The city of Hartford has announced a program that will offer grant assistance to small businesses in city neighborhoods.
The Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program is a partnership between the city and multiple organizations, including the Hartford Foundation, HEDCO, SAMA and more. The current program has $1 million to offer emergency assistance to small businesses, focusing on those in Hartford neighborhoods that may not be able to access funds from the federal programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program.
The assistance will be in the form of grants, not loans, Bronin said.
The program will be administered by Capital for Change. A local advisory board will make decisions about how the grants are allocated, and community organizations will be there to provide technical assistance to businesses looking to apply.
Applications will be accepted online starting on May 4. The application will be available at coronavirus.hartford.gov.
The program will be limited to businesses with under $500,000 in revenue each year. The maximum grant amount will be $10,000, Bronin said.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we are proud to join with these partners to get them critical support during these unprecedented times,” City Council president Maly Rosado said.
The goal is to make the application process simple and accessible for small business owners who may not have much experience working with banks on complex loan programs.
“This is one step of what we hope will be a multipronged effort to provide relief to our hardest-hit businesses here in Hartford,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Tuesday.
Bronin said that the hope is to continue to fund the program to provide more assistance down the line.
The city also plans to launch a separate grant program which will focus on helping small businesses reopen when restrictions are lifted. On top of that, the city has already identified 17 small businesses who will be awarded a total of $120,000 under an existing program in partnership with CTNext’s Innovation Places program
The number of coronavirus cases and hospitalization in Hartford continues to ramp up, Bronin said, and it is still not clear when the region will see a peak.
Hartford has more than 700 cases of coronavirus, according to numbers released on Tuesday.