Town of Wrentham Receives CARES Act Community Development Block Grant
Funds Will Assist Small Businesses and Local Food Pantries Impacted by COVID-19
The town of Wrentham has received a portion of a regional Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) to assist local small businesses and food pantries that have been financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is funding the CDBG-CV to assist communities in their work to provide vital services to low-income residents and small businesses affected by the recent outbreak.
“This pandemic has hit our small businesses and local services particularly hard, and we are grateful for receiving these funds to be able to help in any way we can,” Town Administrator Kevin Sweet said. “Even though some businesses are starting to re-open and things are slowly returning to normal, the effects of COVID-19 will be felt for quite some time and any assistance we are able to provide can make a big difference.”
The grant will award the six communities $540,000 for local businesses and $54,000 for food pantries. Wrentham will receive funding through Bellingham’s regional CDBG-CV application, which also includes the communities of Foxboro, Walpole, Medfield and Franklin. All communities will receive an equal share.
The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development is currently preparing grant agreements for the 39 lead communities who received the grants, which represent more than 120 communities across the state. Once the grant agreement comes back from the state fully executed, and special conditions (if any) are cleared, funds will be available for the small businesses and food pantries.
Small Business Eligibility
Income-qualified businesses, with five employees or fewer, may be eligible to receive grants up to $10,000 to help offset costs incurred by COVID-19. Funds may be used for rent, payroll and other eligible business costs.
Applications will be available online. Any Wrentham business owner who is interested in being considered to receive funds is asked to fill out an interest form. Anyone with questions can contact Director Benson, Wrentham’s Director of Planning & Economic Development, at 508-384-5486 or [email protected].
Eligible businesses must be currently operating and in existence since Jan. 1, 2019. The business must have a physical location in the town and cannot be in a category prohibited by the grant (including real estate sales or rental firms, chain stores or businesses, cannabis, liquor or firearms/weapons businesses).
Once determined eligible under program guidelines, businesses must document their losses due to COVID-19 and show that no other financial resources have paid these costs.
Specific eligibility requirements are listed in DHCD's Notice of Funding Availability, available on their website.
“These funds will provide a much-needed boost to businesses in each of the six towns, and there has already been some interest shown from business owners in Wrentham,” said Director Benson. “We encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible for funding to fill out the online form and we will submit their name to the state for consideration.”