Wolf Administration Shares Update on Efforts to Support Businesses During COVID-19
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin shared the critical actions the Wolf Administration has taken to support businesses throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, from ongoing outreach to stakeholders to financial support.
Davin said he has received critical feedback during outreach meetings the department held with several industries throughout the commonwealth. The department began holding the calls in April as another avenue to support communities and economy during mitigation efforts.
“It is imperative that we ensure an ongoing dialogue between our department and the industries across the state that have been affected by shutdown orders and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sec. Davin. “The outreach calls allowed me to hear from each industry directly to learn how they were impacted, truly understand their individual needs during this time, and hear their own ideas about how we can move our state forward in recovery. We value the input and time all participants provided us, as this information was critical as we reopen the commonwealth.”
Over the past several weeks, representatives from DCED, including Secretary Davin and deputy secretaries, have been meeting with industry representatives and other stakeholders to provide them with updates, ask for feedback, and answer questions surrounding their industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The industries and organizations included:
- Building Trades
- Direct to Consumer Businesses
- Economic Development
- Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism
- Medical Technology and Innovation
- Minority and Diverse Businesses
- PREP Partners
- Team PA
- Warehouse, Distribution, and Logistics
- Workforce Development
Representatives were invited to share concerns about the state of their industry and share input about the support needed for the future recovery of their industry. Several calls touched on the administration’s exemption process, some looked for guidance regarding how and when to bring employees back to work safely, others voiced concern about funding for small businesses—including the Paycheck Protection Program, real estate and construction restrictions, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. Every meeting was documented to track the concerns and ideas shared by industries to utilize in planning and implementation for the reopening of the state.
These stakeholder outreach calls were crucial in assessing the true needs and concerns of the industries that took part. This valued feedback will be used as the state prepares to reopen and help Pennsylvania businesses and communities transition from red to yellow and to green phases.
The Wolf Administration’s top priority remains protecting public health and safety during this global pandemic. However, it is equally critical that the business sector, which has been significantly impacted by efforts to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus, receives financial support.
Additionally, DCED created manufacturing portals to help organize and connect businesses that could respond to personal protection equipment needs across the state and established the Hospital Emergency Loan Program (HELP), which provided nearly $324 million in critical working capital bridge financing to hospitals within the commonwealth that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Also in support of businesses during this time, in March, DCED took the emergency executive step of halting April payments, late fees, and accruing interest for loans administered by the department and in April announced the forbearance of loans administered by the department.
Casey Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org