Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken announced the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Grant awardees.
The City of Gloucester has established the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Grant Program to assist in the stabilization of existing small businesses within the City of Gloucester that have had significant business disruption due to the impact of COVID-19. These grant funds will assist Gloucester small businesses in the coverage of working capital, wages, rent, loss of inventory, and other fixed costs.
“Through the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Grant Program, the City of Gloucester hopes to support and provide short-term working capital assistance to Gloucester small businesses during the severe economic disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting public health and safety restrictions. These small businesses are vital to the Gloucester community and downtown district, and the City is working hard to support them during this challenging time as best we can,” says Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.
The program awarded a total of $469,500 in grants to 48 Gloucester businesses, providing funding up to $10,000 to qualified applicants. Funding for the grant program has been provided through the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which are allocated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“Due to COVID-19, I had to lay off employees. With this grant, I am able to hire them back and make necessary repairs for my vessels to fish more efficiently, said Joe DiMao, owner of the local fishing vessel Princess Elena in Gloucester.
Through the creation of the grant program, the City of Gloucester hopes to alleviate some of the financial burden on local businesses, assist in the short-term viability of businesses and employee retention, as well as assist small businesses that are not eligible or have not accessed other Federal funding programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program.
“So very grateful to be part of a community that supports our small businesses,” said Heather Peatfield, owner of Audrey’s Flower Shop located on Railroad Ave. in Gloucester. “With the loss of weddings, churches and funerals, our shop has been severely impacted. The grant funding will help us continue to keep our business open as well as help with the rent that we have had to continue to pay even when we were closed.”
Applicants who received a grant were scored based on criteria provided in the application.
To be eligible, applicants must have been a for-profit business based in Gloucester, have no outstanding tax liens or legal adjustments, have experienced a loss of 50% or more of business revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have less than $2 million in gross annual receipts, and have met US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) eligibility requirements.
Businesses interested in receiving information about business resources during this state of emergency should fill out the “COVID-19 Business Assistance Request Form” on the City of Gloucester’s business resource page: http://gloucester-ma.gov/1080/Business-Resources.