Pennsylvania Small Business Grants - Do I qualify?

07/08/2020 01:34 PM

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard by now that the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development has allocated a portion of its CARES Act money to fund grants for small businesses that have been suffered financial losses due to COVID-19. 

You've probably heard that there are several rounds of grant funding available.  

And applications for the first round close on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 (that's the day before Tax Day, just FYI). 

And good for you for looking at the application and trying to get your documents together EARLY!  

Generally (as always, there are details, and details mean exceptions!) , you'll qualify for consideration if: 

1) you're a for-profit business

2) your business was operating before February 16, 2020

3) your business's gross annual revenue is $1 Million or less

4) your business has 25 or less full-time employees

5) your business generates at least 51% of its revenues in Pennsylvania

6) your business is current on its federal, state, and local tax obligations

7) none of the businesses owners are currently incarcerated or on probation or parole, subject to current criminal charges, or were convicted of a felony within the last year or certain types of felonies within the last 5 years

8) your business suffered revenue loss due to COVID-19

9) you agree to use the funds for COVID-19 related expenses (and you understand there could be fraud charges and/or fines coming your way if you use the funds improperly)

10) your business has been in compliance with all of the Governor's and Department of Health's orders since the beginning of the emergency declaration, and will remain in compliance as long as those orders stand

Of the $225 Million available, $200 million is allocated to grants directly to small business.

Of this $200 Million priority will be determined as follows:   

First, to "historically disadvantages businesses" (those at least 51% owned and operated by persons identifying as African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander) and businesses owned by low-to-moderate income owners (total household income 80% or less of the county's Median Family Income), businesses located in rural communities and disadvantaged areas, and businesses in certain industries that were particularly hard-hit by COVID-19 (retail, food and beverage, hospitality, barber shops, salons, spas, health & wellness, childcare, adult daycare, etc), and businesses showing the most revenue losses due to COVID-19. 

Then, to small businesses in general, with preference given to women-owned and businesses operating in certain designated community areas.

If I apply before July 14, do I automatically get the grant? 


Grant applications will be reviewed to determine (1) whether the business qualifies, and then (2) who will actually get the grants from the list of eligible applicants.   Grants will be determined by priority (see below).

Is this first-come-first-serve? 

No.  This program is funded in rounds, not on a first-come-first-serve basis.

I heard the grants are for $50,000.  Is that how much I'll get? 

Probably not.  Grants will range from $5,000 up to $50,000, based on the company's revenue (and I'm guessing, the number of applicants and your priority relevant to the other applicants).  "Up to" means "a maximum of," not "this is what you'll get."  

To be considered for the maximum $50,000, your business would need to have revenues of $850,000 - $1 Million.  

Where do I get help applying? 

1) If you need help locating the correct documents, 

     - for tax documents, check with your CPA or bookkeeper

     - for entity documents (Certificate of organization, operating agreement, etc), check with your attorney or whoever set up your entity originally.    

     - Next up, we'll post an article about how to find and identify your entity documents

2)  Contact your CDFI of choice.  Many are providing outstanding "technical assistance," which in this case, includes help walking you through the application process.  Find a list of your local CDFIs by clicking on the link for your county here:

If you're already a Harmon Kennedy Law client and you need help understanding the application process or finding your documents, please reach out by emailing: and we'll get you what you need.   

If you're not already a Harmon Kennedy Law client, we won't have your documents on-hand or know your company's history already, but we're happy to connect you to a local CDFI and offer a free 15 minute chat about your company's current and future legal needs!  Schedule here: