Hartford Launches $1 Million Small Business Grant Program, Plans Additional $300,000 Grant Program, and Awards $120,000 to Small Businesses

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

HARTFORD, CT -- Today the City of Hartford, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, HEDCO, Inc., and Capital for Change launched a $1 million Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program to provide at least 100 small Hartford businesses with a grant of up to $10,000 to make lease or mortgage payments, pay salaries, make vendor payments, pay taxes, or pay for 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, with a particular focus on providing assistance to small businesses owned by women and people of color, located in low-income neighborhoods in Hartford.  The program will be administered by Capital for Change and applications will be accepted online beginning on May 4, 2020.  A link to the application will be available at Coronavirus.Hartford.gov.  Grant awards are expected to be made on or before May 22, 2020.  Program dates are subject to change.   

Beginning on April 27, 2020, interested businesses can access technical assistance to ensure they are prepared to submit an application.  Organizations providing technical assistance 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. 

In order to be eligible for the grant, businesses must: (a) be located within the City of Hartford, (b) be able to provide at least one federal tax return, (c) have positive revenues not exceeding $500,000 for the submitted tax years, (d) have an EIN and/or DUNS number, if applicable.  Other eligibility requirements will be available in the grant application.  In an effort to make grants available to as many business owners as possible, principal owners of multiple businesses will only be eligible for one grant.  

In addition to the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, in the coming months the City of Hartford will launch a separate grant program to provide approximately $300,000, with a focus on helping small businesses in Hartford neighborhoods restart when restrictions on business activity begin to loosen.  

“This pandemic has devastated small businesses, and 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.  We are incredibly grateful to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Capital for Change, and HEDCO for partnering with us, and we’re looking for additional partners to grow this program going forward.” 

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and we are proud to join with these partners to get them critical support during this unprecedented time,” said City Council President Maly D. Rosado.  “The businesses we are targeting for support employ residents and serve residents, and we want to do everything we can to help them survive.  We are grateful to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Capital for Change, and HEDCO for joining with us to create this important initiative.”

“When the state was forced to close down, this not only had a devastating impact on many of our local small business owners and staff but also the residents who rely on their services and the vibrancy they bring to their neighborhoods,” said Jay Williams, President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.  “We know that small businesses owned by women and people of color do not always have access to the capital they need to survive and thrive, and that the current pandemic is exacerbating those inequities.  We are proud to stand with the City and the other partners in support of this effort.” 

“We are pleased to be able to participate in such an impactful program,” said Fernando Rosa, President and CEO of HEDCO, Inc., and Kim Hawkins, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HEDCO, Inc.  “Supporting our small business community in their hour of need.  Those businesses that provide so many of Hartford’s local jobs.  Glad to be able to help!”

“Our team is working hard to implement the grant program efficiently and strategically given the immense and pressing needs of the small business community in Hartford,” added Cal Vinal, President & CEO of Capital for Change. 

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.

“Launc[H] is proud to support Hartford’s small business community,” said Launc[H] Director, Michelle Cote.  “We believe that our city has the potential to continue to grow as a significant center of innovation activity, but that is only possible if our neighborhoods remain vibrant.  Small businesses are the backbone of our neighborhoods, and our region.  Their growth and success will help to spur our collective growth and success, and we look forward to seeing the ways in which they invest in capital, and other business improvements through these grants."



Vasishth Srivastava
Chief of Staff
Office of Mayor Luke A. Bronin

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