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

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.

On this page

  1. Upcoming webinars & online events (UPDATED 9/8/2020)
  2. Resources for individuals and families (UPDATED 8/11/2020)
  3. Resources for small business owners and organizations (UPDATED 9/10/2020)
  4. Community fundraisers (UPDATED 8/11/2020)

UPCOMING WEBINARS & ONLINE EVENTS

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


FOR INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES

Pittsburgh Housing Assistance Resource Portal

The City of Pittsburgh launched the Housing Assistance Resources Portal (HARP) where users can search for housing-related programs and services. It helps those interested in renting, currently renting, interested in buying a home, currently owning a home, renting their property as a landlord, or currently experiencing homelessness.

This resource is made possible in partnership by the City of Pittsburgh, URA and Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh.

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.


URA’s Housing Opportunity Fund Programs

Information on a variety of housing programs is available in a variety of languages, including:

  • the United Way’s Housing Stabilization Program, providing rental, mortgage, or utility assistance that provides one-time or short term financial assistance facing a temporary crisis
  • Housing Legal Assistance
  • Homeowner Assistance Program
  • and more.

Learn more.


State Guidance for Individuals

Find mental health resources, information on financial help, food assistance, and more on the official Commonwealth of PA COVID-19 Resources Page.


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.


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.


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.


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.


GPAC Emergency Fund for Artists

This program has reached its capacity and is currently closed. Check back for updates.

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.


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

Indoor & Outdoor Operations Resource Guide (PDF)

The URA has put together a PDF document detailing the steps and resources needed to both alter your indoor space to be COVID-19 safe and also move your business outdoors in a parking space, by temporarily closing a street, or using the sidewalk as an extension of your business.

Downtown the guide here (PDF)


State Guidance for all Businesses

All businesses are required to review and comply with the COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses. This guide includes the basics our businesses and workers need to safely get back to work. As you reopen, you will need to follow all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

You must also print, sign, and post the COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses safety sign (updated 6/26/20) near all public entrances and in worker common areas. Signs should be easy to spot. Two sizes are available for download. You need to only hang one version of the sign, so use the size that works best for your printer.

One is for standard legal-sized paper (8.5×14 inches) and only uses one piece of paper.

The second option is for letter-sized paper (8.5×11 inches) and uses two pieces of paper.

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.


Safe Service PGH

Safe Service PGH is a community created by service industry, event, and food & beverage professionals to protect your guests and each other, share resources, and support the community.

Learn 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.


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

Minority Business Recovery & Growth Loan Fund

The Minority Business Recovery & Growth Loan Fund provides access to capital for existing minority-owned businesses inside the City of Pittsburgh that are recovering from COVID-19 or growing.

Learn more.


Cocoapreneur Collaborative Grant Program

Cocoapreneur Collaborative is an initiative of Cocoapreneur Pgh that aims to address more social needs of the Black business community. It was created after COVID-19 and the increase in global discussion around disparities based on race in America.

To help businesses affected by COVID-19 business interruptions, these are mini grants and in-kind resources to for-profit businesses who were not able to obtain funding through PPP, EIDL, and other traditional forms of business resources.

Learn more.


COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance

The recently enacted state budget includes $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Within this allocation, the Department of Community and Economic Development has been allocated $225 million for COVID-19 relief to small businesses through distribution to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program will help COVID-19-impacted small businesses cover their operating expenses during the shutdown and the reopening period.

Learn more through Bridgeway Capital, a local CDFI.


URA COVID-19 Small Business Funds

These funds will assist in mitigating the COVID-19 economic impact, and help small businesses stabilize in the face of these uncertain economic times. The program is geared towards minority and/or women-owned businesses, neighborhood-serving small businesses, and businesses with less than 30 employees. The two loans available include a recovery loan of up to $75,000 with 0% interest for the first year and a 2% interest rate for the balance of the loan term, and an Emergency Loan of up to $15,000 with a 0% interest rate.

Learn more.


Small Business Advantage Grant

The Small Business Advantage Grant provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,000 to enable Pennsylvania small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment, or adopt waste reduction processes.

Learn more.


Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Tax Credit Program

An incentive program that provides tax credits to for-profit companies less than eight years old operating within specific targeted industries within the boundaries of a Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ).  With a total pool of up to $15 million in tax credits available to KIZ companies annually, the KIZ tax credit program significantly contributes to the ability of young KIZ companies to transition through the stages of growth.

Applications must be submitted on or before September 15 of each year.

Learn more.


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.


Questions about the Paycheck Protection Program

Have you applied and received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, but have questions about the loan forgiveness process? Read up on PPP frequently asked questions 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.


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.


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.


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.


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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