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Main Street Business Assistance Townhall (6/25, 11am)

COVID-19 Business Assistance

You are invited to attend a virtual townhall with our local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) that I am hosting to share information on the process to receive small business aid.

Our townhall will be held on Thursday, June 25 at 11am.

The process will begin soon, and we want you to be best prepared to get the dollars you deserve for the costs and losses you incurred due to COVID-19.

In June, the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus announced the direction of $225 million in federal CARES Act funding to aid small businesses across the commonwealth.  This funding was authorized by the recently enacted COVID-19 Emergency Supplement to the General Appropriation Act of 2019 and was a centerpiece of the caucus’ PA CARES Plan.

The aid will be distributed as follows: $100 million is set to go to the Main Street Business Revitalization Program, $100 million to the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program, and $25 million for loan payment deferment and loss reserves for loans impacted by COVID-19. The aid will be directed by the Department of Community and Economic Development to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), which are intimately familiar with the needs of the most vulnerable small businesses in our communities.

The Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funding to the Pennsylvania CDFI Network, which will then administer the funding in the form of:

  • Grants to cover operating expenses for the duration of the shutdown and the transition period to re-opening
  • Grants to cover technical assistance, including training and guidance, for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses
  • Debt payment relief for CDFI Pennsylvania borrowers
  • Loan loss reserves for CDFIs

Please RSVP here to this virtual townhall to learn more about what your business needs to do to be prepared and guarantee you receive the funds you deserve.

Celebrating Juneteenth


Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee or Liberation Day, the holiday celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.

Over the last month, people across this country have made an effort to address prejudice; they’ve marched in remembrance and outrage over the death of George Floyd; they’ve demanded equity from every level of their government and law enforcement. The Senate Democrats join those calls and that work, and one of our steps will be honoring Juneteenth as a caucus-wide holiday.”

The Senate Democratic Caucus has been at the forefront of acknowledging Juneteenth for decades. Under the leadership of former Senator Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia) for 20 years, followed by Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) in the past four, a member of the caucus has always offered a resolution in the Pennsylvania Senate marking this holiday.

June 19 is celebrated as the end of slavery, rather than the date of the Emancipation Proclamation because there were hundreds of slaves through the South who did not know they had been freed by President Abraham Lincoln’s earlier decree. On June 19 of 1865, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army reached Galveston, Texas and was finally able to announce to slaves in the southern-most region of the country that they had been freed. Celebrations began almost immediately when General Granger’s order was read:

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer."

PA Capitol to Reopen Monday, June 22


The Department of General Services announced the Pennsylvania Capitol building will reopen to the public with modified prevention protocols on June 22. The reopening follows Dauphin County moving to the green phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on June 19.

The Main Capitol, East Wing and North Office Building entrances will be accessible by the public. Visitors to the Capitol will be required to wear a mask to enter the building and adhere to social distancing protocols. Visitors without a mask will be supplied with one at the public entrances. Hand sanitizer stations will also be placed at those entrances.

Prevention and mitigation signage will be posted throughout the Capitol for visitors and those who work in the building. If you are sick, don’t feel well or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please do not visit the Capitol.

All scheduled events through the department’s Office of Special Events remain canceled through July 5. The department will work with the requestors to reschedule. Beginning June 19, the Office of Special Events will resume scheduling events for the Capitol’s outdoor venues taking place on or after July 6. These locations include the Front Capitol Steps and Soldiers Grove.

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