Small Business Support Opportunities

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Mar 25, 2020 13 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.




Financial Support for Businesses 


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) , aims 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.


You can apply for the three relief programs through a single application. Your request will be directed to the appropriate program based on your annual revenue. Please refer to the application details for more information about what you'll need to complete your application. Click here to learn more and apply. 

Additional Resources

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 


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 has pledged to purchase up to $250 in gift cards for use in future promotions and giveaways. Read more about participating restaurants and how to get involved if you haven't already signed up. The promotion ended on 3/31/20. Visit our Digital Dining Days page to see what restaurants are open for takeout and delivery. 


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.

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