by Bethel Community Services Foundation Staff
November 6, 2020: The City of Bethel has opened a second round of the Bethel Business Recovery Grant program for Bethel-based businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. In the first round of grantmaking, 66 Bethel businesses received a total of $972,500 in economic recovery funds. In this round, $527,500 is available.
Businesses that received a grant award in the first round are eligible to apply again, but priority will be given to businesses that have not yet received a grant from the City of Bethel.
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. The City’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 Interim City Manager Pete Williams: “The City is aware that many of our businesses have struggled due to the impacts of COVID-19. This program is a way for the City to put CARES funds to work through our local businesses. We have more than 500 businesses with Bethel business licenses and the City encourages businesses that have suffered financial harm to apply for the funding so we can assist in their 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 initially allocated $1 Million to provide financial assistance to Bethel businesses that meet eligibility criteria. The Bethel City Council later designated an additional $500,000 to continue the program. 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.
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 November 16th at 5:00 pm and can be submitted via email, fax, USPS, and online at www.bcsfoundation.org/businessrecoverygrant/. Mailed applications must be postmarked by November 16th.
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 at cityofbethel.org. If local businesses have questions or need a translated application, they can contact Lisa Whalen at the community foundation’s office at 543-1812 or email [email protected]