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Governor calls for nearly $300 million in additional CARES funding for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

The Governor's call comes as the application deadline for CARES Act funding is tomorrow for businesses in York County

Governor Tom Wolf has called on the General Assembly to provide more than $300 million more in CARES act funding to provide help for businesses across the state. 

The Governor said the state has $1 billion left in the bank for its share of the CARES act funds. He proposes:

- An additional $225 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding in the form of forgivable loans and grants to small businesses in Pennsylvania through the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program 

- $100 million in forgivable loans and grants for the hospitality, leisure and service industries, including restaurants and bars, salons, and barber shops.

The proposal is part of his fall legislative agenda.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis, but it is also an economic crisis. In order to help Pennsylvania’s economy recover from the effects of COVID-19, it is vital that we continue to support businesses in Pennsylvania, especially as so many have taken on additional work and costs to keep their employees and customers safe since reopening,” Gov. Wolf said. “Small businesses have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 mitigation efforts and further support is needed to strengthen the economy, so I am calling on the General Assembly to approve additional funds to support our small businesses.”

The Governor's office said the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant Program has successfully provided funding to many small businesses across the commonwealth to date, but additional support is needed to help businesses recover and strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy. The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the CARES Act, of which $225 million was earmarked for relief for small businesses, including historically disadvantaged businesses. His office said Thousands of businesses have qualified for this grant program, which continues to distribute funding.

The Governor was joined by the York County Economic Alliance and York County leaders. His visit to the area comes as York County is currently allocating its $40.5 million in CARES funding. Businesses have been encouraged to apply for assistance through the YoCo Strong Restart Grant program.

The application deadline for the YoCo Strong Restart Grant is tomorrow at 11:59 pm. Find out how to apply here.

Many businesses in Pennsylvania have been calling on the local, state, and federal government to provide more assistance to owners.

Governor Wolf announced the 25% indoor capacity on restaurants would be increased later this month to 50% as winter months near and outdoor seating may become limited at restaurants.

RELATED: Food service industry gives mixed reaction to new capacity, alcohol rules

RELATED: Wolf Administration will allow PA restaurants to increase indoor seating to 50% capacity on Sept. 21

Meantime, five million businesses have relied on the the federal Paycheck Protect Program (PPP) which closed August 8.

The federal paycheck protection program was designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll with a promise to forgive loans as long as owners followed specific guidelines.

Download a detailed list of businesses that have taken out PPP loans that total over $150,000, including more than 26,000 businesses in Pennsylvania here. 

Read the unlisted businesses in Pennsylvania that received loans under $150,000 here.

Read a breakdown of the amount of money and loans given to businesses through the PPP program here.  

Click here to read more about PPP loan forgiveness.

RELATED: 'If I did not have the PPP loan we would not be open right now': Many business owners rely on help to stay afloat