businesses with fewer than 500 employees qualify, and applicants don’t need to provide a personal guarantee on loans under $200,000. Payments can also be deferred for up to four years.
How do I apply?
- You may apply online here.
- You will need to submit supporting documentation that may include your business’s most recent tax returns and list of your current debts.
- You may contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 for assistance with your application.
Emergency Grant of $10,000 to SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Recipients do not have to be approved for a loan in order to receive the advance, but the amount of the loan advance will be deducted from total loan eligibility.
*The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) coronavirus resource page provides a list of relief programs, and it offers guidance to small business owners during this crisis.
- Federal Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extension
The federal tax return filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. For tax payments of up to $10 million, the IRS has also extended the deadline for both individuals and businesses to July 15, 2020. Estimated tax payments for 2020 originally due on April 15 are now due on July 15.
- Pennsylvania is one of several states to align their tax filing and payment deadlines with the new federal deadline of July 15, 2020.
Recently announced by Governor Tom Wolf, the $225 million COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related statewide business closures. Funded by the $2.6 billion federal CARES Act, funding is available through the following three state grant programs:
Main Street Business Revitalization Program – $100 million
Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program – $100 million
Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program – $25 million
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) which will then administer the funding to eligible small businesses. All businesses must apply through an eligible CDFI and meet the program requirements. Eligible Westmoreland County businesses must apply through one of three CDFIs that serve Westmoreland County:
- The Progress Fund – https://www.progressfund.org/
- Bridgeway Capital – https://www.bridgewaycapital.org/
- Reinvestment Fund – https://www.reinvestment.com/
The application window officially opened on June 30, 2020 and will remain open until July 14, 2020. Eligible businesses must operate primarily in Pennsylvania and must file a Pennsylvania tax return. They may be structured as C-corporations, S-corporations, limited liability corporations, sole proprietors, independent contractors or self-employed individuals. Other eligibility requirements include:
- Be physically located, certified to do business, and generate at least 51% of their revenues in Pennsylvania
- Have annual revenue of $1 million or less prior to the impact of COVID-19
- Have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees prior to February 15, 2020.
- The business was in operation on February 15, 2020 and if required paid income taxes to the state and federal government, as reported on individual or business tax returns
- COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact and makes this grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant
- The grant will be used cover COVID-19 related costs
- During the period beginning on June 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the applicant has not and will not receive another grant under this state program.
This is not a first-come, first-served program. A business owner’s chance of receiving a grant will be based on the priorities of the program. The program will prioritize small businesses that are:
- Owned and operated by low and moderate-income people; or
- Located in areas of need including areas with a population having incomes significantly below the median income level, high levels of poverty, higher than average unemployment rates, or significant population loss.
- Types of businesses that were most impacted by the economic shutdown and experienced the greatest revenue losses
A business’s annual revenue (as documented on its most recent tax return) will determine the size of the grant for which it is eligible.
Eligible businesses are encouraged to gather and scan the items that will be necessary to apply. At a minimum, the following list of items will be needed to apply. Additional items may be specified later:
· Government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
· Business financial information:
· Revenue from March 1 to May 31 for both 2019 and 2020
· Most recent federal tax return — 2018 or 2019 business and personal tax returns, including Schedule C
· If the business was in the startup phase between Jan.1 and Feb.15, 2020 — internal profit and loss statement
· Proof of business registration with the Pennsylvania Department of State, as applicable:
· Articles of incorporation (for corporations and LLCs); or
· Fictitious name registration / ”Doing Business As” (sole proprietors); or
· Business license (if applicable)
· Bank account information to receive an ACH directly to your account
PROGRAM GUIDELINES: https://bit.ly/2ZmAzNL
FACT SHEET: https://bit.ly/2YMLPEg
For more information please visit the DCED Website at https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-relief-statewide-small-business-assistance/
LENDER AND CORPORATE SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
- List of Banks Offering Relief
Many banks are offering deferment and forbearance to business loan customers having trouble making payments. You may search for your bank on the American Bankers Association’s ongoing A-Z list of coronavirus response programs.
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook has committed to offering up to 30,000 small businesses $100 million in cash grants and Facebook advertising credits. The grants will be provided to businesses in more than 30 countries.
Examples of how the program can help:
- Keep your workforce going strong
- Help with your rent costs
- Connect with more customers
- Cover operational costs
Further information is limited, but you may sign up here to receive more details from the company when they are available.