By Sarah Heinonen
AGAWAM – For small businesses in Agawam that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, help is on the way.
The Town of Agawam has been awarded $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to help with COVID-19-related aid to microenterprises in town. A microenterprise is a small business with five employees or fewer.
The grant money is the result of a joint request for funding from Agawam and Southwick, which resulted in an award of $435,000. Southwick’s share, $185,000, will be directed to microenterprises that have suffered as a result of the pandemic and assistance for the food pantry. The remainder of the award will be used to fund the administration and distribution of the grants by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC).
The grants are part of a $19.6 million effort by the Baker-Polito Administration to address pandemic related concerns. The money was spread between 36 municipalities around the state.
“The Town of Agawam is proud to partner once again with the Baker-Polito Administration, which deserves tremendous credit for their tireless support of local governments, particularly in these times of crisis,” said Mayor Bill Sapelli in a press release. “We know that many of our smaller businesses continue to struggle with challenges presented by COVID-19. So we look forward to working with PVPC to get this program started as soon as possible.”