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COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide

Small Business Assistance Program

Round 2 opens  August 10th

The PA CDFI Network has announced that the second grant application window will open at 9:00 AM on August 10th and will remain open for 15 business days closing at 11:59 PM on August 28th.

What If I Already Applied:

If you applied during the first application window, notification of your application status will begin August 10th on a rolling basis and will continue over the following few weeks.  Notifications will be sent by email from  The Progress Fund has no access to the applications or their status.

You do NOT need to reapply in the second round.  Qualified applications will be automatically rolled over into the next funding round for consideration.

First Things First to Apply:

  • There is no fee to apply for this grant.  If someone charges you a fee to help you complete the application, this is a scam.
  • Read all the material below before you press the button above.
  • If you need to make changes to your application after completing the questionnaire or uploading documents, you must contact Lendistry by email or phone 1-866-892-9169.
  • DO NOT submit more than one application for your business.  Submitting multiple applications will delay processing of your application and will reduce your chance of approval in this round.

Answer to Commonly Asked Questions:

Call Center Information:

  • For application technical issues such as missing confirmation emails, password reset, lock-outs, please call the Technical Questions Call Center for Lendistry at 1-866-892-9169.
  • For general questions about the program, your eligibility, help answering questions within the application, and  appropriate documentation to upload, please call one of the following call centers.
    • If you  are located North of Interstate 80, contact the Pennsylvania Wilds Call Center at 1-800-895-1376 ext. 406.
    • If you are located South of Interstate 80, contact The Progress Fund at 724-216-9160 and press 6

Tips for Completing the Application:

  • No cell phones please!   Use a desktop or laptop computer, not your cell phone, because some of the buttons on the application are hard to find on the little screen of a cell phone.
  • Google Chrome please!  Use the Google Chrome browser, it has the least compatibility issues.
  • Step #1.  In the first phase of the on-line application process, you need to start by clicking the “Go to New Application Website” at the top of this page…a new and secure website will appear.  On that new site, you need to push the big purple button that says “APPLY NOW”.
  • Step #2.  This is a series of general questions.  Most applicants don’t have any problems except with the following questions:
    • If you don’t have a website, that’s not a problem just type in this:
    • Once you have completed the application, you will receive an email from which will contain your username (the email address used in the application) and a temporary password.  Please be sure to check you junk and/or spam folder.
    • Where is my email?  If you don’t find the email after an hour or so, go back to the first page and click the “Forgot Password” link.  Enter your email address, if the website says you are not recognized, then your first attempt to start did not work, so start over again with the “APPLY NOW” button.
    • That didn’t work!  If the “Forgot Password” message says your email is in use, look hard again for the email.  If it is not there, you must send an email to  They will help you get logged in.  In your email, please describe your problem and give them your first name, last name and the business name spelled exactly the way you entered it onto the application form.  For security purposes, you must request this help yourself directly from the website managers, we can’t do it for you.
    • That didn’t work either!  For application technical issues such as missing confirmation emails, password reset, lock-outs, please call the Technical Questions Call Center for Lendistry at 1-866-892-9169.
  • Step #3. Sign into your account via the link provided in the email or click here.  Once you get logged in, you will begin to upload the required documents listed.
    • Download the Applicant Certification:  You need to download the “Applicant Certification” which is a mandatory document you must read, then initial each question and sign at the bottom.  Then you will have to scan and upload the document later.  The location of the document is not an easy find.  Here is a link to the Applicant Certification form.
    • Some requested documents might not apply to you.   Some of the required upload documents might not apply to you.  Our advice is for you is to take a piece of paper, write on it the following “This does not apply to my business.”  Scan that into a PDF and upload that statement for those uploads.
    • Bank verification is not mandatory to complete the application.  If you get to the point in the application where you are submitting your bank information and the application cannot verify your information, don’t despair, just fill-in Tab 2 and move on.  Go ahead and submit the application and your bank information will be verified at a later date.
  • And please relax!  There are still many days to apply for the first round of funding.  This is not a first-come, first-served program.  We are all working hard to help you!  Call one of the Call Centers listed at the top of this page and we will answer all your questions.

Program Eligibility:

To be eligible to apply, a business must meet all six of the eligibility requirements:

  1. Grants of $5,000 to $50,000 are available for small businesses that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related statewide business closure. Funding tiers are listed below.
  2. Grants are available only for businesses with annual revenues (prior to March 1, 2020) of $1 million or less and have 25 or fewer full-time employees (FTEs). (Revenues are based on the IRS tax form definition: Gross Sales (less any returns and allowances) as reported on Line 1.c. on both the 1120 (corporate return), 1120S (S-Corp return), and on IRS Schedule C for single member LLC’s and sole proprietorships, Line 3.
  3. Eligible businesses must be based in and operate primarily in Pennsylvania. Applicants will self-certify that 51% or more of revenues are generated in PA.
  4. Eligible businesses may be structured as C-corporations, S-corporations, limited liability corporations, sole proprietors, independent contractors or self-employed individuals.
  5. Businesses must have must have been in operation as of February 15, 2020.
  6. Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to re-open once the Commonwealth permits re-opening of the business.

Program Priorities:

1.  Primary Priority will be given to:

  • Historically disadvantaged businesses are defined as businesses that are 51% or more owned and operated by people identifying as African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander (based on the US CDFI Fund definition of individuals historically lacking access to financial services.)
  • Businesses owned and operated by low and moderate income business owners. Low and moderate income business owners are defined as those with a total household income of 80% or less than the county Median Family Income, based on the US Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey (2018 ACS) or HUD 80% of Median Household Income.
  • Businesses located in rural communities and disadvantaged areas defined as U.S. CDFI Fund Investment Areas including those located in communities experiencing higher than average poverty rates, lower income (less than 80% of area median), higher than average unemployment rates and/or high population loss.
  • Certain industry sectors including retail, food and hospitality, health and wellness, personal care (beauty/nail salons, spas, and barbershops), and child care and adult day care.
  • Businesses impacted the most financially based on gross revenue losses.

2.  Secondary Priority will be given to:

  • Women-owned businesses
  • Businesses operating in communities participating in one of the following designated revitalization programs including: an active Main Street Program or Elm Street Program, a town in the Trail Town Program™, a town located in the PA Wilds™, or designated commercial corridors in Philadelphia, and Neighborhood Business Districts in Pittsburgh.

Grant Funding Structure:

The Emergency  Fund includes the following eight (8) Categories.  Owners of multiple businesses will be considered for only one grant.

Annual Revenue Amount Available Per Business
Revenue up to $50,000 $5,000 grant
Revenue from $50,001 – $75,000 $10,000 grant
Revenue from $75,001 – $100,000 $15,000 grant
Revenue from $100,001 -$250,000 $20,000 grant
Revenue from $250,001 -$500,000 $25,000 grant
Revenue from $500,001 – $750,000 $35,000 grant
Revenue from $750,001 – $850,000 $40,000 grant
Revenue from $850,001 – $1,000,000 $50,000 grant

Ineligible Businesses:

  1. Businesses that are not physically based in Pennsylvania
  2. Businesses that are in active default (not on a payment plan) with taxes or fees owed to the federal government or Commonwealth
  3. Businesses engaged in any activity that is illegal under Federal, state, or local law
  4. Businesses owned or controlled by any owner that has ever obtained a direct or guaranteed loan from the State of Pennsylvania or any Federal agency that is currently delinquent or has defaulted within the last seven years and caused a loss to the government.
  5. Non-Profits, Churches and other religious institutions
  6. Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies, and factors
  7. Passive real estate companies and investors who file a Schedule E on their personal tax returns are not eligible.  Real estate businesses in which the majority (>51%) of their income is rental income are also not eligible
  8. Life insurance companies
  9. Private clubs and businesses which limit the number of memberships for reasons other than capacity
  10. Government-owned entities or elected official offices
  11. Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities
  12. Businesses engaged in any illegal activity, socially undesirable or those that may be considered predatory in nature, such as pawnshops, rent to own, check cashing businesses and adult bookstores
  13. An owner of 20 percent or more of the equity of the applicant is incarcerated, on probation, on parole; presently subject to an indictment, criminal information, arraignment, or other means by which formal criminal charges are brought in any jurisdiction; or has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, bribery, embezzlement, or a false statement in a loan application or an application for federal assistance within the last five years or any other felony within the last year

Eligible Use of Funds:

  1. Payroll costs, costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums,
  2. Working capital for the purpose of paying mortgage principal and interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments); and principal and interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020.
  3. Rent payments, utility payments.
  4. Working capital for the purpose of covering the costs of re-opening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to the state-mandated business closure period commencing March 2020, as long as the expense was incurred due to COVID-19.
  5. Any expenses (costs) incurred related to the expense of implementing COVID-19, including but not limited to specialized equipment, barriers, PDE’s, and employee training expense to ensure compliance with state and federal CDC guidelines for reopening.
  6. Any COVID-19 related expenses not already paid for with other relief measures such as state grants or loans, US SBA Paycheck Protection Loans, local or regional grant and/or loan programs.

How to apply:

If you are reading this, chances are you know The Progress Fund is the right place for you to apply.  You can confirm that by looking at our service area map below. Welcome! And now push the big purple button at the top of the page.

If you are not located in one of our targeted counties, you need to find your CDFI here.

Counties Served by The Progress Fund for this grant program:

Grant Program Portal Guide (PDF)

Grant Program Priority Areas (PDF)

Grant Program Applicant Certification (PDF)

Grant Program FAQ For Website (PDF)

Grant Program Fact Sheet (PDF)

Hoja de datos del programa de subvenciones (PDF en Español)

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