Walsh announces $6M in new grant funding to support reopening of small businesses

BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Tuesday announced $6 million in new debt-free grants to support the safe and healthy reopening of small businesses in Boston.

The funding will help qualified small businesses implement the necessary public health measures required to reopen safely, according to Walsh. In total, Boston has provided over $13.5 million in local, federal, and private funding to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

“When our small businesses are ready and able to open, we want our business owners and workers to have access to the appropriate resources to stay safe,” Walsh said. “These additional grants will help level the playing field for Boston’s small businesses and support both our public health and economic equity priorities.”

Walsh said the new wave of funding is aimed at supporting small businesses with under 15 employees and with a majority of employees who are required to work in close proximity to each other and may need to physically engage with their clients and customers. It includes personal care businesses like salons, barbershops, retail, and food services.

Professional services and businesses whose employees can work from home will not be eligible for the funding.

All applicants for the funding must have a brick-and-mortar location within the city.

Walsh said the grants will be released in three rounds, coinciding closely with the phases laid out in the state’s reopening guidance.

Each of the three rounds will provide grants up to $2,000 for small businesses to install the required materials to implement public health measures and procure personal protective equipment supplies to reopen.

The targeted businesses in the first round will be focused on personal services including barbershops and hair salons. The second round will target retail, restaurants, including outdoor dining materials, and remaining personal services including nail salons, day spas, waxing, and laser services. The final round will include bars, arts and entertainment venues, and fitness businesses.

Applications will open on Thursday, May 28, at 5 p.m., and will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis.

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