Amherst Area Chamber announces winter grant to help small businesses

Coronavirus Local Impact

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce announced a Winter Pivot Grant to help maintain and promote a vital, thriving business climate during this economic crisis.

The grant application will open on January 11, through funding made possible as
a result of an FY21 Earmark secured by Senator Comerford and administered through the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The Amherst Area Chamber will administer $12,500 in micro-grants for small businesses in the Amherst area to pivot or adapt for winter, with the intention of offering 25 $500 microgrants.

“We continue to maximize every resource possible to buy our small businesses during this crisis. With these creative solutions we can offer hope, especially as we head into yet another difficult three-month spike of COVID even as the vaccine rolls out. We want to give our small businesses every possible chance to survive,” said Claudia Pazmany, Executive Director of the Amherst Area Chamber.

The Grant review committee is comprised of the following business leaders representing the Amherst Area: Molly Keegan of Curran & Keegan Financial, Kishore Parmar of Pioneer Valley Hotel Group, Melissa Mann of Country Bank, Tracey Stearns, Marketing Consultant and Lynn Gray of the Hampshire Mall.

Brief eligibility requirements include the following:

• Your main brick-and-mortar store or business is in the Towns of Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Pelham, Leverett, Shutesbury, or Sunderland (at least 50% of your receipts come from that location).
• Your business is eligible for this initial round of grants if its 2019 revenues were between $25,000 and $500,000 and your 2020 annualized revenue has been reduced by 25% or more due to the state’s current guidelines for business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Your business is a for-profit entity.

Your business is not eligible if:
• You work remotely in a coffee shop, co-working space, or from home.
• You received a Downtown Amherst Foundation (DAF) Relief and Resiliency Grant.

“We have been searching for options and partners to create micro-grant opportunities for those who were unable to access the Amherst-wide Relief & Resiliency Microgrants. This now allows us to reach the remainder of our Amherst Area. It has been a long-time coming, but we are thrilled to be able to make this a reality at this especially challenging time,” said John Page, Membership and Marketing Manager, who drafted the grant proposal.

The application will be available on January 11 at 12:00 a.m. through January 29, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

To apply for the grand and for more information visit: http://amherstarea.com/wintergrant.

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