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COVID-19 Local Business Support

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

If you own or work for a small business in our area, we've put together some resources for you to take advantage of at this time:



We’ve created a spreadsheet to share with our community that includes:

  1. Best ways to contribute to worker funds for service and industry folks out of work at this time.

  2. Purchase gift cards to use in the future at our local favorites.

  3. Find takeout or delivery to satisfy your quarantine cravings.

Check out the spreadsheet here and if you have any additions for SOSNA’s area, please email




RED BACKPACK FUND: Grants for Female Business Owners

Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen neighborhoods, cities and countries, The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. For more information visit their website.

PHILLY VIP: Free Legal Service

Philly VIP is now providing virtual 1-hour free legal consultations for nonprofits and small businesses on a rolling basis. Clients will be able to ask questions about a wide range of transactional issues as well as specific legislation and relief funds related to COVID-19. Eligible applicants may also have an opportunity to continue working on their legal matter with an attorney after the initial consultation. Philly VIP is now accepting applications from small businesses. Apply here


**New funding has been made available by Congress for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides relief to small businesses, independent contractors, eligible self-employed individuals, and nonprofits. Go here for a list of approved lenders to apply for PPP.

These Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) are now accepting applications from Philadelphia small businesses and nonprofits:

Click here for an expanded list of local SBA-approved lenders.


PPP provides eight weeks of cash-flow assistance  to small businesses and nonprofits with up to 500 employees through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

  • The application for small businesses and sole proprietorships opens TODAY. 

  • Business owners can find a lender here.

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer responds to a list of FAQs. Read here


Application Deadline: December 21st

**New funding has also been made available for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The program offers up to $2 million of financial assistance to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury.


Small business owners can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 that does not have to be repaid. Apply here.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Please click here to learn more.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now available for self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers. Apply here.

Learn more about information about financial relief available to workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program is now open. Please note – you can only apply through a certified economic development organization (CEDO). If you don’t know who your County’s CEDO is please refer to this link or contact us.

The loans are for working capital, which for purposes of this program is considered capital used by a small business for operations, excluding fixed assets and production machinery and equipment. The maximum loan amount is $100,000. No match is required except for retail/service enterprises in which case the program can finance 50% of eligible working capital costs up to $100,000. The interest rate is zero percent (0%) except for agricultural producers, in which case the interest rate will be two percent (2%). Three (3) year terms with a 12-year amortization. There are no payments for the first twelve (12) months. Please read attached guidelines carefully prior to contacting your CEDO.

Questions about the program can be directed to 717-783-5046 or

Small Business Recovery Fund (LISC & VERIZON)

Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, we are offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Click here for more information.




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