Small Business Development Center Takes Active Role in COVID-19 Response

Posted on 4/8/2020 2:39:43 PM

Small businesses are the economic anchors of their communities and the national economy. IUP’s Small Business Development Center is working to help these businesses navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As resource partners of the Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Network and the IUP SBDC were given critical roles in interfacing with businesses trying to navigate recently enacted emergency programs. IUP SBDC director Anthony Palamone and business consultant Richard Hoover have spentg long days on the phone with area businesses and emailing them the latest information on who qualifies for what, how to apply, what the latest changes are. and how their situation will be viewed.

Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with multiple assistance elements on March 27, 2020. The Act includes establishing two loan programs that have forgiveness provisions on portions of the loans. The two principal vehicles for small businesses in the CARES Act are the Economic Injury Distressed Loan and the Payroll Protection Program. Both programs are being administered by the SBA.

Traditionally, the SBA had disaster loans available to blunt the impact of natural disasters, but nothing on a scale which impacts the whole nation. The law and the relief packages were designed quickly and began to be rolled out in late March, and much about them and their interpretation has been changing in real time. The SBA has received more than 2 million applications for just one of the programs, overwhelming their capabilities, but they are working diligently to catch up. 

SBDCs are spreading the word and clarifying a very confusing and frightening situation for area businesses. The IUP SBDC team is working remotely, but is working hard on its mission to help small businesses.  

For assistance, call 724-357-5729 or 724-357-7915 or email iup-sbdc@iup.edu.