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COVID-19 Recovery Resources - Direct from a U.S. Congresswoman and Senator

Posted by: Main Line Chamber on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 2:30:00 pm
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Congresswoman Houlahan shares basis of federal funding amount at Chamber event
Congresswoman Chrissy Holahan, during a Live Virtual Main Line Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 Recovery Resources Event Tuesday, said the justification for nearly $350 billion in loans available through the Payroll Protection Program assumed that 90 percent of all eligible businesses would apply. This indicates that fears of the money running out quickly could be largely unfounded. A video of her interview, including questions from participants, is available in its entirety.


Toomey: Funding should last with more on the way as needed
Sen. Pat Toomey, on a call with business leaders that The Main Line Chamber of Commerce participated in Wednesday, said he expected an addition $200 to $250 billion in funding to be added in the next round of federal stimulus action to the Payroll Protection Program to help meet the needs of businesses and ensure continued employment of individuals on the road to recovery. “I don’t think we’re going to run out of money soon,” he said. He also acknowledged that systems to secure funding through the Small Business Administration are still being put in place. “In a way, we’re kind of building the plane while we’re flying it,” he said. Toomey recently added a page on his website to serve as a guide to the programs available to help individuals, families and businesses deal with the economic effects of the restrictions put in place to control the coronavirus pandemic.


Companies that lack bank lending relationship are being left out, with exceptions
Most banks are concentrating their lending capacity through the Payroll Protection Program on companies they already have a lending relationship with. However, Main Line Chamber member Republic Bank is taking applications from both customers and non-customers, according to this story in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Small Business Administration is recommending that companies seeking funding through the PPP work through existing banking relationships. This has left some companies with no clear way in which to apply.


Montgomery County small businesses grant program takes final applications today
Montgomery County’s MontcoStrong Small Business Grant Program to provide small businesses with $1 million in grants for relief from the economic consequences of the novel coronavirus pandemic will stop accepting applications at 5:30 p.m. today, on April 8. Eligible businesses were invited to apply for up to $25,000 to help with making rent or mortgage payments, meeting payroll expenses and covering utility bills. The complete eligibility criteria, program information, program guidelines, frequently asked questions, and application instructions are available here. About 630 applications were submitted in the first hour and a half after being first accepted.


Banks participating in PA AG’s pandemic program are expanding loan availability
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has launched an initiative called the PA CARE Package to get banks to help small-to-medium-sized businesses and consumers facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Banks that participate in the initiative are making business loans more widely available and offering 90-day grace periods for mortgages, auto loans and other consumer loans, among other things. A list of participating banks and additional program details are available on the Attorney General’s Coronavirus Updates web page, which can also be used for submitting price gouging complaints.


Delco foundation announces grants from pandemic response fund for nonprofits
The Foundation for Delaware County has awarded $73,655 in grants to 11 nonprofits that support vulnerable individuals who are feeling the greatest impact of the restrictions put in place to ease the spread of the coronavirus. The grants are from the Delaware County COVID-19 Response Fund, which the Foundation created with $100,000 and which now contains $350,000 thanks to donations ranging from $10,000 to $25,000. The Foundation intends to announce more grants this week and will continue making grants on a rolling basis. Donations are being accepted.


AT&T to make allowances for economic hardship in pandemic
Main Line Chamber of Commerce member AT&T has announced it will temporarily not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of inability to pay. AT&T will waive wireless plan overage charges for data, voice or text, as well as any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to submit a waiver request. More information about AT&T’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is available on this web page, which is regularly updated.


Senator answers questions about why he went to bat for masks
Sen. Pat Toomey told the Washington Examiner last week that he advocated that people cover their noses and mouths when in public because it was “the obvious logical extension of what we’ve been doing with social distancing.” Toomey said he doesn’t want people to wear medical masks because those are needed by healthcare professionals but said people “could do a lot of good at slowing down the rate” of transmission of the coronavirus by wearing homemade masks, scarfs or bandanas. After Toomey issued his call for people to cover up, the Centers for Disease Control followed suit


How to Zoom, and not to Zoom, and other virtual meeting guidance
Local marketing entrepreneur Jim Shulman, a former Main Line Chamber of Commerce volunteer, provides this advice on how to come across as professionally as possible on videocalls from home. Among other things, he suggests using a private, quiet room with an appropriate background; wearing casual work attire in solid colors that contrast with the background; and wearing a clip-on or headset microphone if possible.

Best regards-Be safe,
Bernard Dagenais
President & CEO
The Main Line Chamber of Commerce



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