Lower Gwynedd, Pa. – May 19, 2020 — Today, Senator Maria Collett (D-12 Montgomery/Bucks) sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin urging them to ramp up financial support for Montgomery and Bucks Counties – counties that are amongst the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic but have not seen proportionate support from the Administration.
Bucks and Montgomery Counties were among the first to be shut down and are among the minority that remain in the “red” closure phase. Senator Collett describes the hardships small businesses in her district have faced during the pandemic, exacerbated by a confusing and inconsistent waiver process and a state loan program whose awards do not take this, or the importance of these counties to the Commonwealth’s overall economic well-being, into account.
Senator Collet writes: “While no one person or process is to blame, a lot of circumstances out of our control piled up with the end result being that only 3 businesses in Montgomery County and 19 businesses in Bucks County have received CWCA loans to date. Compare that with counties like Cumberland, Crawford or Luzerne, with much smaller populations and contributions to the state’s general fund, whose businesses have received 27, 18 and 52 CWCA loans respectively… These two counties account for approximately 17% of Pennsylvania’s General Fund revenues. It is unacceptable that their businesses have received less than 4% of its COVID relief loans.”
Senator Collett also reiterated her previous calls for the Wolf Administration to focus more investment in and attention on the residents and small businesses of Bucks and Montgomery Counties: “[T]he small business owners and residents of my district have been dealt a really bad hand… As the days pass, the number of businesses and residents in my district who are behind on bills multiplies, as do their anxieties and frustrations. The folks in my district have not yet seen evidence that your administration recognizes and sympathizes with the added physical, emotional, and financial suffering they are facing as a result of our prolonged stay-at-home conditions, which I know you do. Future allocations to and investments in Pennsylvania’s small businesses quite simply must take this into account… As I have done in past conversations and correspondence, I urge you to swiftly develop a plan to prioritize funding and loan opportunities to help sustain businesses with an eye towards whether they (a) are in the hardest hit regions, (b) have suffered actual losses, and (c) have not received assistance yet.”
A copy of Senator Collett’s letter can be found here.