AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The town of Agawam has been awarded a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development to help businesses with five or fewer employees that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Agawam Mayor Sapelli made the announcement Monday. The grant will support micro-enterprises in Agawam, which have five employees or less.
According to a news release sent to 22News, the Baker-Polito Administration announced last week, 19.6 million in COVID-related grant funding to 36 lead communities.
Agawam is the lead community in a joint effort with the town of Southwick. Agawam was awarded $435,000 with $180,000 going to the town of Southwick for micro-enterprise and food pantry assistance.
The balance of the award will be allocated to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission who will administer all three programs.
“The Town of Agawam is proud to partner once again with the Baker-Polito Administration, which deserves tremendous credit for their tireless support of local governments, particularly in these times of crisis. We know that many of our smaller businesses continue to struggle with challenges presented by COVID19. So we look forward to working with PVPC to get this program started as soon as possible,” Mayor Sapelli said.
The CDBG-CV micro-enterprise award will fund a second round of grants to be made available by the Town of Agawam.
According to the news release, in April, Mayor Sapelli and the Agawam City Council worked together to reallocate $168,000 of CDBG grant money for micro-enterprises suffering from the COVID-19 shutdown. Those funds were originally appropriated for an infrastructure planning study in North Agawam.
During that time, 11 micro-enterprises were awarded grants averaging $5,000.