Small Business Support Opportunities

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Apr 25, 2020 34 days ago

UCD wants to help local businesses and organizations during this uncertain time. While our efforts typically focus on initiatives like creating destination events along commercial corridors to beautifying streetscapes to keeping the streets clean and safe, our main focus right now is providing economic support and recovery while we all struggle with the unknowns and uncertainties tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, we wanted to share some important resources at your disposal, and highlight a few ways UCD is helping small businesses. UPDATED 5/12/20



Financial Support for Businesses 

Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund 

The COVID-19 crisis has put millions of small business jobs at risk. The non-profit Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans for Pennsylvania-based small businesses. The forgivable loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance (within maximum three days) to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees and save jobs while they await recently approved federal funding.  The Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund is designed to be quick, easy, and free of red tape, as small business owners work to keep employees on board in the near term. All we ask in return: if you can, pay it forward. Learn more and apply. 

Reinvestment Fund Paycheck Protection Program 

The Reinvestment Fund is an authorized SBA 7(a) lender and will begin accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. Reinvestment Fund’s PPP program will provide up to $25 million in total loans, with a maximum of $200,000 per loan.The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act, provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Reinvestment Fund’s PPP Lending Program is now accepting applications. The application portal is open:

Paycheck Protection Program Loan from the Enterprise Center 

The Enterprise Center is participating in the CARES Act loan program, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Enterprise Center has a rich and diverse history for supporting minority entrepreneurs and under-resourced communities spanning more than three decades. They are prepared to support your business and help you navigate the PPP process. Serving minority business community is their top priority. Learn more and apply today. 

Additional Resources

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is dedicated to helping business across the Commonwealth. In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Pennsylvania businesses are inquiring about information to help their companies, their employees and their families. Click here for updated information on the Governor's plans for reopening Pennsylvania and more information on available loans and tax credit programs. 

PUA is the new federal expansion to unemployment benefits provided by the CARES Act. Pennsylvanians who meet the requirements — anyone not eligible for regular unemployment compensation — can now apply online. 

In addition to the support being offered by the Department of Commerce and PIDC, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is now providng funds to assist with job retention and certain other expenses. Read about their initiatives here, including a paycheck protection program, economic injury disaster loans and loan advance, SBA debt relief, SBA express bridge loans, and other guidance for businesses and employers. For more information, call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email them at [email protected].

If your business has been affected by COVID-19, you can visit the Employer COVID-19 FAQ Page for more information. Businesses who are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 will be granted Relief From Charges, and your tax rate will not be increased because of COVID-19-related claims.

The PA Department of Labor & Industry has programs to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Shared-Work program can help keep employees attached to your workplace by allowing an employer to temporarily reduce work hours rather than resorting to layoffs. You can reach the Shared-Work team at [email protected].

However, if you are a business that has had to close either temporarily, consider layoffs, or is financially at-risk for permanent closure the Rapid Response Assistance Program is available to assist you with a variety of services and resources to help you and your employees. You can reach the Rapid Response team via email at [email protected].

Low interest loans up to $100,000 for small businesses and nonprofits through The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) are available. For more information on this program and other COVID-19 business resources, visit:

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance. 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%. Read more here.

Locally, the Enterprise Center and Brandywine Realty Trust have partnered to launch a $350,000 Grow Philadelphia Small Business COVID-19 Resilience Fund to relieve small and minority-owned construction and construction-related businesses struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund provides low-interest loans with flexible payment terms to eligible businesses. Read more and apply here

Finally, the Philadelphia​ Commerce Department’s Office of Business Services is available at 215-683-2100 for business-related questions.



Supporting Local Businesses 

Amplifying Business Promotions and Specials

We will continue developing ways to assist small businesses, but we also want to call attention to what you as small businesses and local organizations are doing, too! Please feel free to email us with any specials, promotions, or fundraising efforts you're running, and we'll add them to our rolling list.

UCD Supporting Restaurants and the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House 

In late March, 2020, University City District sponsored a local restaurant to prepare dinner for 120 residents at our beloved Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, which houses families with seriously ill children who are undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Ronald McDonald House – UCD’s neighbor on Chestnut Street - can no longer welcome volunteers to prepare meals for guests, while local restaurants face devastating economic losses. Since that time, we've raised over $20,000 in funds to keep this support going. If you'd like to contribute, please click here

Previous Opportunities

University City Restaurant Gift Card Promotion

UCD launched a promotion to help local restaurants get immediate cashflow by selling gift certificates. For every local restaurant who opted in by contacting us, UCD purchased up to $250 in gift cards for use in future promotions and giveaways. The promotion ended on 3/31/20, and so far restaurants have reported $9,894 in sales and matching purchased from UCD.  Visit our Digital Dining Days page to see what restaurants are open for takeout and delivery. 

University City Small Business Emergency Fund

On April 20th, 2020, we at University City District alerted 135 local small businesses that they'd been selected to receive grants through our Small Business Emergency Fund. The fund was made possible thanks to a generous donation of $250,000 from the University of Pennsylvania, which wanted to provide support to small businesses during this unprecedented time. 

Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund

On March 23rd, 2020  the City of Philadelphia announced a new program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through grants or zero-interest loans. The program, administered by the  Department of Commerce and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) , aimed to:

  • Provide relief to small businesses in order to help them survive this crisis.
  • Retain as many employees as possible.
  • Help businesses avoid predatory lenders.
  • Maintain the provision of goods and services for Philadelphia’s residents.

The deadline to apply for this program has passed. 

The Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund, a grantmaking initiative organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, offered short-term relief for small employers in the United States in the form of $5,000 grants to small employers. Due to overwhelming demand, they are no longer accepting new applications. 

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