Support Programs & Resources During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Outbreak

Whether you are a small business retailer, restaurant owner, artist, service worker, or someone else unable to work, this is an uncertain time for the city. We’ll be working to support our community however possible. Scroll down for a list of various support programs and resources available.

Bookmark this page and check back often as new programs and resources are added. Know of a program or resource that isn’t on our list? Send us an email so we can help get the word out to others.

Looking to support your favorite Downtown restaurant or small business? See our guides to restaurants offering delivery/takeout and ways to support small businesses. View all of our Downtown resources for the current situation here.

Page last updated: 8:25 a.m., July 1, 2020

On this page

  1. Upcoming webinars & online events
  2. Resources for individuals, including artists and service workers
  3. Resources for small business owners and organizations
  4. Community fundraisers

UPCOMING WEBINARS & ONLINE EVENTS

Plus, you can view an archive of past webinars on a variety of topics here.


FOR INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES

Track the Status of Your Economic Impact Payment

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has just launched a tool for you to check on the status of your economic impact payment as part of the government’s $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package. To find out when your payment is expected, what to expect, and what additional info you may need, visit the official IRS payment portal, then click on “Get My Payment.”

Learn more.


Unemployment Compensation

If you are unable to work due to the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak, Pennsylvania has recently updated its Unemployment Compensation webpage with new information. Now, if your employer temporarily closes, reduces your hours, or you have been told to self-isolate, Pennsylvania is waiving the Work Search and Work Registration requirements and suspending the one-week waiting period.

Those eligible can apply online. Learn more.


Virtual Tip Jar for Service Workers

A team from Carnegie Mellon Univerity has launched a Virtual Tip Jar so Pittsburghers can support their favorite coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and other service workers that may be out of work.

Learn more.


Hebrew Free Loan Association Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loan Program

The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh has announced a Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loan Program to provide interest-free loans on a nonsectarian basis for up to $5,000 to residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland, Washington, and Armstrong counties who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. These loans are intended to address:

  • Lost wages due to being unable to go to work
  • Childcare costs due to school closures
  • Small business losses
  • Canceled study abroad programs
  • Related medical costs

Learn more.


GPAC Emergency Fund for Artists

The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Emergency Fund for Artists provides up to $500 in assistance to artists experiencing a loss of income due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Learn more.


National Resources for Artists

The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has compiled a list of national resources for artists, including grants and emergency funds.

Learn more.


Port Authority Transit Pass Reimbursement

Port Authority riders who have purchased monthly or weekly passes but are now being told to stay home are eligible to request reimbursement. By contacting the Port Authority online or via phone at (412) 442-2000, riders can receive a credit for the remaining time on their purchased passes.

Learn more.


Comcast Launches Various Internet Programs

Xfinity WiFi hotspots, located throughout the city, will be available to anyone for free, even without a subscription. Additionally, no disconnects or late fees will be assessed on current subscribers.

For low-income customers, families are eligible to receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service.

Learn more.


COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Fund

The COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Fund is designed to provide short-term assistance to workers who have experienced a reduction in hours and are facing a financial hardship to pay rent and utilities. 

Beginning Monday, March 23, households in need of rental, mortgage payment, and/or utility assistance, specifically because their work hours were cut due to COVID-19, may call the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh at (412) 227-4163 to be screened for assistance. 

Learn more.


City of Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center One-on-One Counseling

Pittsburgh’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) offers one-on-one, professional financial counseling as a free public service. The FEC helps clients take control of their debt, deal with debt collectors, improve their credit, create a budget, save, connect to safe and affordable financial products, and much more.

Learn more.


Additional Resources

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania maintains an additional list of resources for individuals and families, including Driver Services, Utility Assistance, Financial Help and more. Visit the PA.gov resources page.

Additionally, those seeking other services not listed may find assistance by calling 211 or visiting pa211sw.org.


Human Services

Per Allegheny County, individuals who may be experiencing fear, anxiety, or stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to speak with someone to assist in emotional support:

Peer Support and Advocacy Network (PSAN)
10:00 a.m. – Midnight
1-866-661-WARM (9726)

resolve Crisis Services
24 hours/7 days a week
1-888-796-8226


FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

Jump to: general information, financial assistance, advertising & technical assistance


General information

New Order Enforcing Pennsylvania Workplace Safety Measures

Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Dr. Rachel Levine, under her authority as Secretary of the Department of Health to take any disease control measure appropriate to protect the public from the spread of infectious disease, signed an order directing protections for critical workers who are employed at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.

Read more on the official Commonwealth of PA page, which includes a list of protections that business owners are now required to provide their employees.


Information on Essential vs. Non-Essential Businesses

Pennsylvania has recently ordered that all non-life-sustaining businesses are to close their physical locations, effective 8:00 p.m. on March 19.

Read more on the official Commonwealth of PA page, including which businesses are considered life-sustaining and to request a waiver to keep your business open.

Read more.


Small Business-Focused Financial Assistance Overview: Payment Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Read a quick overview and guide with answers to common questions related to programs available for small businesses.

Download here (PDF).


Navigating the CARES Act/Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses

Sustainable Pittsburgh has teamed up with Huntington Bank to provide an overview to the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Programs available to small businesses.

View the recorded presentation here, with the slideshow available here.


Allegheny County Health Department Guidelines for Food Facilities

Read up on safety precautions and instructions to take while operating your restaurant through takeout or delivery service.

Read more.


University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center Consulting & Financial Resources

SBDC Business Consultants are available for individual meetings by phone or real-time video conferencing on multiple platforms. Questions they are able to assist with include applying for loans and grants, taxes, unemployment compensation, and more.

Additionally, they are also maintaining a list of resources geared specifically towards small business owners along with information on closures, exceptions, etc.

Read more.


KeyBank Business Continuity Strategies Webinar Series

Join KeyBank for a 6-part Business Continuity Strategies webinar series that will occur over the next three weeks. We’ll review the following topics as you address the disruptions and challenges to your payments processes and response plans:

• Strategies and opportunities
• Insights and considerations
• Financial tools and best practices


Information on the CARES Act and Other Legislative, Regulatory, and Administrative Changes in PA

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s state government relations team has provided an update on the statewide measures and local government initiatives (PDF download), along with information on the economic stimulus package known as the CARES Act (PDF download).


Financial assistance

Get Online and Grow Online

Get Online and Grow Online with Neighborhood Allies and the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s new program launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis. If you are an existing business with under 15 employees in the food/beverage or retail industry (including personal services), they want to assist you in getting your business and products for sale online!

Deadline for applications is May 5.

Learn more.


Save Small Business Fund

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a 501c3 is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund.  This fund is a key pillar of the U.S. Chamber’s Save Small Business Initiative. The Fund is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States.

This one-time supplemental cash grant is for businesses who meet the following three criteria:
1)   Employ between three and 20 employees AND
2)   Operates in an economically vulnerable community AND
3)   Has been financially harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more.


Paycheck Protection Program

Passed on March 27, 2020, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has allotted $350 billion in emergency loans to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the Paycheck Protection Program. The new initiative will offer federally guaranteed loans at a low-interest rate, much of which can also be forgivable.

Through the Paycheck Protection Program, your business can apply to borrow up to 2.5 times your average monthly payroll costs in 2019, up to $10 million.

Learn more via Honeycomb Credit


Pennsylvania COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA)

Please note: this program is temporarily closed.

The COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) and provides critical working capital financing to small businesses located within the Commonwealth that are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Loans of up to $100,000 can be requested, with a 12-year amortization with no payments due during the first year.

Learn more.


Urban Redevelopment Authority COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Loan Program

Eligibility for this loan program is limited to existing businesses within the City of Pittsburgh that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible use of funds include: rent, insurance, payroll, and other fixed assets.

Loans of up to $15,000 can be requested.

Apply online here..


U.S. Small Business Administration COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Learn more about the federal government’s guidance for businesses and employers, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, access to capital, and local assistance offices.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is directing businesses to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The SBA can provide loans to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses along with low interest rates. Apply here.

Learn more.


Specialty Group COVID-19 Relief Loans for Bars, Restaurants, and Beer Distributors

Specialty Group is offering COVID-19 Relief Loans to Bars, Restaurants, & Beer Distributors. The loans feature 3 Months without payments, no prepayment penalty, waived filing fees, and terms from 2 to 5 years in length. Eligible businesses can borrow up to $75,000. The application process is quick, and funding can occur in as little as 5 business days.

Additionally, Specialty Group can help businesses acquire the proper licenses and approvals to sell bottles of wine to-go and deliver beer.

Apply here.


Honeycomb Small Business Relief Loan

To help deliver the working capital that businesses need, Honeycomb is offering 45-day payment free periods, 6-month interest-only periods and reducing their posting, success, and investor fees.

Loans are available for amounts up to $50,000.

Learn more.


Kiva Pittsburgh Small Business Microloans

Kiva Pittsburgh offers small business owners microloans of up to $10,000 with zero percent (0%) interest with repayment periods of up to three years.

Learn more.


Emergency Action Fund

The Emergency Action Fund will address the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 by providing funding for operating support for small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations serving communities with predominantly low-income households, organizations that manage emergency funds, support for Federally Qualified Health Centers, and small arts organizations/individual artists.

Learn more.


Matching Small Business Relief Grants from GoFundMe

As part of the Small Business Relief Initiative, GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit QuickBooks have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund. GoFundMe.org, the company’s charitable and advocacy arm, started the Small Business Relief Fund to benefit small businesses. Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund and GoFundMe.org will provide grants to small businesses across the United States, starting with the hardest-hit areas.

The Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.

Learn more.


Advertising & technical assistance

Facebook Small Business Grants

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate, with more information to be available soon.

Read more.


Yelp Resources for Restaurants & Small Businesses

Yelp has announced $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products, and services.

Restaurants will also receive three months of free access to Yelp Reservations and Waitlist. For restaurant clients that offer delivery and/or takeout, we’ll provide $100 in free search advertising. In addition to waiving advertising fees for independent restaurant and nightlife clients during this period when they’ve been most impacted, we’re also offering support for independent local advertisers in other categories that are struggling to pay their bills during this difficult time. 

Learn more.


COMMUNITY FUNDRAISERS

PGH Artists Emergency Fund

This fundraiser is hosted by a group of artists and community organizers based in Pittsburgh responding to the urgent need of our friends and community who have been put in compromised positions due to the cancellation of entire tours, all of their gigs, and jobs in the nightlife and events industry.

Donate here.


Restaurant and Food Service Emergency Fund

Our local food scene is threatened by the COVID-19 crisis. The rapid loss of business is going to be especially tough on service and support staff, many of whom are reliant on gratuities as income, with many more paid hourly behind the scenes. These folks, who often live paycheck to paycheck, have no way to earn income. They need our help, and they need it right now.TABLE Magazine along with our community committee is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise emergency funds for employees in the service industry in conjunction with Community Kitchen, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization focused on workforce development in the food service industry.

Donate or apply for funds here.


Virtual Tip Jar for Service Workers

A team from Carnegie Mellon Univerity has launched a Virtual Tip Jar so Pittsburghers can support their favorite coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and other service workers that may be out of work.

Learn more.


Note: these programs are not administered by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and this page is meant to serve only as a resource to share information.

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