Fund that saves jobs and supports small businesses reaches aid goal

The Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund said it will achieve two major milestone goals ahead of schedule: providing financial support to 1,000 small businesses, and funding at least one business in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties by the end of 2020.

The 30 Day Fund is a nonprofit dedicated to saving jobs and supporting small businesses across the state that were impacted by the COVID-19 and civil unrest crises through $3,000 forgivable loans.

  • Small businesses that employ three to 30 people.
  • Based in Pennsylvania and have been operating for at least one year.
  • Owned and operated by a Pennsylvania resident.
  • Operate as a for-profit business.

The funds disbursed to small businesses by the PA 30 Day Fund do not need to be repaid. If businesses who receive the Fund’s assistance do, at a later date, wish to “pay it forward” to another Pennsylvania small business in need of assistance, they may do so by directing those dollars back to the Fund, which will disburse the funding to another Pennsylvania business in need.

It was formed on May 6 by businessmen Jeff Bartos, Richard Phillips and Roger Braunfeld. Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer and Berks native, was inspired to create the organization after hearing about a similar organization in Virginia.

In Berks County, Barry Schlouch of Maidencreek Township-based Schlouch Inc., a site design and site construction company, runs an affiliated organization to help local businesses with his wife Deb and fellow businessman John Weidenhammer. 

PA 30 Day Fund recently announced that BS Outfitters 259, a locally owned branding and marketing business located in Kittanning, Armstrong County, is the latest recipient of a $3,000 forgivable loan, marking a business in the 67th, and final county, in Pennsylvania the organization has aided through private funding.

“At BS Outfitters 259, we are entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs, therefore the funding provided by The PA 30 Day fund has been welcomed with open arms,” said Justin Brown, founder of BS Outfitters 259, in a statement. “It has been a stressful year with lower-than-normal sales and record low inventories and navigating the ups and downs of this pandemic has required 150% of my attention. With the financial help from PA 30 Day Fund, we will be able to be fully staffed for the Holiday Season and have all hands-on-deck to help fulfill customer holiday orders. This is exceptionally great because our employees will in return have the funds they need for Christmas.”

Meanwhile in Berks, Schlouch said Reading Counseling Services and Marvel Ranch restaurant, Reading, found out they were receiving funding on Thursday.

To date, the PA 30 Day Fund has provided $3,000 forgivable loans to about 800 small businesses across the state. Through the support of a sizable donation from Spring Point Partners, the PA 30 Day Fund will have secured over $3.1 million raised, affording them the ability to reach its goal of funding 1,000 businesses by year end.

“Since we started in May, the PA 30 Day Fund has been focused on helping small businesses across each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties,” said Bartos, who is president of ESB Holdings. “We are thrilled to have achieved that goal, but more importantly, want to recognize the incredible generosity and civic-spirit of so many Pennsylvanians who truly have each other’s backs at this challenging time.

“This season, I encourage everyone to please shop local and support your neighborhood businesses so that we can continue to foster the entrepreneurial spirit that makes Pennsylvania, and our nation as a whole, so great.”

To make a donation or to learn more about the non-profit and its mission to save Pennsylvania’s small businesses, please visit their website at or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @PA30DayFund.

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