Small Business Support Opportunities

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Jul 01, 2020 3 years 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 7/2/20



Financial Support for Businesses 

  • The Payroll Protection Program (Extended through August 8th) 
    • The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Click here to read more about PPP and to apply. 
  • Statewide PA COVID-19 Grant of up to $50,000.
    • Application window for the first round of funding is expected to open on this coming Tuesday, June 30th and remain open for 10 business days.  Applications will continue to be accepted after 10 business days, but will be considered for future rounds of funding.  –
    • Link to apply: 
  • The PHL Emergency Business Insurance Support Program helping businesses with filing claims, assessing damage, determining policy limits and ensuring filed claims are accurate.
  • The PA 30 Day Fund:
    • These grants are made to Pennsylvania small businesses in amounts up to $3,000.  The fund is privately operated and still accepting applications.
    • Link to apply:
  • Small Business Financing and Assistance from Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
    • These institutions are similar to banks, but have a community based Mission and primarily loan to small business for the purpose of their expansion and survival during times of crisis.
    • Here is a link to EVERY CDFI in Philadelphia:
  • Storefront Improvement Grant: 
  • Hebrew Loan SocietyMicroEnterprise Loans:
    • 0% Interest Loans up to $25,000 for the following purpose: Available to entrepreneurs seeking to launch or expand a small business as a path to economic security. Microenterprise Loans are repaid over up to five years, with the monthly repayment amount and term determined based on the financial projections of the business 
    • Link to apply: 
  • Federal Reserve Bank Main Street Lending Program: A loan program designed for small and medium-sized companies that were in sound financial condition prior to COVID-19 and need additional operating funds.  The Federal Reserve Bank Main Street Lending Program offers three (3) separate loan facilities as low-interest loans starting at $250,000.  Refinancing existing debt is available under one of the three (3) programs offered.  These are loans with a five (5) year repayment term, with interest deferred in year one, and principal payments deferred for years 1 and 2.  No forgiveness.  No pre-payment penalties.  Applications are submitted to participating banks that underwrite the loans.  The Federal Reserve Bank then purchases 95% of the loan from the bank with the bank retaining 5% of the loan, thus reducing its risk.  Contact us for a preliminary list of local participating banks.  
  • PIDC Restart PHL Loan Program: This program is not yet available, but here the application process will start soon.  So, please keep up to date with information at the link below.
  • PA COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant Program:
  • Small Business Administration – Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance: 
    • This application portal remains open and applications are submitted directly to the SBA.  This is a low-interest loan of 3.75% with a repayment term of up to thirty (30) years.  A SBA representative will be on the webinar to discuss this program and the application.  Sonia Smith and Kimberly Stout of the SBA will be on the webinar to take questions and explain both programs.
    • Link to apply:




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 Baltimore Avenue Virtual Dollar Stroll

UCD worked with businesses along Baltimore Avenue to bring the popular Dollar Stroll event online. We sold $1 tickets and raffled off prize packs filled with swag from Baltimore Avenue businesses. All told, we raised over $10,000 to distribute equally among the 30 participating businesses.