WASHINGTON, March 25, 2020 – USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America.

Read the full announcement to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief to our customers, partners, and stakeholders.

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The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) has approved funding to provide $61 million in low-interest loans to Pennsylvania’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Loans of up to $100,000 will be available through the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) for small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees to use as working capital.  In addition to a low interest rate, there will be no application fees, and the terms will include no payments and no interest during the first year of the loan. 

Funding for the program was made possible by the CFA’s transfer of $40 million in funding to PIDA. That money will be combined with existing funds in PIDA’s Small Business First Program to provide low-interest loans to small businesses.

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The deadline to file 2019 state personal income tax returns with the Department of Revenue has been extended by 90 days to July 15. The Internal Revenue Service also extended the federal filing deadline to the same date.

All penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments will also be waived through the new deadline. The deadline is also extended for taxpayers who make quarterly estimated payments. First and second quarter payments will be due July 15.

The extension does not apply to local taxes. Community residents are encouraged to check with their local tax collection agency to determine whether local taxes are still due on April 15.

Taxpayers are encouraged to file returns electronically to enable the Department of Revenue to process returns while state offices are closed. Tax returns can be filed for free online through the PAdirectfile system.

Free tax forms and instructions are also available at www.revenue.pa.gov.

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In order to support the ability of nurses to treat patients during the current public health emergency, the Department of State has suspended a number of administrative requirements for nurses.

Registered Nurses and Practical Nurses will not need to apply for extensions of temporary or graduate permits, and all permits that would normally expire during the next 90 days will be extended for an additional 90 days. Temporary nursing practice permits and graduate permits will also be extended beyond one year and extension fees will be waived.

In addition, Registered Nurses, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Specialists can continue to care for patients if their licenses are currently in renewal and set to expire on April 30. These licenses will be extended for an additional three months.

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners will also be given the authority to practice to their full capabilities and assist in the coronavirus response without being required to practice within a specific clinical specialty.

Nursing school graduates can also apply for a graduate permit under certain circumstances to assist in the coronavirus response. More details on measures to help healthcare practitioners treat Pennsylvanians affected by COVID-19 are available here.

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The Department of State has taken a number of steps to relax restrictions on pharmacies to ensure Pennsylvanians can continue to access the medications they need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Out-of-state pharmacies will be permitted to ship goods into Pennsylvania under some circumstances, and temporary licensure will be granted to pharmacies in other states so they can provide goods and services to Pennsylvanians for the duration of the coronavirus emergency.

Also, pharmacists will be permitted to provide remote supervision by telephone or computer to pharmacy technicians and interns, ensuring these employees can continue to dispense medications without a pharmacist physically on the premises.

More details about this announcement are available here.

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The Internal Revenue Service has a page set-up for COVID-19 Tax relief and Information.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

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