Mar. 25, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
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Reminder: Resource Page on My Website

I want to remind you I have a COVID-19 resource page on my website, Simply click the Coronavirus Information tab on my homepage. This page contains a wealth of information from state and federal agencies. Please check it out if you have questions about what the state is doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The page also includes information about applying for unemployment benefits for lost employment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistance for Small Businesses

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is providing relief to Pennsylvania small businesses impacted by COVID-19 by authorizing the transfer of $40 million to the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA). The loan application is now open. For more information, including how to apply, click here.

The funding transfer approved will ultimately be combined with existing funds in PIDA’s Small Business First Program, and provide zero interest loans to small businesses. Over $60 million for loans will be available to businesses with 100 or fewer full time employees.

Loans of up to $100,000 are available to small businesses to use as working capital. Interest rates are being dropped from approximately 3% to 0%. Detailed guidelines for the program are still being developed at this time. In addition to a 0% interest rate, there will be no application fees and the terms will include no payments and no interest during the first year of the loan.
Tax Return Filing Deadline Extended

The deadline to file federal and state income tax returns and payments has been moved to July 15.

The Department of Revenue will also waive penalties and interest on 2019 Personal Income Tax payments through the new deadline of July 15, 2020. This extension applies to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, and estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.

Although the filing deadline has been extended, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers who are able to file their returns electronically to do so. This will enable the department to continue to process returns as Commonwealth offices are closed. Additionally, if you are expecting a refund from the Commonwealth, filing electronically will help avoid a delay in the release of your refund.
Waiver of Penalties on Accelerated Sales Tax Prepayments

To assist the business community as the Commonwealth responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Revenue is waiving penalties for businesses that were required to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments by the deadline of Friday, March 20.

Additionally, for April sales tax payments, the department is waiving the AST prepayment requirement and asking businesses to simply remit the sales tax that they have collected in March.
School Closure Extended

The Department of Education (PDE) announcedall schools in the commonwealth will remain closed through at least April 6 as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. The closure order could be extended beyond April 6 if necessary, to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Under the new timeline, school buildings would reopen on April 7 for two days to allow school administrators, teachers and other staff time to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return to school on April 9, unless extending the closure is needed in response to the situation with the virus at that time.

To assist schools during the extended closure, the state’s 29 intermediate units are ready to provide technical assistance to help develop continuity of education plans for all students.
Business Impact Survey

The York County Economic Alliance and the Hanover Chamber launched a York County COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey, which can be found by clicking here, to gather data on how the pandemic is impacting businesses, government entities, etc.

The idea through this is to track the economic impact of the virus in York County so there can be substantive and useful data to use moving forward. This data gathering will likely be in phases
From the PA Fish and Boat Commission

In an effort to reduce large gatherings of people and the number of anglers traveling into the regional area, a single Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, April 11, and a Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 18.

Trout stocking will be conducted on an accelerated schedule. To ensure public safety, volunteers will NOT be permitted to assist with stocking activities. In some cases, pre-season and in-season allocations of trout will be combined into single stocking events to increase the efficiency of stocking trips. Initially, stockings will be prioritized to deliver trout to regions of the Commonwealth that are predicted to be affected most severely by COVID-19 that could result in restrictions on travel.                                    
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