City of Boston Will Replenish Small Business Relief Fund 2.0 with $5 Million
Building on her commitment to supporting small businesses during the ongoing pandemic, Mayor Michelle Wu today announced that the City of Boston will replenish the Small Business Relief Fund 2.0 with $5 million. These funds will help support an additional 300 local, small businesses across Boston as they continue their recovery. The City is also partnering with business service organizations to provide technical assistance and long-term planning support to small businesses beyond the grant. Following City Council approval, applications would become available in early February.
“Our small businesses are still struggling from this prolonged pandemic and need continued support. I’m grateful to Chief Idowu and our state and community partners for working quickly to identify potential resources for neighborhood small businesses as we work to build a thriving, inclusive and equitable economy,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “The fund’s grants and technical assistance will help small business owners continue to serve their communities and plan ahead as we work to end the ongoing COVID surge.”
“These funds provided the much needed support for our small businesses to not only aid in their recovery, but invest in their long-term growth,” said Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. “Replenishing these funds is an important step in ensuring that our businesses are able to keep their doors open as we recover from the pandemic and rebuild our economy.”
The Small Business Relief Fund is designed to help businesses cover expenses to help their recovery and assist businesses that seek to grow beyond the pandemic. The replenishment of SBRF 2.0 will reopen applications for the Small Business Relief Fund initially launched in April 2020 and relaunched in September 2021. To date, the Small Business Relief Fund has issued more than $7.5 million in grants to 519 businesses. Since April 2020, the City of Boston has issued more than $28.6 million in grants to more than 5,600 businesses.
Businesses will be able to apply for two types of grants.
- Relief Grant: up to $10,000 to support outstanding debts for rent/mortgage payments, inventory, payroll, or fixed expenses.
- Growth Grant: up to $10,000 to support business growth through tools, technology, materials, personnel, or other costs associated with investing in the growth of their business.
“I would like to thank Mayor Michelle Wu and the entire City of Boston Small Business Team for their commitment to support businesses such as mine over the last two years,” said Chef Olrie Roberts, Owner of ZaZ Restaurant. “Unfortunately, COVID is still plaguing our community and the effects of the pandemic are still taking a toll on restaurants. As ZaZ looks toward celebrating 10 years of serving the Hyde Park and Greater Boston communities this year, continued financial support will help to alleviate operational pressures such as rent, utilities, and supply costs that can not be controlled with fluctuating dine-in customers and canceled catering events until we have some semblance of normalcy.”
“We are grateful to the City of Boston for providing grant support to small businesses like ours that will help us stay open while we face the COVID-19 Omicron wave,” said Hector Plaza, Owner and Head Coach at Red City Fitness. “It will also allow us to invest in a stronger marketing strategy that will help our business grow.”
The City of Boston is working with State officials to coordinate our grant processes so small businesses potentially have access to both local and state grant funds. Additionally, the City is working with external partners like Small Business Strong and other business service organizations to set up a system that will connect interested small businesses with wrap-around technical assistance to provide long term support beyond the grant.
“Collaborating with the State and pairing the grants with technical assistance will leverage greater impact for businesses that need support, and strengthen Boston’s small business ecosystem,” said Karen Kelleher, Executive Director of LISC Boston, which serves as program manager for Small Business Strong.
“Small Business Strong is excited to work with Mayor Wu and her team to connect applicants for funding with high quality small business support from local providers and industry experts,” said Yvonne Garcia, Manager of Small Business Strong and Chief of Staff to Chairman and CEO and Global Head of Internal Communications, State Street.
Applications will become available online at boston.gov/small-business in early February. Businesses can apply for one or both grants. All applicants must apply through the City’s Knack portal at bostonopendata.knack.com/small-business-grants.
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