The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting small businesses in a variety of ways. From loss of business to remote work, things are changing fast during the COVID-19 outbreak and businesses are being forced to adapt. 

We’ve pulled together a list of resources to help you and your business during this time. We’ll continue to add to the resource list as more opportunities become available. Please feel free to share any resources you find. 

(The Ascender team will continue to update the list as more resources become available. If you know of any resources we should share please forward them to ben@ascenderpgh.com)

Updated 3/30/2020


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

  • To help small business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has created a comprehensive guide to many of the small business provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has created a Coronavirus Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist for Small Businesses and Nonprofits in response to the passage of the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • For an article that describes the CARES Act in simpler terms, check out this Medium post.

PA State Department Resources 

  • COVID-19 Business Resources (PA Department of Community and Economic Development Business Resources)
    • 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.

Coronavirus Tax Relief

  • The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. 

Financial Assistance 

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans to qualified Pennsylvanian small businesses experiencing economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 impact. 
    • The U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania District Office and the Chester Delaware Counties SCORE Chapter will hold webinar training on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program for small businesses and private non-profits due to COVID-19. The webinar will be held each weekday (12 PM – 1:30 PM) starting on Tuesday, March 24 through Friday April 3. Login Information:  https://score.zoom.us/j/723846010
    • The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers is also hosting a daily webinar (March 30 – April 3, 9 AM) designed to help small business clients understand who is eligible for an SBA Emergency loan and how to apply.
    • Duquesne Small Business Development Center has compiled a resource document to assist businesses with completing an application. The center is also offering to answer questions and assist with identifying necessary documents for the online application.  
    • Starting Wednesday, March 25th, CWE will be offering telephone counseling hours dedicated specifically to answering questions and assisting with applications for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To schedule an appointment, complete the New Client Signup online and select the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) scheduler.
  • 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 COVID-19 outbreak. 
    • Applicants must have a family income lower than $115,000.
    • Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loans are repayable in monthly installments of $150–250 depending on the size of the loan.
    • A cosigner is required for all loans, unless the borrower is a homeowner with a credit score of 670+.
  • Urban Redevelopment Authority’s loan program assistance for current borrowers and non-borrowers. URA halting small business loan payments for URA borrowers — see “Resources for Businesses” section for information and additional support.
  • Honeycomb Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loan. Community-sourced loans for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Kiva loans up to $10,000 at 0% interest. Contact the Riverside Center for Innovation. www.riversidecenterforinnovation.com
  • New Sun Rising (NSR) Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund will provide $1,000 – $5,000 loans to small business and nonprofit leaders who demonstrate critical economic needs as a result of unemployment or underemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Emergency Funds & Grants 

  • Emergency Fund for Artists by the Greater Pittsburgh-Arts Council 
    • Artists living in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Lawrence, Indiana, Greene, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties are eligible.
    • Financial losses due to cancelled events, including performances in all performing arts, disciplines, readings, and speaking opportunities
    • Offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of cancelled classes and school closures
  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program (TBA). Offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.
  • Managed by The Pittsburgh Foundation, which is also a contributor, the Emergency Action Fund, which has grown to more than $5 million and is receiving donations daily, will provide financial support quickly to nonprofits and government agencies. Emergency Action Fund applications will open April 1, 2020.

Entrepreneur Resources

List of Shared Resources

Special Offers (services, software, etc)

Ways to help the Pittsburgh Community