Covid 19 Relief & Recovery Grants for Small Businesses and the Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Industry are launched in Holyoke
$800,000 in American Rescue Plan Act Funds allocated by Acting Mayor Terence Murphy to address the local negative economic impacts of the pandemic to be distributed as grants
HOLYOKE – As part of his initial round of allocations for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) announced on September 14th, 2021, Holyoke Acting Mayor Murphy set aside $800,000 to aid small businesses and organizations in the Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism sector that are continuing to suffer under the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. Those funds are now being made available to Holyoke-based businesses in the form of grants of up to $25,000. The grants, aimed at stabilizing those businesses that were the hardest hit by the disruptions of the pandemic, can be used for a broad array of operational, capital, and project needs. The grant application became available on October 14, 2021 and proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until the funds are depleted.
“We know businesses are hurting as we head back into a winter season with the pandemic still very much upon us,” Says Kate Preissler, Special Programs Manager in the Office for Community Development. “These funds are here just in time to aid those that are on the brink, to provide a small infusion of support in the hopes we can keep everyone going until we’re on the other side of this.”
ARPA has a particular focus on those businesses that play a role in the Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism sector, which, at the time the Act was written this past spring, it cites as having seen a “24% decline in revenues and an approximately 17% decline in employment” nationwide. This sector includes food and beverage establishments, lodging, performance venues, cultural attractions, event venues, and other businesses and activities that draw in visitors from out of town. Because of this, nonprofits involved in the Holyoke tourism sector will be eligible alongside impacted businesses, with money prioritized for projects that increase their ability to mitigate the spread of the virus within their facilities or take measures that will allow them to reopen to the public safely.
The application form is available in English or Spanish online at www.holyoke.org/covid-19-relief-recovery-grants/ . Paper copies can be obtained at the Office for Community Development, The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Chamber of Commerce, and the Spark/EforAll Coworkspace in Holyoke. Applicants are encouraged to fill out as much as possible, with technical assistance for the rest available once submitted. All questions can be directed to the Office for Community Development at 413-322-5610.
Businesses receiving assistance through the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Grant Fund must be permitted and located within the City of Holyoke, and have been in operation prior to February 15, 2021. The Grant Program is administered by the City of Holyoke Office for Community Development and reviewed by a collaborative panel of sector peers.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was passed by the federal government to support the economic and public health recovery of the United States from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
ARPA designated $350 billion in direct aid to state, local, and tribal governments. The City of Holyoke will receive over $29 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds from the United States Treasury Department to assist in the recovery from COVID-19.
On September 14, 2021 Acting Mayor Murphy announced his first round of ARPA allocations, totaling approximately $14.86 million.
ABOUT THE OFFICE FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The Holyoke Office for Community Development administers federal funds to projects in Holyoke. Funding comes from Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships Program Grant, and as of spring of 2021, American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The funds administered by the Office for Community Development are used for a wide range of activities that improve housing, the living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for persons of low to moderate income, in Holyoke. Currently, the Holyoke Office for Community Development is supporting over $17 million in grant-funded projects in progress in Holyoke.