Funds Will Assist Small Businesses and Local Food Pantry Impacted by COVID-19
AVON — Town Administrator Gregory S. Enos is pleased to announce that the Town of Avon received a portion of a regional Community Development Block Grant- Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) to assist small businesses and a local food pantry that have been financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is funding the CDBG-CV to assist communities in their work to provide vital services to low-income residents and small businesses affected by the recent outbreak.
“We are grateful to receive funding that will allow us to help mitigate the impacts COVID-19 has had on our small businesses and public services,” Town Administrator Enos said. “No one could have planned for this unprecedented health crisis, and as a result, many businesses and public services are struggling. We are hopeful that this funding will help to ease the burden.”
Avon will receive funding through Rockland’s regional CDBG-CV application that also includes the communities of Abington, Holbrook, Hull and Wareham. These six communities will receive a total of $662,400 for small business assistance and public services to be split between them.
The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development is currently preparing grant agreements for the 39 lead communities who received the grants, which represent more than 120 communities across the state. Once the grant agreement is fully executed by the state, and special conditions (if any) are cleared, funds will be made available to the small businesses and food pantries. Small businesses are considered any business with five or fewer employees.
Avon will receive $50,000 to assist five small businesses in the town and $4,500 to assist the Avon Community Food Pantry. A common pool for an additional $180,000 will be allocated to the small business program for towns that demonstrate an increased need for the funds.
Avon’s qualifying small businesses will be eligible for up to three months of assistance and/or a maximum benefit of $10,000. Based on commercial rental rates in the region, assumed average business size of three employees and assumed average salary of $1,000/month per employee, it is projected that each eligible business will qualify to receive close to the maximum benefit.
The $50,000 set aside for each town will be held for a six month period following the program launch. If any funds remain uncommitted after six months, the balance will go into the common pool.
Additional information regarding the application process will be posted on the town website as soon as it becomes available.
The Avon Community Food Pantry will use their allocated funds to purchase an upright refrigerator and freezer so that it can offer fresh produce, milk and meats to patrons. The remaining funds will be used to purchase additional food to meet the needs of the pantry’s increased client base as well as provide more nutritionally-balanced foods.
“The Avon Community Food Pantry has been serving Avon residents since 1990. Although the food pantry is physically located in the Avon Baptist Church, it is truly a community effort supported financially by town residents, civic organizations and local businesses,” Avon Community Food Pantry Administrator Linda Curley said. “In January, we made it our goal to meet the needs of a diverse population by introducing more healthy options, including produce and dairy items, to supplement the non-perishables we had always provided. During the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of people and expect that the numbers will continuously increase. This grant will give us the opportunity to provide fresh produce, dairy and meat products to our clients, providing better nutrition.”
The Avon Community Food Pantry is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon. Residents in need of food assistance should call the pantry at 508-583-8076. Residents should call the number prior to any food pickup.