Mayor William P. Sapelli and the Agawam City Council announce that small businesses struggling to remain in operation during the COVID-19 state of emergency may be eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000 under a new small business grant program. A resolution has been enacted by the Mayor after a unanimous vote by the City Council at a meeting held remotely last night April 22, 2020 which allocates $165,000 to fund the small business grant program. The grant program will replace a 0% loan program previously adopted by the Mayor and City Council. Community Development Block Grant funds have been repurposed to fund the grant program.
Eligibility will be based on the following criteria:
Must have a physical establishment within the Town of Agawam.
The household of the business owner must be low- to moderate-income
No more than five (5) full-time employees
Business must have operated in Agawam for a minimum of 12 months, effective March 10, 2020. Businesses operating in Agawam for less than 12 months will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments.
Must be in good standing with the Town of Agawam and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Mayor Sapelli commented that his administration has made this program a top priority in the last few weeks to aid small businesses struggling during the state of emergency. The Mayor recognizes how vital small businesses are to the vitality of the Town and he will continue to advocate for any and all programs that offer assistance. Once additional monies are approved by the Commonwealth, the Mayor also plans to increase the size and scope of the grant program.
City Council President Christopher C. Johnson stated that this program will provide financial support to businesses struggling to pay rent and other fixed costs. Especially for those businesses that have been forced to temporarily close, these grants will give a helping hand until the economy is reopened. The Council unanimously supports the grant program.
Loan applications are available on the Town’s website at Agawam.ma.us. Completed applications should be submitted electronically to the Office of Planning and Community Development Director Marc Strange by email at MStrange@agawam.ma.us no later than Friday May 1, 2020. In the alternative, printed applications can be submitted at the front door box of Town Hall.
William P. Sapelli, Mayor
Christopher C. Johnson, City Council President