During the COVID-19 pandemic, information and protocols were constantly changing. Throughout this difficult time, local businesses in knew they could rely on the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and the Bringing Back Delco Task Force for support. Whether providing important information, distributing PPE, or encouraging residents to shop local, the Chamber and Bringing Back Delco worked hard to help Delco businesses stay healthy – literally and figuratively.
Bringing Back Delco: One Year Later
The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce has always worked to unite the business community, as a voice, a resource, a place to connect with one another and grow.
In 2020, the goal stayed the same and the Chamber became the primary resource in Delaware County to both Chamber members and non-alike. As the initial shutdowns happened one year ago, the Chamber took the lead by sharing information being passed down from Governor Wolf’s Office to the local business community.
The Chamber advocated for industries to be on the “Essential Business List” and partnered with County Council for the first of many virtual meetings with the Small Business Administration, the Department of Labor and the Commerce Center with over 600 attendees.
“This past year has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives. As we embrace what normal is, we look forward to new initiatives and more opportunities to grow business. The Chamber will remain a constant as we move on and help build our businesses to be stronger than before,” says Trish McFarland, Chamber President.
The SBA PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) application period has been extended to May 31, 2021.
Businesses that have not applied in 2021 for a first draw or second draw (those that took PPP in 2020) will have an extended opportunity to use this program, if desired. PPP is a loan that can convert to a grant if certain criteria are met. PPP can be used for payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, and utilities. PPP issues that remain a loan and do not convert to grant in 2021 have a term of 5 years with an interest rate of 1%. Sole Proprietors, Independent Contractors, and Self-Employed Persons are eligible this round.
PPP applications are accepted through financial institutions that are deemed “partners” by the SBA and include banks, credit unions and Community Finance providers such as CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions).
More on the program and an SBA financial partner list can be found here.
Press Release from the SBA can be found here.
Comcast RISE to Award $1 Million in Grants to BIPOC-Owned, Small Businesses in Philadelphia and Chester
Comcast has announced that the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, providing $5 million dollars of grants to hundreds of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses in five cities nationwide, including $1 million in Philadelphia and the City of Chester. Beginning on March 1 through March 14, eligible businesses in Philadelphia and Chester, in addition to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Houston, can apply for a $10,000 grant at www.ComcastRISE.com. A total of 100 grants in Philadelphia and Chester, or 500 grants overall, will be awarded in May 2021. The Investment Fund is the latest extension of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October 2020 that initially focused on black-owned, small businesses and then extended to BIPOC-owned to help those hardest hit by COVID-19.
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is focused on small businesses who have been in business for 3 or more years with 1-25 employees. Businesses must be in the following geographic locations to be eligible: City of Philadelphia and City of Chester.