June 23, 2020
ALERT: Application Window Opens Soon for Main Street Business Revitalization and Historically Disadvantaged Revitalization Grants
As someone who shares my strong commitment to the recovery and support of our local small businesses, I wanted to make sure you were aware of these new state grant programs, funded by federal CARES Act money and administered by DCED through the PA CDFI Network. The application windows are tentatively scheduled to open on Tuesday, June 30. They are not first-come, first-served and I have been informed that there will be multiple rounds of awards continuing through the Fall.
The Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Grant Program ($100M) is for small businesses (with 25 or less employees) that experienced loss as a result of the Governor’s COVID business closure orders, have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations and in which persons in a historically disadvantaged group own at least a 51% interest and also control day-to-day management and operations. Historically Disadvantaged is defined using the US Treasury’s definition as: "African- Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.” For our district, it may be helpful to note that Subcontinent Asian Americans include persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives, or Nepal. Please note that businesses will be required to self-identify if they fall into one of these groups. There is no advantage to withholding this information. In fact, there is a distinct disadvantage as they would be placed into a larger pool of applicants.
The Main Street Business Revitalization Program ($100M) is for all otherwise qualifying small businesses that do not fall within the definition of Historically Disadvantaged.
Given your role in the community, I would ask that you help me spread the word to businesses that may qualify for these programs. Customer-facing businesses, such as barbers, hair salons, retailers, restaurants, daycares, gyms, food and hospitality establishments, and health and wellness businesses, women-owned businesses, and businesses on “Main streets” and commercial corridors are especially encouraged to apply.
Please let local businesses know that there are several things they can do to begin preparing:
• Sign up for updates on the application portal website: www.pabusinessgrants.com
• Begin collecting and scanning necessary documents:
o 2018 or 2019 tax returns; Interim financials through March if the business opened in 2020
o Entity documents (Any of the following: Articles of Incorporation; Schedule C; DBA; PA License to Do Business)
o Sales/Revenue totals for March 1-May 31 2019 and March 1-May 31 2020 (totals only, no back-up needed)
o Letter describing how your business was impacted
o Letter describing how your business will use the funds (can be general, does not need to be itemized)
o Photo ID
• A few other application considerations to note:
o Other relief funds received must be disclosed but are not disqualifying
o Certain criminal records (financial crimes, sex crimes, recent crimes) and ongoing criminal cases against you may be disqualifying
o Applicants will be given the opportunity to choose among a number of different CDFIs.
Unless the applicant has an existing relationship with a CDFI, we have been assured that this choice will have no bearing on the applications. A single application will be used and reviewed by the network. If the chosen CDFI is capped out, a round-robin will essentially take place and shift the next applicant to another CDFI.
My staff and I are here to help answer any questions you and our district’s businesses may have. I have been outspoken in my criticism of the lack of investment in Bucks and Montgomery Counties to date, and I plan to keep a very close eye on this program to make sure our district gets its fair share.
Senator Maria Collett