Local News

Bethel to use federal COIVD funding for Small Business Assistance Grant Program

Bethel will use some federal American Rescue Plan Act money to create a financial assistance program for local small businesses to help in the wake of the pandemic.   The Board of Selectmen voted to allocate $350,000 toward the creation of the Small Business Assistance Program.  Companies in Bethel with 25 or fewer employees will be able to apply for one time funding, up to $5,000 in grant funding.  The Economic and Development Commission will be required to provide the Board of Selectmen with monthly progress summaries.  Only about 45 percent of Bethel businesses reported receiving COVID-related financial assistance, most in the form of loans.  EDC officials say some small businesses chose not to take part in the federal Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs due to future financial concerns because they could not take on more debt.  The EDC surveyed businesses in town and found that they're having difficulty filling positions and need to add responsibilities for COVID response. 

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