June 22, 2020
Small businesses in Philadelphia that lost inventory or suffered property damage during the civil unrest in the city may now apply for grants of up to $10,000.
The Merchants Fund, a non-profit dedicated to aiding businesses in financial hardships, is accepting applications for Restore & Reopen grants in Philadelphia.
First announced earlier this month, the $1.4 million program is designed to help independently-owned businesses located in historically disadvantaged communities.
Philadelphia police reported 1,262 commercial burglaries across city the from May 18 to June 14, which coincides with the peak of looting incident from May 30 into early June. Compared to last year through this point, the city has seen a 251.5% increase in commercial burglaries.
The Merchants Fund released the following information on which businesses are eligible and how owners can apply for grants. The application deadline runs through Sunday, June 28, and will be reviewed starting on June 29.
To be eligible for a Restore & Reopen grant, a businesses must:
• Occupy a storefront, retail, or commercial space physically located in Philadelphia. This includes kiosks.
• Have experienced more than $500 in damage during civil unrest between May 30, 2020 and time of application.
• Be independently-owned; franchises are eligible only if independently-owned.
• Earn annual revenue of less than $2 million at the impacted location.
• Be in compliance with all local, state, and federal taxes (or on an approved payment plan).
• Have required federal, state, and local licenses and permits to legally operate.
Due to limited funding, the Restore & Reopen grant program will prioritize businesses that:
• Are located in historically disadvantaged communities.
• Employ local residents.
Applications are available online. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 28. Applications will be evaluated beginning Monday, June 29; not as they are received.
• Basic information about your business, such as: type and structure of business, annual revenue, number of employees, and number of employees hired locally.
• Description of the damage incurred during the specific time period.
• Estimated cost of repair for the damage incurred during the specified time period.
• Photos of all damage reported, or a report from the Philadelphia Police Department.
• If you have insurance, a basic understanding of coverages and out of pocket expenses relating to the damage.
Various community partners can provide free assistance to businesses that need help completing the application. This includes language translation services, technological support, and help with documenting damage. These organizations can apply on your behalf, with your consent.
Other questions about The Merchants Fund's Restore & Reopen program should be directed to the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce hotline, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The hotline can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (215) 683-2100.
A second program, the Restart PHL Loan Fund, will be run by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.. Applications for the Restart PHL Loan Fund, which has about $3 million available, are expected to open by the end of June.