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State officials have been blitzed with applications from Pennsylvania business owners seeking waivers to the Wolf administration’s order last week that all non-essential businesses shutter their operations, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin said Sunday.
Davin recapped, the enforcement of Gov. Tom Wolf’s order to close all non-life-sustaining businesses would begin Monday at 8 a.m.
Davin said that state law enforcement has been provided the list of essential industries, all of whom may remain in operation, such as food processing, utilities and health care.
The list was developed quickly in response to changes in the COVID-19 outbreak from conversations with the Department of Health, trade organizations, chambers of commerce and local businesses, Davin said.
Since its initial release, the list has been updated to allow laundromats and hotels to remain open.
“The governor made the decision to amend that list, and that’s the list that is available right now,” Davin said.
“DCED has received thousands – approaching 10,000 waivers,” Davin said.
He added that the department has reviewed over half of them, in the hopes having them all reviewed by the time enforcement begins Monday morning.
Davin encouraged businesses that believe they fall into a “gray area” of the list, to submit a waiver to the department.
In light of the pandemic’s effect on businesses across the commonwealth, Davin urged small business owners to explore state and federal loan options.
Davin said state loans currently have an interest rate of 3 percent, but that loan officials are meeting soon to adjust it to a more favorable rate, given the circumstances.
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