Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund Loan Program Acting As Safety Net For Small Businesses During Pandemic

Howard Monroe

May 12, 2020 at 6:46 pm

CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is at about 25%. With more small businesses being forced to close because of financial hardships, business owners are joining forces to help themselves.

Many businesses have been closed for eight weeks, and with their income dried up, a loan program is designed to help fill that void.

“It’s just a lot harder. It’s a lot harder. The money is half of what we usually would make,” said Saudia Shuler, of Country Cookin.

Trying to make a dollar is proving to be difficult during this pandemic.

Shuler owns Country Cookin on North 22nd Street. Since the start of the pandemic, she’s had to cut business hours and close and extra day per week.

To make up for the lost income, she recently received a loan from the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund. The fund was organized by business leaders across the state.

Small businesses with fewer than 30 employees are eligible for the $3,000 forgivable loans.

Shuler is using the money to help with payroll.

“Some days we’re taking a loss. some days we’re breaking even. But I’m really open just so they don’t lose their job because I’m really not making a lot of money,” Shuler said.

“They’re irreplaceable and the jobs will take so long to come back if we don’t help them stay in business,” said Jeff Brown.

Brown is the CEO of Brown’s Superstores, which operates 10 ShopRites in the Delaware Valley. He is also a board member for the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund.

The loan is to act as a safety net for small businesses. Many business owners are still waiting on federal and state loans to come through while others aren’t applying because the application process can be cumbersome.

Brown says saving small businesses is crucial for a strong recovery when the pandemic is behind us.

“If we don’t save our small businesses, it could take a decade to get back what we had, and I don’t know if you’ll ever come back because these individuals that are from communities and know communities, it’s just so important that we take this seriously and help businesses reopen,” Brown said.

While the loans are forgivable, organizers are asking recipients to help other small businesses by paying it forward and donating back to the fund when things are back to normal.

For more details on the fund, click here.