City of Chelsea launches historic COVID-19 small business recovery program

The City of Chelsea has announced the launch of a new program to provide relief to local small businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Beset by an economic paralysis, small businesses are in need of flexible operational capital to weather the pandemic and provide a springboard for a sustained economic rebound. 

Funded through a historic appropriation by Chelsea City Council, the Small Business Economic Recovery Program offers up to $20,000 in financial assistance to qualifying small businesses, with the aim of safely stimulating the local economy. The program is designed to provide direct financial relief Chelsea-based small businesses with 50 or less employees. Funds can be used for rent, utility payments, inventory, debt, payroll, and other operating expenses. 

“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has gravely impacted local small businesses,” stated Thomas G. Ambrosino, City Manager, “the City, through this program,  seeks to support small businesses as they resume operations, adopt to new safety requirements, and provide the goods and services our community relies on.” 

The City, through a competitive procurement process, has contracted with the Chelsea Business Foundation to administer the program. The City has formally launched a streamlined application process, enabling Chelsea businesses to quickly apply for financial resources. The application deadline is September 25th, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. 

 “Chelsea City Council has acted decisively to support small businesses by funding this program,” stated Alex Train, “We’re grateful for the enduring partnership with the Chelsea Business Foundation and Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. Our new Department is committed to the successful implementation of this program, in order to promote health and safety, local hiring, and economic growth.”

The newly appointed CEO of the Chelsea Business Foundation, Carlos Matos, said,” we are committed to assisting the Latino and small business of Chelsea and we are thrilled to able to help them as the City’s administrative partner. This program will go a long way to assisting businesses throughout the city impacted by COVID. We stand ready to help business, so that they can continue to provide the valuable services and products continue to fuel the local economy.”

The effort is unique in its focus on key business sectors, as well as health and safety. “As we worked with City Council to design the program, a major priority was serving small businesses and, particularly restaurants,” explained Karl Allen, Economic Development Specialist with the Department, “the program was designed to promote the adoption of COVID-19 health and safety requirements. We strongly believe public health and economic recovery can go hand-in-hand in a way that benefits the community at-large.” 

Program Summary

• Citywide assistance for Businesses with 50 or fewer employees

• $400,000 in funds is designated for restaurants

• $600,000 for other eligible businesses

• Maximum Award for business assistance is $20,000 per eligible business

• Funds can be used for rent, staff, debt, utilities, and other essential business activity

• Funds are structured as a forgivable, no-interest loans that are forgiven after two (2) years if the business remains in Chelsea and COVID-19 health and safety requirements are adopted

• Preferences for Woman-, Minority, and Veteran-Owned Businesses

Applications Availability

• Applications period will be open from 08/31/2020 through 09/25/2020

 Applications are available on-line at or

 All applications must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. on 09/25/20

 For assistance with the application, contact Deise Paraguay at [email protected] to make an appointment or  Contact Karl Allen, Chelsea Department of Housing and Community Development, with any program questions [email protected]  

For more information, press only: Contact: Alex Train, AICP, Director of Housing and Community Development

Tel: 857.234.3791

Email: [email protected] .

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