Pa. small businesses may soon receive financial help, Gov Wolf announces

As the stalemate on Capitol Hill continues, there is encouraging news for small business owners in Delaware County.

In 2020, it’s worth putting into words just how much this pandemic has affected the restaurant business.

"We’re lost millions of dollars worth of business. Not hundreds of thousands, millions," Dennis Ciciretti, GM at Tavola in Springfield, stated.

Ciciretti says his restaurant may be one of many who may soon benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance money after an announcement made by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Wednesday.

"Today, I am pleased to announce my administration will make funds available to businesses whose operations and revenue were significantly affected by COVID-19 pandemic," Gov. Wolf said.

The governor said he’s initiating a transfer of $145 million from the Workers Compensation Fund at the Pa. Insurance Department to the General Fund.

"The money is available and is ready to be distributed. Our businesses simply cannot afford to wait," Gov. Wolf added.

However, the measure by Governor Wolf must be passed in the General Assembly first. Something 168th District State Representative Chris Quinn fully supports.

"I think this is a great idea. We’re back in session in January, but I hope the governor doesn’t wait that long for us. I’d like to see him begin to put the process in place. I think there’s a very good chance that this’ll pass," Quinn remarked.

Maranda Eskridge is waitress at Tavola. She says many don’t understand how much they lose a night, due to capacity restrictions.

"Sometimes I walk out of here without $50. Sometimes, a lot of the time, without $100. It’s getting really difficult. A normal day before everything, hundreds definitely! Significant amounts! Definitely not compared to what I’m making now," Eskridge explained.

Ciciretti says he’s had to pay for an industrial style tent that has two sides open to allow for outdoor dining. He adds they’re not making money, at this point and simply need any help they can get.

"Whatever aid that we can get from that program, will be really beneficial to our company. I just have to say what’s what. We lost millions of dollars between 50 weddings canceling, we lost 70 to 80 percent of our restaurant business. It’s been tough," Ciciretti added.



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