Mar. 18, 2020

COOPERSBURG – Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) today announced the creation of an emergency response fund to aid Pennsylvania small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The newly created Small Business First Fund will have $61 million available for business assistance.

“The outbreak of this virus and subsequent mitigation efforts have forced thousands of establishments to either close or significantly change their business practices,” Simmons said. “Fortunately, help is on the way for small businesses all over the state.”

Today, the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) authorized the transfer of $40 million to the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) for use under the Small Business First Program. PIDA will contribute an additional $21 million for a total of $61 million. PIDA anticipates that they will be able to process loan applications as soon as next week.

“Small business owners are in a tough spot, but the establishment of the Small Business First Fund demonstrates that Pennsylvania has their backs.”

Funds through this emergency response fund will be used for capital loans of up to $100,000 directly to small businesses. The interest rate is currently 3%, however the PIDA may reduce rates to as low as 0%.

Loans can be approved by PIDA staff and thus, if all requirements are met, and a complete application is submitted, each loan can be turned around rather quickly without Board approval.

PIDA provides low-interest loans and lines of credit for eligible businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities. Loan applications are packaged and underwritten by a network of certified economic development organizations (CEDOs) that partner with PIDA to administer the program.

For more information on Simmons and his legislative priorities, please visit or

Representative Justin Simmons
131st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Michael Plummer
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