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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2020 03:25 PM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expanding the First Industries Program to assist with the COVID-19 response
In the near future, I plan on reintroducing Senate Bill 1115 from last session which aims to amend the First Industries Program to make loan guarantees to businesses who incur expenses related to converting or retrofitting their existing facilities and operations in order to manufacture personal protective equipment or who produce equipment necessary for the production of personal protective equipment.
This proposal offers immediate assistance as we respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  
The program is administered by the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).
Recently, the Pennsylvania Distillers Guild stepped up with a proposal to convert production at several distilleries across the Commonwealth from consumable alcohol to hand sanitizer to be used by the Commonwealth for distribution to hospitals, first responders and nursing homes, in order to protect individuals from COVID-19.  Unfortunately, the proposal was delayed a few days while the Guild sought the capital necessary to retrofit their equipment.  I believe this proposal would prevent delays such as those the Guild encountered and would give businesses seeking to help during these uncertain times the access to capital they need to begin helping with the relief efforts.
This legislation will provide access to an existing and successful program to address an immediate need.  To be eligible, under my bill, the CFA would guarantee a loan sought by a business who converts or retrofits their existing facilities to manufacture personal protective equipment or who produce equipment necessary for the production of personal protective equipment to assist with the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB46