Casey Urges U.S. Small Business Administration to Stand Ready to Provide Additional Assistance to Small Businesses Affected by NHL Lockout

SBA Has Taken Initial Steps But With Lockout Dragging On More Help May Be Needed

Cancelled Season Would Cost Pittsburgh Small Business $86 million in Lost Revenue

 

WASHINGTON, DC– Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) urged the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stand ready to provide additional assistance to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia businesses that have been adversely affected by the ongoing National Hockey League (NHL) lockout in a letter to Karen Mills, Administrator of the SBA. Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers traditionally have strong attendance and draw thousands of fans to come out to their respective arenas and support them. The lockout has already claimed nearly half of the season and a recent breakdown between the owners and players leaves the remainder of the season in jeopardy. Additional assistance could potentially come in the form of SBA loans and micro loans to offset short term losses.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and their success is vital to our continued recovery,” said Senator Casey.  “I respectfully request that that you work with the small businesses in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that are being harmed by the NHL lockout and provide them with the guidance and tools to get through this challenging climate.”

A recent study conducted by the tourism bureau VisitPittsburgh found that each Penguins home game generates approximately $2.1 million worth of revenue and that the city and its small businesses could expect to bear a loss of $86 million in revenue if the entire NHL season is cancelled, excluding revenue from potential home playoff games.  Philadelphia is losing approximately $1 million for every Flyers home game not played.

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter to Administrator Mills is below:

Ms. Karen Mills

Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration

409 Third Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20416

Dear Administrator Mills:

I am writing to you regarding the ongoing National Hockey League (NHL) lockout and its effect on small businesses in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.  Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers traditionally have strong attendance and draw thousands of fans to come out to their respective arenas to support them.  These fans regularly patronize small businesses in the area and by doing so provide an economic boost to each city during the NHL season.

Recently, the tourism bureau VisitPittsburgh completed a study that found each Penguins home game generates approximately $2.1 million worth of revenue.  Nearly half of this revenue goes to small businesses that are visited by fans before and after games.  If the entire NHL season is cancelled, the city and its small businesses can expect to bear a loss of over $86 million in revenue, not including revenue from potential home playoff games.  Select Greater Philadelphia, an economic marketing organization estimates that Philadelphia is losing approximately $1 million in revenue for every Flyers home game not played.  The loss of revenue is extremely detrimental to small businesses in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and may ultimately result in job losses.  

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and their success is vital to our continued recovery.   I appreciate your willingness to offer free counseling to businesses that rely heavily on NHL crowds for business.  I also urge you to continue to monitor the situation and to make yourself available in case these businesses should require additional resources and guidance.  I stand ready to assist you with this.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator