|Posted:||August 25, 2020 02:24 PM|
|From:||Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. Sharif Street, Sen. Anthony H. Williams|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Small Business Assistance – Barbers and Salons|
|In the near future, we plan on introducing legislation to appropriate $100 million from money received by the Commonwealth through the CARES Act to the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program directed to the barber and salon industry.
The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance was championed by the Senate Democratic caucus and to date has received nearly $850 million in funding requests. Most importantly, for the first time, equal dedicated funding was made available to historically disadvantaged communities. In the first round, nearly $50 million was awarded to small businesses owned or operated by individuals from minority communities across Pennsylvania.
While we anticipated a great need for assistance from the small business community, the demand for the program far exceeded the funding assistance available. Unfortunately, the lack of adequate funding has left many small businesses throughout the Commonwealth without the critical aid needed.
Of the applications received, more than one-quarter were businesses in the personal care industry requesting almost $25 million in aid. As we have often heard from the passionate members of this industry, these businesses often serve as a hub for the communities in which they are located. During a recent discussion with individuals from this sector, one business owner shared that he has provided meals for members of the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, unlike other industries, these businesses were closed the longest and in many cases are not back to pre-COVID-19 capacity.
Under our legislation, the money would be driven through the existing COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program. We believe this program, a partnership between the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Commonwealth’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), has the capacity to drive out these much needed dollars swiftly and fairly to the many barber shops and salons who are suffering as a result of COVID-19.
We hope that you will join us in cosponsoring this legislation.