MANCHESTER, NH — On Wednesday, Mayor Joyce Craig and the City of Manchester announced the relaunch of the Manchester Small Business Grant and Program Assistance. This grant initiative was developed as a resource to help small businesses recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first iteration of the program, launched in 2020, provided grants to 53 Manchester businesses, created 16 jobs and retained 38 employees.
Small Business Grant and Program Assistance, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) recommendations approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in 2021, provides up to $10,000 to support small businesses with fixed business costs, including rent, utilities, and payroll, accrued during the pandemic, costs associated with transitioning to e-commerce business platforms, outdoor space upgrades, and other technical assistance needs.
“Over the past two years, small businesses across Manchester have experienced significant challenges as a result of COVID-19, from decreased revenues to staffing shortages,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Small businesses are the backbone of our community, and we must do everything we can to help them succeed. This program not only gives our small businesses a boost, but helps them plan for the long term sustainability of their businesses.”
Deo Mwano Consultancy, the Greater Manchester Chamber, The City’s Planning and Community Development Department and the Economic Development Office are partnering on the administration, marketing and outreach for this program. While these funds are available to all eligible small businesses, there will be an emphasis placed on outreach to minority owned businesses.
“We learned a lot working in collaboration to launch this program a year and half ago. The success we experienced came from putting the right inclusive and equitable measures that reflected the experiences of all business owners in our community,” said Deo Mwano, CEO, Founder and Managing Principal, Deo Mwano Consultancy. “We met the businesses where there were at a time things were very difficult. We provided resources that made the process much easier to navigate the challenges with certain federal requirements. This time around, we are excited there are more resources to go out to the businesses.”
“Now more than ever, it’s essential to support our small, local, and minority-owned businesses. The City’s Small Business Grant and Program Assistance will be influential in the recovery efforts of local businesses as they respond to the negative impacts of the COVID-19,” said Jodie Nazaka, Director, Manchester Economic Development Office. “While the need for this program existed before the pandemic, we know that small and minority-owned businesses were among those hit the hardest. In response, we need to do all we can to help our business community rebound to pre-pandemic levels.”
Eligible businesses can apply online.
Completed applications can be emailed to PCD-ARPA@manchesternh.gov with the subject line “SBGPA Application”, or mailed to City of Manchester, Planning and Community Development, Attn: SBPGA Application, 1 City Hall Plaza, Manchester, NH 03101