How Can PACT Help the Community?

The PACT Community’s Health and Safety stand as our top priority. We will continue to monitor and respond to news regarding the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of this uncertainty, PACT is dedicated to supporting our members and serving their needs of customers, capital, connections, and talent.

We recognize the heightened concern and are taking measures to protect our members, event attendees, and team while still providing support to our community and opportunities to connect and collaborate.

How are current events affecting you, and how can we help?

  • Email us with any request and we will respond quickly.
  • In addition, regional economic development agencies including PACT created a survey for businesses impacted by COVID-19. As this survey is directed to a broad array of businesses, please describe your company using the “other” section when registering company type.

How is PACT working to continue to connect our community?

  • All programs will be virtual for the next several months. Please visit our events calendar to stay informed about our evolving schedule.
  • Our team is currently testing a variety of technologies and planning how to deliver content and create robust virtual connectivity for our community.
  • Our Mentor Connect program has moved fully to virtual sessions and is available to our mentees to discuss any issues and in particular, Coronavirus-related business impact.
  • Members are invited to take advantage of PACT’s marketing initiatives for added visibility and attracting customers.

Overall, we understand that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on businesses and our economy. PACT is here to support you and to help move our community forward in the days we face ahead.

All Our Best,
The PACT Team

Jennifer Cohen
Cheryl Jarvis Johnson
Dean Miller
Amanda Nardi Di Filippo
Danielle Pinto
Dianne Strunk
Kim Tuski

A Message to Our Community

PACT is here for you AND can help you NOW

These are difficult times, but businesses will move forward and PACT is here to help you meet your goals – growth in customers, talent and capital. PACT provides opportunities that foster growth and strategic relationships. This approach positively impacts a company’s life cycle – from start-up to enterprise through our core pillars: Capital Connect, Customer Connect, and Talent Connect.

Right now, we are offering a 20% discount to new PACT Members.

Why PACT? Business Growth, Connectivity, Engagement.
PACT provides its Members:

  • Connectivity to prospects, partners, talent and target audience(s) through an exclusive Member directory, a digital community platform and personalized, customized introductions.
  • Free and highly discounted access to virtual programs, live events and conferences.
  • Exclusive member-only access to Digital Content Library
  • Free access for member entrepreneurs to Mentor Connect, a high value team-based mentorship program pairing mentees with a team of successful CEO founders.
  • Opportunities to get engaged and showcase your expertise through pitching and speaking roles at upcoming virtual and live programs.
  • Brand marketing for your business by sharing thought leadership pieces and company news through PACT Times, PACT Blog, social media, Member Spotlights, Company Commercials and Brand Listings
  • Participation in PACT Advisory Boards to get connected and showcase your expertise.

There are many ways to achieve your goals through PACT and we are ready to help. With the current pandemic, we have been hyper-focused on helping our Members efficiently access relief through:

  • Sharing resources on the Paycheck Protection Program, other SBA loans and state/local resources.
  • Providing weekly webcasts of rapidly changing details as well as best practices for business to follow.
  • Lobbying with local, state and federal governments on behalf of our Members to simplify resources and ensure broad distribution of relief.

We look forward to serving you. Please contact Kim Tuski to learn more and get involved today.

The PACT Team

Jennifer Cohen, Mentor Connect
Cheryl Jarvis Johnson, Capital Conference
Kim Tuski, Membership
Dean Miller, President & CEO
Amanda Nardi Di Filippo, Marketing
Danielle Pinto, Programs & Events
Dianne Strunk, Business Development

PPP and PA Capital for Companies

The federal government approved an additional $484 billion in aid to small businesses including $320 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Scroll down for the latest FAQ.

Check out our recent PPP webinar (April 28) available on the PACT YouTube channel

In addition to the PPP, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced that new funding will be available to help technology-based companies impacted by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We covered these programs in the webinar and provide the press release here.

Thank you to our partners at Baker Tilly, Pepper Hamilton LLP, and Fulton Bank for their support.

The SBA reissued an updated FAQ document on April 23 that you can find here.

PACT continues our advocacy efforts on your behalf and we are happy to share these updates. Again, it is critical that you work closely with your bank and professional advisors to properly apply for government aid programs.

As always, please contact PACT with any questions or for any help you need.

Standing in Solidarity to Assure Business Continuity amidst a Global Crisis

Contributed by Cigniti Technologies

Dear Fellow Member,

Hope you are keeping safe.

We are in the middle of a global crisis that has rendered the world almost dysfunctional. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to serious challenges in terms of business & economic stability.

To address such immediate challenges, we at Cigniti are enforcing strict measures to enable organizations across the world to continue their businesses efficiently even in times like these. We are also supporting the fight against the pandemic, by strengthening our remote working capabilities.

  • We are testing software/applications built on the premise of ‘no-touch’, thus, enabling the zero-touch technology.
  • We are providing round-the-clock services to qualified programs supporting the diagnosis, protection, and recovery of the people impacted by the pandemic.
  • To contain the cyber-risks & security vulnerabilities, we have enforced and strictly adhering to the security protocols, compliance, and standards.
  • Hundreds of our dedicated professional testers are continuously delivering remote services amid the national lockdown.
  • We have strengthened our Security Test Center of Excellence (TCoE) to serve the increasing security testing requests.
  • Multiple security features have been implemented between our end and client’s end to ensure top-notch security and uninterrupted service delivery.

 Read more on how Cigniti is standing in solidarity with the world to fight this global crisis.

Negotiating Rent Relief with Your Landlord

Over the past ten days, we have spoken with numerous tenants and landlords about the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on their businesses, and how landlords, their investors and lenders will deal with tenants’ inability to operate, generate cash flow, and pay rent.

In this challenging moment, we have been heartened by the empathy demonstrated by several landlords.  Late last week, a landlord told us:  “Our current position with all tenants that may be affected by a temporary shutdown of business is for them to make rental payments as their cash flow allows. We will not charge late fees or interest on missed payments and will create a payment plan when things stabilize.”   While not all landlords are able to offer this range of concessions, some are.

A property owner will take legal action against a tenant only if that landlord reasonably believes ownership will be better off by doing so.  This is a uniquely harrowing time, and most landlords are rational actors.  Moreover, in light of the consequences to all arising from the COVID-19 break out, landlords realize most tenants are in the same situation — especially because non-essential businesses now are under government order to shut down in many jurisdictions.  Landlords and their investors and lenders now are challenged everywhere to take the longer-term view, and do what they can to ensure their good tenants remain viable . . . and on the rent roll.

Given the foregoing, here are several keys to inform a constructive rent adjustment conversation with your landlord:

  1. Be honest about your situation.  Landlords quickly would be out of business if they grant rent relief to every tenant that wants to lower its rent obligation.  Be prepared to document and explain to the landlord your cash flow situation and why your business will not be able to pay rent or can only pay a specified fraction of your contract rent obligation.
  2. Be precise as to the relief you are asking for.  Are you asking for rent forgiveness, a rent abatement or a deferral of some or all of your rent obligation until things get better? Again, consider tying your request to your specific cash flow situation.  And, consider tying the timeline for relief to lifting of governmental restrictions preventing or impairing your business’s core operations.  Ask the landlord to confirm its plan to improve sanitation, infiltration of fresh air, and undertake other preventive measures to promote building health.  A plan that shares the burden between you and the landlord is going to be more welcome, as they have bills to pay as well.
  3. Articulate your plan for resumption of normal course business operations. Explaining to your landlord why this is a temporary situation is straightforward today given what’s going on in the world, especially if you otherwise have a good history with the landlord of timely paying rent.  Again, most landlords understand that it’s unlikely a new user will be stepping up any time soon to replace you as a tenant.  Your job is to convince the landlord that investing in your business over the coming weeks/months will provide a better, safer return than if they seek to replace you.

Conclusion

We are in unchartered cultural, economic and contractual waters; deals will be cut between landlords and tenants that would not have been considered just a month ago.

It is important to remember that people typically behave in a rational manner.  In most instances, sticking with you – their current tenant – will be the best bet for your landlord.  In approaching your landlord, be honest, respectful of their situation, and creative.  In the end, to paraphrase The Rolling Stones, while you might not get all you want, you may get what you need to muscle through this Coronacrisis.

Tactix Real Estate Advisors, LLC

Ryan Conner ([email protected])

Gary Lozoff ([email protected])

 

PACT Update – What You Should Do – NOW

We are all overwhelmed with the impact of COVID-19 on our personal and professional lives.   We are also inundated with LOTS of information on what we should be doing professionally.  As PACT works to assess all of this information, we share here some quick guidance on what you should be doing NOW – particularly companies with less than 500 employees that are interested in the Federal CARES Act small business programs.

WHAT PACT IS DOING:

  • Lobbying on your behalf at the Federal and State (PA) levels to address important issues affecting startups.  On Tuesday, we spoke with Senator Pat Toomey’s office and shared some of our other efforts below.
  • Dissecting and sharing information that is actionable for companies, investors and professional advisors.   Our regularly updated list of resources can be accessed here.

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING NOW:

FOR FEDERAL PROGRAMS:

  • Companies should call their bank now and find out if they are a current SBA lender.  Even if they are not currently, they may start to process SBA loans as part of the CARES Act.   If they are not a current SBA lender, talk to a bank in the region that already does SBA loans so you can “get in line” for the CARES Act, SBA 7a loan program.
  • Read the National Venture Capital Association guidance and discuss with your professional advisors.  Right now, VC backed companies are largely eliminated from the SBA 7a program due to affiliation rules.   Again, PACT is working hard lobbying with the NVCA and recruiting others to change the affiliation guidance.  Our up to the minute guidance is that the affiliation rules will be waived for most companies.  However, you should start to plan that the guidance may not change.

FOR PENNSYLVANIA PROGRAMS:

  • The Commonwealth of PA has created a $60M pool of capital for small businesses and it is exhaustedClick here to learn more. In addition, this program requires a personal guarantee as well as a 1:1 match up to a maximum loan of $100,000.   We are working hard with others including Life Sciences PA and Ben Franklin to change those requirements for future potential loan pools and make these loans more attractive to startups.  We just had a call with PA Legislative leadership this afternoon to discuss this issue.

FOR CITY OF PHILADELPHIA PROGRAMS:

  • The City of Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund of $9.25M is exhausted.  Applications are currently being accepted for a future micro grant program for companies with less than $500,000 in revenue.  Each grant will be a maximum of $5,000. Click here to learn more.

If you have updates or insights to share that can be beneficial to companies, particularly validated by your own experts or other credible sources, please share with us.  We will be sending out timely and actionable communication as we get updated information.

Please contact the PACT Team if you have any needs.

Thank you all and be safe!

Dean

Crisis Resources for PACT Members

To Our PACT Members,

We know these are difficult times for all. We thank you for your support.

What do you need in this time of crisis?

Our team is currently testing a variety of technologies and planning how to deliver content and create robust virtual connectivity.  Please stay tuned for our online Spring Lineup.

PACT wants to help you get through this crisis with the aid you need. We are plugged into federal, state and local resources that are working to make dollars available to businesses. Take a look below at the complied list of quick links for easy access.

The PACT Team is here for you. Let us know how we can help.

Essential Resources & Needs

Overall Resources
The Chamber’s crisis support page offers many useful links for ease of reference.

Federal
Programs are available at the Federal level:

Philadelphia
The City of Philadelphia and PIDC launched a $9M Small Business Relief Fund for businesses with less than $5M in revenue.

Pennsylvania
Department of Community and Economic Development – the source for all PA programs and assistance including PIDA Loans.

Delaware
Delaware Division of Small Business – the source for all DE programs and assistance.

New Jersey
New Jersey Economic Development Authority – the source for all NJ programs and assistance.

Non-profits
PHL COVID-19 Fund aids non-profits that are on the frontline of the pandemic, providing urgent resources throughout the Philadelphia region. You can donate to support or seek support if your non-profit qualifies.

Healthcare Supplies
There are critical supply needs in our region and beyond to protect healthcare workers and patients. Life Sciences PA compiled a list of needs that you can access.