Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday and Amesbury Mayor Kassandra Gove are pleased to announce the two cities have jointly been awarded $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to help businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amesbury and Newburyport submitted a joint grant proposal to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for funds to specifically support small businesses with five or fewer employees that are low to moderate income. The funding comes from the $19.6 million available from the Baker-Polito Administration to help low-income residents and small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Eligible small businesses can apply for up to $10,000 in grant funding, which can be used for operating expenses such as payroll, or rent or mortgage payments; or hiring a consultant to provide legal, accounting, marketing and/or web development services. Funding cannot be used to cover the purchase of major equipment or property, or pay for construction, business expansion or lobbying.
Businesses from both cities must apply for funding through the City of Amesbury’s Office of Community and Economic Development, who is acting as the grant manager for the funding.
“This grant will really help our businesses recover from the COVID-19 crisis and adapt to a new economic normal,” said Community and Economic Development Director Angela Cleveland. “We are ready to go. Amesbury and Newburyport started planning as soon as we submitted the grant proposal so we could be ready to hit the ground running and get the funding out to our small businesses as quickly as possible.“
The application will be available either at the end of July or early August, and will be posted here at that time. More information about eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions can be found on that page as well.
“Many of our local small businesses were shuttered for months due to the pandemic and those who remained open struggled through extremely difficult times,” said Mayor Holaday. “Our local businesses are an important part of our community and we are fortunate to receive funding through DHCD to jointly create this relief program with the City of Amesbury that provides financial support directly to our small businesses. We hope these grants can be used to help cover rent, payroll and other expenses as they reopen and get back on their feet”.
“I’m thrilled that we were awarded this grant from DHCD,” Mayor Gove said. “Angela, her team and the team from Newburyport worked really hard to get this application in, and our businesses are going to benefit greatly from these grants. Ten thousand dollars can make a big difference for a small business, especially right now as our business owners have been worried about paying their rent and keeping the lights on in the midst of COVID-19. We’re fortunate that we received the full $800,000 that we asked for, which will help a lot of businesses between our two communities.”
Residents and businesses owners may submit questions or comments to [email protected].