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Thursday, April 02, 2020

波士頓市長宣佈200萬元小企業救助基金 300萬元房租援助金

            (Boston Orange 周菊子整理報導) 波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin Walsh)(2)日下午2點宣佈,市府成立了小企業救助基金(Small Business Relief Fund),幫助直接受新型冠狀病毒大流行影響而關門,或營業額大受影響的小企業。總金額共約200萬元,由市府經濟發展辦公室承辦,下週一,46日起接受申請。
             馬丁華殊表示,小企業是波士頓的經濟核心,市府希望能夠直接幫助小企業主度過難關,甚至提供一對一的幫助,以確保小企業主獲得財務援助的最新資訊。
            這個"小企業救濟金",經費來自波士頓市府的營運費用,美國房住局(HUD)每年撥給波士頓市的社區發展補助款(CDBG,以及私營機構,還有麻州總檢察官辦公室的5萬元捐款。
員工人數35以下,年營業額低於150萬元,在波士頓市登記,營運的營利小企業,都可填寫一份表格,就根據各自企業規模,申請三種補助中的一種。補助款項可用於付房租,還債,發薪水,付貨款,彌補營業銷售或機會損失,或是用於營運開銷等。
波士頓經濟發展辦公室已製作了一份"財務救濟手冊(Financial Relief Handbook)","常見問題文件(FAQ document)",並繼續不斷更新。每星期二下午3點,也還在繼續召開電話會議,讓人問問題。有意參加會議者,可發電郵到l smallbiz@boston.gov
            波士頓市長馬丁華殊在記者會中還宣佈,已動用市府和聯邦資助,成立了另外一個總額300萬元基金,將迅速回應的幫助在新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)流行期間,沒有資格領取聯邦救濟,或失業福利,面對繳付房租困難的人。他說在這困難時期,沒有任何一個人應該因為任何理由落得無家可歸。有需要的人,可以撥打311查詢。
            為了幫助受州政府"非必要服務及待在家命令"影響的企業,波士頓市經濟發展辦公室已整理出來一些資源,供企業主使用,包括:
"在波士頓市內開門的企業(Open Businesses in Boston)",供波士頓居民使用,查找市內那些基本服務還在開門營業。
"支持波士頓餐館(Support Boston Restaurants)",供餐館公告提供外賣服務的網頁。
"外賣及送貨指南(Takeout and Delivery Guidebook)",在波士頓市府取消牌照規定之際,輔導企業設立外賣及送貨服務。
"小企業調查(Small Business Survey)"波士頓正在進行四次小企業調查中的第三次,藉以確認小企業在這階段需要那些幫助和服務。
            前述資源都可在波士頓市政府網站上找得到,boston.gov/small-business,以及boston.gov/coronavirus
              波士頓市長馬丁華殊在記者會中還報告了疫情最新情況,4月2日,波士頓市確診人數再增加,躍升至1233 106痊癒, 10人死亡。

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND
New resources created to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 receive immediate capital relief and navigate the evolving financial assistance landscape
BOSTON - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the creation of the Small Business Relief Fund, established to assist Boston's small businesses most directly impacted by closures, policies, or general loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This newly created fund, administered and managed by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development (OED), is designed to quickly and strategically disburse grants to local businesses through a streamlined process that does not require businesses to assume additional debt. The Fund will begin accepting applications on Monday, April 6, 2020. 

"We are committed to helping Boston's small businesses during this unprecedented time by providing strategic, accessible, and critical financial resources to help them stay afloat and pay employees," said Mayor Walsh. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. As the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to make this resource as straightforward as possible for business owners and work one-on-one to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on financial assistance available."

The Small Business Relief Fund will be administered through OED's Small Business Financing program, and is funded by a combination of funds from the City of Boston, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and private institutions. Eligible small businesses - a for-profit entity with fewer than 35 employees, and less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue, which is registered and operating in Boston - will apply through a single application and be considered for one of three grants based on the size of the business. Grants can be used to address rent, fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities, and other working capital expenses.

The Fund will kick-off with an initial $2 million in resources available to small businesses, which includes city operating funding and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that the City of Boston receives annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding will also include an additional $50,000 contribution from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of everyone in Massachusetts and our small businesses have been hit especially hard," said Attorney General Maura Healey. "I thank Mayor Walsh for his leadership and the opportunity to contribute to this fund to assist these businesses during this difficult time. I'll continue to collaborate with my partners in government to help all those affected by this crisis - we will get through this together."

As business owners, employers, and employees navigate an evolving COVID-19-related assistance landscape, OED has created a Financial Relief Handbook and FAQ document, both of which are continuously updated. Small Business conference calls will continue every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. to communicate policy updates, answer questions, feature relevant City of Boston departments, and troubleshoot the ecosystem of funding available from the state, federal, and private industry. For any business interested in joining these weekly calls, please email smallbiz@boston.gov

OED has created a number of useful guides and resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the Commonwealth's  Non-Essential Services and Stay At Home Order.
  • Open Businesses in Boston: a tool for essential businesses to publicly share that they're open, share gift-card information, and which (if any) delivery/take-out services they use. This guide is available for residents to utilize, and explore what local businesses are open in their neighborhoods. 
  • Support Boston Restaurants: a web page for restaurants to publicly share that they're open, share gift-card information, and which (if any) delivery/take-out services they use. This guide is available for residents to utilize, and explore what local businesses are open in their neighborhoods. 
  • Takeout and Delivery Guidebook: a guide on how to establish food takeout and delivery services now that the City of Boston has lifted licensing regulations. 
  • Small Business Survey: the third of four surveys for small businesses to pinpoint the help and services they need during this time. 
The above resources and more industry-specific guidance are accessible on boston.gov/small-business or under the Local Resources "Economic Development Response" on  boston.gov/coronavirus. 

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