COVID-19 emergency grant created for businesses in Holyoke

Coronavirus Local Impact
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HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – With the help of the City of Holyoke, the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce has developed a COVID-19 Holyoke Business Emergency Operations Grant Program.

According to a news release sent to 22News, the grant program was created to help Holyoke-based businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program will be using Community Development Block Grant funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Currently, the total amount of funds available is $90,000 and there is no maximum request amount.

Business must meet ONE of the following HUD eligibility requirements:

  • Business must be owned by a low/moderate-income household
  • Employ full time at least one full-time equivalent low/moderate-income person
  • Provide a service (like a restaurant or grocery store) in a low and moderate-income primarily residential neighborhood where at least 51% of the residents are low or moderate income

Applicants are able to apply now! Additional applications can be found here. The first round of application reviews will begin Friday, April 17 and will continue on a weekly basis until all funds are committed.

Eligibility grant requirements also include the following:

  • Business must be located in the City of Holyoke
  • Must be for-profit; non-profit businesses cannot apply
  • Business must have been in operation as of January 20, 2020 
  • Meet the following HUD eligibility requirements: Business must be owned by a low/moderate-income household, or employ full time at least one full-time equivalent low/moderate-income person or provide a service like a retail or a grocery store in a low and moderate-income primarily residential neighborhood where at least 51% of the residents are low or moderate-income.
  • Applicant must be compliant with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance and all applicable state and federal employment laws and regulations
  • Applicant must demonstrate efforts to access funding resources including bank financing and SBA programs

Approved uses of grant funds:

  • Equipment / Technology 
  • Consultant Fees including but not limited to: Website Creation/Improvements, Accountant, Lawyer, Marketing
  • Employee/Staff Payroll
  • Inventory or supplies
  • Rent / Utilities (applicant may need to demonstrate efforts to modify or defer these) 

The grant fund cannot be used for the owner’s salary, paying off taxes, liens or other outstanding debts and personal purchases.

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