CLARION - Clarion County business owners still have an opportunity to capitalize on a forgivable loan program.
The Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund is a non-profit, founded by Jeff Bartos, Jeff Brown, Richard Phillips, and Roger Braunfeld, with a simple mission: to save as many small businesses in Pennsylvania's communities as possible.
The PA 30 Day Fund aims to accomplish that mission with $3,000 forgivable loans to small businesses to cover payroll expenses, healthcare, rent, replenish inventory, and pay operating expenses at this challenging time.
"When this program started there was a lot of in between on what kind of assistance would be coming so this program was designed to get businesses through for 30 days," explains Jarred Heuer, Economic Development Specialist with the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation.
Heuer continued, "It has been operating since and it has continued to grow and they are looking to continue to help Pennsylvania's small businesses in all 67 counties."
It took some time to get the program rolling in the county.
"Back in the spring, the Clarion County Industrial Development Authority saw that the businesses here in the county were struggling and there were a lot of unknowns," said Heuer. "They wanted to mobilize some funds to help Clarion County's small businesses. They didn't know how. It seemed like an overwhelming undertaking to start a grant program from scratch with a board of only five members."
Around July of 2020, Chelsea Alexander, owner of Mechanistic Brewing Company in Clarion, reached out to the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation and shared her knowledge of the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund.
"(Alexander) had pursued this on her own and she was awarded a forgivable loan of $3,000," said Heuer. "She wanted other people to know this was out there."
The 30-Day Fund turned into a vehicle for Clarion County IDA dollars to be mobilized and earmarked for local businesses.
"It took a few months to get all of those pieces together. That happened a few weeks ago," said Heuer.
There is still money left in the fund.
"We want to keep it going. Funds are still available," said Heuer. "We have already made awards to several businesses throughout the county and we want to get the rest out there."
Applications can be made directly to the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund.
"The application is very simple. There is no red tape. It is a one-page application and you create a three-minute video," explained Heuer. "That puts a face to the application. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. It is a competitive fund. Obviously they do not have enough funds for everyone."
If the application comes from Clarion County they will use those Clarion County dollars.
"This is a great example of lots of people working together to get something done," said Heuer.
Business owners who want to submit an application for a forgivable loan to the PA 30 Day Fund, make a donation or learn more about the non-profit and its mission can visit the fund's website at https://pa30dayfund.com/ or go to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @PA30DayFund.