Small Business Assistance

The City of Cambridge Relief and Recovery Programs, the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund for small businesses, and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) Zero-Interest Loan program is distributing nearly $3.6 Million to Cambridge small businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Money is being distributed via three different programs involving $500,000 from the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, $1.5 Million from the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Zero-Interest Loan program, and a combined $1.6 Million from Community Development Block Grant Funds and Federal CARES Act Funds administered through the City of Cambridge Relief and Recovery Programs.

Qualifying businesses were eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000 to assist with rent, salaries, utilities and cost of goods which will not have to be repaid. The grant criteria prioritized businesses that have been more severely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Zero-Interest Loan program, administered in cooperation with Cambridge Savings Bank, is providing loans of up to $15,000 to small businesses that have qualified to participate in the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund.

Testimonials

Hiroko, Hanaya Floral Design
"As a recent grant recipient of the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the City of Cambridge for providing financial support to my minority and women owned small business during this very difficult time.

This funding is crucial to the survival of my Huron Village flower shop that has experienced a significant loss of sales and staff resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. I started Hanaya Floral Design on Concord Avenue in 2006 and plan on operating at this location for years to come. This grant is a huge help and will greatly assist us in reopening to new and brighter future.”

Linda, Joie de Vivre
“When I realized I would have to close my store for an indefinite amount of time, I was willing, because I wanted to do everything I possibly could to control the pandemic here in Cambridge.  Still, as a small business, almost completely reliant on walk in trade, I was also terrified.  A month in, I had already resorted to raiding my (very small) personal savings account to keep up with my payroll and expenses and when I heard that the City was awarding grants to help local businesses survive, it seemed too good to be true.  But I applied, held my breath, and was thrilled to receive one, and then a second supplemental one.  The money was quickly gone - but it covered two months of rent, and was a tremendous help. Joie de Vivre is very very grateful to the City of Cambridge, and proud to be part of a city that cares enough to offer concrete assistance!"

Greer, Abroad Modern
“As the owner of a brand-new, tiny business just beginning to tap roots in Cambridge, I couldn’t be more thankful for my MDRF grant. The financial support will surely help me ride out this strange Spring and Summer and prepare for the Holiday season. But more importantly, the grant exemplifies the community spirit of the City of Cambridge and its residents and the tremendous value that they place on unique, independent businesses like mine. With my grant, I will strive in every way to continue to contribute to the colorful fabric of this city.”

Zina, Zina’s Hair Salon
“I applied for help because unfortunately I did not have enough money in my business account to pay all the business bills while being closed. The City was so very helpful in so many ways because without their support I may not have been able to open. I am using the money to pay all bills to date and to get more supplies for the salon and sanitizing products.”

Bernard, Nu Imagine Barbershop
“I contacted the City of Cambridge Economic Development Division months before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the state looking for assistance with my business. I was welcomed by a great staff and manager that sat me down and went through all the opportunities the City had to offer. 

Since that meeting, all of the different internal economic departments have been following up with me and trying to help in assisting my business.  When COVID-19 hit, I was notified by the City's email system of the grant opportunities and applied for each of them.

After being closed for three months due to the pandemic, I used the grant funds to help pay business expenses accrued while being shut down, purchase PPE and prepare for my re-opening.”

Esmeralda, Esmeralda’s
“The Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund is the reason I am able to keep my business. These pasts months have been very difficult, and we did not have the capital to pay our store rent and main business expenses. This money will allow us to get back on our feet. We will be able to bring our employees back to work and open our doors again. We appreciate the City of Cambridge doing this to save small businesses like mine.”

More Information

The City is committed to identifying new resources to help residents and businesses navigate this difficult time. If you are in need of assistance, please contact Lisa Hemmerle at lhemmerle@cambridgema.gov.

For more information and to sign up to receive updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page at https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19.

Page was posted on 7/27/2020 4:23 PM
Page was last modified on 7/29/2020 2:01 PM
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