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Hartford offering small businesses $1,000,000 in grants

Emergency assistance program targets small businesses in low-income neighborhoods that can't get funding federal or state funding

HARTFORD, Conn. — On Tuesday Mayor Luke Bronin announced that the City of Hartford, with the help of the Hartford Foundation for Giving, HEDCO, Inc., and Capital for Change, was launching a one million dollar program to provide grants to 100 small businesses to help them pay leases, mortgages, salaries, vendors or other eligible expenses.

The Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program is aimed at small businesses that may have difficulty obtaining funding from other federal or state initiatives.  Small businesses owned by women and people of color, located in low-income neighborhoods in Hartford, will be a particular area of focus. 

The program will be administered by Capital for Change and applications will be accepted beginning May 4 . A link to the application will be available at Coronavirus.Hartford.gov. The city expects to grant the awards by May 22. 

Starting April 27, several community organizations will provide technical assistance to businesses that want to be sure they are prepared to submit an application. The organizations include the Blue Hills Civic Association, the Upper Albany Merchants Association, the Spanish American Merchants Association, HEDCO Inc., the Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Hartford, the Minority Construction Council, and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses must be located within Hartford, and meet certain tax and income qualifications. 

The City of Hartford will also launch a separate grant program to provide approximately $300,000, with a focus on helping small businesses restart once restrictions on business activity begin to loosen.

“We want to do everything we can to help our small businesses here in Hartford survive, reopen, re-hire, and start growing again,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “All too often, small businesses in communities like Hartford don’t have the banking relationships, the connections, or the ability to access federal grants or loans, and this partnership is aimed at helping those small businesses that are most likely to be left out.”

The City also announced today that it is awarding approximately $120,000 to seventeen small businesses under an existing grant program, in partnership with CTNext’s Innovation Places program. The City used funding from CTNext’s Innovation Places program, secured by Launc[H]artford, to support small businesses in the corridor between Trinity College and Hartford Hospital.

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