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Operations Update:
At this time, DCP is continuing their on-street cleaning operations throughout the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District, as permitted under the provisions of the Governor’s March 18 order.
DCP’s on-street operations are part of their core mission to provide clean and safe public sidewalks and spaces in Downtown. They have put in place extra procedures and safety provisions for their on-street staff and are reinforcing the recommendations about “social distancing.”
In keeping with the Governor’s order, DCP has closed its administrative office and are working remotely.
Business Assistance Update:
DCP would like to make you aware of several public financing programs that are currently available to help Downtown Wilkes-Barre businesses access working capital. Additional programs are currently being finalized, and we will provide information about them to you as soon as they’re available.
Federal Assistance Programs:
The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster working capital loans to Pennsylvania small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These loans can be used to cover expenses incurred during the shutdown period. Eligibility is based on financial impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses, and 2.75% for private non-profit organizations. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years.
For more information on SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Programs, please click here, or call SBA’s disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email them at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
State Assistance Programs:
The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, through its Small Business First Program, has announced that it will soon be providing up to $100,000 to eligible small businesses at 0% interest with no payments due for 12 months after funding. We are currently awaiting guidance from PIDA on the details of the application process, and we expect that more information will be available shortly.
Local Assistance Programs:
The Luzerne County Small Business Loan Program (LCSBLP) is a revolving low-interest loan program open to all small businesses in Luzerne County. LCSBLP is managed by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, MetroAction, and other local non-profits. The current LCSBLP interest rate is 1.82%.
If you are interested in the LCSBLP program, please CLICK HERE to access a short intake form, administered through the Chamber’s Wilkes-Barre Connect program.  
Each of these programs will require supporting information from business owners – so we also recommend that you begin assembling the following information if you intend to apply:
  • A short description of your business;
  • Your prior year’s tax returns;
  • Internal figures through 2/28/2020;
  • Financial projections for this year; and
  • An estimate of how much working capital you currently have on hand. 
Downtown Business Promotion Update:
Since the start of this crisis, DCP has been compiling a running list of downtown restaurants that are providing takeout and/or delivery. They have been posting that list on DCP’s social media channels (such as Instagram (@downtownwilkesbarre) and Facebook) and sharing it with regional media outlets.
However, they need your help in keeping this information up to date. 
So, if you are a downtown retailer, restaurant, or service provider who’s adapting to the current situation by offering online shopping, deliver/takeout, virtual classes, or something similar, send an email so they can help get the word out. larry@wbdcp.org
DCP is here to help you – Downtown’s property owners and businesses.
They are working with Mayor Brown, Senator Yudichak, Representative Pashinski, Congressman Cartwright, our US Senators, Luzerne County, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, the Wilkes SBDC, and other partners to bring additional resources to bear. Please don’t hesitate to contact via email or phone.
Together, we can get through this challenging time.
Stay safe

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