Attempting to provide relief for Hartford’s small business community, the city launched an emergency grant program Tuesday. The efforts could provide up to $10,000 in financial assistance for Hartford based companies with annual revenues less than $500,000.
Hartford’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program has been established by the City of Hartford, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, HEDCO, Inc., and Capital for Change.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is providing $500,000 to the program, a commitment matched by the city.
“Together we’ve put together a $1 million-plus dollar program to help at least, at minimum, 100 businesses,” said Jay Williams, president and CEO of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
The goal is to provide grants, up to $10,000 each, to help small organizations that are the core Hartford’s neighborhood businesses community.
“The mom and pop businesses that people rely on. Whether they provide goods or services or retail,” explained Williams.
The program will be administered by community development financial institution, Capital for Change. It will manage the program and adhere to the organizers’ objectives.
“(Organizers) want to make sure that the smaller minority, women-owned and low-income community businesses in Hartford get some support to try to help them,” said Cal Vinal, president and CEO of Capital For Change.
Organizers of the program want to make the application process easy. They’ve retained the assistance of several organizations, to help applicants fill out paperwork that could be overwhelming for some.
“If you don’t have the staff. The accountants. The lawyers. It can be maddening to try to navigate that,” said Williams.
Organizations providing technical assistance include the Blue Hills Civic Association, the Upper Albany Merchants Association, the Spanish American Merchants Association, HEDCO Inc., the Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Hartford, the Minority Construction Council, and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce.
Applications for the emergency grants can be found online at Coronavirus.Hartford.Gov. They’ll be accepted beginning May 4 and will be reviewed quickly.
“We expect that approval process to take only a couple not days at most. The checks would be issued within several days after that,” said Vinal.
To be eligible for the loan, businesses must be based in Hartford and must be able to provide at least one federal tax return. Other eligibility requirements can be found in the grant application.