Financial Assistance & Resources
Resources and Loans
Apply for PPP Before March 10th: Help for Family and Center Based Child Care Businesses With Fewer Than 20 Employees
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a forgivable loan program to help very small businesses, such as child care programs, with much needed financial support during these unprecedented times. From February 24 to March 10, 2021, only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for a PPP loan. This exclusive application period allows participating lenders to focus on serving very small businesses, such as family child care (FCC) educators and early care and education (ECE) programs.
The Biden-Harris Administration statement issued on February 22, 2021, provides details on changes to PPP to increase lending opportunities for small businesses to further promote equitable access to relief. The statement includes information on the exclusive application period for PPP to help very small businesses, such as FCC educators and ECE programs. Here’s a link to the statement for more details: Changes to PPP To Further Promote Equitable Access to Relief.
For more information about PPP and other financial business supports, please visit the Office of Child Care’s (OCC) webpage: Early Care and Education Providers: Taking Advantage of the New Small Business Administration Loan and Grant Programs, which includes the following information:
· Two national webinar videos to help you understand and access PPP—one video for FCC educators and one video for ECE programs
· Several resources for small businesses to help FCC educators and ECE programs learn more about PPP and navigate the challenges created by the pandemic.
Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program are due no later than March 31, 2021, for all businesses, but program funding may run out before then.
Berks Road to Recovery
GRCA has developed a comprehensive recovery initiative that will provide planning tools to the Berks County business community to prepare for a full re-opening. GRCA has enlisted the expertise of key community stakeholders, business leaders and board members to ensure the broadest possible input in designing the tools, programs and services businesses can rely on to jump start their operations. This plan is a roadmap for Berks County businesses to travel the road to recovery. More info
COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program
We are no longer accepting applications for the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program. All funding has been exhausted. However, low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania is now available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (see below).
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information can be found here as they become available.
U.S. Small Business Administration
On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Loan applications can also be downloaded at sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Completed applications should be returned to the local DLOC or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s mission is to connect businesses with the resources that allow them to become bigger, better, and more efficient. It is no different with COVID-19, visit https://greaterreading.org/ to stay up-to-date on what resources are available through the Chamber.
Please note: The Township has waived late fees for Trash Billing. For more information, email us at email@example.com or call Customer Service at 610-929-4727.
Help with Met-Ed Electric Bills - https://www.firstenergycorp.com/help/billingpayments/assistance_serviceprogram/met-ed.html
Recommendations for Pennsylvanians Financially Impacted by the Coronavirus
Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) collaborates with state agencies to develop resources available for Pennsylvanians financially impacted by COVID-19.
“As Pennsylvanians continue to heed the advice of public health experts to stay calm; stay home and stay safe, it is important to know your financial options,” said Acting Secretary Richard Vague. “Pennsylvanians should take action now to understand their financial situations and stay informed of what resources are available.”
Access Your Financial Institution
When possible, complete transactions using online or mobile banking, phone banking, drive thru, or ATMs.
Make use of services available 24/7 on your financial institution’s website or mobile app including: balance inquiries, transfers, loan payments, mobile check deposits, and transaction inquiries.
Consumers should contact their financial institution for any concerns with credit, automatic bill payments, or debt obligations like credit card and mortgage payments.
Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation
If you are unable to work because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation benefits. Learn more about eligibility requirements, latest developments, and how to get started here.
Trouble Paying Credit Cards
If you have seen a reduction in pay due to COVID-19 and are struggling to make your credit card or loan payments, contact your lender right away. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus. For guidance visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or contact a credit counselor near you.
Trouble Paying Your Mortgage or Rent
If you do not have enough money in your savings to cover your mortgage payment or rent contact your lender or landlord immediately. Do not wait until you’re behind on payments. Some lenders may work out an agreement with you to waive late fees, set up a repayment plan or offer loan forbearance.
Short Term and Emergency Loans
Consider your options before taking out a high cost short term loan. Talk with your creditors to negotiate more time to pay bills or borrow from friends or family before exploring loans offered by banks, credit unions, or licensed small loan companies that you may not be able to repay. Confirm the lender is licensed with DoBS and borrow only what you can afford to pay back.
On March 6, 2020, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Chairman signed an emergency order prohibiting electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations by utilities that are under the PUC’s jurisdiction. The moratorium will remain in place for as long as the Proclamation of Disaster, issued by Governor Tom Wolf related to the Coronavirus, is in effect. If you are struggling to pay your utility bills, contact your service provider for possible emergency assistance programs.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has resources and information available for consumers who have insurance related questions and developed an FAQ that provides information and answers to common questions related to insurance coverage and COVID-19.
Consumers should be on the lookout for financial scams during major events such as the outbreak of COVID-19. If you have received an unsolicited phone call, when in doubt, hang up. Never provide credit card or other financial or personal information as part of an unsolicited phone call and think twice if you’re being pressured to act now.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage that is updated daily.
Learn more about COVID-19 information and guidance for financial Institutions and consumers from DoBS.
Anyone can contact DoBS at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-722-2657 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products.