COVID-19 Government Updates & Resources



Resource Guide: Responding to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

On March 19, Gov. Wolf issued an order to close all non-life sustaining businesses. The complete list of non-life sustaining businesses is found on the PA Department of Community & Economic Development website with frequently asked questions for all life-sustaining businesses.

Businesses that were ordered to close under this order and believe that they could help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis or provide essential services, have until Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5PM to apply for a Business Exemption Waiver. After that time, the submission period will be closed.

The PA Department of Health (DOH) has received questions and requests for business guidance amid the COVID-19 breakout. They encourage all life-sustaining businesses to take the necessary steps to ensure a healthy environment. Below is a list of resources to assist Pennsylvania’s life-sustaining businesses:

MARCH 26 – The Senate and House of Representatives convened remotely to pass four bills to keep Pennsylvania moving forward during the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency. The measures now go to the Governor for enactment into law. Read about them in Senator DiSanto’s update here.


MARCH 26 – Comprehensive rundown of federal, state, local, and private business relief programs courtesy of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP


Major Impacts of the CARES Act on Architecture Firms and Employees

A summary of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law on March 18, and how it affects architects, including emergency leave, emergency sick leave, employer tax credits, self-employed tax credits, unemployment insurance, and provisions affecting healthcare and other community programs.

Prior to the CARES ACT, Congress passed two pieces of legislation to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Click this link to see a memo that describes how these two laws impact business owners.

How Architecture Firms can Apply for an SBA COVID-19 Disaster Relief Loan

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act courtesy of the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship  


Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Funding & Programs

Governor Tom Wolf has announced that new funding is available to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19, through a new program under the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority’s (PIDA) Small Business First Fund, the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA).

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) recently authorized the transfer of $40 million to the Small Business First Fund for CWCA. PIDA authorized making $60 million available to provide loans of $100,000 or less to for-profit businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees. The money could be used, based on common definitions of working capital, to cover cash-flow needs for bills owed, wages or taxes due.  Business owners interested in the new program should contact the state Department of Community and Economic Development or their local Certified Economic Development Organizations for application information.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to as they become available.

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to local funding partners, may also be a source of assistance for affected businesses. The Wolf Administration has announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Businesses seeking guidance from DCED can also contact its customer service resource account at or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH and selecting option 1.




The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced on March 21, 2020, that it has extended the filing deadline for Pennsylvania personal income tax returns to July 15, 2020.

The following counties or tax administration services have indicated that they will extend their filing deadlines.

Each Tax Collection Committee (TCC) or county must make their own declaration to extend filing and payment deadlines, unless the Department of Economic and Community Development (DCED) passes a regulation for it or the legislation language is amended.

Updates will be posted from the other local jurisdictions when they are available.

More details and updated information can be found on the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants resource page.


Employers with fewer than 500 employees may begin using two new refundable payroll tax credits to obtain reimbursement for the costs of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on March 20, 2020. This document from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry provides further guidance.


STATE The Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation has produced a UC Benefits & COVID-19 FAQs page.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published its first round of implementation guidance pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The guidance addresses critical questions such as:

  • How does an employer count its number of employees to determine coverage?
  • How can small businesses obtain an exemption?
  • How does an employer count hours for part-time employees?
  • How does an employer calculate wages employees are entitled to under the FFCRA?

The initial WHD guidance is available in three-parts:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) DOL Workplace Poster. The federal workplace poster to display or post in conspicuous places where easily visible to all employees. Download now