Applications for the second round of funding will remain open through August 28.*

By Ashlee Green

Photo courtesy of #WOCinTech Chat

The second application window* is now open for a new grant program for small businesses in Pennsylvania that have been economically affected by COVID-19. It will remain open through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, August 28; unless more funding is received, this will be the final application round.

The $225 million COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program was established with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. Through this program, grants with values of $5,000 to $50,000 will be distributed to small businesses throughout the state on a sliding scale based on need.

The Northside’s own Northside Community Development Fund is one of three Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with a headquarters in southwestern Pennsylvania that is responsible for administering the funding to local businesses. They’ve temporarily expanded their service range to increase access to the funding throughout the region.

“We traditionally had served only the Northside, but we realized that we needed to expand our geographic reach for this program to be sure that small businesses in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Lawrence, and Washington Counties would have access,” said Mark Masterson, executive director of the Fund.

Businesses who choose the Fund to assist them through the application and grant process, Masterson said, will be “… receiving the same attention and guidance that the businesses in Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhoods have trusted for 20 years.”

Close to 5,000 small businesses throughout Pennsylvania—51% of them owned by historically disadvantaged business owners—were approved for funding in the first round of applications.*

“After a strong first round of applications, we are ready to support small business owners, especially those who are historically disadvantaged, in the second round of this grant program,” said Masterson, in a press release.*

Masterson emphasized that the program is not first come, first serve. Additional rounds of funding may be available to businesses in the future, if more funding becomes available.* Businesses only need to complete the application once; if they are not selected in the first round, their application will automatically roll over into the next one.

To find out more information about the program and whether or not your business is eligible, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s website here.

*Editor’s notes 8/11/2020 and 8/12/2020: This article has been updated with new dates, deadlines, and relevant information.

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