More than 2,480 small businesses have received COVID-19 relief funds and grants in Boston
Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that $6.1 million in debt-free grants have been distributed to 1,685 small businesses in every neighborhood across the City of Boston through the Small Business Relief Fund, an increase to the $4 million distributed last month. The businesses receiving grants represent industries most-impacted by closures, policies, or general loss of revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout every neighborhood in Boston.
"Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy, and they provide residents with the services they depend on every day," said Mayor Walsh. "Through the Small Business Relief Fund we have been proud to support Boston's small businesses with a swift and direct infusion of funds through a fiscally responsible and equitable system that will help businesses stay open, pay employees, and strengthen our local business districts."
Of the $6.1 million that has been distributed to businesses so far, 69% have five or fewer employees, 50% are owned by people of color, and 47% are immigrant-owned. The top five industries funded represent small businesses in the most-impacted industries, including hospitality, personal care, arts and recreation, retail, and healthcare and social assistance (home childcare, family services, personal and home care aide, etc). These debt-free grants can be used to address rent, fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities, and other working capital expenses. A full list of businesses that have received funding is available here.
"We are so grateful for the City of Boston's support during this challenging stretch. The funds will help us keep our employees and to keep providing medical device prototyping kits to hospitals in the greater Boston area," said Anna Young, Co-Founder and CEO MakerHealth of South Boston. "These are the efforts that make Boston such a great place to run a company and raise a family."
To support the safe and healthy reopening of small businesses in Boston, the Reopen Boston Fund has distributed grants to 796 small businesses totalling $1.5 million to implement the necessary public health measures required to reopen safely. These funds are for brick and mortar businesses with 15 or fewer employees who are required to work in close proximity to each other and may need to physically engage with their clients and customers. Funds may be used to install the required materials to implement public health measures and procure personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to reopen. To date, the Reopen Boston Fund has received more than 1,300 applications and is still accepting new applications.
As business owners, employers, and employees navigate an evolving reopening process and COVID-19-related assistance, the City of Boston created and maintains a "Reopening Boston" webpage, which includes industry-specific guidance and requirements, resources and tools, and more information on available City services. The City of Boston has created a number of useful guides and resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a new platform to advertise and purchase PPE and cleaning supplies, Open Businesses in Boston and Support Boston Restaurants, platforms which helped businesses to publicly share that they are open and direct residents to support local establishments. For all coronavirus updates from the City of Boston, please visit boston.gov/coronavirus.