RESTART Update: Supporting Small Businesses

Working in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Works, we have jointly identified four phases of work to drive an equitable economic recovery in Philadelphia:





In July, we announced our full recovery plan, detailing each phase in the blog, Racism, Equality, & Restarting our Economy.

The second phase, PIDC’s RESTART Action Plan, focuses on how we are adapting the following three core strategies to meet Philadelphia’s needs to drive an equitable economic recovery and “reopen with care” at this critical time:

Support Growth & Resilience of Businesses

Invest in High-impact Community Revitalization

Catalyze Opportunities for Inclusive Growth

Throughout the year, we are keeping you updated on progress toward our RESTART Action Plan by highlighting various examples of what we have done, so far, to support our strategies. In case you missed it, in August, we shared an update on how we are catalyzing opportunities for inclusive growth with the announcement that PIDC selected a team comprised of Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners as its development partners for 109 acres of the Navy Yard. In September, we announced new developments around PIDC events, funding, and collaborations with partners to support growth & resilience of businesses. We shared updates around logistics and distribution in November. We concluded 2020 with an update on New Markets Tax Credits projects in December. 

Below are a few more actions we’ve taken to support our RESTART Action Plan.

Support Growth + Resilience Of Businesses

Restart PHL Loan Fund

Last year, PIDC launched the Restart PHL Loan Fund — a program that provides flexible low-cost capital to small businesses with less than $5M in revenue for costs associated with improved business resilience or growth. The Restart PHL Loan program provided flexible financing to small businesses to meet the needs related to reopening after COVID-19, and/or adapt business models to new conditions and opportunities as a result of COVID-19. 

So far, we have provided a total of $1.5M in funding for 13 small businesses through the RESTART PHL Loan; 69% of the businesses funded are a minority business enterprise (MBE) and 23% are a women business enterprise (WBE).

Recently, PIDC was one of three local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) selected by Wells Fargo to join its Open for Business Fund (OFB), a nationwide small business recovery effort which includes over $2.5M in new Wells Fargo Relief Aid. PIDC received a total of $1.5M of the $2.5M in new funding to Philadelphia which will help underserved small businesses stay open and preserve jobs through short- and long-term COVID-19 resiliency efforts, support to businesses impacted by civil unrest that took place in the summer, and expanded micro lending activities and programming for diverse business owners. PIDC will use its $1.5 million OFB award as lending capital and operational support to capitalize the Restart PHL Loan Fund.

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Throughout 2020, PIDC partnered with various organizations to deliver funding relief to businesses that needed it most. Here are a few of those partnerships and the initiatives we collaborated on.

CDFI Network

Last summer, the COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program opened to provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19. PIDC is a member of The Pennsylvania CDFI Network, 17 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that supported small businesses throughout the Commonwealth to access the grant funds. Overall, 75% of the businesses awarded in Philadelphia are historically disadvantaged businesses — businesses at least 51% owned and operated by persons who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander because they have traditionally been discriminated against and disadvantaged when seeking financial services and financial products.

City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce

The Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund is a tiered fund designed to provide immediate relief to Philadelphia businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. It was funded and administered last year by the Department of Commerce and PIDC, with additional support from Citizen Bank, The Daniel B. and Florence E. Green Foundation, Knight Foundation, M&T Bank, PNC Foundation, and Truist (formerly BB&T Bank).

WORC and Reinvestment Fund

PIDC provided a loan to Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC), in collaboration with Reinvestment Fund, that allowed WORC to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses in Philadelphia.  A total of $496K loans were awarded to 27 businesses. “This funding made it possible for WORC to  provide PPP  loans to  businesses that would not have had an opportunity otherwise,” said Lynne Cutler, president of WORC. “The PPP loan has been a lifeline to the businesses  along with other support many have received through the COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program.”

Lendistry and Customers Bank

PIDC partnered with Lendistry and Customers Bank as they administer the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) —  a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Business owners can now find a PPP lender using the SBA’s Lender Match tool or apply through one of the aforementioned PIDC partners.


Check out our RESTART Action Plan for more details on how we will continue to respond to the needs of our community.  We welcome new ideas and opportunities for partnership.