HARRISBURG, PA—The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania joined the neighboring states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in instituting restrictions, including the closure of all indoor retail shopping malls, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Wednesday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is joining their regional coalition to implement a regional approach to combatting COVID-19.
The four governors announced indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys in the four states will close by 8 p.m. Thursday—an expansion of the guidance that the three governors from the tri-state area issued Monday.
The guidance issued Monday—which Pennsylvania has now adopted—limits crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people. The governors also announced restaurants and bars would close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. The governors also temporarily closed movie theaters, gyms and casinos.
Gov. Wolf said, “Pennsylvania is working aggressively to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A regional approach to this threat is smart, and I am grateful for all of the work by my colleagues in neighboring states. Joining these leaders will help Pennsylvania mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with a coordinated approach.”
Gov. Wolf requested the U.S. Small Business Administration implement an SBA disaster declaration to provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
“The impact of financial losses related to COVID-19 will be felt for years to come,” says Gov. Wolf. “But these low-interest loans can help bridge the gap between economic losses now and economic recovery in the future.”
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.