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COVID-19 Business Resources

In response to COVID-19 and the overwhelming number of business closures across Pennsylvania and the United States, the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation is dedicated to maintaining an updated list of information to help our local businesses find what they need quickly and easily.

Monroe County COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP)

April 13, 2021 – UPDATED!  THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT A MONROE COUNTY CHIRP APPLICATION WILL BE APRIL 30, 2021.  NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THAT DATE.  

Program Guidelines and Applications are now available for interested hospitality industry businesses who are interested in applying for a grant through the newly created Covid-19 Hospitality Recovery Program (CHIRP).

Key eligibility items*:

  1. The business applying must fall under the NAICS Code for Accommodations (721) or Food Services or Drinking (722).  Click here for a complete list of eligible NAICS Codes:  721 and 722 NAICS Code List
  2. The business has a tangible net worth of less than $15,000,000 and less than 300 employees.
  3. The business must have been in operation on February 20, 2020, paid Federal and State Income Taxes and plans to remain open.
  4. COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact on the business and the business can provide proof of those impacts. Priority will be given to those businesses who can show a 50% reduction in gross revenue receipts from 2019 to 2020.
  5. Priority will also be given to those businesses who have not received any prior COVID-19 funding, but those who did receive other funds are not necessarily disqualified.
  6. If any prior COVID-19 funding was awarded to the business, the expenses covered by those funds are NOT eligible for submission to CHIRP. Additional eligible expenses must be submitted.

Click here for Program Guidelines

Click here for the Program Application Package

Applications will be accepted by PMEDC starting March 1, 2021.

Questions can be directed to PMEDC at (570) 839-1992.

*These are not all-inclusive.  See Program Guidelines for details on eligibility.

SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13.  The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

Key PPP updates include:

  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
  • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. 

A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

The new guidance released includes:

For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares

COVID-19 Restrictions Updated Starting January 4, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced that the COVID-19 limited-time mitigation orders will expire on Jan. 4, 2021 at 8:01 AM as planned. Mitigation efforts will revert to the earlier orders originally released on Nov. 23, 2020.

We must remain vigilant, but the limited-time orders have done their job of helping to flatten the curve following the post-Thanksgiving surge. We’re not out of the woods and we need to continue to take precautions and show that we are tougher than the virus. United, we can defeat COVID-19. 

Click here to visit the PA Unites Against COVID page:  PA Unites Against COVID

Hospitality & Restaurant Worker Relief Fund

Hospitality & Restaurant Worker Relief Fund. The goal is to financially support hospitality and restaurant employees across the four-county Pocono region who are out of work due to Pennsylvania’s new COVID-19 restrictions, which took effect December 12, 2020.  

United Way and chamber of commerce organizations throughout the Pocono Mountains are assisting with this initiative. The following entities have donated to the fund so far:

  • Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau – $50,000
  • The Mattioli Foundation – $5,000
  • United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties – $5,000
  • ESSA Bank & Trust – $5,000
  • Karl & Ann Weiler – $3,000

“For the past ten months, hospitality and restaurant workers have increased their health and safety protocols while navigating the uncertainty of employment and the stressors of everyday living in a pandemic,” said Michael Tukeva, Pocono Mountains United Way President/CEO. “These individuals continue to show up. They smile while their hearts break. They offer discounts on their most prized dishes just to put bread on their own plates. Now, they need our help more than ever.”

As an offshoot of Pocono Mountains United Way’s Crisis Response Fund, 100% of all donations will be utilized in the form of direct mini-grants to workers. Hospitality and restaurant employees across the Pocono Mountains can apply online for financial assistance. The application requires basic demographic information as well as a 2019 Tax Return and most recent paystub to determine income eligibility and verify recent employment. Applications will be approved on a first come first serve basis and mini-grants of $250 will be issued until funds are depleted.

In order to help as many people as possible, online contributions to the Hospitality & Restaurant Worker Relief Fund are greatly appreciated. Or, donors can mail contributions to Pocono Mountains United Way 301 McConnell Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 and include “Hospitality & Restaurant Worker Relief Fund” in the memo. 

Free Live Q&A Session for Monroe County Small Businesses

Attention all Monroe County, PA entrepreneurs and small business owners!

Join the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center for a LIVE Q&A on Thursday, 3/11/2021 between 10 a.m. to noon to talk about your small business questions during COVID-19.  Startup and existing business owners are welcome to join.

Meet with a consultant to get information and advice as you navigate your small business through COVID-19.

Register here: https://pasbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/27645

After you register, a representative will contact you to set up a time between 10am and noon on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

Monroe County Small Business Grant/Loan Program

MCSBGL is funded by a $250,000 Local Share Account (LSA) Grant that makes up to $50,000 available to small businesses in Monroe County who are looking to expand and create/retain jobs. The funds can be used for acquisition, construction, infrastructure/site preparation, machinery/equipment, working capital and related costs including but not limited to professional services, engineering, inspections, fees, insurance, environmental assessment, legal costs and closing costs. 

Click here for the MCSBGL Program Guidelines 

Click here for the MCSBGL Program Application

Information on Re-Opening PA Businesses

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s website has helpful resources and guidance for businesses in the yellow phase, including:

Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment compensation benefits related to COVID-19

File a claim for Pandemic Unemployment Compensation here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PUA.aspx

PUA Claimants can call this dedicated line with questions or problems with their claims: 1-855-284-8545

Pennsylvania Announcements

State Business Resources

Resources for Life-Sustaining Businesses

On March 19, Gov. Wolf issued an order to close all non-life sustaining businesses in order to slow the spread of the virus and protect the public and businesses.

Tax Credits for Corona Virus Paid Leave

Small and midsize employers may begin using two new refundable payroll tax credits to obtain reimbursement for the costs of providing corona virus related leave to their employees

NEPA Alliance Business Loan Assistance

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance is committed to working with regional small businesses and non-profits during the COVID-19 crisis. NEPA Alliance will continue to evaluate all available options to best serve the Northeastern Pennsylvania business community.

PA Department of Labor and Industry Information for PA Employees Impacted by COVID-19

If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Pennsylvania Extends Personal Income Tax Return Filing Deadline to July 15, 2020

Federal Business Resources

CARES Act Information

If you are a small business affected by the COVID-19 crisis, here is a Small Business Owner’s Guide to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) just passed by Congress.

The Paycheck Protection Progam is an SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan

SBA is collecting the requested information in order to make a loan under SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to the qualified entities listed in this application that are impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information will be used in determining whether the applicant is eligible for an economic injury loan. If you do not submit all the information requested, your loan cannot be fully processed.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Treasury, IRS and US Dept. of Labor plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses