Governor Wolf has urged the closure of non-essential businesses in Philadelphia, Montgomery County and the Commonwealth for two weeks. Non-essential businesses include but are not limited to gyms, movie theatres, shopping malls, bars, and hair salons. Essential businesses include but are not limited to supermarkets, gas stations, police departments, fire departments, and sanitation services.
Mayor Kenney announced additional guidance for Philadelphia businesses, which can be found at the City of Philadelphia’s website.
Montgomery County has also provided guidance and resources for employers, which can be found here.
Governor Wolf has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans for eligible Pennsylvania businesses and non-profits. Details on how to apply will be established once the governor’s request is granted. For more information, call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An additional $61 million is available for low interest loans up to $100,000 for small businesses and nonprofits through The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA). For more information on this program and other COVID-19 business resources, visit: https://dced.pa.gov/resources/
The Philadelphia Commerce Department’s Office of Business Services is available via phone at 215-683-2100 for business-related questions.
The Montgomery County Commerce Department can be reached via phone at 610-278-5950 for business-related questions.
Further relief from the national government has not yet been announced.
There are three changes to announce for Unemployment Compensation (UC).
- If you file a claim for unemployment compensation, you can receive benefits during your first week of unemployment. The “waiting week” has been suspended.
- The work registration and work search requirements are suspended.
- Employers will not be responsible for the cost of unemployment payments to individuals for any week of unemployment caused by COVID-19. Businesses that are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 will also be granted relief from charges, and UC tax rates will not be increased because of COVID-19 related claims.
How to Prepare for Coronavirus
Most people who are infected by the virus will recover. However, there are safety precautions you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to those most vulnerable. The best way to prevent the spread is to stay home and practice social distancing. Other methods include covering your cough or sneeze with your elbow, washing your hands for 20 seconds or more with soap and water, cleaning surfaces frequently, and having an emergency preparedness guide available. For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website.
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