PHILADELPHIA – Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday announced that $20 million is available to help image and hair care professionals recover from the pandemic.
The pandemic relief from American Rescue Plan funding was announced during a press conference in Philadelphia, where Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver joined House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton and Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes.
“The pandemic created tremendous challenges for the hair care industry and the thousands of workers who provide in-person services to customers,” said Wolf.
“This pandemic relief funding will provide direct support to these businesses, which are important to local economies and provide vital jobs in many communities. I applaud Leader McClinton, Chairman Hughes and all of the legislators for their commitment to our pandemic recovery and support of working families.”
Last year, Wolf announced $225 million in assistance to Pennsylvania’s small businesses. The grants announced Thursday will be open to businesses that applied to, but did not receive assistance from, that program. Approximately 1,200 community-based small businesses would be eligible.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in pandemic support to thousands of people with tangible, meaningful effects, but we knew more support was still critically needed,” said Weaver.
“We thank our small business owners who stayed strong and got creative during the pandemic, and we thank the customers who continued to show their support even during the most trying of times.”
Hughes added, “As the pandemic spread last year, these small businesses did what we asked them to do and were among the hardest hit.
“Unlike restaurants and other businesses, there were no regulatory work-arounds or socially distanced options. You can’t give a drive-through haircut. For some, this will mean survival.”
This effort builds on previous efforts by the administration and general assembly to provide emergency relief to small businesses, including $145 million for the hospitality industry and $50 million in hazard pay to front-line, essential workers.