Duquesne University Small Business Development Center Wants To Help Small Businesses

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Months into the coronavirus pandemic, the road to economic recovery is a steep one for small business owners in the area.

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KDKA investigator Meghan Schiller explains the untapped resources that could act as a lifeline for some businesses in the coming weeks.

“We’ve talked to about 15 businesses that have come in specifically asking us, gee we really need to think about this,” said Rich Longo, the director of the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center

Longo knows businesses are considering bankruptcy. That’s why the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center wants to help.

“That was enough for us to say if there’s 15, we kind of see the writing on the wall, we kind of see there’s a stall in the second wave of stimulus,” said Longo.

His group of experienced consultants wants business owners to weigh all the options before going under.

“Within the next couple weeks, we’re going to be putting out a series of workshops where we can help small businesses go through the due diligence,” said Longo.

According to a survey from Small Business For American’s Future, 15 percent of nearly 1,500 small businesses surveyed won’t make it past October.

“We found that 34 percent said they could only make it to the end of this year,” said Anne Zimmerman, the co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future.

Zimmerman says they need funding.

“Most of them absolutely agreed this relief package needs to come and it needs to come now,” Zimmerman said.

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Stefano hears it every day.

“They are dying without bar service, our restaurants are not going to survive,” Stefano said.

He supports a bill on Governor Tom Wolf’s desk that asks for three things: restore restaurants to a minimum 50 percent indoor capacity, eliminate the need to purchase food with alcohol and remove the restriction on bar service.

Governor Wolf has until Oct. 16 to make a decision on the bill. He indicated he plans to veto it.

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