Help for Small Businesses
As COVID-19 begins to have an increasingly significant impact on communities across the country, CMSC is compiling existing resources and opportunities to help Main Street districts now and going forward. From information regarding federal programs and advocacy to small business resources, to downtown & community guidance, to stories of how CMSC member communities are supporting each other, we are here to support you.
Scroll down to find information for businesses, non-profits and artists.
- HEDCO Line of Credit for Minority & Women-Owned Small Businesses – The Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO) has partnered with the State of Connecticut, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and the CT Minority Business Initiative to create a $2 million program to provide financial relief to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the COVID-19 Business Response Program, a qualifying small business with 20 or fewer employees may apply for a zero-interest Line of Credit for up to $20,000.
- Small Business Administration: The Small Business Administration (SBA) released a toolkit offering guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19 and provides loan funding and grants. Be sure to check out the National Trust Community Investment Corporation’s highlights of these resources in this recap, as well as their summary of the Paycheck Protection Program. NOTE! Although this program is currently suspended, Congress recently approved additional funding to replenish the PPP Program.
- SUSPENDED: US Chamber Launches Save Small Business Initiative – Included for immediate benefit is the Save Small Business Fund, offering $5,000 grants for small businesses (3-20 employees) located in economically vulnerable communities. They are also hosting weekly Work Shop Wednesdays and a Small Business Town Hall series focused on various topics to help businesses navigate this time and discuss ways to pivot and cater to clients moving forward.
- SUSPENDED Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program – This is a $25 million short-term emergency loan program. Qualifying small businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is less). The loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. This program has been suspended due to high demand.
- Many communities turning to CROWDFUNDING. Some examples:
- Patronicity is helping with crowdfunding campaigns for small businesses – and they are waiving fees. Here is one example of a community campaign.
- CT Small Business Development Center
- CT Restaurant Association
- COVID-19 Pandemic: What Small Businesses Can Do – Institute for Local Self-Reliance
- Women’s Business Development Council
- Women’s Business Center at the University of Hartford
- CHEFA announces FY 2021 COVID-19 grant program – The board of directors of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) voted at its April 15 meeting to replace their typical three grant cycles (client, nonprofit, and targeted) for FY 2021 to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.The FY 20201 CHEFA COVID-19 Grant Program will focus on funding statewide efforts that are currently, or plan to be, launched by 501 (c)(3) Connecticut nonprofit entities within the next few months to respond to the crisis.The efforts can be focused on statewide programs to support Connecticut communities and residents or can be sector specific statewide funds focused on one or more of CHEFA’s four core priority areas of health care, education, child care, and cultural.Organizations seeking details may contact Betty Sugarman Weintraub, CHEFA Grant Program Manager, for more information at 860-761-8428 or email@example.com.
- CT Office of the Arts announces grants for artists impacted by COVID – COA announced 2 new grant programs to help local artists negatively impacted by COVID-19:
- The Connecticut Artists Relief Grant program will provide $500 grants to over 100 individual artists and teaching artists who live in the state and whose creative practices and income are being adversely impacted by the safety measures put into place to prevent the spread of the virus. The grant is partly funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
- The Connecticut Artists Respond Grant program helps artists translate and present their art virtually. Individual or collaborative artists who create or have created projects that respond to the needs of the times by presenting art activities, classes, or other creative experiences online at no cost to the public will be eligible for $1,000 or $2,000, respectively.
- Applications will be accepted for both programs through May 4, 2020. For specific questions, artists should contact Tamara Dimitri at firstname.lastname@example.org and teaching artists should contact Bonnie Koba at email@example.com.