Erie Chamber Blog
Friday March 20,  2020

Government Assistance for Businesses

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership is working closely with local, state, and federal representatives to advocate for capital and other resources to help our business community make it through this difficult time.  We are closely monitoring federal and state legislation and will bring you updates as resources become available.  We are also working with our local partners including Erie County, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, and the City of Erie, to help shape their programs to meet the needs of the businesses.

To help us shape these tools, please take a moment to complete this survey to help us ensure we are getting the right tools for your business.
Our team is working to inventory any capital resources from government agencies as they become available.  Please contact our office in advance of beginning any applications for government loans, so we can direct you to the best tool for your business.

Special thanks to our partners and members who have been a great resource to our community as we navigate this difficult time.  Here’s the latest updates from some of our member experts:


The Second Coronavirus Federal Relief Package was signed into law today by President Trump.  The Senate approved the bill earlier this afternoon. 

1.       The package includes terms for required paid sick leave, expanding nutrition assistance, and providing greater access to COVID testing.

2.       Erie Chamber leadership and the Government Affairs Committee will be speaking directly with Senator Toomey in a call tomorrow to hear more about the specifics of the package

The House is now working on a third package to address the liquidity issue for businesses, considering provisions such as direct payments to businesses and loan guarantees. 

U.S. Chamber Applauds Passage of "Families First Coronavirus Response Act"

1.       Suspending remittance of the payroll tax

2.       Expanding small businesses lending

3.       Providing emergency loans to America’s largest employers.


Senator Killion has issued a memorandum sharing his intent to introduce legislation which will provide economic injury resources for small business throughout Pennsylvania.  The legislation will propose “Currently, all table game revenue is directed to the General Fund. My legislation will direct those funds to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for the creation of a zero-interest small business economic injury loan program.”

The Wolf Administration and DCED have been working with SBA for relief related to COVID 19 impacts on our business community.  Businesses are asked to complete this survey in order to help secure additional resources for relief to our business community.


1.       DCED FAQ Site Now Available:  This page, in addition to the resources page will continue to be updated with information regarding COVID-19 and its impact on businesses, organizations and communities throughout the Commonwealth as that information becomes available.

2.       PA Chamber offers free Employer Response to Coronavirus Webinar on Thursday, March 19

3.       Unemployment Compensation Information may be found here

4.       PA Department of Health

Erie County

County Executive Declares Disaster Emergency and reiterates shutdown of non-essential businesses in Erie County. 

Erie County Executive and County Council work with ECGRA to appropriate $300k in relief funds for the following groups:

1.       $100,000 additional funding to the Health Department

2.       $200,000 for non-profits and businesses

More details of ECGRA’s funding and program guidelines are anticipated to be released after ECGRA’s meeting on the morning of March 19. 


City of Erie

Mayor Schember announces that City Hall will be closed to the public beginning Thursday, March 19.  

Erie Mayor affirms County and State declarations and makes accommodations for City staff.  

The City Department of Economic and Community Development is extending an interest free 60-day payment holiday on all City of Erie business loans effective March 31st. March payments will continue to be processed as normal.  All payments due in April will be suspended until June and will resume on your normal due date. Loan terms will be extended by two months and no interest will accrue during this holiday. Please contact Chris Groner directly (814-870-1272) with any questions regarding this payment suspension. 

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