BOSTON – The Baker administration is selling grants to companies struggling amid the financial fallout of the pandemic, however enterprise leaders say extra assist is required.
On Thursday, Governor Charlie Baker visited a restaurant in Boston’s North Finish and urged enterprise house owners to use for the newest spherical of pandemic reduction.
“We all know how a lot this pandemic has affected small companies,” Baker stated. “We actually hope that those that qualify could have the chance to use to obtain a few of the help that this program can supply.”
The grants come from a brand new $ 668 million fund. Qualifying small companies can obtain as much as $ 75,000 to cowl bills over a number of months. Friday is the deadline to use.
The state has already distributed almost $ 200 million to greater than four,000 companies, Baker stated.
The brand new bundle is available in response to the Baker administration’s determination to tighten capability limits for many companies in response to a rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations which can be stressing the state’s well being care system.
Baker beforehand reversed plans to reopen to Part three, Step 1, which required the closure of some leisure venues and tightened different restrictions.
Officers within the Baker administration say the cash is obtainable to a wide range of companies, together with eating places, bars, gyms and health facilities. It may be used for something from making payroll and hiring to debt funds.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito stated the grants will help present certainty to firms that might in any other case face “very tough and unsure occasions.”
On Wednesday, 5,278 new coronavirus instances and 86 extra deaths had been reported in Massachusetts. Greater than 2,220 individuals are hospitalized with the illness.
At the same time as state lawmakers search to offer reduction, enterprise leaders are warning of a “good storm” of upper labor prices that would make issues worse.
Small companies face a median eight% improve in medical health insurance premiums this yr. A multi-billion greenback shortfall within the state’s unemployment insurance coverage fund may improve the charges employers should pay by 60%.
In the meantime, retail and restaurant gross sales are down 50% from the earlier yr, because of authorities shutdowns and present COVID-19 restrictions.
A $ 900 billion stimulus bundle signed by President Donald Trump consists of an extension of the Paycheck Safety Program. Gives one other $ 284 billion in federally backed forgivable loans for qualifying small companies.
Joe Bevilacqua, president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, stated state and federal support helps preserve companies afloat, however extra is required.
“We’re involved that many firms won’t survive this winter,” he stated. “Reduction is useful, however you may all the time do extra.”
For extra info on grant funding, go to: www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.
Christian M. Wade covers the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for North of Boston Media Group newspapers and web sites. E-mail him at email@example.com.