October 05, 2020 Gov. Wolf Announces Additional $96 Million for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy, Press Release Governor Tom Wolf today announced that an additional $96 million in state grants have been approved for 5,373 Pennsylvania small businesses that were impacted by the business closure order due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.Businesses in every county were approved for grants in this round of funding, and 52 percent are historically disadvantaged businesses.To date, more than 10,000 businesses were approved for $192 million in grants through the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program.“The COVID-19 pandemic has been caused a lot of hardship for our business community, and it has been particularly difficult for Pennsylvania’s small businesses to weather the economic effects of this crisis. Pennsylvania’s small business owners are community-focused employers, and they drive our economy, so they deserve our support as we continue to navigate this public health crisis,” Gov. Wolf said. “As we seek to recover, and rebuild our economy following the downturn caused by this pandemic, it’s critical that we provide opportunities for these businesses to recover and rebound, and this funding will provide much-needed support for businesses in communities across the state.”The governor announced this funding at the Broad Street Market in Harrisburg and was joined by public officials and the owners of two local businesses: D.McGee Design Studio, located in the market, which was approved for a $10,000 grant, and Gifted Hands Barber Studio, located on 3rd Street near the market, which was approved for a $5,000 grant.The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of which $225 million was earmarked for relief for small businesses.The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) distributed the funds to the Pennsylvania Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which are administering the grants.“We’ve seen the impact of this pandemic-fueled economic crisis on the small businesses in our communities. We targeted these funds to reach the smallest and most vulnerable businesses across the state and as CDFIs, we were able to mobilize our networks to reach those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” said James Burnett, vice chair of the PA CDFI Network and executive director of the West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution. “The PA CDFI Network is grateful for the partnership of Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Legislature as we move quickly to get these resources into the hands of those most impacted by the crisis.”“I am extremely proud we were able to work together and to get much needed grants to the small businesses across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that serve as the backbone to our economy,” said state Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery). “With that said, this should not be the end of the push to help our small business community. There are still CARES dollars available and thousands of businesses that have applied for this program seeking relief and the General Assembly must prioritize focusing on those needs and getting our people through this pandemic.”
“Although Royal Mail’s own consultation exercise revealed massive opposition to its closure plan, the company has decided to ignore the views of its workforce and proceed with closure without consent,” said Ray Ellis, acting deputy general secretary for postal workers at the CWU.He added: “CWU has made clear that any attempt by the company to impose change without agreement will be met with the strongest possible opposition including a ballot for industrial action. We will not stand by and watch the company abandon the pension promises it made at the time of privatisation which threatens our members with massive cuts to their future pension benefits and insecurity and poverty in retirement.”Brian Scott, officer for the Royal Mail at Unite the Union, said the closure was “a cause for serious concern for a hardworking and dedicated workforce”.He added that “the important part will be the replacement scheme which we are in ongoing discussions about… We will study the implications of today’s announcement very carefully and consider all the options going forward. If we don’t achieve a satisfactory outcome, we can’t rule out an industrial action ballot on this issue.”Royal Mail said it appreciated “how important pension benefits are to our colleagues” but maintained the scheme was not affordable in its current form.“We continue to work closely with our unions on a sustainable and affordable solution for the provision of future pension benefits,” the company said. “We will write to plan members once further decisions have been made.”The CWU has proposed a risk-sharing replacement scheme with a guaranteed payout and indexation linked to investment performance. The union has said the investment portfolio would be “aggressive” and equity-based, in contrast to the majority of UK DB schemes, which tend to be predominantly invested in fixed income. Royal Mail is to close its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to future accrual on 31 March 2018.The £7.6bn (€8.9bn) Royal Mail Pension Plan is in surplus, but this was expected to run out next year, according to an update issued this morning by Royal Mail.Employer contributions are set to hit £1bn a year, compared to the current level of £400m, “if no changes are made”, the company said.However, workers’ unions have disputed the need to close and have threatened strike action, which would hit the UK’s postal service. In a statement issued this morning, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said members of the scheme stood to lose more than £4,000 a year if they were switched to a defined contribution scheme.
Aston Villa have appointed Kevin MacDonald as the club’s assistant manager. MacDonald joins first-team coach Mark Robson and performance analyst Seamus Brady as part of Sherwood’s new-look backroom team. He had been at Forest since the summer as lead professional development phase coach and took the club’s Under-18 side to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals. Sherwood said on Thursday he was looking for a long-term assistant to help him rebuild Villa. He said: “I am still giving thought to the assistant manager, whoever I bring in will be the correct one for myself and the football club. I’ll make sure I’ll get that one right. I would rather not jump into it. I want someone for the long-term at the club, to help me build it.” Press Association The 54-year-old has left Nottingham Forest to return to Villa Park and become Tim Sherwood’s new number two, and will be in the dugout for Saturday’s visit of Stoke. MacDonald was previously reserve team manager at Villa and was also caretaker boss in 2010 following the exit of Martin O’Neill.
Boston Police are reporting that District A-1 officers arrested a suspect wanted in connection of three recent armed robberies in the North End, including the one previously reported at Bob’s Grocery. The suspect had a loaded gun at the time of his arrest, which was made around 9pm on Friday night by patrolling officers in the area of Charter Street and Jackson Avenue, near Copp’s Hill Terrace. the first robbery took place at about 12:26 AM on May 29, 2019, in the area of 450 Commercial Street. A male and female had exited Rocco’s Cucina & Bar after closing time and were confronted by the suspect as they walked up the street. The suspect displayed a handgun and demanded cash. The victims handed over money and the suspect fled on foot. the second holdup took place at about 10:52 PM on May 29, 2019, in the area 37 Merrimac Street (parking lot) and the third armed robbery took place at about 6:50 PM on May 30, 2019, in the area of 160 Endicott Street (Bob’s Grocery, see previous post). All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Mirabella is expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition Subsequent Offense, and Firearm Violation with Prior Violent/Drug Crime Conviction. According to BPDNews.com:*Advertisement* On Friday night, patrolling officers in the North End observed a male matching the description of the suspect wanted in connection to the three recent armed robberies in the area. Officers continued their surveillance of the male, further observing him engaged in multiple hand to hand drug transactions in the area of 190 Salem Street in the North End before getting on a bicycle and fleeing the area. Officers followed the male to the area of Charter Street and Jackson Avenue where they observed him enter the passenger’s side of an unoccupied parked motor vehicle. Officers observed the male remove an item from his back waistband and place it in his front waistband. Officers immediately recognized the item to be a firearm and quickly approached the suspect. Officers ordered the male out of the vehicle and attempted to secure the firearm, but during the process, the suspect grabbed a hold of the firearm’s handle in an attempt to remove it. Officers were able to take the firearm from the suspect before placing him under arrest. Officers recovered a Highpoint .380 caliber firearm loaded with seven rounds of live ammunition. Police arrested Dante Mirabella, 53-years-old, of Boston’s North End. He is charged with three counts of Armed Robbery for the following incidents, all which describe the suspect using a handgun and demanding cash. It is our 10th Anniversary and we are celebrating a decade of community news at NorthEndWaterfront.com! Keeping this website going takes a lot of time, money and hard work. Advertising doesn’t bring in enough to pay for reporting or editorial work. But we do it because we believe community news is important – and we think you do too. If everyone who reads this site, who likes it, puts in a bit to pay for it, then our future would be much more secure. Contribute online at the links below or checks can be made out to North End Boston LLC, 343 Commercial St. #508, Boston 02109. Become a Patron to receive free rewards including neighborhood photo calendars, custom mugs and special updates from the editor.*Become a Patron (Rewards!)* or *Make a One-Time Contribution* Surveillance photo distributed by Boston Police in search for the suspect of three robberies in the North End