Philadelphia Launches the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund

The City of Philadelphia launched the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund to assist businesses that are struggling as a result of city- and state-wide mandated business closures.  According to city representatives, over $9 million in economic assistance is available in the Fund.  

Aimed at mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 on Philadelphians, the Fund offers a mix of grants and zero-interest loans for select Philadelphia businesses that generate less than $5 million in annual revenue.  The city hopes that these grants and loans will assist small businesses survive the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.  Critically, money from the fund can be used by small businesses to cover payroll during financially difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Fund includes three tiers of possible financial assistance.  The Microenterprise Grant provides $5,000 per business, and is available for businesses with less than $500,000 in annual revenue.  The Small Business Grant provides up to $25,000 per business, and is available to businesses with annual revenue between $500,000 and $3 million.  Finally, Small-Business Zero-Interest Loans, which provide up to $100,000 per business, are available to businesses with annual revenue between $3 million and $5 million.

Businesses can apply for assistance from the Fund through a link on the City of Philadelphia’s website.  The review committee, which reviews applications on a rolling basis, will consider the following criteria when awarding grants and loans:

  • The number of jobs the business sustained prior to the effects of the COVID-19 economic impact;
  • Whether the business can demonstrate that it has lost more than 50% of its revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Whether the business can demonstrate a high likelihood that it can remain open when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides;
  • Whether the business has experienced loss of revenue as a result of other situations (water main breaks, utility repairs, and street closures) prior to COVID-19;
  • Whether the business provides jobs to low-income individuals, or is located in a high-poverty area;
  • Whether the business has operated consistently for over 2 years; and
  • In the case of sole proprietors and independent contractors, priority is given to those individuals located in high-poverty zip codes and/or individuals who kept in business multiple sub-contractors prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These criteria, however, are subject to change based upon the applications received. 

Small businesses in Philadelphia are urged to review the details of the program and apply for relief if it would be beneficial.    

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.