House Democrats have a plan to make sure PA HEALS

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest challenge many Pennsylvanians have ever faced or will ever face. For many families, it’s brought personal or financial tragedy. But it has also shown all of us that when we work together, Pennsylvania is strong enough to handle any challenge.

Pennsylvanians have been staying home and saving lives. Our state’s amazing nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals are redefining the word “hero” every day. And, our grocery store employees, pharmacists, warehouse workers and truckers have kept PA supplied and moving.

We owe it to them, and to each other, to stay the course until the virus is defeated and our workers, families and communities are safe. If we keep making good, commonsense choices based in facts and science, this crisis will be over soon.

In the meantime, House Democrats have developed a plan to put People First, reward hard work, support community based businesses and make sure PA is Helping Employers And Labor Succeed once this crisis has passed. PA HEALS is just the first steps, but they are crucial to an effective start:

Local Businesses Matter – Rep. Joe Ciresi

This legislation would use $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to provide 0% interest loans to smaller, local businesses that were shut out of the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Loan Program when it ran out of funding in just a few days. In this way, we can help our local businesses survive and recover without raising taxes.

Helping the Helpers - Rep. Pete Schweyer and Rep. Mike Schlossberg

The COVID-19 crisis placed a huge burden on the people and groups in our communities that are helping others. Federal grant and loan programs are running out, so we need to do our part at the state level to help them. This legislation would use a portion of Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund to support local nonprofits and community organizations so they can continue providing critical services like food, health and crisis care, counseling, housing, and more.

Investing in Science – Rep. Tim Briggs

Pennsylvania's Life Sciences and Biotechnology industries are already leading the world in research and innovation and are helping advance the breakthroughs that will eventually beat COVID-19. But they, like all businesses, are struggling in the current economic environment. This legislation will make biotech businesses eligible for the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Loan Program so they can secure no-cost loans to continue developing critical medical devices, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals.   

Our Smallest Businesses Deserve Our Biggest Effort – Rep. Melissa Shusterman

Our state’s smallest local businesses -- the truly tiny Mom and Pop shops with just a handful of employees – have faced some of the biggest challenges during this crisis. As they look to survive, they’re doing all the assistance program research and paperwork themselves, and still missing out on the vital support they need. This legislation would create a new microloan program delivering up to $15,000 with 0% interest and no payments required for the first year – reserved ONLY for our communities’ smallest businesses. Plus, it would create a new grant program to match that $15,000 with working capital, too.

Getting SMALL Community Businesses The Help They Need – Rep. Joe Ciresi & Rep. Pam Snyder

 When the federal government handed out assistance it said was for small businesses, big banks funneled billions to some companies so big they’re traded on the stock market. That’s not anyone’s definition of “small business.” This legislation would create a grant program reserved for businesses with 30 or fewer employees and earning less than $3 million a year. These are the kinds of businesses that are the backbone of our local and state economy, the businesses that don’t have Washington lobbyists, but do sponsor our Little League teams and community fundraisers. These are the businesses our recovery depends on the most.

When the time comes, Pennsylvanians deserve an economy that’s ready to come roaring back. Our plan includes important first steps focused on supporting the workers, local businesses and innovative industries that are crucial to making that happen.


The PA House Democratic leadership team includes: Frank Dermody, leader; Jordan Harris, whip; Matt Bradford, appropriations chairman; Rosita Youngblood, caucus secretary; Joanna McClinton, caucus chair; Neal P. Goodman, caucus administrator; and Mike Sturla, policy chairman.