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Boscola Bulletin

I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Fourth of July holiday weekend!

I would like to remind constituents of the 18th District that my Bethlehem district office is open for in-person assistance on state-related issues, preferably by appointment, Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. 

To make an appointment in the Bethlehem office please call 610-868-8667 or email my office at boscola@pasenate.com. If you cannot make it during normal operating hours and need to meet with us in person, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your schedule.

Masks are required, hand sanitizer will be made available upon entry and I request that when visiting my office, you practice respectful, effective social distancing.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office for any issue you are in need of assistance.

COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program

COVID-19 Crisis Grants for fire company & emergency medical servicesThe Office of the State Fire Commissioner will be offering funding via the COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program (Act 26 of 2020). This grant program establishes a one-time grant to be used by eligible Fire, Rescue and EMS companies to provide services during the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as identified in the proclamation of disaster emergency issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020. These funds are to be used to supplement operational expenses incurred by the lack of opportunities for fundraising and inability to create revenue due to compliance with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A total of $50 million will be distributed by the The COVID-19 Crisis FCEMS Grant Program from funds received by the Commonwealth under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

  • $44 million to eligible fire and rescue companies; and
  • $6 million to eligible EMS companies.   

This Program grant funding will be calculated for individual awards in the following manner:  
Fire/Rescue/EMS Companies that received a grant award from the 2019-2020 FCEMSGP and register for the COVID-19 Crisis grant program will receive an initial award equal to the amount they received from the 2019-2020 FCEMSGP.  

The surplus funding in the Program will be distributed to each eligible company that meets the funding criteria that submits a completed registration, including those that did not receive a 2019-2020 FCEMSGP grant award. 

Eligible companies seeking a grant under the Program shall submit a completed online grant registration to OSFC. Registrations shall be submitted to OSFC at www.osfc.pa.gov.  
The online registration portal opened yesterday, Monday, July 6, 2020, at 12:00 PM and will remain open until Friday, August 7, 2020, at 4:00 PM.

APPLY NOW: Grants for Small Business Affected by COVID-19

Application deadline for the first round of funding ends July 14, 2020

It has been a long road for small businesses in Pennsylvania during this pandemic and there hasn’t been much help for our neighborhood businesses, our local shops, our barbers and salons, our pet groomers, and so many more of our community businesses — until now.

Small Business AssistanceIn June, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced that program guidelines and additional details for the new COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Grants are now available.

This new grant program will provide $225 million in COVID-19 relief assistance to small businesses across Pennsylvania. Funding will be distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s).

Local CDFIs will be administering the funding in the forms of:

  • Grants to cover operating expenses for the duration of the shutdown and the transition period to re-opening;

  • Grants to cover technical assistance, including training and guidance, for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses;

  • Debt payment relief for CDFI Pennsylvania borrowers;

  • Loan loss reserves for CDFIs.

The funds will be distributed in three ways:

  • $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the governor’s March 19, 2020 order relating to the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses and have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19;

  • $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order, have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19, and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51 percent interest and also control management and daily business operations;

  • $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow the CDFIs the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses that are struggling due to the impact of COVID, as well as shore up the financial position of the CDFIs that are experiencing significant increased defaults in their existing loan portfolios.

Eligible businesses with 25 or fewer employees may receive a maximum grant of $50,000 so long as the business was in operation on February 15, 2020 and, if required, paid income taxes to the state and federal government, as reported on individual or business tax returns; COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact and makes this grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant; the grant will be used cover COVID-19 related costs; and during the period beginning on June 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the applicant has not and will not receive another grant under this state program. 

All businesses must apply through an eligible CDFI and meet the program requirements which, at a minimum, include:

  • The business was in operation on February 15, 2020 and if required paid income taxes to the state and federal government, as reported on individual or business tax returns;

  • COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact and makes this grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant;

  • The grant will be used to cover COVID-19 related costs;

  • During the period beginning on June 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the applicant has not and will not receive another grant under this state program.

CDFI’s who will be implementing the program in the Lehigh Valley are:

Applications Now Open for $175 Million Rental, Housing Assistance Program

Up to 6 months of assistance available for those impacted by COVID-19

PHFAATTENTION: Renters and homeowners who are struggling to pay rent because of income lost to COVID-19 can apply for assistance, as of yesterday, through September 30 & I am encouraging everyone who is eligible to apply for the assistance program as soon as possible.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority (PHFA) began reviewing applications for the Pennsylvania Eviction and Foreclosure Protection today as a part of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus PA CARES Plan. Those eligible can receive up to six months of rental or mortgage assistance for time between March 1 and December 30, 2020.

Lenders and landlords must also apply for the program. Applications require certification from lenders and landlords to be reviewed. The goal of the programs is to help reduce evictions and foreclosures, so the funds will go directly to landlords and lenders.  Keep in mind that it is in everyone’s best interest for those affected to remain in their homes as we collectively recover from the pandemic.

The assistance program is broken up into two categories to help renters and homeowners. At least $150 million of the funding will go to renters who may receive up to $750 in assistance per month. Tenants and landlords must apply for aid with the organization administering the aid within one of the commonwealth’s 67 counties. Click here for a full list of organizations by county.

The CARES Rent Relief Program (RRP)

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, provided $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania and is intended to help people hurt economically during the pandemic. In late May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of these CARES dollars to PHFA to provide assistance for struggling renters and homeowners. The portion for rent assistance is at least $150 million.

Below you will find the application needed to request CARES rental assistance. Links are also provided to additional helpful information.

PHFA has identified organizations in all 67 counties to process the large number of rent relief applications anticipated. You will submit your application and supporting paperwork to these county organizations for review, following instructions in the application.

The county organizations is now accepting completed applications for rent assistance.

The CARES funding for renters must be completely distributed by November 30, 2020.

Steps to apply:

  1. There are 3 applications provided below. Print all 3. The applications require both renter and landlord involvement.
  2. Complete all 3 applications. The landlord must complete the landlord application and the landlord-property certification.
  3. Look below the applications to find the County Contact List.
  4. Find your county in the list. If you live in Philadelphia or Allegheny County, you can submit online. If you live in another county, mail your 3 applications and supporting documents to your participating county organization, or you can e-mail them. These organizations are processing all applications.
  5. Wait to hear from your county on whether you are approved.

CARES RRP Application Documents:

* A complete application consists of ALL 3 application documents below *

The CARES Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program (PMAP)

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, provided $3.9 billion for Pennsylvania and is intended to help people hurt economically during the pandemic. In late May, the General Assembly directed $175 million of these CARES dollars to PHFA to provide assistance for struggling renters and homeowners. The portion for mortgage assistance is $25 million.

Below you will find the application needed to request CARES mortgage relief. Links are also provided to additional helpful information.

You will submit your application and supporting paperwork to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) for review, following instructions in the application.

PHFA is now accepting completed applications for mortgage assistance.

The CARES funding for mortgage relief must be completely distributed by November 30, 2020.

Steps to apply:

OPTION ONE is completely online and the fastest method:

  1. Click on the link for the online application, provided below.
  2. Complete the application completely online. 
  3. ANYTIME ON OR AFTER JULY 6, submit your application online and wait to hear back from PHFA on whether your application is complete.  You’ll be notified if additional information is needed.

OPTION TWO is paper-based:

  1. Click on the link for the downloadable PMAP application for printing and mailing.
  2. Download the application.
  3. Use the fillable fields option, or print the application and fill it out with a pen.
  4. ANYTIME ON OR AFTER JULY 6, mail your application back to PHFA using the address at the top of the form. It cannot be emailed.
  5. Wait to hear back from PHFA about whether your application is complete.  You’ll be notified if additional information is needed.  

Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program Application Documents:

COVID-19 cases are rising in certain regions across the Commonwealth and as a result Governor Wolf has elevated his mask-wearing requirement to 'mandatory'.
Masks must now be worn whenever anyone leaves their home
to help ensure that we do not see a resurgence in cases and to keep businesses open.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
HARRISBURG OFFICE
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)