Program to Provide Relief Amid COVID-19 Financial Hardship
GLOUCESTER — Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken announces that the City of Gloucester is launching a grant program to provide relief to small local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will provide grant funding of up to $10,000 to qualified businesses in Gloucester.
“The goal of this program is to alleviate the financial burden small local businesses are facing due to COVID-19, and provide them short term assistance,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “We’ve worked hard to develop this opportunity, which we hope will help our small businesses retain employees and stay afloat during this crisis. I’d like to thank our business owners for their resilience and cooperation through this unprecedented time, as well as everyone who has collaborated to make this program a reality.”
The Gloucester Small Business Grant Program is being funded by Community Development Block Grants allocated to the City of Gloucester by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. At this time, approximately $500,000 is available through Gloucester’s Small Business Grant program.
The initiative is similar to others statewide that are funded by Community Development Block Grants in an effort to support small businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19.
“I think it is terrific that the city is offering these small grants to businesses in need, and is another example of their outstanding support of our community during this most challenging time,” said Ken Riehl, chief executive officer of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must have experienced a loss of 50% or more of business revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, be a for-profit business, have no outstanding tax liens or legal adjustments, have less than $2 million in gross annual receipts and meet United States Department of Housing and Urban Development eligibility requirements. For more information, click here.
The new program will offer two possible avenues of support. Businesses that qualify as a “micro-enterprise” with five or fewer employees and a business owner who earns a household annual income of 80% or less of the area median income may be awarded up to $10,000 in grant funding. Businesses with any number of employees that would be able to retain at least one low to moderate income employee as a result of relief funding through the program may also qualify for a forgivable loan of up to $10,000.
Applications for the program are due Wednesday, May 13. To fill out an application, visit click here.
Business owners with questions regarding the program or application process can email: [email protected]