October 2020 Advocacy Corner

As part of the state’s $2.6 billion appropriation of federal CARES funds, I advocated and voted for establishing the $225 million COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program. The program is providing grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by the pandemic.

As we go to print, $192 million of that funding has been approved for direct grants to small businesses in every county of the Commonwealth, including over 1,000 small businesses in Allegheny and Washington counties. The remainder of the funding will be released pending approval of the remaining applications.

The program is no longer accepting applications, however, the need among small businesses in our area continues. I am advocating that some portion of the undistributed federal CARES funding be added to this Small Business Assistance Program.

$1.3 billion of Pennsylvania’s CARES funding has been intentionally reserved to evaluate unfolding needs, and decisions will be made in the coming weeks as to how that money is spent. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am advocating for using some of the remaining CARES money to replenish funding to this critical small business grant program. Specifically, I believe this new funding should benefit restaurants, bars, and businesses in the hospitality industry, which have been hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic.

I will continue to advocate for you – the businesses of the 37th Senatorial District – and for action in Harrisburg that supports you and the critical role you play in our communities.

Pam Iovino
37th Senatorial District