More Than $1.5 Million in Aid Awarded to 118 Businesses Since January
The City of Somerville is expanding eligibility criteria for its COVID-19 Business Relief Program to deliver direct aid to more businesses and nonprofits.
The City launched Round 3 of its COVID-19 Business Relief Program in January, allocating an additional $5 million for businesses facing government-mandated closures, including restaurants and businesses in Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts plan. Over the past month, more than $1.5 million of those funds have been administered to 118 businesses in Somerville. For a list of recipients to date, visit somervillema.gov/BizRelief.
While applications continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis, the City has now expanded eligibility requirements to include more businesses and some nonprofit organizations. Businesses that can demonstrate close ties to gyms, theaters, event spaces, or other sectors facing government-directed closures and whose revenues have decreased by at least 50% in the past year are now eligible. Florists or event planners, for example, may now qualify for assistance under the new guidelines. Nonprofits classified as gyms, fitness facilities, indoor recreation, and event facilities are also now eligible to apply. Applications and full eligibility requirements are available at somervillema.gov/BizRelief.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the City has allocated a total of $6,750,000 in emergency aid and waived $750,000 in fees for Somerville small businesses. In addition to direct financial assistance, the City’s Economic Development team continues to offer intensive, multilingual support to local businesses, including weekly virtual town halls, topic-specific webinars, one-on-one business coaching, and referrals to other economic stabilization funds, among other initiatives.