The coronavirus pandemic was ravaging companies and government money was nowhere in May 2020, when a group of business leaders created the Pennsylvania 30-Day Fund to offer grants and forgivable loans to small businesses.
Jeff Brown, who owns a dozen supermarkets in the Philadelphia region, said he and other fund founders took the vetting process personally. They phoned applicants themselves. “We’d ask them how things were going,” Brown said. “People were in tears. You know, it’s their life savings, and the stories were very similar. Their businesses were shutting down. They had nothing coming in.”