Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Gov. Wolf announces no-interest loan program for small businesses in PA

A “closed” sign at the Little Amps on State Street

The state is initiating a short-term loan program for small businesses, which would be able borrow up to $100,000 without needing to pay interest.

During an online press conference, Gov. Tom Wolf today introduced the new “COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA),” a $60 million fund administered by the PA Industrial Development Authority.

“CWCA is a step in the right direction, and it will help provide a little piece of mind to hundreds of small business owners and their employees,” Wolf said.

Under the program, for-profit retail or services businesses with fewer than 100 employees would be able to borrow up to $100,000 for three years. The loans carry no interest, except for agricultural producers, which would be charged a 2-percent interest rate.

Borrowers would not have to make payments for the first year, but loans would need to be paid back in full by the end of the third year.

Loans are meant to provide “working capital” for businesses, designed to support their ongoing operations during these difficult economic times.

To qualify for the program, businesses need to apply through their county’s Certified Economic Development Organization. In Dauphin and Perry counties, this is the Capital Region Economic Development Corp. (CREDC) and, in Cumberland County, it’s the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. (CAEDC).

Wolf expects funds to be available this week. He said that he hopes this program will help businesses survive through the current economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we get through this crisis, we’re going to want to get out of our houses and go to restaurants and bars and stores, and we’re going to need places for people to earn a living so they afford to go to restaurants and bars and stores and support other workers,” Wolf said. “So, we need to work together to preserve our businesses. I vow to save Pennsylvanians lives and save their livelihoods.”

Click here for more details on the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program.

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