Bethel Business Recovery Grant Program offers financial assistance to local businesses impacted by pandemic

Bethel businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways. Bethel saw some businesses shut down completely following State mandates in March, others stayed open and enacted safety measures for customers and employees, and many saw significant decreases in sales.

Now there is an opportunity for financial assistance for such businesses! The City of Bethel’s Bethel Business Recovery Grant Program offers a chance for eligible Bethel businesses to receive funds to recover from these impacts and prepare for the continuing impacts of the pandemic.

According to the City of Bethel’s Acting Finance Director John Sargent: “This is a way for the City of Bethel to use CARES money and get funds into the hands of local businesses. We have 538 local businesses with Bethel business licenses and we know many of them were impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a way the City can help with some economic recovery.”

In July 2020, the City of Bethel received funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The City solicited public feedback and assessed the requirements and needs of the local government, business, and nonprofit sectors. From there, the City partnered with Bethel Community Services Foundation (BCSF) to develop a responsive program for businesses to help distribute the funds to best serve our business community and the citizens of Bethel.

The Bethel Business Recovery Grant Program was allocated $1 Million to provide financial assistance to Bethel businesses that meet eligibility criteria. BCSF is contracting with the City of Bethel to provide assistance in managing the Bethel Business Recovery Grant Program process.

The Bethel Business Recovery Grant Program is non-competitive, which means that if a business applies and they meet all eligibility criteria, they will receive funding. The grant amount is determined by the business’s annual gross revenue, or the total amount of money generated by the business without taking into account expenses. BCSF Executive Director Michelle DeWitt explains the tier system for determining how much a business is eligible to receive.

“A business, for example, that had gross revenue of $5,000 to $24,999 would be eligible for a grant of $1,500. And those tiers increase by steps all the way up to a business that would have gross revenue of half a million dollars and above, which would be a grant of $25,000.”

The simple application was designed to be accessible, requiring minimal paperwork and reporting. Businesses are not being asked to provide significant documentation about expenditures, but it is important to keep records as this information can be requested at a later date.

The application is due August 10th at 5pm and can be submitted via email, fax, USPS, and online at www.bcsfoundation.org/businessrecoverygrant/. Mailed applications must be postmarked by August 10th at 5pm.

Information about the Bethel Business Recovery Grant Program can be found at BCSF’s website (www.bcsfoundation.org/covidbusiness/) and the City of Bethel’s website. If local businesses have questions or need a translated application, they can contact Kate McWilliams at the community foundation’s office at 543-1812 or email [email protected]