Updates from the URA during this time
The URA will continue to meet the needs of City of Pittsburgh residents and businesses during the outbreak of COVID-19. We are following proper precautions for our employees and the public. We realize this pandemic will deeply challenge the lives of our clients, communities and economy, and will do everything we can to help our neighbors.
Message from Greg Flisram, Executive Director of the URA, on COVID-19 Impact
Out of concern for the health and wellness of our employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in support of effective social distancing measures as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Mayor Peduto’s Executive Order, the URA will be implementing virtual work procedures beginning Monday, March 16, through Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
Although the 412 Blvd. of the Allies office building is closed to the public and our employees will be working remotely, I want to be clear that essential URA functions will remain fully operational. We have established a work-from-home protocol for all divisions to ensure the needs of URA borrowers and partners are met. URA staff will be online, phone calls received will be forwarded, and meetings will be conducted remotely as necessary.
Stay in touch with the URA
Until further notice, and in best interest of public health, the URA will be offering its consumer programs and services virtually.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the URA has extended the closure of its physical offices to the public for an additional 30 days. URA employees are currently working remotely. The agency remains fully operational, but we ask for your understanding if response times are slower than normal.
Staff will be online, phone calls will be forwarded, and meetings will be conducted remotely as necessary.
Please check back for updates.
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In compliance with City of Pittsburgh protocals prohibiting public gatherings of 50 or more people, the following URA-hosted events have been cancelled:
- Let's Talk Business: Northside Edition - March 11
- EMPOW(HER) Women’s History Month Networking Event - March 27
- Building CapaCITY: A Real Estate Networking Event - April 7
The following URA-hosted event has been rescheduled:
- April Regular Board Meeting - Virtual - April 16
April Virtual Board Meeting Info
The URA's April Regular Board Meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, April 16, at 2:00 p.m. Out of concern for the health and wellness of the public, our Board Members, and our employees, this meeting will be call-in and web-based only.
Public comment related to items on the agenda will be accepted through Thursday, April 16 at 1:00 p.m. and can be submitted through a soon-to-be posted form on the Board Meeting page. Any comments received by Thursday, April 16 at 1:00 will be made a part of the record and the minutes for this meeting.
Information to access the virtual meeting will be posted at a later date.
Resources for Businesses
URA Small Business Emergency Financing Resource
"The URA recognizes the potential hardships and needs small businesses are facing and may face due to COVID-19. We want to reassure our small business borrowers that we are here to work with you. If you have a loan from the URA and need to seek relief, please contact us - we are here to help,” - Tom Link, URA’s director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The URA is taking the following steps to help mitigate the unprecedented potential ramifications of COVID-19:
- The URA is halting ALL loan payments for URA small business borrowers, including automatic loan payment withdraws from borrower's accounts, for the month of April 2020.
- The URA is offering to its existing small business borrowers Emergency Extended Credit to help ease potential cash flow difficulties over the next several weeks. Details:
- Up to an additional $15,000
- 0% interest rate, no fees
- 3-year term, 6 months no payments, 2 ½-year full amortization
- Available to existing URA small business borrowers ONLY
- To apply, please use the following procedures:
- Apply at: https://tinyurl.com/uracovidloan
- Provide a Statement of Need for additional credit
- Provide previous 1-month cash flow statement
- Up to an additional $15,000
COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Loan Program
The URA is temporarily easing and streamlining its Micro-Enterprise Loan Program to support up to 30, 0% loans for small businesses that are not currently URA borrowers. Details:
- Up to an additional $15,000
- Loan proceeds may be used for rent, payroll, and other approved fixed monthly business expenses
- 0% interest rate, no fees
- 3-year term, 6 months no payments, 2 ½-year fully amortizing after payment deferral period
- For existing small businesses (not startups) located in the City of Pittsburgh
- To apply, please use the following procedures:
- Apply at: https://tinyurl.com/uracovidloan
- Provide Statement of Need from applicant
- Previous years financial statements (including cash flow statement)
Given potential high demand for this program, the URA will make every effort to underwrite and approve applications as quickly as possible.
COVID-19 Working Capital Assistance Program - this program is now closed
The URA, through its affiliate Pittsburgh Economic Industrial Development Corporation (PEIDC), is administering the PA Industrial Development Authority's (PIDA) COVID-19 Working Capital Assistance Program to eligible City of Pittsburgh businesses.
This program supplies 0% loans for up to $100,000 for working capital expenditures to businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone interested in the program should view the application and guidelines here.
Additional Resources for Pittsburgh's small business community
We will continue to update this list as resources become available.
Paycheck Protection Program - NEW! Open april 3
The SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses. If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.
- PPP Application
Submit your application through a certified Pittsburgh SBA lender.
- Required Document Check List
- PPP Factsheet
*The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, and the Pittsburgh Chapter of SCORE are assisting Pittsburgh businesses with applications. Additionally, the following webinars and resources are available to assist you with application:
- Duquesne SBDC Resources and Webinars
- Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship Webinar: Federal Response to COVID-19 and Translating the CARES Bill and Options for Your Business (April 6)
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans to qualified Pennsylvanian small businesses experiencing economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 impact.
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program
The SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program provides up to $25,000 for survival and/or reopening of business during or immediately following COVID-19 crisis.
CORONAVIRUS FINANCIAL BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM
Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh has announced a Coronavirus Financial Bridge Loan Program to provide interest-free loans on a nonsectarian basis for up to $5,000 to residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland, Washington, and Armstrong counties who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.
Honeycomb Relief Loan program
Honeycomb Credit is offering the Honeycomb Relief Loan program to small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These loans up to $50,000 will offer a 45-day payment free period and a six-month interest-only period. Honeycomb is also streamlining its diligence process, accelerating the speed that it launches campaigns onto its platform, and reducing fees across the board.
The Kiva Pittsburgh program at Riverside Center for Innovation (RCI) helps business owners to apply for and crowdfund 0% interest loans with Kiva.org. During the COVID-19 outbreak, loans can be as much as $15,000 with a 6-month grace period. Find links to more information, local assistance with your application, and the online application on the RCI website.
Emergency Action Fund
The Pittsburgh Foundation is providing funding to nonprofit organizations facing immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 through the Emergency Action Fund. You can find the grant criteria and application, opening April 1, 2020, here.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook has a Small Business Grants Program that offers $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during the outbreak of COVID-19.
Guides and Resources Lists
- The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and
Economic Security Act), signed into law March 27, 2020, allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. Stifel Public Finance compiled this helpful summary.
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania response guide
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources
- The PA Department of Community and Economic Development has a list of contacts and resources that are available to assist affected businesses.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration Guide provides help to plan and respond to COVID-19.
- The Allegheny Conference and its affiliate organizations created the Pittsburgh Region Response to COVID-19 webpage, full of information and resources available across local government, corporate, philanthropic, university and non-profit communities.
- Bridgeway Capital developed a COVID-19 Relief and Resources page for access to its financing solutions and resources. Bridgeway’s Entrepreneurship Hub is also offering free technical assistance.
- The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University is offering services, including counseling sessions and technical assistance, by telephone.
- Google is offering guidance for small businesses, including how to communicate with your customers and employees, how to effectively work from home, and how to modify advertising, among other topics.
- Postmates offers information for using its platform to sell takeout, which may increase your customer reach and boost your digital presence.
- Yelp is offering $25 million in relief primarily to independent, local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services.
Webinars for Businesses
- Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3 - Bridgeway Capital's Entrepreneurship Hub is hosting the Marketing Strategies for Restaurants During COVID-19 Webinar Series. Register to learn how to adjust your restaurant's ways of delivering services.
- Friday, April 3 - The URA hosted a Tools for Business Districts: COVID-19 Funding Resources Webinar to help business district groups learn how to help businesses in their district navigate COVID-19 emergency financing options. View it here.
- Friday, April 3 - The Allegheny Conference on Community Development is hosting a two-part webinar, Small Business-Focused COVID-19 Financial Assistance – Options For You. This will include what you need to know about the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Monday, April 6 - Neighborhood Allies is hosting an informational webinar on how to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Monday, April 6 - Part II of the Allegheny Conference's Small Business COVID-19 Impact Webinar Series, featuring a deeper dive into relief from the unprecedented federal CARES Act – including forgivable loans, reduced- or no-collateral loans, payroll tax credits, loosened net operating loss reduction rules and expanded unemployment insurance. Register here.
- Monday, April 6 - The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University is hosting the Federal Response to COVID-19 and Translating the CARES Bill and Options for Your Business. This webinar will clarify the resources available to the southwestern Pennsylvania business community as you face the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.
- Monday, April 6 - Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo will discuss their ten-point action plan for economic developers to help you and your community mobilize. Register for the COVID-19: A Ten-Point Action Plan for Economic Developers webinar.
- Tuesday, April 7 - The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center is hosting SBA COVID-19 EIDL: What You Need to Know, which will walk you through Small Business Administration emergency loan applications.
- Wednesday, April 8 - The Allegheny Conference is hosting the next edition or its webinar series, Response + Recovery, featuring PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro at 3:30 p.m. Last week, Attorney General Shapiro’s office launched the ‘PA CARE Package’, a consumer relief initiative, which is focused on partnering with banks and financial institutions across the Commonwealth to ensure Pennsylvania consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for economic relief. During this webinar, he will share the details of the initiative, how it benefits communities and businesses.
- Thursday, April 9 - Another chance to tune in to Duquesne University Small Business Development Center's SBA COVID-19 EIDL: What You Need to Know webinar
Resources for Residents
- Beginning Monday, March 23, the URA will be offering a Housing Stabilization Program, in partnership with Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, that will assist households who are struggling with rent payments due to COVID-19-related losses in work and wages. City of Pittsburgh residents can call the Urban League at 412.227.4164. Read details of the program here.
- The United Way operates a free helpline called 2-1-1 for housing and other emergencies. Dial 2-1-1, text your zip code to 898-211, or visit pa211sw.org for assistance.
The PA Housing Alliance is keeping an updated list of housing resources that includes mortgage loss mitigation and financial bridge loans, among other information.
- Comcast is adjusting its Internet Essentials Program to meet the needs of low-income residents while dealing with the crisis.
- Duquesne Light is waiving customers' late fees until at least May 1.
- Port Authority is offering reimbursement for riders with passes who must stay at home due to COVID-19. Riders can call the authority at 412-442-2000, visit the website at portauthority.org.
- The City of Pittsburgh’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) is offering its free, one-on-one, professional financial counseling virutally. The FEC helps clients take control of their debt, deal with debt collectors, improve their credit, create a budget, save, connect to safe and affordable financial products, and much more.
- Map of Free Food Distribution Sites in Allegheny County
- Humane Animal Rescue Pet Helpline & Resources
Partner Pages and Additional Resources
How You Can Help
Support Small Businesses
- The Gallery on Penn retail space in East Liberty has gone virtual. Shop your favorite Gallery on Penn businesses here, from the comfort of your home.
- Help support service industry workers through the Pittsburgh Virtual Tip Jar. This online Google Sheet lists Venmo/Paypal info for your favorite service workers at bars, salons, restaurants, and other businesses that have been ordered to close so that you can send them a tip while staying at home.
- Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has posted restaurant and small business guides for the public to reference their current operations and capabilities.
- Pittsburgh Magazine created the #PGHEatsToGo guide listing restaurant options during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Honeycomb Credit compiled several ways to support local businesses and entrepreneurs, while keeping yourself safe and healthy during the coronavirus.
Support the Arts Community
- You can donate to the Emergency Fund for Artists fundraiser which is raising money for local performers and artists who have lost income due to the cancellation of tours, gigs, and jobs in the nightlife and events industry.
April 2, 2020 - URA: URA, Circles Greater Pittsburgh and Paramount Pursuits Partner to Create Gallery on Penn – Gone Virtual
April 2, 2020 - URA: URA Announces Neighborhood Initiatives Fund Program Round 2; Application Process Now Open
April 1, 2020 - City of Pittsburgh: City Revamps COVID-19 Website
March 30, 2020 - City of Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center is Open for Free One-on-One Financial Counseling by Phone or Video
March 20, 2020 - U.S. Department of Labor: U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor Announce Plan to Implement Coronavirus-related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Small and Midsize Businesses to Swiftly Recover the Cost of Providing Coronavirus-Related Leave
March 19, 2020 - City of Pittsburgh: URA Partners with City and Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh to Provide Short Term Rent/Mortgage/Utility Financial Assistance to City Residents
March 18, 2020 - Governor Tom Wolf: Governor Wolf Requests Disaster Declaration for Small Businesses and Non-Profits to Obtain Loans
March 18, 2020 - City of Pittsburgh: City of Pittsburgh Moves to Level 2 Emergency Operations in Response to COVID-19
March 17, 2020 - URA: The URA Announces Virtual March 2020 Annual/Regular Board Meeting
March 16, 2020 - Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Wolf Administration Updates Businesses on Guidance for COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts
March 16, 2020 - City of Pittsburgh: City of Pittsburgh Announces Operational Changes Due to COVID-19
March 13, 2020 - URA: URA Offering Resources to Help Small Businesses Potentially Impacted by Coronavirus
We understand the many challenges our neighbors are facing right now and are committed to meeting the needs of residents and businesses. Have a question or concern related to COVID-19?
We're here to help.