GoggleWorks knows how important small business and sharing is, so here are some resources to aid both. Please accept the sincerest wishes of wellness and strength from the entire GoggleWorks staff. We have provided some possible resources below as compiled by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance. We hope to update this list of resources as we are made aware of them.
General Resources for Small Businesses
Honeycomb Credit is offering 45-day payment free periods, 6-month interest-only periods and reducing their posting, success, and investor fees. They are also streamlining their due diligence to connect businesses with local investors as quickly as possible. As always, these loans are community funded via the Honeycomb crowdfunding platform. More info here.
- From the PANO: Upcoming Webinars – A listing of all webinars
- FirstEnergy (MetEd): temporarily stopped disconnecting electricity. The company is offering payment options to ease business and resident hardships. The company press release includes additional information, including local phone numbers.
- UGI: Effective immediately, no customer’s service will be disconnected for non-payment, at least through the end of March.
Artist Specific Resources:
Unemployment Compensation: Employees affected by a business closure, reduction in hours, or a medically or government directed quarantine or isolation should be encouraged to file for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits if no other compensation, such as paid leave, is available to them. Employer UC & COVID-19 FAQs | INFORMATION FOR PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYEES IMPACTED BY COVID-19
While the Census Bureau has suspended field operations, everyone should have received or will soon receive directions for completing the census form electronically. Census data is not only used to determine political boundaries, but also directs billions of dollars in funding for individuals, local governments, communities and businesses. All of that to say, please complete your census form and encourages other to do so too.
Our Director of Government and Community Relations, Katie Hetherington-Cunfer, has been keeping us apprised of new developments on the local, state and federal levels on what seems to be an hourly basis.
For more resources, please continue to reference the GRCA COVID-19 resource page. It’s updated constantly as new information becomes available.
Berks County Specific Resources
Reminder that county agencies are technically open, they are just conducting business a little differently. You are encouraged to reach out to the offices directly to either make an appointment or locate a drop box for materials.
Berks County continues to provide dial-in support for our local residents + business owners. Contact info is: 610-320-6150 or email COVID@CountyofBerks.com between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Resources from the State of Pennsylvania
State tax filing and payment deadlines were pushed back to July 15 to match federal tax deadlines. The PA Department of Revenue will also waive penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments through the new deadline. This extension applies to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, and estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.
Gov Wolf’s order for non-life sustaining businesses was modified Friday and enforcement went into effect, today, Monday March 23 at 8 am. State Police, local authorities, and certain state agencies have been tasked with enforcement. On top of fines and loss of licensure, businesses violating the order could miss out on the federal bailout packages including the recently passed Families First Act and the in-production Senate proposal. The list can be found here.
- Any business that needs clarification on the order is encouraged to use the DCED email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizations who are seeking an exemption from the order should email DCED at RAemail@example.com or complete a request waiver here. DCED staff have been working diligently all weekend to answer requests. Several industry categories have been added to the life sustaining list including lawn care/landscape contractors and several categories of raw material production through the work of our state legislators and business leaders in conjunction with the administration. Subtle changes are likely to continue as a specific needs to support life sustaining industries are identified.
Gov Wolf also announced an intention to work with the legislature on a $60 Million package for businesses affected by the closure order, but details are still under development – more info to come from GRCA.
President Trump is not fully invoking the Defense Production Act, but businesses are stepping up to the plate like it has been. All levels of government are looking for businesses that can supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or are interested in pivoting their production to assist.
Here is a list of additional resources that detail the cares act and other resources that are becoming available from NY Now.