City of Cambridge and Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Announce New Small Business Relief Programs

The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) have announced new initiatives that together will provide approximately $3.6 million in support to Cambridge small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  

Through the City’s Small Business Grant Programfunds provided by the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and from Community Development Block Grant Funds and Federal CARES Act Funds through the City of Cambridge, qualifying businesses are eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000 to assist with rent, salaries, utilities and cost of goods. Additionally, the CRA is creating a zero interest loan program that will provide loans up to $15,000 to small businesses. The CRA loan would require repayment within five years with zero payments required for the first year and semiannual installments paid over the remaining four years. Funds received from the City’s grant program are not required to be repaid.

The Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and the CRA’s initiatives are separatebut they will share a common application processEligible small businesses are encouraged to apply to both relief programs. If granted relief by both the City and the CRAthe maximum grant/loan amount that each business could receive would be $25,000 (up to $10,000 from City grants and up to $15,000 from the CRA Loan) or three months of business expenseswhichever is lower.

“Through the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, our goal has always been to extend this emergency financial support to as many Cambridge residents as possible,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale in a joint statement. We have always known that the second phase of distributing funds would include extending that support to our City’s small businesses. We are grateful for the continued support of the Fund, which allows us to move forward with this new initiative and support many of the businesses we rely on and love.”

“The CRA is deeply committed to assisting the small businesses of Cambridge that support households and make our urban neighborhoods thrive. Our partnership with the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund demonstrates the creative collaboration we can undertake to help us get through this crisis and work toward recovery,” said CRA Executive Director Tom Evans.

All small businesses located in the city of Cambridge are eligible to apply for these new fundsprovided the business is not:

  • A chain restaurant that is not locally franchised;
  • A business whose owner/operators have outstanding invoices with the City of Cambridge prior to Fiscal Year 2020; or
  • A restaurant that has been cited for two or more health code violations by the City of Cambridge within the past two years.

The Small Business Grant Program is being funded with $500,000 from the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and with a combined $1.6 million from Community Development Block Grant Funds and Federal CARES Act Funds administered by the City. The $1.5 million zero-percent loan program is being funded by the CRA, and serviced by Cambridge Savings Bank.

Guidelines for the Small Business Grants Provided by the City of Cambridge’s Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund & Small Business Zero Interest Loans Provided by the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority are available here, and information on the application process will be released the week of May 11th.

The City is committed to identifying new resources to help residents and businesses navigate this difficult time. For more information and to sign up to receive updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19.

Page was posted on 5/5/2020 2:05 PM
Page was last modified on 5/8/2020 5:38 PM
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