Successful small business owners know they must be resilient, in good times and in times of uncertainty. As the world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs have swiftly modified their business models and adopted new operational and management procedures. There are a lot of programs and special plans available to small business owners in response to the changing economic climate, but finding those resources can be time consuming. The following links are designed to be a starting point for this research. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help, and ask questions. Communities and businesses are in this together, and support is just a click away:
Sometimes, a little perspective from another professional who has been through challenging times can make all the difference. Stress and uncertainty can make business owners feel isolated, so it’s more important than ever to maintain open communication with colleagues and friends, and continue to build a network of support. Consider reaching out to the following:
Many community banks, including Fidelity, have created client assistance programs to help customers who may be facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fidelity’s program offers commercial and business loan assistance, mortgage assistance, home equity loan and home equity line of credit assistance, and much more. These programs may allow borrowers to defer payments and waive late fees. For details, click here, email fidelity at fddbank dot com, or call the Customer Care Center at 1.800.388.4380 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
This is also an ideal time to maximize use of digital banking tools. Digital banking is safe and efficient for personal and business accounts. To learn more about digital banking with Fidelity, click here.
Finally, with Congress’ passage of the CARES Act, there is a specific allotment of $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and $350 billion for Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP) to help small businesses. Click to learn more about how Fidelity Bank can help.
America’s SBDC (Small Business Development Center) shares words of encouragement on its homepage to help entrepreneurs weather the pandemic storm: “Keep Calm and Small Business On.” Visitors to the site will also find a plethora of resources related to COVID-19, including links to The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), IRS: Coronavirus Tax Relief, and much more.
Local Small Business Development Centers are rising to the occasion, too. The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center has created a comprehensive COVID-19 Resources page, and their consultants are available for individual meetings by phone or real-time video conferencing on multiple platforms. Be sure to check out their Tips for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19. They are also developing virtual group sessions where business owners can ask questions in a group setting.
As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE assists entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources – and they’re hosting remote sessions to pair mentors and mentees, and provide educational workshops. Their Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub covers everything from navigating the CARES Act to creating marketing strategies during an economic downtown. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with professionals in variety of field through chapters in Northeastern Pennsylvania and in the Lehigh Valley.
As part of the CARES Act, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) created several temporary funding options to address the economic impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. Click here for complete details and visit Fidelity Bank’s CARE’s ACT page for information.
Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (PA DCED) has dedicated a page on its website to funding and programs for Pennsylvania businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on PIDA loans:
“The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) offers low-interest loans and lines of credit for eligible businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities. Loan applications are packaged and underwritten by a network of certified economic development organizations (CEDOs) that partner with PIDA to administer the program.”
Fidelity Bank has built a strong history as trusted advisors to customers served, and is proud to be an active member of the community of Northeastern Pennsylvania. With 12 branches located throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, Fidelity Bank offers full-service Trust & Investment Departments, a mortgage center, and an array of personal and business banking products and services. The Bank provides 24 hour, 7 day a week service to customers through a variety of digital banking tools, branch offices, online at www.bankatfidelity.com, and through the Customer Care Center at 1-800-388-4380.
Daniel J. Santaniello, President, and CEO, of Fidelity Bank, publishes Financially Fit with Fidelity, your guide to financial well-being, every Thursday. If you’re interested in a financial topic we haven’t yet covered or want to subscribe to our emails, please feel free to drop us a line at blog at fddbank dot com. We would love to hear from you.