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COVID-19 Daily News

HOLYOKE — In an effort to provide assistance to Holyoke businesses to meet the challenges of COVID-19, Mayor Alex Morse and Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Andréa Marion introduced the COVID-19 Holyoke Business Emergency Operations Grant Program.

The primary purpose of this program is to help Holyoke-based businesses withstand and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 public-health emergency. The grant program is administered by the Holyoke Office for Community Development and the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Funds can be used by businesses to help them remain open, retain employees, or adapt business operations remotely or online during the public-health emergency. According to HUD eligibility requirements, a recipient business must be owned by a low- or moderate-income household, employ at least one full-time-equivalent low- or moderate-income person, or provide a service (like a restaurant or grocery store) in a primarily residential neighborhood where at least 51% of the residents are low- or moderate-income.

Applications are available now, and application reviews will continue on a weekly basis until all funds are committed. The review committee consists of representatives from the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, the city of Holyoke, and EforAll Holyoke. 

Total fund availability at this time is $90,000, and while there is currently no specific maximum request amount, resources are extremely limited, and the city will seek to maximize the community impact of the COVID-19 Business Emergency Operations Grant Program. More program details and an electronic application are available at the chamber’s COVID-19 resource page accessible at www.holyokechamber.com. Questions may be directed to Andréa Marion at [email protected].