Gaydos, Solomon call for small business emergency assistance

HARRISBURG – With the changes to daily life and business practices recommended or ordered to slow the spread COVID-19, many hardworking families and small businesses will be adversely impacted. This week, Reps. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) introduced legislation directing the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to administer low- to no-interest emergency loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

“As an entrepreneur, I know how difficult it can be to operate a small business even under normal circumstances,” Gaydos said. “The extenuating circumstances brought on by the governor’s emergency declaration and statewide mitigation efforts indicate that small businesses across the Commonwealth need our help now more than ever to meet payroll, overhead and other expenses that keep their doors open and their staff employed.”

“The damage done to our small businesses by COVID-19 will take a long time to repair, and we in Harrisburg need to bring all our resources to bear to keep business going and workers collecting a paycheck," Solomon said. “Rep. Gaydos and I are proposing a small business support package that offers three things: emergency no-interest bridge financing to get through the crisis times; longer-term low-interest loans to help business ramp back up; and support for technical assistance providers to ensure our businesses get the most out of these programs.”

This proposal comes in addition to the $61 million in loan funding to the Small Business First Program authorized by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) on Wednesday.

“I applaud our leaders in state government who are already taking proactive steps to protect the thousands of small business affected by COVID-19,” Gaydos said. “While we have every hope that our communities are able to get this pandemic under control, we must be prepared to assure small businesses and their workers that we have their backs.”

This legislation will be packaged with critical support for technical assistance providers at the state’s Small Business Development Centers (SBCDs), Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and local/regional banks.