Budget signed by Wolf includes $225 million for small businesses impacted by pandemic

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — This week, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a budget that allocates tens of millions of dollars to help mom and pop shops impacted by the pandemic.

The $225 million was part of CARES Act funding designed to states for discretionary spending. Under the signed budget, the money will go to fund grants to small businesses hurt by the pandemic.

“We’re talking about microbusinesses, those small onesies and twosies, the nail salon, the hair salon, barbershop, the auto mechanic shop,” said State Sen. Vincent Hughes, the Democratic chair of the State Appropriations Committee. 

He said half of the money is designed to help black- and brown-owned businesses.

“There will be a targeted program of about $112 million to go to historically disadvantaged businesses,” he explained. 

The money will be distributed through 18 different Community Development Finance Institutions to identify the businesses they are scattered throughout the state, he said. 

“In the neighborhood, on the block, in the community, helping small businesses with advice and sometimes support,” Hughes said. 

In Philadelphia, the Beech Companies and The Enterprise Center are among those that will be distributing funds. 

Hughes said businesses should get financial statements and paperwork ready, so when the money is released, they can quickly put in an application to get the money back to them. 

Hughes said it’s unclear how much businesses will be able to get. 

The formal program should launch mid-June.