On September 3, 2020, the Town of Ashland announced the Business Recovery Grant (BRG) and the Non-Profit & Business Support Organization Grant (NP-BSO) programs designed to support local businesses and organizations that have realized a negative impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These two programs are in addition to the Town’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) Safety Enhancement Grant program and temporary changes to local regulations that will allow for expanded outdoor patio space at Town restaurants and retail establishments, and are funded with the Town’s CARES Act allocation.
The BRG awarded $9,375 to forty-eight (48) eligible businesses that have suffered at least a 25% reduction in average monthly gross revenues for a total of $450,000. Awarded funds can be used for employee wages and benefits, rent and utilities for commercial workspace, or to provide working capital. In total these businesses represent 363 full-time employees and an average revenue loss of 51%.
In addition, the NP-BSO awarded $5,263 to nineteen eligible organizations for a total of $100,000. The target for this program were non-profit organizations that are based in Ashland and provide programmatic services to the Ashland community, as well as organizations that support the Ashland business community. The awarded organizations provide support to children, families in need, animals, and businesses, maintain public spaces, host cultural events, and share the community’s history. The funds can be used to address the organization’s mission.
“Council and staff believe our businesses and non-profits play a vital role in making this a great community to live, work and play, which is why a substantial portion of our CARES Act funds were dedicated to these grants,” said Matt Reynal, Ashland Assistant Town Manager. “We understand these grants will not make them whole, but the Town wanted to provide support to help them weather this storm.”
Applications for both programs were due no later than September 30, 2020, and awardees were notified by October 5. The $550,000 assigned to the two grant programs were funded by the Town’s CARES Act allocation.