Second Round Applications for COVID-19 Relief Small Business Assistance Now Open

The PA CDFI Network has announced that the second grant application window for the COVID-19 Relief PA Statewide Small Business Assistance program will open at 9:00 am on August 10 and will remain open for 15 business days, closing at 11:59 pm on August 28.

Please note that in order to get funds to businesses in need as quickly as possible, the second application window will be the final opportunity to apply for the program.

If you applied during the first application window, you should receive notification of your application status by August 10th. You do NOT need to reapply in the second round. Qualified applications will be automatically rolled over into the next funding round for consideration.

Learn more about this opportunity at

Citizens Minority Small Business Grants


Small businesses are the backbone to our economy, and diverse small business ownership is critical to the growth and success of our local communities. In recognition, Citizens will award 100 minority-owned businesses with grants of $15,000 each, a total of $1.5 million overall.


To apply, a business must be:

  • At least 51% minority owned, operated and controlled by an Asian American, Black American, Hispanic American or Native American
  • Either a Citizens Bank Business Banking account holder or, if not a Citizens customer, based within our 11-state footprint
  • In business for at least one year, with annual revenue of no more than $1 million

Eligible businesses can submit a statement (up to 150 words) describing how they would use the grant to strengthen and sustain both their business and their community.

Hurry—the entry deadline is Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET. Apply now.

PA CareerLink Chester County: Expanded Virtual Services and Selected On-Site Services Now Available by Appointment

PA CareerLink® Chester County has expanded virtual services for job seekers and employers and will now offer limited on-site services by appointment beginning Monday, July 6, 2020.

PA CareerLink® Chester County has provided essential virtual services for job seekers and employers since mid-March when statewide mitigation efforts began to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Moving to the green phase for COVID-19 has allowed some services to resume at the PA CareerLink® Chester County offices at the Oaklands Corporate Center, 479 Thomas Jones Way, Suite 500 in Exton.

“We strongly encourage customers to continue using our virtual services – which include career counseling, job search and resume assistance, and on-the-job training programs,” said Butch Urban, PA CareerLink® Chester County Site Administrator. “But we are also now accepting appointments for limited on-site services, including use of the Computer Resource Center (CRC) for job search purposes paperwork completion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) programs, and on-site educational assessments.”

To schedule an appointment for limited on-site services and all other information, please contact the PA CareerLink® Chester County at 610-280-1010 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Specifically, the PA CareerLink® Chester County expanded services include:

Virtual Services

  • Adult education classes
  • All employer services
  • Career counseling
  • Eligibility determination for Workforce Innovation programs and service
  • Job search assistance
  • On-the-Job Training programs
  • Resume assistance
  • Virtual workshops
  • Youth Programming and work readiness services

Limited On-Site Services (Appointment Only)

  • Copying and faxing documents for unemployment compensation (UC) office
  • Employer services
  • Individual customer appointments to complete program paperwork for Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs
  • On-site educational assessment

Use of the PA CareerLink® resource room for job search activity.

To protect the health and safety of all visitors and staff, and to continue following COVID-19 social distancing and mitigation recommendations, the Unemployment Compensation (UC) courtesy telephone will not be available in the PA CareerLink® office.

For regular UC questions:

  • Email
  • Call 888-313-7284 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • LiveChat (call 888-313-7284 for a secure 6-digit code) Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) questions:

  • Email
  • Call 855-284-8545 Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

PA CareerLink® Chester County system is the one-stop shop for Chester County job seekers and employers. More information on their services, including information on local employment opportunities is available on their website.

PA Small Business Loan Assistance now open

A short time ago, the application for grants to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order became available. The COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19.

The application requires you to apply through one of the members of the Pennsylvania CDFI Network, a coalition of 17 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that are participating in this program. The application will be identical no matter through which CDFI you apply and all applications will be entered into one “pool” for a competitive review. There are a number of CDFIs that identify Chester County as a service area. The Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) has worked with these three in the past:

To view the full list of CDFIs that service Chester County and to start your application, CLICK HERE.

Please note that this is not a first-come, first-served program and that there will be multiple rounds of application windows. The application window for the first round of funding will remain open for 10 business days. Please visit to stay apprised of news and updates.

Program for people who exhaust their unemployment compensation benefits

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak announced the launch of Pennsylvania’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program to provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC).

PEUC is included in the new federal unemployment compensation benefits provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Pennsylvania has implemented all programs under the new CARES Act and paid out nearly $7.4 billion in total unemployment benefits since mid-March.

Important information about the extended benefits program follows and has also been emailed or mailed via the United States Postal Service to all individuals who potentially qualify for PEUC.

To read the full press release, click here.

Emergency Assistance Program to Help Low-Income Families Amidst COVID-19

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced an Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) to help low-income families who lost wages or have experienced financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Families who qualify will be eligible for a one-time payment to assist them in meeting basic needs and help them secure more stable financial footing in the future. Families must have at least one person in the household who was employed as of March 11, 2020 and experienced an hour or wage reduction of at least 50 percent for two weeks or more, or lost employment entirely due to the public health crisis.
The emergency assistance application is available online at Families should be prepared to submit all necessary documentation with their application to expedite processing and avoid having to apply again. Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, May 11 through June 12, 2020 or until all funds are expended.

Chester County Government Newsletter

The Chester County Government is launching a weekly newsletter to keep residents informed on current information specific to Chester County, such as COVID-19 updates, county programs and services, and other county news.
To read the inaugural issue of the newsletter, please follow the link at
If you would like to sign up to receive future newsletters, please subscribe at

Chester County Main Street Preservation Grant Program

The Chester County Commissioners and Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) will host a webinar on Thursday, May 7 at 10:00am about the Chester County Main Street Preservation Grant Program.

Chester County’s Commissioners set up a $5M fund to establish the Main Street Preservation grant program – up to $25,000 in funding for county’s small businesses and agriculture enterprises impacted by COVID-19. The competitive grant program will provide funding for small businesses and agricultural enterprises in the county that were unable to take advantage of any federal and commonwealth existing COVID-19 response programs. Grants of up to $25,000 will be available to eligible businesses through the Chester County Main Street Preservation program.

The webinar will cover the the structure of the program, eligibility requirements, and the application process. Questions may be submitted to

Viewing Options:
Registration is not required. The webinar will be live streamed at the following locations:

Application Checklist

Main Street Program Website

Application Form

Resources for Inventors

Libraries offers many resources and services to help inventors answer many questions: What is the market for my idea? Will I need a patent? How do I promote my idea? The US Patent & Trademark Office provides sites devoted to serving the special needs of inventors. The Lemelson-MIT Invention Dimension site also provides a wealth of inventor resources including inventor profiles, patent guidelines, links to online invention resources, and more.

Library databases, like ReferenceUSA, can be helpful in locating businesses to license or manufacture your product, or to find out how large a market exists for your invention. ReferenceUSA provides detailed information on millions of U.S. companies, organizations, agencies, and households. Search its business module by company name, company executive name, sales volume, SIC/NAICS codes, number of employees, and more.

The library’s ebook collection includes many books about inventors and innovation that you can check out from home with a Chester County Library card.

Build your skills with Cisco Networking Academy

Take advantage of the Cisco Networking Academy! Available for free through Chester County Library, these online, self-paced courses will help you explore potential career pathways, develop technical mastery, and build critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to succeed.

Get Connected: Learn how to use a computer, connect devices and access search, email, and social media. This is a self-paced, beginner level course.

Entrepreneurship: This course teaches business and financial skills, attitudes, and behaviors to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset that can empower them to improve their lives.

Introduction to Cybersecurity: Learn how to protect yourself online and in social media while discovering careers in cybersecurity. This is a self-paced, beginner level course.

Cybersecurity Essentials: Develop an understanding of cybercrime, security principles, technologies, and procedures used to defend networks. This is a self-paced, intermediate level course.

Introduction to IoT (Internet of Things): Learn how the Internet of Things (IoT) and the digital transformation of business create new value and new job opportunities. This is a self-paced, beginner level course.

Introduction to Packet Tracer:  Learn the basics for using Cisco Packet Tracer to simulate network configurations. This is a self-paced, beginner level course.

Packet Tracer Mobile: Learn how to use the Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile software. This is a self-paced, hands-on course.