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Small Business Grants COMING SOON!

COVID-19 Business Assistance

Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that program guidelines and additional details for the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Grants are now available on DCED’s website.

Our small businesses all across the state made sacrifices so that we could flatten the curve of COVID-19 and save lives. Now as we begin to recover, our businesses will need and deserve assistance to reopen their doors, rehire their staff and serve our communities again. We thank them for their patience through this difficult time, and are ready to offer the programs, loans and assistance they need.

Under the program, $225 million is available for COVID-19 relief to small businesses through a distribution to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) for loan payment deferment and portfolio loan loss reserves, main street business revitalization grants, and historically disadvantaged business revitalization grants. 

The funds will be available through three programs:

  • $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the governor’s March 19, 2020 order relating to the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses and have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19;

  • $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order, have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19, and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51 percent interest and also control management and daily business operations.

  • $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow the CDFIs the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses that are struggling due to the impact of COVID, as well as shore up the financial position of the CDFIs that are experiencing significant increased defaults in their existing loan portfolios.

Eligible businesses with 25 or fewer employees may receive a maximum grant of $50,000 so long as the business was in operation on February 15, 2020 and, if required, paid income taxes to the state and federal government, as reported on individual or business tax returns; COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact and makes this grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant; the grant will be used cover COVID-19 related costs; and during the period beginning on June 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the applicant has not and will not receive another grant under this state program. 

Introducing Comprehensive Police Reform Legislation

Police Reform

In the past year, 1,042 people have been shot and killed by police and the rate of black Americans killed by police is more than twice as high as the rate for white Americans.

We have to end racism that permeates our culture, and we have to reform our system of policing. For the past two years, since the death of Antwon Rose in East Pittsburgh, I have been trying to reform this system, but my legislation stalled. We cannot let that happen again. The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats have expanded our package of bills to include critical reforms and we must pass them this session.

The bills to be introduced by the Senate Democratic Caucus will:

  • Improve Municipal Police Officer Education and Training
  • Institute “8 Can’t Wait” to ban deadly police practices
  • Appoint a special prosecutor for cases of officer involved shootings
  • Require civilian review boards and provide grants and technical assistance to improve their performance
  • Ban chokeholds
  • Improve police pay
  • Improve standards for the use of deadly force
  • Demilitarize law enforcement
  • Fund a regional policing incentive program and study
  • Ban consent while in custody
  • Create a professional oversight and policy development board for police officers
  • Enhance civil asset forfeiture protections
  • Penalize false reports of “criminal activity” based on race or ethnicity

Details on each of those proposals are included here.

The Senate is expected to review several police reform measures in its Judiciary and Law & Justice Committees in hearings and voting meetings during the month of June.

$1.7 Million in State Grants Coming to 43rd District!

GrantsToday, I announced the award of more than $1.7 million in state grants to fund programs in victims’ services, addiction treatment and local forensic science improvement.

The awards were made through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).

“While addressing COVID-19 related needs and budget gaps remains a priority, many essential services never had an interruption and have continued their critical work,” said Senator Costa. “Today’s grants will help them keep up and improve their services to our community.”

  • The University of Pittsburgh’s Program Evaluation Unit will receive $1.6 million for statewide work on the Pennsylvania Opioid Overdose Reduction Technical Assistance Center.

  • The Center for Victims will receive $96,000 for Child Advocacy at CAC UPMC Children's Hospital.

  • Allegheny County will receive $27,000 to improve its forensic science work through advanced training and maintenance.
For more information on these grants and others that are available through PCCD, visit their website at

Virtual Office Hours

Virtual Office Hours - Facebook

Even with Allegheny County in the Green phase of COVID-19 recovery, I understand there is still some reticence to return to in person meetings. For that reason, I will continue my practice of holding “Virtual Office Hours” every Friday on my Facebook. From 12 to 1pm every Friday, you can ask your questions of my office right in the comment section and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Hope to “see” you there.

Facebook/Twitter Facebook Twitter Instagram Stay Connected

If you haven’t visited my Facebook page, join the conversation by ‘liking’ the page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Plenty of information is available on these pages about community events and issues affecting our friends and neighbors.  If you have questions or concerns, send me a direct message or post your thoughts.

Offices to Serve You

  Forest Hills
1501 Ardmore Blvd. | Suite 403
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: (412) 241-6690
Fax: (412) 731-2332
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
2306 Brownsville Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15210
Phone: (412) 884-8308
Fax: (412) 886-2080
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
314 E. Eighth Ave.
Homestead, PA 15120
Phone: (412) 462-4204
Fax: (412) 462-4543
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Harrisburg Office
Senate Box 203043
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 787-7683
Fax: (717) 783-5976
8:30 am – 5:00 pm