Gov. Wolf Encourages Pennsylvanians to Support Small Businesses for Community Success
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today highlighted his legacy of support for Pennsylvania’s small businesses and encouraged Pennsylvanians to support the small businesses we all rely on every day, as they’re critical to supporting the local workforce and economy.
“Pennsylvania’s small businesses are the cornerstones of our communities, and we must do everything we can to invest in their success,” said Gov. Wolf. “In addition to the economic benefits they generate, small businesses also contribute to the culture and fabric of the communities in which they reside. During Small Business Week, I urge every Pennsylvanian to join me in thanking – and supporting – our local businesses.”
Pennsylvania’s economy relies on small businesses. Across the commonwealth, more than one million small businesses employ around 2.5 million employees. Further, for every $100 spent at a small business, $48 goes back into the local economy in which the business is located, compared to just $14 at a big box store. In 2019, 88.2 percent of Pennsylvania firms that exported goods were small businesses. These exported goods were worth $12.5 billion.
Since the beginning of his administration, Governor Wolf has supported small businesses in the commonwealth. In 2018, the Wolf Administration launched the PA Business One Stop Shop which serves as a resource for small business through all phases of opening, permitting, and hiring and provides technical support and funding opportunities.
Additional support includes:
- Creating the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority, which provides low-interest loans to businesses owned and operated by ethnic minorities.
- Implementing the Small Diverse Business Capital Access Program, which provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to small diverse businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs within the commonwealth.
- Providing direct support to small businesses in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by allocating $225 million for Small Business Assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“Our small business ecosystem in Pennsylvania is as diverse as it is robust,” said Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver. “Small business owners of all backgrounds and identities run our mom-and-pop retailers, our small manufacturers, our tech companies that are developing the next generation of innovations in so many sectors, and so much more. Small Business Week gives us the opportunity to celebrate those small business owners and employees, and helps put into perspective the support that we can provide to them to continue to succeed.”
Despite their key role in the economy, small businesses are struggling just as much as individual Pennsylvanians from continually rising costs. To help combat this, Gov. Wolf and his Democratic colleagues proposed a $1.7 billion spending plan that would provide direct relief to Pennsylvania’s businesses, communities, and families through Pennsylvania’s uncommitted American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars.
The plan includes a $225 million recapitalization of the Small Business Assistance Program developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses would be eligible to receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 that could cover a range of expenses.
Gov. Wolf has proclaimed May 1-7, 2022 as Pennsylvania Small Business Week.
As part of Small Business Week, DCED will be visiting local businesses during walking tours in several cities across the commonwealth, including: Reading (May 2); Bedford (May 3); Scranton (May 4); Erie (May 5); and Zelienople (May 6).