COVID-19 Business Assistance

COVID-19 is testing our strength and resiliency. What started out as a bright looking year ahead, has come to a screeching halt for our businesses. Many business owners don’t have the cash in-hand to cover another 30 or 60 days without revenue coming in. They have employee costs, utility and rent or mortgage payments – these expenses didn’t just go away. The COVID-19 virus is a serious problem and we need to do our part by staying home to flatten the curve. But we also need our business community (our employers) to survive this storm while we are at home.

Technology gives us the ability to work around business shutdowns and social distancing. You can help your favorite small business or businesses (there are so many) in several ways. Consider buying a gift card by calling them or purchasing through their website, if they offer that option. Or buy gift certificates now by phone or online for upcoming weddings, graduations, birthdays, etc. Order take-outs or delivery from local restaurants. Conduct your business with professional service providers via telephone or video conference instead of cancelling. Go ahead with planning your upcoming home renovation project but do the planning and ordering online and via email, phone or video conference.

Many businesses are applying for financial assistance (loans), but it will take about 30 days for this help to arrive. So, if you have the means financially to help a business, please consider doing so. Our communities are filled with businesses that need your support and we want them to be there for us when the epidemic passes.

If you are a business owner and are overwhelmed by the paperwork for assistance being offered by state and federal government, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email. We have done a lot of research and been completing applications for our sister business, so we’re happy to help you determine the best option for your business, answer questions or connect you to the right resources. We suggest you look at the Northwest Regional Planning & Development Commission website for information on the Working Capital Access Program, as we found it to be the easiest program application to understand and complete: http://www.northwestpa.org/covid19-working-capital-access- program/

This virus is just now hitting our rural counties, so the situation is not going to improve anytime soon. And once the businesses can re-open, it will take them several months to recover. Anything you can do to keep their revenues flowing now will help them make it through the shutdown and recover more quickly. We are in this together – let’s work together!

Written by Blog Contributor: Holly L. Gibbons