Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan announced today that 30 grants totaling over $225,000 for restaurants have been awarded as part of the city’s ‘Prime the Pump’ Grant Program in response to the economic crisis resulting from emergency closures due to Covid-19.
The Prime the Pump Program was announced on March 18, 2020. The priority focus being on full service restaurants that needed to begin or expand their takeout and delivery operations to comply with the public health emergency orders and all the restaurants that continued to remain open and keep some of their workers employed. Applications for the available grant funding became available on March 21, 2020 with a filing deadline of March 24, 2020.
The City saw overwhelming interest in the grant program, with over $1 million in grant requests from 80 applications across the city. Those restaurants that were not awarded or did not receive their full funding request are eligible to apply in the upcoming Small Business Grant Fund for up to a total amount between both funds of $15,000. The Small Business Grant Fund Application is anticipated to be released in the next few days.
“We’re hopeful these grants will be a shot in the arm for these businesses that are trying to make ends meet, while awaiting the business assistance that will be forth coming from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.” Mayor Sarno said. “These restaurants are often the lifeblood of our neighborhood commercial districts and our community and we need to support them in this time of need as best we can.”
The grants awarded touched every corner of the city, and were scored based on criteria provided in the application with the overarching theme of assisting restaurants that were still open and transitioning to a new way of doing business in serving residents of the city.
“These businesses are all struggling to adapt in changing their business models while at the same time coping with plummeting sales and margins because of the emergency public health orders that are in place to keep us all safe,” said Mr. Sheehan. “This is just the first round of funding being advanced for our small business community. We plan to follow this with additional funding and direct programming using our traditional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and CARES Act resources to assist more businesses that are in economic need.”
The funding for this program is current year Community Development Block Grant (CDBG Funding) from the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and required both CDBG eligible national objective and program code compliance.
The awarded funds will result in the retention of well over 30 jobs, as each restaurant will be utilizing the funds for payroll expenses to assist in staff retention during this difficult time. The restaurants awarded represent a significant diversity in cuisine as well as neighborhoods represented which included; Indian Orchard, North End, South End, McKnight, Forest Park, East Springfield, Mason Square and Metro Center.
The city also encourages Springfield businesses to reach out to the Office of Planning and Economic Development at (413) 787-6020 to discuss the needs of their business and the potential resources that are currently available to them. Additionally, businesses should be visiting the Small Business Administration website at www.sba.gov as new programs to assist businesses, including grants and forgivable loans, are being rolled out. For city business related programs, businesses are encouraged to continue visiting the city’s website at www.springfield-ma.gov and viewing local media.
The tentative awards subject to contract execution are listed below.
Prime the Pump Restaurant Grant Awards
Big Mamou, 63 Liberty Street $15,000
Erica’s Hall of Fame Kitchen, 666 State Street $15,000
Eat Bistro, 609 Page Boulevard $5,000
Felix’s Restaurant, 67 Liberty Street $12,000
Theodores, 201 Worthington Street $12,000
Yaad Food, 89 Main Street (Indian Orchard) $10,000
Sweet Ideas Café, 1365 Main Street $6,400
Eye Seafood, 810 Cottage Street $10,000
Hot Table, 1500 Main Street $10,000
Primo’s Pizza, 824 Worthington Street $4,000
Panjabi Tadka, 1688 Main Street $12,000
Benson’s Bagels, 598 Sumner Avenue $7,000
Palazzo Café, 1350 Main Street $7,000
Bamboo House, 676 Belmont Avenue $10,000
Monsoon Roastery, 270 Albany Street $7,000
Pizza Royal, 161 Boston Road $7,000
Mom & Ricos, 899 Main Street $7,000
Milano’s, 988 Main Street $7,000
Palate, 1168 Boston Road $10,000
Mi Cultura, 880 State Street $7,000
Granny’s Baking Table, 309 Bridge Street $5,000
Uno’s, 820 Hall of Fame Avenue $5,000
Tony’s Pizza, 108 Boston Road $5,000
Latino’s Kitchen, 2895 Main Street $5,000
Nino’s Pizza, 672 Dickinson Street $5,000
Nosh, 1341 Main Street $5,000
Peppa’s Pizza, 1060 Wilbraham Road $5,000
Mocha Emporium, 1623 Main Street $5,000
Mi Antojito, 126 Walnut Avenue $5,000
Nadim’s, 1390 Main Street $5,000