Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan announced today the awarding of 84 grants totaling over $500,000 in the third round of the City of Springfield’s Prime the Pump program, assisting businesses in response to the economic crisis spurred from emergency closures due to Covid-19.
The Prime the Pump Program was initially announced on March 18, 2020. The City to date has seen an overwhelming need for financial assistance within its small business community with 340 grant applications filed to date with the Development Services Division representing over $4.5 Million in funding requests. To date the program has awarded over $1.2 Million to 191 small businesses. The program has assisted businesses in every neighborhood of the city and the awards are reflective of the diversity of small business ownership in Springfield. The program has realized the creation or retention of hundreds of low to moderate-income jobs that were at risk.
Grants ranged typically between $15,000 and $4,000. Funding determinations were based on scoring criteria put forward in the Round 3 Notice of Funding Availability, which was publicly released on June 17, 2020. The focus of this round of funding was on the creation and retention of low to moderate-income jobs and providing assistance to those businesses that because of the public health emergency orders were required to be closed and are now reopening. The scoring criteria awarded points to those businesses that are minority owned, woman owned, minority-woman owned, or veteran owned. Points were also allocated to businesses that are owned by and employ Springfield residents.
Mayor Sarno stated, “Springfield has stepped up to the plate to assist our small businesses at this time of tremendous need, by investing in them, their employees and the goods and services that they provide”.
The Prime the Pump Program is funded with Community Development Block Grant funding provided to the city by the CARES Act.
“My administration has deployed the CARES Act funding to, assist small businesses and non-profits, sustain jobs, safeguard resident housing, extend services to those most vulnerable to COVID, and to invest in recreational programming consistent with the current restrictions,” Mayor Sarno added. “There remains much more to do over the weeks and months ahead to mitigate the local impacts of COVID-19 and to that end I remain hopeful that Congress will soon reach consensus on a fourth round of COVID-19 emergency funding to address these essential services and needs.”
“COVID-19 has perpetuated an environment of uncertainty, which has left our small businesses economically vulnerable. The Prime the Pump Program is the first step in addressing the immediate cash flow challenges of small businesses as they seek to reopen and adapt to the new normal” said CDO Sheehan.
All awards are pending each business successfully completing the contracting process.