Merski introduces legislation to help startup businesses hurt by COVID-19

Would establish grant program for companies that began operations between January 2020 and December 2021

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Rep. Bob Merski has introduced legislation that would help startup businesses that were hurt by the pandemic but ineligible for previous COVID-19 assistance.

Merski, D-Erie, said he drafted H.B. 2487 after becoming aware that many small businesses that started in January 2020 or later did not qualify under existing relief programs.

“The pandemic was incredibly difficult for every business in our community, but for startups that had just opened their doors and were looking to build momentum, it was like being hit by a tsunami,” Merski said. “Unfortunately, many of these new businesses were ineligible under existing relief programs. My bill would address this problem by establishing a grant program for companies that began operations between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021.

“Every business deserves all the help we can provide, regardless of when they opened their doors. We need to ensure these young businesses trying to establish themselves in our community aren’t swept away before they get a chance to put down roots.”

Merski’s bill would create a county block grant program that would provide grants of up to $15,000 for eligible businesses.

The bill has been referred to the PA House Commerce Committee.