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Resources for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Strengthen and grow your small business or nonprofit with these useful resources. To report a non-working link, email us at phillyvip@phillyvip.org.

For Organizations Affected by COVID-19

*This list will be updated as more resources become available*

Small Businesses

*NEW* Force Majeure Clauses in Contracts
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP with assistance from the Penn Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic

*NEW* Preparing for Pro Se Representation in Small Claims Court
Prepared by Rana Ozer, esq. for Philadelphia VIP

*NEW* Start Small Think Big
Free financial and marketing services for small businesses and nonprofits, as well as the Rapid Response Project to help with businesses affected by COVID-19.

 

*COMING SOON* Temporary Financial Monitor Program
Philadelphia’s Commerce Court has started a new program designed to help small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. The program assigns volunteer legal or accounting professionals as Temporary Financial Monitors who “shall be responsible for evaluating the financial information provided by the petitioning entity and, upon consultation with the entity and its creditors, shall prepare a proposed Operating Plan to enable the entity to resume and/or continue operations while paying off its accumulated debts.”

CARES Act Payroll Tax Relief Provisions
A summary of COVID-19 tax relief provisions prepared by DLA Piper

Citizens Bank Small Business Recovery Program
Grants of $15,000 each that will be awarded to eligible Citizens Bank business customers who apply.

COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance
Provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The Pennsylvania CDFI Network will administer several rounds of funding to the best qualified applicants. This is not a first-come, first-served program. Round 2 will open up in August.

COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) Program
Administered by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA). Provides working capital loans to small businesses up to $100,000.

The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation COVID-19 Loan Fund
Loans for Philadelphia’s small businesses that have been in operation for at least 6 months and have a documented hardship.

Facebook Small Business Grant Program
Offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where Facebook operates

Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)
$3 million in grant funds available for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy food in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill.

LISC Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
Provides grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.

PA Department of Community and Economic Development COVID-19 Business Resources
Information about Governor Wolf’s mandate on business closures + state-level resources for affected businesses

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Pennsylvania is now offering unemployment assistance to individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits (e.g. self-employed workers, consultants, independent contractors, gig workers).

Paycheck Protection Program
A loan program from the SBA that provides 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses and nonprofits with up to 500 employees, which may be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. *UPDATE 4/27/20* The PPP has received more funding and is accepting applications again.

Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund
*UPDATE 4/16/2020* This program is no longer accepting applications at this time.

Philadelphia Emergency Fund for Stabilization of Early Education (PEFSEE)
Tiered grant awards of up to $20,000 will be made available to provide immediate relief to eligible organizations with operations located in the city of Philadelphia.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Social distancing for essential businesses during COVID-19
Guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health

US Department of Treasury and IRS Guidance on Deferring Tax Payments Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

Nonprofits

*NEW* Force Majeure Clauses in Contracts
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP with assistance from the Penn Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic

*NEW* Start Small Think Big
Free financial and marketing services for small businesses and nonprofits, as well as the Rapid Response Project to help with businesses affected by COVID-19.

*NEW* Main Street Lending Program
Information from DLA Piper on loans that have been approved by the Federal Reserve Board for nonprofit organizations under the Nonprofit Organization New Loan Facility (“NLF”) and the Nonprofit Organization Expanded Loan Facility (“ELF” and collectively with the NLF, the “Facilities”).

CARES Act Payroll Tax Relief Provisions
A summary of COVID-19 tax relief provisions prepared by DLA Piper

Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)
$3 million in grant funds available for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy food in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. Funding for HFFI is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), authorized by the Farm Bill.

Paycheck Protection Program
A loan program from the SBA that provides 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses and nonprofits with up to 500 employees, which may be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. *UPDATE 4/27/20* The PPP has received more funding and is accepting applications again.

PHL COVID-19 Fund
Grants available to Greater Philadelphia organizations with a successful track record of serving at-risk populations 

Philadelphia Emergency Fund for Stabilization of Early Education (PEFSEE)
Tiered grant awards of up to $20,000 will be made available to provide immediate relief to eligible organizations with operations located in the city of Philadelphia.

Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak: Resources to Help Nonprofits
Materials and articles on a wide array of topics to help nonprofits respond to COVID-19, prepared by The Chronicle of Philanthropy

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

For Small Businesses

Small Business Community Partners and Resources

Business Resource & Innovation Center
Free Library of Philadelphia

City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce

Clinic for Law & Entrepreneurship, Villanova University School of Law
Providing legal services for start-up businesses

Contracts Hub
Database of opportunities for vendors to work with the City of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Business Program
Offering workshops and an extended 12-week course in small business management

Department of Licenses and Inspections
City of Philadelphia’s L&I Department website

Entrepreneur Works
Provides entrepreneurs with access to capital, one-on-one technical assistance, business training & networking opportunities

FINANTA
A community lender including peer-to-peer loans and small business counseling

PA Department of Community and Economic Development

Penn Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
University of Pennsylvania Law School program that offers no-cost assistance to small businesses

Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers
Provides a list of Small Business Development Centers

SBA
The U.S. Small Business Administration

SCORE Philadelphia
Provides free and confidential business advice and counseling

The Enterprise Center
Assists local entrepreneurs in West Philadelphia

The Merchants Fund
Provides charitable gifts to business persons facing financial hardship

Vets First Verification Program
Affords verified firms owned and controlled by Veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set-asides

Women’s Business Enterprise Center East
Provides resources to entrepreneurs and business owners looking to expand

Women’s Opportunities Resource Center
Provides training, individual business assistance, job placement, and access to business and financial resources

Small Business "Self-Help" Legal Guides

A Guide to Business Registration in Pennsylvania
Prepared by Pennsylvania Department of States Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

Entrepreneur’s Guide: Starting and Growing a Business in Pennsylvania
Prepared by Pennsylvania Department Community & Economic Development

Dissolving a Small Business
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP

Guide to Writing a Business Plan
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP and Penn Law Financial Literacy Project

How to Start a Business Guide
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP 

Immigration Impacts on Small Business Ownership Webinar
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

Legal Checkups – Smart Practices for a Healthy Business
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

Model Employee Handbooks for Small Business
Prepared by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Arent Fox LLP

Succession Planning
Prepared by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Tax Considerations for Small Businesses – Part 1
Tax Considerations for Small Businesses – Part 2
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

For Nonprofits

Nonprofit Community Partners and Resources

Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia

New Beginnings
Nonprofit incubator

Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University
Technical assistance for nonprofits

The Nonprofit Partnership
Capacity building programs and services

PHENND
Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development

Regional Foundation Center
Free Library of Philadelphia

RSVP VEC of Montgomery County
Responding to Community Needs through Volunteerism: Volunteer Executive Consultants; helps nonprofit organizations in need of management assistance. Contact Anne Sheehan at annes@rsvpmc.org for free assistance with creating a budget

Urban Affairs Coalition
Offering fiscal sponsorship, consulting services, and fee for service options to nonprofits

Volunteer Accountants for Nonprofits
Offers free assistance with creating a budget for nonprofit

Nonprofit "Self-Help" Legal Guides

*NEW* Guide to Drafting Bylaws for a Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP

Conflict of Interest Policies: Disclosure, Monitoring and Enforcement
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

Developing Better Bylaws – A Webinar on Improving Your Organization’s Governance
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

Fiscal Sponsorship FAQ
A guide to fiscal sponsorship, an alternative to forming a 501c(3) organization; prepared by Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Justice

501c3 vs 501c4: Everything You Need to Know
Published on Up Counsel

How to Form a Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation
Published on NOLO.com

Model Board of Directors Orientation Manual
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

Nonprofit Legal Checklist
Checklist to help ensure nonprofit organizations are on the road to good legal health; prepared by Wayfind

Your Nonprofit Organization’s Board of Directors
A guide outlining the general and specific responsibilities of vital roles in an organization’s board of directors; prepared by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO)

Tax Exemption and Compliance

Before Applying for Tax Exempt Status

Applying for Tax-Exempt Status

Charitable Contributions Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements

Form 990 Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions About Applying for Tax Exemption
Form 1023 is the Application for Recognition of Exemption Under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

Public Charity Compliance Guide

Which Forms Do Exempt Organizations File?
Table indicating the appropriate 990 Series form tax exempt organizations must file as part of their annual return dependent on financial activity

Additional Nonprofit-Specific Guides and Resources

A Guide to Being a Fiscal Sponsor: Is it a Good Fit for Your Organization?
A fiscal sponsor is a 501(c)(3) public charity that agrees to sponsor a project (fiscal agent) that may lack tax exempt status, allowing the agent to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations under the sponsor’s exempt status; prepared by Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Justice

A Nonprofit’s Guide to OSHA
Guide to compliance with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration; prepared by Pro Bono Partnership

A Nonprofit’s Guide to Risk Management and Insurance
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

Dissolving a Nonprofit Corporation in Pennsylvania
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP

Employee Benefits for Nonprofits
Prepared by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Federal Grant Information
A centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities; managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Good Financial Policies for Nonprofits 101
Prepared by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Good Financial Policies for Nonprofits 102
Prepared by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Grant Writing 101
Prepared by Michigan Community Resources

Legal Issues of Working with Volunteers
Prepared by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Pennsylvania Attorney General Handbook for Charitable Nonprofit Organizations
Prepared by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General

Political Activity – What Your Organization Needs to Know
Prepared by D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

Risks and Rewards of Crowdfunding for Nonprofits
Prepared by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Sample Employee Handbook
Prepared by National Council of Nonprofit Associations

“…Your Huddled Masses Yearning”: An Update for Nonprofits Serving Undocumented Immigrants
Outlines legal limitations, risks, and tips for nonprofit organizations serving undocumented immigrants; prepared by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

General Guides and Resources for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Administration and Internal Practices

Document Retention Policy Template
Prepared by Lawyers Clearing House

Contracts

*NEW* How to Draft a Template Contract
Prepared by Philadelphia VIP

A Practical Guide to Legal Risk Management: Contracts
Prepared by Lawyers Alliance for New York

Contract Management Guide
Prepared by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply

Employment

The Alphabet Soup of Labor and Employment Law
Prepared by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Guide to Independent Contractors
Prepared by the National Federation of Independent Businesses

Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act
Prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor

Pennsylvania Employment Laws

Intellectual Property

Real Estate, Commercial Leases, and Licenses

The Basics: Commercial Leases
Prepared by Cozen O’Connor

Commercial Real Estate Terms and Definitions
Prepared by NAIOP Research Foundation

START RIGHT A Guide to L+I Services
Philadelphia Guide to Licensing and Inspections; prepared by Philadelphia office of Licenses and Inspections