A Message From Chrissy
| “Thank you for reaching out to me about small businesses in our community during this coronavirus pandemic. As a former small business leader, I know firsthand the unique struggles facing our small businesses and how those struggles have been greatly exacerbated by this crisis facing our Commonwealth and country. In Washington and in our community, I’ve been working with local, state, and federal officials to protect our small businesses and provide them the relief they need.
These efforts are, in large part, thanks to what I’m hearing on the ground from people like you, small business owners, leaders, and employees. As Congress works towards its next potential emergency relief package, I would like to hear directly from you about your needs and what we in Congress can be doing to best serve you.”
- Representative Chrissy Houlahan
Our small business staffers stand ready to help you navigate this unprecedented time and make the best decisions for your unique situation. To receive updates from our office or to speak with our staff, please e-mail PA06.SmallBusiness@mail.house.gov
Due to teleworking arrangements, we are unable to answer your calls live at this time. To leave a voice message, please call (202) 225-4315 and our staff will promptly return your call.
Our Small Business Outreach
We write to provide the latest updates on the federal and state government responses to COVID-19.
From the Office of Rep. Chrissy Houlahan
This Thursday, June 18th at 3 PM, Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan is hosting a telephone townhall for small businesses. To register, please click here.
Deadline to register is Thursday, June 18th at 9 AM.
From the Federal Government
As you may know, Congress passed the bipartisan PPP Flexibility Act in response to the feedback on the PPP that we’ve received from our community. The Department of Treasury and SBA have released new guidance on PPP loans and loan forgiveness requirements in line with the Act. Read more here.
From the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
On June 11th, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) released the guidance for COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance grants. This comes after Gov. Wolf’s June 8th announcement of the $225 million grant program made possible by the Federal CARES Act, which Rep. Houlahan helped to pass into law. DCED will distribute the funding to the Pennsylvania CDFI Network, which will then administer the funding in the form of:
- Grants to cover operating expenses for the duration of the shutdown and the transition period to re-opening
- Grants to cover technical assistance, including training and guidance, for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses
- Debt payment relief for CDFI Pennsylvania borrowers
- Loan loss reserves for CDFIs
Learn more about the program and find a CDFI through which to apply here.
Two weeks ago, DCED announced that 133 more companies had been approved for funding in the final disbursement of the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program. Read more here.
Gov. Wolf announced today that eight more counties will move to the green phase on June 19th. Chester and Berks counties were moved into the yellow phase on June 5th.
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance is offering a free 3-part webinar series for members and non-members to help business owners better prepare their businesses for reopening now that Berks County has moved into the yellow phase of reopening. Upon completion of the webinar series, your organization will receive a Certificate of Completion in Best Practices for Re-Opening Your Business. To learn more and register online, click here.
As our Commonwealth begins to reopen, Governor Wolf’s administration has provided updated guidelines for businesses to follow during this time. Please take a moment to review these guidelines to help ensure our community stays healthy and safe.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions and continue to reach out to our other COVID-19 rapid response teams:
The Office of U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan
Pennsylvania 6th Congressional District
See the full archive of our small business updates here.
- APRIL 17TH - Held our sixth Coronavirus Telephone Town hall, which focused on small businesses. For a full audio recording of the event, click here.
- MARCH 20TH - Held a Small Business Telephone Town Hall with hundreds of small business owners from PA-06. Listen to the full audio recording of the event here.
- MARCH 17TH - Participated in a Small Business Conference Call with local county leaders and small business owners. Read about the call here.
As we prepare to move to yellow phase on June 5, our counties are helping businesses prepare for the transition. Chester County's initiative 'Restore Chester County' is detailed here
. Resources for Berks County's small businesses can be found here.
For more information specific to Chester County, click here
For more information specific to Berks County, click here
The PA Department of Community and Economic Development established a 'Funding Program' site to help small business owners navigate their options. Check it out here
For information on local grants and funding:
- On May 27th, the City of Reading launched its Small Business Emergency Fund. Like the PPP, loans under this fund will not need to be repaid if certain requirements are met. The application closes Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Learn more about the program and apply online here.
The U.S. Department of Commerce
- Likewise, Berks County has launched the Small Business Restart Loan Program for local small businesses. Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, June 15, 2020. Click here for more information. Applications will be available online here soon.
provides guidance on workplace safety here
Small Business guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Small Business guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA)
For information and resources on PPE for Small Businesses, see this directory
compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
For the Small Business Committee's FAQs on Disaster Loans, click here
Our Office's Response
Below you will find some of our office's legislative actions to help small businesses. For a comprehensive list of our office's COVID-19 response, click here.
- On May 28, Rep. Houlahan helped pass the PPP Flexibility Act, which would:
✅Allow loan forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period to 24 weeks and extend the rehiring deadline.
✅ Increase the current limitation on the use of loan proceeds for nonpayroll expenses from 25 percent to 40 percent.
✅ Extend the program from June 30 to December 31.
✅ Extend loan terms from two years to five years.
✅ Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.
Our office was proud to announce that the City of Reading has been awarded nearly $200,000 in federal grants, through the CARES Act, to assist in its effort to contain, mitigate the spread of, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the beginning, I have been clear that a successful response to this pandemic would require the coordinate of local, state, and federal officials. I’m grateful to Mayor Moran for his proactive measures. We are in this together, and, as we move towards reopening, we must continue to be vigilant and holistic in our response to this virus at every level.
- Based on your feedback on the EIDL and PPP loan processes, Rep. Houlahan sent this letter to congressional leadership asking for the fourth COVID-19 legislative aid package to address the issues raised by her constituents.
- Rep. Houlahan led a bipartisan effort to support small business that have contracts with our federal government during coronavirus. Read our full press release here.
- We helped pass the first coronavirus emergency package in Congress, which provides $1 billion in loan subsidies, which would enable the Small Business Administration to provide an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to help those small businesses affected by the outbreak.
- Sent a bipartisan letter to the Small Business Administration urging clarity on the process for our small businesses to access much-needed economic disaster assistance funds.
- Cosponsored the SBA Business Stabilization Direct Loan Program Act of 2020, which established a loan program at the Small Business Administration to assist small businesses that have been hurt by the coronavirus outbreak.
- Rep. Houlahan led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to the Small Business Administration in an effort to unlock disaster relief loans to support our small businesses across the Commonwealth. See the full letter below and here: