PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We’re now four months into the coronavirus pandemic and many people are receiving unemployment for the first time.
Others are struggling to pay rent or the mortgage, and Allegheny Co. business owners face the tough decision to lay off employees again after temporary closure orders from the county department of health.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller explains the two programs that want to help people pay the bills this month.
“I don’t see them letting us open until at least Labor Day,” said Spencer Warren, owner, The Warren and Penn Cove Eatery.
It’s lunchtime downtown at The Warren and Penn Cove Eatery, but the outdoor tables and chairs on the sidewalk are gone.
“And all of a sudden, it turns around. It’s gone. We still have to try to keep our staff on now because they all went off unemployment,” said Warren.
Warren really needs another Paycheck Protection Program loan, but he already received his during the second round several months ago.
Right now, it’s a “one-and-done” program, but businesses can still apply for the first time up until the now-extended Aug. 8 deadline.
Warren is now relying on his take-out orders and praying for the best.
“Our cocktails to go have been doing well, but we also are downtown. We don’t have a neighborhood to support us,” Warren said.
It’s not just business owners unable to handle the fallout from the coronavirus case surge. Lt. Governor John Fetterman said people can’t pay for basic needs.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people or more in Pa. that have been unable to pay rent for months now because they are out of work,” said Lt. Gov. Fetterman.
That’s why state Rep. Sara Innamorato pushed to get relief money and help people with daunting rent and mortgage payments.
“We know that this is a start. And we need to continue having the conversation on how we can continue to meet people’s basic needs during this time of crisis,” said Rep. Innamorato, HD-21.
Visit PHFA.org for the applications and instructions. You can call 1-855-U-ARE-HOME with any questions.
Applicants must have lost their jobs after March 1 or had their annual income sliced by 30 percent or more.
For more on the requirements, click here.