PLEASE NOTE: THE PROGRAM HAS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED IT'S APPLICATION PROCESS AS THE POOL OF FUNDS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. STAY TUNED FOR INFORMATION AS ADDITIONAL DOLLARS MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE IN THE NEAR FUTURE THROUGH THIS FUND.  

Hartford Small Business Emergency Grant Program

What is the Hartford Emergency COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program? 

The Hartford Foundation For Public Giving, the City of Hartford, Capital for Change and HEDCO, Inc., are working in collaboration to provide grant funding to help small businesses located within the City of Hartford that have experienced an adverse financial impact due to COVID-19. An initial pool of $1 million in funding has been assembled to support this effort, with the goal that additional resources will be raised for this program as well.

The grant program will be administered by Capital for Change (C4C), a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) located in Connecticut.  C4C will be responsible for the management of an online application process, for sending out grant awards and coordinating follow-up/compliance efforts with the City of Hartford.

The targeted beneficiaries of this program are small, minority, women-owned businesses, businesses located in neighborhoods in Hartford, that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 and either do not qualify, or have not been able to access fully, other resources provided by the Federal or State Government.

To achieve this goal, we recommend that businesses contact and work with Hartford technical assistance providers and small business/merchant groups to get any assistance that is needed to complete applications.

Technical assistance providers including HEDCO, Inc., SAMA, Blue Hill Civic Association, Upper Albany Merchants Association, Minority Construction Council, the University of Hartford Entrepreneurship Center and the Harford Chamber of Commerce are available to help businesses formally apply for the grant. Businesses can receive a grant-to cover eligible business expenses and costs.

 

Announcement and Funding Awards (Tentative)

Identified technical assistance providers will begin working with businesses on April 27, 2020.  The application portal managed by Capital for Change will be opened at 10:00 A.M. on May 4th to accept applications.   Our goal is to notify applicants of grant awards on or before May 22nd. 

Does the program have any funding priorities?

Yes, this program will require that a minimum fifty percent of grant dollars be allocated to businesses owned by persons of color and/or women, or businesses located in  a low-income Hartford neighborhood.  Grants also will be spread out across different business types to ensure broad community impact.

How much is the grant?

The grant can be a maximum of $10,000; however, not all businesses approved will receive the maximum amount.

What can the funding be used for?

Potentially, any legitimate business expense or cost necessary to keep the business operating and viable. Staff will make the determination of eligible costs after reviewing the completed application. Examples of eligible and ineligible use of funds are:

 

Eligible Use of Funds:

  • Mortgage or lease payments

  • Vendor payments

  • Inventory

  • Salaries or wages to employees

  • Improvements to allow business to increase or start take out/carry out services, physical improvements that would help the business meet social distancing requirements

  • Advertising or marketing expenses

 

Ineligible Use of Funds

  • Purchase of vehicles, service delivery scooters, motorcycles, etc.

  • Payment of any nonbusiness related expenses 

  • Any activities or purchases that are illegal

 

What businesses are eligible to apply?

  • Businesses located within the City of Hartford, proper

  • Gross documented 2019 revenue cannot exceed $500,000

  • Must document an adverse financial impact due to COVID-19

  • Business must be legal and engage in legal business activities

  • Must be able to formally document business operations via Federal signed Tax Returns or other appropriate documentation including but not limited to: Form 1099, or other acceptable documentation as determined by the Program Administrator.

 

What is the approval process?

A selection committee will review completed, eligible applications and select grantees with an eye towards the long-term viability of the businesses, distribution across industries, geographic areas of the City, and consideration of support businesses may have already received through other aid programs.

 

How do I apply?

Applications must be completed and submitted online at www.hartfordgrant.com. Please check with one of the following service providers for assistance with submitting an application or any questions you may have regarding the application process.  

 

Who can I contact for application assistance?

The organizations listed below are available to help you complete your application, if required.

Blue Hills Civic Association
Vickie Gallon-Clark, Exec. Director
(860)-560-7360 Office
clarkv@bluehillscivic.org

Upper Albany Merchant’s Association
Fay Santouse  (860)-532-9574
bandlcleaningservices@gmail.com
uams.mb@gmail.com
  

Spanish American Merchants Association (SAMA)
Julio Mendoza, Exec. Director
Julio Mendoza (860) (860)-278-5825 
julio_mendoza@samact.org

HEDCO Inc.
Fernando G. Rosa, President & Chief Executive Officer
Kim B. Hawkins, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
(860)-527-1301 Ext. 10
(860)-527-1102
Fernando Rosa:  fernandor@hedcoinc.com
Kim Hawkins:      kimh@hedcoinc.com 

Minority Construction Council
Jennifer Little-Greer
Executive Director
860-882-0675 Office
203-687-3404 Cell
Jlittle-greer@mccforct.org 

Entrepreneurial Center, University of Hartford
Shelli McMillen
Program Manager, Marketing & Technical Assistance
860-768-5652
mcmillen@hartford.edu 

Hartford Chamber of Commerce
Shannon Mumley
Director of Small Business Development and Strategy
860-840-2025
smumley@metrohartford.com

What documentation is required?

  1. Completed Application

  2. Two most current signed Federal Tax returns

  3. For businesses open less than a year, formal documentation of business revenues and expenses (bank statements, estimated tax payments, invoices etc.)

  4. Documented evidence of adverse financial impact due to COVID-19

  5. Other documentation as required by staff

 

Is there a deadline to apply?

Yes, applications must be submitted to the Capital For Change website by 5:00 PM Friday 5/8/2020. 

Only completed applications with all requested and required supporting documentation will be evaluated for the grant.  Incomplete applications may be excluded from grant consideration.

What happens if my application is selected for an award?

  1. You will get an award notification from C4C by email.

  2. You will be required to verify / confirm the funds that were requested in the application.

  3. You will be required to execute electronically a grant award agreement and IRS W-9 form.

  4. Upon receipt by C4C of the executed grant award agreement and W-9. you will be mailed a check.

  5. All grant awardees will be required to complete a survey at the three (3) month and six (6) month anniversary of the grant award. The survey will be sent electronically by C4C.

  6. Grantees, upon request by City of Hartford and C4C, will provide documentation that grant funds received where used for their intended purposes. The grant agreement will layout the penalties associated with awardees who cannot comply with this requirement.

PLEASE NOTE: THE PROGRAM HAS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED IT'S APPLICATION PROCESS AS THE POOL OF FUNDS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. STAY TUNED FOR INFORMATION AS ADDITIONAL DOLLARS MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE IN THE NEAR FUTURE THROUGH THIS FUND.