Entrepreneurship Panel: Insights from Chester County Small Biz Owners

Join us for this exciting new panel featuring the unique perspectives of local small business owners as they share their entrepreneurship stories: how they got started, the resources they used, the lessons they learned along the way, and the advice they’d give people looking to start or grow their own business now.

Click here to register. Registration is required and will close 2 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the event. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the program starts. Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link. You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual program.

This program supports PA Forward Financial Literacy.

Citizens Minority Small Business Grants

MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A $15,000 GRANT.

Small businesses are the backbone to our economy, and diverse small business ownership is critical to the growth and success of our local communities. In recognition, Citizens will award 100 minority-owned businesses with grants of $15,000 each, a total of $1.5 million overall.

 

To apply, a business must be:

  • At least 51% minority owned, operated and controlled by an Asian American, Black American, Hispanic American or Native American
  • Either a Citizens Bank Business Banking account holder or, if not a Citizens customer, based within our 11-state footprint
  • In business for at least one year, with annual revenue of no more than $1 million

Eligible businesses can submit a statement (up to 150 words) describing how they would use the grant to strengthen and sustain both their business and their community.

Hurry—the entry deadline is Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET. Apply now.

PA CareerLink Chester County: Expanded Virtual Services and Selected On-Site Services Now Available by Appointment

PA CareerLink® Chester County has expanded virtual services for job seekers and employers and will now offer limited on-site services by appointment beginning Monday, July 6, 2020.

PA CareerLink® Chester County has provided essential virtual services for job seekers and employers since mid-March when statewide mitigation efforts began to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Moving to the green phase for COVID-19 has allowed some services to resume at the PA CareerLink® Chester County offices at the Oaklands Corporate Center, 479 Thomas Jones Way, Suite 500 in Exton.

“We strongly encourage customers to continue using our virtual services – which include career counseling, job search and resume assistance, and on-the-job training programs,” said Butch Urban, PA CareerLink® Chester County Site Administrator. “But we are also now accepting appointments for limited on-site services, including use of the Computer Resource Center (CRC) for job search purposes paperwork completion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) programs, and on-site educational assessments.”

To schedule an appointment for limited on-site services and all other information, please contact the PA CareerLink® Chester County at 610-280-1010 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Specifically, the PA CareerLink® Chester County expanded services include:

Virtual Services

  • Adult education classes
  • All employer services
  • Career counseling
  • Eligibility determination for Workforce Innovation programs and service
  • Job search assistance
  • On-the-Job Training programs
  • Resume assistance
  • Virtual workshops
  • Youth Programming and work readiness services

Limited On-Site Services (Appointment Only)

  • Copying and faxing documents for unemployment compensation (UC) office
  • Employer services
  • Individual customer appointments to complete program paperwork for Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs
  • On-site educational assessment

Use of the PA CareerLink® resource room for job search activity.

To protect the health and safety of all visitors and staff, and to continue following COVID-19 social distancing and mitigation recommendations, the Unemployment Compensation (UC) courtesy telephone will not be available in the PA CareerLink® office.

For regular UC questions:

  • Email uchelp@pa.gov
  • Call 888-313-7284 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • LiveChat (call 888-313-7284 for a secure 6-digit code) Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) questions:

  • Email ucpua@pa.gov
  • Call 855-284-8545 Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

PA CareerLink® Chester County system is the one-stop shop for Chester County job seekers and employers. More information on their services, including information on local employment opportunities is available on their website.

PA Small Business Loan Assistance now open

A short time ago, the application for grants to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order became available. The COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19.

The application requires you to apply through one of the members of the Pennsylvania CDFI Network, a coalition of 17 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that are participating in this program. The application will be identical no matter through which CDFI you apply and all applications will be entered into one “pool” for a competitive review. There are a number of CDFIs that identify Chester County as a service area. The Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) has worked with these three in the past:

To view the full list of CDFIs that service Chester County and to start your application, CLICK HERE.

Please note that this is not a first-come, first-served program and that there will be multiple rounds of application windows. The application window for the first round of funding will remain open for 10 business days. Please visit https://pabusinessgrants.com/ to stay apprised of news and updates.

Clean Slate & Expungement Workshop

Announcing the free Clean Slate and Expungement workshops by Coatesville Center for Community Health on Tuesday, June 9 at 4 pm. 

The Clean Slate and Expungement Workshops are designed to help those individuals with criminal histories who may have been denied employment or other services because of their criminal record.  An attorney from Legal Aid of Southeastern PA will conduct the workshop where participants will learn about the clean slate and expungement process, if they might be eligible, and learn how to proceed.  The attorney will meet individually with each participant to review their criminal record.  

A copy of the criminal record can be obtained at http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MDJ.aspx.  

The meeting link will be sent to participants upon registration. To register email ccch@comcast.net

More Virtual Tech Tuesday Sessions Added

Virtual Tech Tuesday: One-on-One Instructional Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
This one-on-one session describes and demonstrates:
• How to enhance photos using Adobe Photoshop
• Learn the basic Photoshop’s tools such as layers and adjustments as the instructor works through example projects
Tuesday, June 9, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 9, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Virtual Tech Tuesday: You Can Host a Zoom Meeting, Too!
This class describes and demonstrates the process of preparing for and executing a video conference using the free version of the Zoom application.
Tuesday, June 23, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Virtual Tech Tuesday: Alternatives to Cable TV
This class will explore the various options to Cable TV. We’ll review the requirements, relative costs, advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. Prior experience with a TV remote is useful but not required.
Tuesday, June 30, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Restore Chester County Toolkit now available

The Chester County Commissioners have launched RestoreChesterCounty.org, a comprehensive online toolkit that offers guidelines specifically designed for Chester County’s 15,000-plus businesses and 525,000 residents as they move from the red phase to the yellow phase on June 5.

RestoreChesterCounty.org provides direct access to guidelines that are broken down by 20 different business and organization sectors here in Chester County.

Visitors to RestoreChesterCounty.org will immediately be presented with access to a Business & Org Toolkit, as well as Resident Toolkit. The Business & Org Toolkit lists guidelines that span industries, including a checklist for knowing if your business is ready, how to get it to that point, and how to find resources for obtaining personal protective equipment. Business and organizational leaders can then drill deeper by accessing 20 different business and organization sectors, including everything from agriculture and office settings to restaurants, personal care, schools, religious organizations, and more.

Restore Chester County is an initiative launched by the county’s COVID-19 Business Task Force, a collaborative of business, economic, education, and government leaders formed by the Chester County Commissioners last month to focus on reopening and restoring Chester County’s economy affected by COVID-19.

Virtual Program: The American Dream: Building Your Financial Future

Join us for The American Dream: Building Your Financial Future, Tuesday, June 2, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

With the commoditization of planning by the financial media, it is more difficult for people to understand that there is a comprehensive process to building a financially secure future. Using the analogy of building a house, we cover the overall process of building a financially secure future. This class will provide a new paradigm of thinking. Instead of thinking something is bad or good, the question to ask is “Does this fit for me?”

Provided by Wienken Advisors, LTD. This program supports PA Forward’s Financial Literacy.

Please register for the program: Tuesday, June 2, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the program starts. Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link. You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual program.

Virtual Program: Foundations of Investing

Join us for Foundations of Investing, Monday, June 1, 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Building your investor IQ starts with understanding the basics. Whether you are new to investing or need a refresher, this presentation will discuss the importance of developing a strategy, the impact of asset allocation and the influence of inflation on your long-term goals.

Provided by Edward Jones. This program supports PA Forward’s Financial Literacy.

Please register for the program: Monday, June 1, 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

A link to access the program will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the program starts. Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link.

Program for people who exhaust their unemployment compensation benefits

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak announced the launch of Pennsylvania’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program to provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC).

PEUC is included in the new federal unemployment compensation benefits provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Pennsylvania has implemented all programs under the new CARES Act and paid out nearly $7.4 billion in total unemployment benefits since mid-March.

Important information about the extended benefits program follows and has also been emailed or mailed via the United States Postal Service to all individuals who potentially qualify for PEUC.

To read the full press release, click here.