The City of New Bedford announced the fourth investment supported by American Rescue Plan Act funds, this one focusing on helping small businesses.
On Friday, Mayor Jon Mitchell and city officials announced they were seeking responses from local nonprofits “interested in supporting small businesses by managing federal funds to provide targeted grants and technical assistance.”
“Nonprofit organizations based in New Bedford can apply to administer ARPA funds on behalf of the city to not only help small businesses impacted by the pandemic, but also to grow the city’s economy,” the city said in a statement. “Non-profit support may include targeted grants, technical assistance, business planning advice and services, as well as capital expenditures such as business incubation spaces in eligible areas, rehabilitation of commercial properties and COVID-19 mitigation measures.”
This is the Small Business Relief Program, and is the city’s fourth funding announcement for ARPA since City Council voted to accept the $64.7 million in ARPA funding. federal COVID relief on March 24. The first was an increase in the improvement of the facade. Program announced on March 29, the second was support for large-scale, shovel-ready housing projects with affordable housing announced on April 1, and the third was support for increased childcare and childcare opportunities. preschool education in the city announced on April 15.
“Facilitating direct support for local small businesses through qualified and experienced nonprofit organizations will drive economic growth and resurgence,” Mayor Mitchell said. “This program will create jobs and strengthen ties in our nonprofit and business communities.”
The statement said the program is “designed to be forward-looking and accelerate the development of local businesses as the city emerges from the pandemic, rather than offsetting business losses due to COVID.”
“The Small Business Relief Program will align activities and goals as New Bedford-based nonprofits will provide support to small businesses as they get back on their feet, leading to profitability and to a rebound in our city’s economy,” said Ward 5 Councilman Scott Lima, chairman of the council’s redevelopment committee.
For more information or to apply, visit the City of New Bedford’s ARPA website.