H0537B0500A00901 AJB:JMT 05/03/21 #90 A00901
AMENDMENTS TO HOUSE BILL NO. 537
Sponsor: REPRESENTATIVE CIRESI
Printer's No. 500
Amend Bill, page 2, lines 5 through 7, by striking out
"providing for small business grant program," in line 5 and all
of lines 6 and 7 and inserting
in emergency COVID-19 response, establishing the County Block
Grant - Small Business Grant Program.
Amend Bill, page 2, lines 10 through 33; pages 3 and 4, lines
1 through 30; page 5, lines 1 through 28; by striking out all of
said lines on said pages and inserting
Section 1. The act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known
as The Fiscal Code, is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 135-C. Small Business Grant Program.
(a) County block grants.--From money appropriated by the
General Assembly for the distribution of grants under this
section, each county shall receive an amount equal to the
population proportion amount as determined under paragraph (2).
The following shall apply:
(1) The department shall distribute funding to counties
in accordance with this subsection no later than 21 days
after the starting date.
(2) For the purpose of this subsection, the population
proportion amount shall be determined as follows:
(i) Divide:
(A) the population estimate of the county; by
(B) the sum of the population estimates of all
counties; and
(ii) Multiply the quotient under subparagraph (i) by
the total amount appropriated by the General Assembly for
the distribution of grants under this section.
(3) For the purpose of this subsection, a county's
population shall be equal to the published estimate by the
United States Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
for calendar year 2019.
(b) Small Business Grant Program.--The County Block Grant -
Small Business Grant Program is established within the
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department for the purpose of awarding grants under this
section. The following shall apply to the program:
(1) No later than 22 days after the starting date, each
county that receives a grant under this section shall
contract with at least one CEDO or CDFI designated to serve
that county to award grants under this section.
(2) Subject to the prohibition under subparagraph (ii),
grants under this section may be awarded to eligible
applicants for the purpose of alleviating revenue losses and
paying eligible operating expenses. The following shall apply
to grants awarded under this section:
(i) A grant awarded to an eligible applicant may not
exceed $15,000.
(ii) A grant may not be awarded to pay for the same
eligible operating expenses for which an eligible
applicant receives or received payment, reimbursement or
loan forgiveness from the following sources:
(A) Money that is not required to be repaid to
the Federal Government under the CARES Act or
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
(B) The act of May 29, 2020 (P.L. , No.2A),
known as the COVID-19 Emergency Supplement to the
General Appropriation Act of 2019.
(3) The receipt of a loan or grant issued under the
authority of the Federal Government or the Commonwealth shall
not disqualify an applicant from eligibility for a grant
under this section.
(4) Priority in the awarding of grants under this
section shall be given to an eligible applicant that meets
any of the following:
(i) The eligible applicant has not received a loan
or grant issued under the authority of the Commonwealth
or the Commonwealth's political subdivisions or by the
Federal Government under the CARES Act or Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2021.
(ii) The eligible applicant was subject to closure
by the proclamation of disaster emergency issued by the
Governor on March 6, 2020, published at 50 Pa.B. 1644
(March 21, 2020), and any renewal of the state of
disaster emergency.
(iii) The eligible applicant can demonstrate a
reduction in revenue that meets any of the following:
(A) A reduction in gross receipts of 50% or more
for the period beginning after March 31, 2020, and
ending before December 31, 2020, in comparison to the
period beginning after March 31, 2019, and ending
before December 31, 2019.
(B) If the eligible applicant was not in
operation during the entire comparison period under
clause (A), but was in operation on March 1, 2020, a
monthly average reduction in gross receipts of 50% or
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more for the period beginning after March 31, 2020,
and ending before December 31, 2020, in comparison to
the period beginning after January 1, 2020, and
ending before April 1, 2020.
(5) The following shall apply to applications to receive
grants under this section:
(i) Applications shall be in a form determined by a
county with input from a CEDO or CDFI processing the
application on behalf of a county.
(ii) Applications shall contain documentation as
required by the county.
(iii) Applications shall be available
electronically.
(iv) No later than 45 days after the starting date,
a CEDO or CDFI shall receive and consider applications on
a rolling basis until funding for grants received by the
county under subsection (a) has been completely expended,
or 130 days after the starting date, whichever occurs
first. Upon completely expending the funds available for
grants, a CEDO or CDFI shall notify the department.
(6) The following shall apply to reviewing applications
for grants under this section:
(i) No later than 160 days after the starting date,
a CEDO or CDFI shall approve or disapprove applications
for grants.
(ii) Upon approving an application under
subparagraph (i), a CEDO or CDFI shall enter into a grant
agreement with the eligible applicant in order to award
the grant.
(iii) The grant agreement under subparagraph (ii)
shall explain the terms and conditions of the grant,
including the applicable laws of this Commonwealth and
reporting requirements.
(iv) The grant agreement under subparagraph (ii) may
be electronically signed and returned to the CEDO or CDFI
that approved the application.
(7) An eligible applicant or authorized representative
of the eligible applicant that submits an application for a
grant under this section shall certify in good faith to all
of the following:
(i) The eligible applicant was in operation on March
1, 2020, and, if required, paid income taxes to the
Federal Government and the Commonwealth, as reported on
individual or business tax returns.
(ii) The eligible applicant remains in operation and
does not intend to permanently cease operations within
one year of the date of application.
(iii) COVID-19 had an adverse economic impact on the
eligible applicant, which makes the grant request
necessary to support the ongoing operations of the
eligible applicant.
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(iv) The grant will be used to pay for COVID-19-
related economic impacts.
(v) During the period beginning January 1, 2021, and
ending 150 days after the starting date, the eligible
applicant has not and will not receive another grant
under this section.
(vi) The information provided in the application
and all supporting documents and forms is true and
accurate in all material respects. An eligible applicant
or an authorized representative of the eligible applicant
that knowingly makes a false statement to obtain a grant
shall be subject to 18 Pa.C.S. ยง 4904 (relating to
unsworn falsification to authorities).
(8) The following shall apply to the awarding of grants
under this section:
(i) A CEDO or CDFI may award grants in increments of
$5,000, not to exceed the limitation under paragraph (2)
(i).
(ii) A fully executed grant agreement under
paragraph (6)(ii) shall be required before the
disbursement of grant funds.
(iii) The aggregate amount of all grants awarded may
not exceed the amount of money received by the county
under subsection (a).
(9) A CEDO or CDFI may charge a fee not to exceed $500
per completed and reviewed application for a grant under this
section. Fees charged under this paragraph shall be deducted
from the total amount of money distributed to the county
under subsection (a) and may not reduce the amount of the
grant awarded to an eligible applicant.
(10) A grant awarded under this section shall be paid to
an eligible applicant no later than 175 days after the
starting date.
(11) A county that provides grants under this section
shall compile a report, which shall include all of the
following:
(i) A list of each grant awarded.
(ii) The name and address of each grant recipient.
(iii) The amount of the grant and a description of
the financial impact to the grant recipient.
(iv) The name of the CEDO or CDFI that processed the
grant.
(12) A county shall submit the report under paragraph
(11) to the department no later than 200 days after the
starting date.
(13) The department shall prepare a consolidated report
with the information in the reports submitted under paragraph
(12) from all counties and submit the consolidated report to
the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations Committee
of the Senate and the chair and minority chair of the
Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives no
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later than 235 days after the starting date.
(14) The county shall post and maintain the report under
paragraph (11) on the county's publicly accessible Internet
website.
(15) The department shall post and maintain the
consolidated report under paragraph (14) on the department's
publicly accessible Internet website.
(16) A county awarding grants and a CEDO or CDFI
processing grants on behalf of a county under this section
shall provide documentation to the Department of the Auditor
General or the department, upon request, for purposes of an
audit review.
(17) The department may not impose additional
requirements on counties that are not specified in this
section.
(c) (Reserved).
(d) (Reserved).
(e) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"CDFI." A community development financial institution that
is certified by the United States Department of the Treasury, is
headquartered in this Commonwealth, is part of the 17-member
Pennsylvania community development financial institution network
and primarily provides business loans to low-to-moderate income
individuals and business owners.
"CEDO." An economic development organization that has been
certified by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority
or an economic development organization that serves more than
one county and is accredited by the International Economic
Development Council.
"Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021." The Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260, 134 Stat. 1182).
"Department." The Department of Community and Economic
Development of the Commonwealth.
"Economic development organization." Any local development
district, industrial development agency, industrial resource
center, redevelopment authority, community development financial
institution or any other nonprofit economic development
organization that is certified to participate in the
Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan program.
"Eligible applicant." An entity that submits an application
for a grant under this section and meets all of the following:
(1) The entity is not publicly traded.
(2) The entity experienced a reduction in revenue in
calendar year 2020, measured as follows:
(i) The entity had gross receipts during the first,
second, third or fourth quarter in calendar year 2020
that demonstrate at least a 25% reduction from the
entity's gross receipts during the same quarter in
calendar year 2019.
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(ii) If the entity was not in business during the
first or second quarter of calendar year 2019, but was in
business during the third and fourth quarters of calendar
year 2019, the entity had gross receipts during the
first, second, third or fourth quarter of calendar year
2020 that demonstrate at least a 25% reduction from the
entity's gross receipts during the third or fourth
quarter of calendar year 2019.
(iii) If the entity was not in business during the
first, second or third quarter of calendar year 2019, but
was in business during the fourth quarter of calendar
year 2019, the entity had gross receipts during the
first, second, third or fourth quarter of calendar year
2020 that demonstrate at least a 25% reduction from the
fourth quarter of calendar year 2019.
(iv) If the entity was not in business during
calendar year 2019, but was in operation on March 1,
2020, the entity had gross receipts during the second,
third or fourth quarter of calendar year 2020 that
demonstrate at least a 25% reduction from the gross
receipts of the entity during the first quarter of
calendar year 2020.
(v) For the purpose of this definition, if the
entity was in operation in all four quarters of calendar
year 2019, the entity shall be deemed to have experienced
the revenue reduction under subparagraph (i) if the
entity experienced a reduction in annual receipts of at
least 25% in calendar year 2020 compared to calendar year
2019 and the entity provides copies of the entity's
annual Federal tax forms substantiating the revenue
decline .
(vi) For the purpose of this definition, if the
entity changed ownership or control in calendar year
2020, the entity may measure the entity's reduction in
revenue in calendar year 2020 under subparagraph (i),
(ii), (iii), (iv) or (v) using the gross receipts of the
entity for calendar year 2019.
(3) The entity meets all of the following conditions as
of March 1, 2020:
(i) The entity is a retail or personal service
employer within this Commonwealth.
(ii) The entity has no more than 10 full-time
employees.
(iii) The entity has gross annual receipts for the
prior fiscal year that did not exceed $1,500,000.
"Eligible operating expense." An operating expense,
including a payroll and non-payroll expense, that is common and
accepted in an eligible applicant's industry, helpful and
appropriate for the eligible applicant's trade or business and
subject to the following limitations:
(1) The operating expense must have been incurred
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between March 1, 2020, and 130 days after the starting date,
or prior to submission of an application for a grant under
this section, whichever occurs first.
(2) For a mortgage obligation, the mortgage must have
been in force before March 1, 2020.
(3) For rent, under lease agreements, the lease
agreement must have been in force before March 1, 2020.
(4) For utility costs, service must have begun before
March 1, 2020.
(5) For the purpose of paragraphs (2) and (3), if an
existing mortgage obligation or lease agreement is in force
before March 1, 2020, and is refinanced or restructured after
March 1, 2020, the mortgage obligation or lease agreement is
deemed to have been in force before March 1, 2020.
"Full-time equivalent employee." The quotient obtained by
dividing the total number of hours for which employees were
compensated for employment over the preceding 12-month period by
2,080.
"Gross receipts." Revenue in whatever form received or
accrued, in accordance with the recipient's accounting method,
from whatever source, including from the sales of products or
services, interest, dividends, rents, royalties, fees or
commissions, reduced by returns and allowances. The term does
not include any of the following:
(1) Taxes collected for and remitted to a taxing
authority if included in gross or total income, including
sales or other taxes collected from customers and excluding
taxes levied on an entity or the entity's employees.
(2) Proceeds from transactions between an entity and the
entity's domestic or foreign affiliates.
(3) Amounts collected for another by a travel agent,
real estate agent, advertising agent or conference management
service provider.
"Program." The County Block Grant - Small Business Grant
Program established under subsection (b).
"Starting date." The effective date of this section or the
effective date of an appropriation for distribution of grants
under this section, whichever is later.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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See A00901 in
the context
of HB0537