The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of many small business owners. The combination of lock-downs and COVID safety measures have been devastating to millions of businesses and their employees. Nonetheless, business owners are still trying to recover, retain employees, and return to the norm.
One of the avenues to assist with businesses with recovery is grant funding. For people from underserved communities, this can be especially meaningful. Latino business owners have been hit especially hard during this pandemic in many ways. The city of Holyoke, Massachusetts, recently received a $30 million federal grant. The city stated this funding will be used to assist and expand Latino business owners impacted by the pandemic.
How Will This Grant Help Latino Owned Businesses?
The acting Mayor of Holyoke, together with the Latino Chamber of Commerce, hosted a round-table to discuss the local needs of the community. By working together with the community, they discovered and addressed the needs of Latino business owners. During this meeting, businesses owners expressed their concerns regarding:
- Making the city more attractive for foot traffic from other places, which includes changes to things like:
- Cleaning up city streets of trash
- Closing of city streets for the promotion of large city-wide events
- Current issues with not having enough parking for customers
- Needing more crosswalks for public safety in certain areas
- Business owners also expressed a need to be able to expand outdoor summer seating areas to accommodate summer dining needs
City officials stated they are forming a committee to address these issues. The committee will work on a variety of ways to make the City of Holyoke more attractive for businesses overall. Hopefully, we’ll hear even more from this initiative as these discussions continue.
Last Minute Notes:
During these times, shopping locally whenever possible is just one way to support small businesses and the local economy. If you are a business owner, GrantWatch.com is a grant listing database that helps to connect businesses with grant funding opportunities. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page. We wish you the best of luck with your grant-seeking!