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Small businesses get helping hand in Saugus

The town of Saugus is now accepting Microenterprise Business Assistance applications from local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Town Manager Scott Crabtree announced this week. 

Earlier this year, Saugus was awarded a $360,000 Community Development Block grant through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which is meant to provide financial assistance to microenterprises — defined as commercial enterprises employing five or fewer personnel that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Following last week’s completion of required state training, the town is finally able to open the program, providing each eligible business that applies with up to $10,000 in COVID-19 relief funds. 

“The Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 opportunity funding provides the town of Saugus with the necessary resources to help our business community, which has always served as the town’s partner during these unprecedented times,” said Crabtree. “We encourage any and all eligible, interested small businesses within the town to apply to the Microenterprise Business Assistance Program and take advantage of this beneficial financial assistance opportunity.” 

When the pandemic first hit the North Shore in March, Crabtree said town officials quickly began investigating and researching funding opportunities in an effort to address the pandemic’s impact on the local economy. 

Town officials applied for aid and were awarded funding, made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 to DHCD by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), via amendment to the existing DHCD CDBG FY2019 One Year Action Plan. 

The CDBG-CV opportunity supports communities across the Commonwealth in their work to provide vital services to low-income residents and small businesses affected by the recent outbreak. 

“I would like to thank Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and the Department of Housing and Community Development for their continued support of the town of Saugus and our small businesses,” Crabtree said. “This aid is invaluable to our community during these difficult times.”

Saugus’ Office of Planning and Economic Development, in conjunction with the Town Manager’s office, will oversee the Microenterprise Businesses Assistance program and subsequent distribution of funds to eligible businesses. 

Those interested in applying for assistance should visit the town’s Planning and Economic Development webpage (www.saugus-ma.gov/planning-and-economic-development) and select the page titled “Microenterprise Assistance.” 

The town is accepting applications through the Neighborly software platform. For more information about the program, or for assistance with the application, contact the Planning and Economic Development Department at (781) 231-4045 or (781) 231-4044. 

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