UPDATES AND RESOURCES
Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority’s Small Business First Fund, COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program.The SBA has Disaster Relief Loans that are available to businesses affected by the Coronavirus. These are handled directly through the SBA, not banks. Business owners can call the Pittsburgh District SBA office (412) 395-6560, or apply online here.Unemployment Compensation from the PA Department of Labor and Industry. L&I has announced that the typical "waiting week" for unemployment benefits has been waived during this crisis.The federal CARES Act will provide unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, and other individuals who previously were not eligible for unemployment. Special instructions will be provided to these individuals. At this time, you should NOT file a claim through the existing online system or phone number if you are not currently eligible for unemployment. Workers impacted by COVID-19 can also visit our Information for Pennsylvania Employees Impacted by COVID-19 page for the latest updates.You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank. There are thousands of banks that already participate in the SBA’s lending programs, including numerous community banks. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program.
United Way of Venango County, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, and Franklin Rotary Club have partnered to help our most vulnerable community members - our senior citizens. We have volunteers in place who are willing to deliver groceries and/or prescriptions to those in need. It only takes one phone call to Pa211 Venango to make this happen. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are concerned for yourself, or a loved one,call 2-1-1 today.United Way and Bridge Builders Community Foundations have created a COVID-19 Relief Fund for any Venango County residents affected by this virus. Many individuals in our area do not have the resources to get through a crisis and with continued job losses will not be able to afford basic necessitates. A fund has also been established to aide non-profits providing vital services to the community. Learn more on how you can apply or contribute at www.bbcf.org.With the current pandemic situation going on Community Ambulance Service is in operation and responding to emergency calls. They are also transferring patients for upgrade in care to out of County facilities. The wheelchair division is only running for specific needs transports. Their office is in operation for phone calls and/or drop offs but only CAS employees are permitted in the office or our stations. Should you have any questions, please feel free to call (814) 437-3016. At this point their membership drive will be on coming in May, so please send in your membership.Huff Gurthrie Funeral Home is offering to run errands for the elderly and shut-ins in Franklin between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. so that those at most risk can remain at home. If you or someone you know needs assistance, call (814) 432-3111.
Clarion University SBDC's consulting services are being offered remotely; businesses are encouraged to contact the SBDC by either calling their office at (814) 393-2060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crawford Area Transportation Authority will reduce service hours for the fixed route bus system effective Monday, March 23, 2020 and suspend the collection of fixed route fares until further notice during the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration by Governor Wolf. Meadville and Venango County Routes will operate from 9:00am-5:00pm Monday through Saturday with no bus service between 12:00-1:00pm. Titusville service will operate 9:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday with no bus service between 12:00-1:00pm. Life line service between Meadville and Titusville, Cochranton, Cambridge Springs, Conneaut Lake, and Saegertown will continue to run on the regular schedule. No fares will be collected on the Fixed Route system during this time. Seniors and ADA riders should continue to show their Senior pass or ADA card when boarding the bus. CATA strongly suggests that trips are only taken for life-sustaining needs such as medical, food, or work. Fares and co-pays for Shared Ride trips will continue to be collected. Revised time schedules are available on the buses and at www.catabus.org. For more information or if you have a need for transportation, please call 855-338-5600.
Emergency Food Sources:Community Services of Venango County food pantries in Oil City and Rocky Grove will be offering bags of food for school children in need starting March 16, while school is temporarily closed. The bags will be packed with cereal, soup, fruit and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. For more information, call the Oil City pantry at (814) 676-5011 or Rocky Grove (814) 432-5749.Franklin Area School District will be providing free bagged lunch and a breakfast for the next day for students. Any student 18 years old and younger may visit Central Elementary from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Monday -Friday) Students must be present in order to pick up the meals. This is a drive through service. The buildings will not be open to the public for any reason. Families along with the students or age appropriate students themselves may walk to Central Elementary to receive the lunch/breakfast. If any family is having difficulty accessing meals at Central Elementary, you may dial 211 (Information Center) so that we may provide an alternate pickup site.Attention students who participate in the Central Elementary backpack Program: Mother Elizabeth Yale asks that the participants come to St. John's Episcopal Church in Franklin to pick up the bags on Fridays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you are unable to get to the church, please call the church office at (814) 432-5161.The Franklin VFW is collecting non-perishable food donations to be distributed to children in need during their time off from school.Subway in Franklin will be providing a free breakfast or lunch to any Franklin Area student while schools are shut down. Stop in between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a free 6 in. sub and a medium drink.