McKeesport – April 2, 2020 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) said today that the new federal stimulus program passed in response to the pandemic allows volunteer fire companies to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP).

“The federal stimulus act enables qualifying volunteer fire companies to apply for EIDL and PPP loans with funds that will be made available quickly,” Brewster said.

EIDL loans can provide up to $2 million in working capital with emergency grants immediately available. An advance of $10,000 for volunteer fire companies organized as IRC 501 (c) (3) of IRC 501 (c) 4 can be accessed within three days of application. Organizations applying for funding will not be required to repay the funds, even if a loan application is ultimately rejected.

Brewster said that qualifying volunteer organizations that pay firefighters can also access federal funds through the PPP. Under this program, loans will be forgiven if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the funds are used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. 

“The International Association of Fire Chiefs has provided guidance for departments to seek federal stimulus funds to help cover costs,” Brewster said. “I encourage all volunteer fire departments to examine these programs in depth and seek federal help during this very difficult time.”

Brewster said that more information on the program can be found at