Business: NEPA Alliance offers loan assistance; Newman rallies for downtown WB

i Mar 17th 2020

By Bill O’Boyle, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance on Tuesday said the organization is committed to working with regional small businesses and non-profits during the continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus.

NEPA Alliance is working with state and federal agencies to offer loan assistance programs to Northeastern Pennsylvania businesses and non-profits. NEPA Alliance can assist local businesses and non-profits essential to prevent larger issues as the summer season approaches.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance is currently partnering with federal and state agencies to ensure small businesses and non-profits in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have available resources accessible to them through the coronavirus crisis.

This includes help with the U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest federal disaster loan program for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition, NEPA Alliance also has numerous business loan programs that offer low fixed interest rates to businesses in the seven-county region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Contact NEPA Alliance at 866-758-1929 for up-to-date information, or www.nepa-alliance.org. Information is continually changing relating to the virus and the assistance programs that are being offered may change.

NEPA Alliance will continue to evaluate all available options to best serve the Northeastern Pennsylvania business community.

Newman: Support downtown WB

Larry Newman, Executive Director at Diamond City Partnership, Tuesday encouraged the public to support downtown businesses.

”These are extraordinary times,” Newman said in his weekly letter. “During this statewide COVID-19 shutdown period, we ask you to remember Downtown’s many small businesses. They are the soul of our center city’s economy, and they are now facing very strong headwinds.”

Newman said even though you will not be able to physically patronize many of the stores and restaurants for some time, there are still things you can do to responsibly support Downtown businesses.

“For example, you might order delivery or takeout from your favorite Downtown restaurant,” Newman said. “Or, you can look into buying a gift card to a Downtown store, restaurant, bar, salon, or even Movies 14 or the F.M. Kirby Center, via phone or online. You’ll give yourself something to look forward to, while helping a favorite local establishment.”

Most importantly, however, Newman asked the public to please follow all of the precautions and guidelines that have been issued by public health authorities — both for your own sake and for the sake of your family, neighbors, and friends.

“If we work together and support one another, we will get through this,” Newman said.

Mericle: Initial confusion has been cleared up

Jim Cummings, vice president of marketing at Mericle Development, said there was some initial confusion as to what Gov. Tom Wolf meant Monday afternoon when he spoke about essential and non-essential businesses.

“But that was cleared up with his follow-up release last night,” Cummings said. “We have not been notified by any of our tenants that they are closing. My sense is that everyone is following instructions issued by the President and Governor and acting accordingly in what is obviously a very fluid situation.”