FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mansfield Launches Local Business Relief Program with ARPA Funding
MANSFIELD, CT –The Town of Mansfield is launching a Local Business Relief Fund Program to provide financial assistance to eligible Mansfield businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and administered by the Town of Mansfield in collaboration with the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, and is intended to help businesses and the Mansfield business community become stronger and prosper. Applications and details are available on the Mansfield Downtown Partnership’s website at https://mansfieldmdp.org/arpa, and complete application materials must be received by July 8, 2022 at 4 PM.
The target audience for the program is small businesses in Mansfield, and individual award amounts will generally be capped at $10,000. It is anticipated that most awards will be $2,500-$5,000, and smaller awards may be requested. The program is aimed at businesses that have less than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees) and who generate less than $2 million in gross annual revenue. Businesses located in Mansfield or paying taxes in the Town of Mansfield that have been in operation for a minimum of 24 months are eligible to apply
Businesses must be able to demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that grant funds will enable the business to continue to operate and become stronger. The business must present a reasonable likelihood for long-term viability.
“We are eager to roll out the Local Business Relief Fund Program and support Mansfield’s businesses who were so challenged by the pandemic,” says Mansfield Town Manager Ryan Aylesworth. “The Town Council has authorized the allocation of approximately $370,000 to assist small businesses which continued providing services to our community through this unprecedented period. We know that many of these businesses lost significant revenue, had to reduce their workforce, struggled to keep up with their mortgage or lease payments, or were otherwise impacted. We hope this program will help local businesses get their plans back on track.”
Grant funds may be used for payroll costs, rent/mortgage assistance, utilities, operational expenses,
employee protection expenditures, costs associated with the compliance of public health measures
related to COVID-19, costs associated with outdoor dining areas, and/or marketing programs to
increase business and employee recruitment–any costs and expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds might also be applied to costs and/or revenue losses associated with delaying the planned launch of a product, program, or service because of the pandemic. Businesses must have a clear and specific use for grant funds and demonstrate that such funds will be used exclusively for future expenditures directly related to the COVID pandemic. It is vital to demonstrate economic hardship and show that operating funds are necessary and sufficient, when combined with other sources, to sustain the organization.
A business must be in “Good Standing” with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services and be current on its federal, state and local tax obligations and have no outstanding liens or judgments, and compliant with the Connecticut Department of Labor Office of Unemployment Assistance and all applicable State and Federal employment laws and regulations. Priority will be given to Certified Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises, Certified Small Business Enterprises and veteran-owned businesses, as well as businesses that did not receive prior COVID-related financial assistance. The Town Manager will appoint a panel of individuals to review and approve applications.
ARPA Programs in Mansfield
ARPA includes funding to municipalities to help respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Treasury Department has issued rules to implement the recovery funds established under ARPA. Through ARPA, state and local governments have access to funds that are aimed at helping communities recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. The Mansfield Town Council is moving forward on the direction to invest Mansfield’s roughly $7.5 million allocation of American
Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to deliver the greatest benefit to the community within the guidelines provided by the Treasury Department. The Council has authorized the Town Manager and associated municipal departments to move forward on many proposed projects and initiatives. Funding spans a wide range of approved uses, including:
• Direct financial assistance to economically distressed individuals (Resident Assistance & RElief Program or RARE)
• Financial assistance to local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
• Funding support for Eagleville Green housing project and associated transportation safety improvements on a segment of S. Eagleville Road
• High-priority Town road and drainage projects
• Facility improvements to the Mansfield Public Library, which includes upgrades to the building’s HVAC system, installation of quiet study pods, and construction of a new exterior wireless access pavilion
• Replacement of an aging ambulance and acquisition of other critical Fire/EMS life-saving equipment
• Development of a Neighborhood Stabilization Plan
• Development of a Parks & Recreation
Point of Contact: Cynthia van Zelm
Executive Director, Mansfield Downtown Partnership