Latest in a series of posts on the coronavirus
As you read this Friday morning, Georgia will have opened up some businesses, and the news channels from some other parts of the country indicate that some people want the shut-down over and some businesses are equally as anxious to get the economy rolling again. Gadfly hasn’t heard of such pressure locally to open up. True? What do you know? What are you hearing? Our small business districts are the heart of the City. If the Northside downtown business district gets shot to hell, for instance, we’re in big trouble. What are the business leaders saying?
The City will receive an $800,000 addition from HUD to the CBDG (block grant) grant to be used specifically and only for COVID-19 expenses.
Council discussed use of this money in a preliminary way at Tuesday’s meeting. Discussion focused on supporting small business.
Details of the support program — 150 one-time grant awards of $2,000 — and the application are now available on the City web site.
Bethlehem, Pa. – (April 16, 2020) – The City of Bethlehem is proposing a Small Business Emergency Relief Fund to assist city businesses impacted by COVID-19. $300,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding has been identified to be utilized by the program that will provide one time grants of $2,000. Awarded funds can be used for operational costs inclusive of rental assistance, payroll assistance, and utilities.
The Small Business Emergency Relief Fund is supported with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money. CDBG is federal funding with specific eligibility criteria. To be eligible, businesses must be located in the City of Bethlehem, and comply with low to moderate income (LMI) funding requirements outlined in CDBG guidelines. Additionally, prioritization will be given to those businesses in the retail, food, and beverage, and personal service industries within the Central Business Districts and Limited Commercial zoning districts, however, all businesses are encouraged to apply.
Mayor Bob Donchez says “These are unprecedented times, businesses are struggling and in need of support. We are fortunate to have funding available to be used toward this program and will continue to craft programs to provide support to our business community.”
Applications for the program will be available April 22, 2020 on the city’s website: www.bethlehem-pa.gov. or www.bethlehem-pa.gov/Community-Economic-Development/Small-Business-Emergency-Relief-Fund.
Applications will be reviewed by a committee for eligibility and evaluated based on funding priorities.