HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Wolf held a press conference Wednesday to announce his authorization of a $145 million transfer from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund to be appropriated by the State Legislature into grants for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our business owners and workers have been forced, clearly forced to make sacrifices because of COVID-19 and they need and deserve our gratitude and support for what they’ve done,” said Governor Wolf.
Businesses across the state have been impacted by the coronavirus. New mitigations have been put in place to attempt to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the latest of multiple rounds of restrictions put in place to stop spikes of the virus.
“Business owners and employees have worked hard to protect their customers and their communities during this pandemic, and I thank all of those who have prioritized health and safety despite the hardship of the past several months,” Gov Wolf said. “Our business owners and workers have been forced to make sacrifices because of COVID-19 and they need and deserve our support.
Gov. Wolf urged the legislature to follow his lead and allocate this funding as quickly as possible to businesses affected by the pandemic, among them restaurants and bars, gyms and entertainment venues.
But some do not believe the one-time bail-out will be enough for small businesses.
Jason Gottesman, House Republican Caucus Spokesperson, said “He’s trying to punt solutions to the General Assembly for problems that he’s created. Again, we’re willing to work with the governor to find a solution here, but a one-time cash infusion bare state coffers is not going to make sure these businesses, restaurants and workers have a long term solution.”
Dinesh Purohit, Owner of the Bollywood Bar & Grill said “As a minority-owned business, and again it is not a franchise, it is hard.”
The amount of money coming in to Bollywood Bar and Grill, down 60% this year.
“We’ve been applying to every grant available to us, whether it’s a county grant, a state grant, a federal grant.”
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) responded saying “Going alone is not what is best for Pennsylvanians. We need to work together, and I encourage Gov. Wolf to work with us on relief plans and join us in focusing on long-term solutions that keep Pennsylvanians working and businesses and restaurants operating safely.”