Mayor Curtatone orders CDBG funds be made available for emergency small business support
SOMERVILLE, MA – Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone today announced the launch of a $1 million Somerville Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide financial support of up to $10,000 to Somerville small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by existing and pending federal Community Development Block Grant monies, support will be available to food establishments and other small, independent, locally-owned businesses impacted by forced closures during the crisis.
“Our small businesses are the heartbeat of our neighborhoods and the backbone of our local economy, and they are hurting,” said Mayor Curtatone. “This fund will not be enough to address the extraordinary need right now, but our hope is that it will help our small businesses facing the greatest cashflow challenges — especially typically underserved businesses — carry forward as we work toward recovery.”
In addition to the new fund, the City’s Economic Development team mobilized at the start of the crisis to offer intensive, multi-lingual support to local businesses. Services they have offered include weekly virtual town halls and topic-specific webinars, support to help local businesses access federal crisis funding, one-on-one business coaching, setting up http://www.somervilledelivers.com to promote open restaurants, and working with the Job Creation and Retention Trust to establish the COVID-19 Assistance Fund to help nonprofits serve residents facing financial impacts from COVID-19. For more information or assistance for overall business needs during the pandemic, please visit http://www.somervillema.gov/CovidBizHelp or call 311.
Application procedures and full details for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund will be announced next week. Multilingual application support will be available. Rather than a first-come, first-served system, funds will be allocated via a thorough review process focused on delivering the greatest small business impacts both for owners and workers as well as for the community. Funds are intended to help local businesses remain viable and to retain or create jobs despite disruptions related to COVID-19. Funding can be applied toward working capital expenses including rent, utilities, payroll, and inventory.
The funding source for the Somerville Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund is from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant program.
“We know our businesses are working as hard and as creatively as they can to survive during this crisis. We as a community must do everything we can to ensure they will be ready to open when the time comes,” said Economic Development Director Tom Galligani.