In an ongoing effort to support local small businesses, the City of Norwalk has launched a new $150,000 COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program. The City has allocated these funds specifically for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. Due to an expected large number of applications, recipients will be selected via a random lottery system. Applications are now available at norwalkct.org and must be submitted by Tuesday, February 9 by 12 p.m.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted our business community. There has been limited grant funding opportunities available, and I felt it was important that we provide more assistance to our local small businesses. I know this is not a significant amount money, but in talking with local businesses, I have heard that anything we can do will be of help,” said Mayor Harry W. Rilling. “Norwalk has a robust and vibrant business community, and I am hopeful these grants will help our small businesses continue to navigate through this pandemic. Clearly, more support is needed from the federal government, but I hope these grants will be a bridge to more significant help. I encourage our business community to submit an application for this grant program.”
Applicants will have three weeks to complete the application. To be eligible businesses must be for-profit enterprises that employ under 25 people and not have been subject to frequent COVID-19 sector health and safety violations. Eligible expenses include rent, utilities, payroll, and purchasing of personal protective equipment. Funds may not be used for payment of non-business expenses, for political or lobbying activities, or for any other purpose deemed inappropriate or expressly prohibited by federal regulations.
Once an application is submitted, City staff will review it for completion and to ensure a business meets all eligibility requirements. Once staff confirms the application is complete, it will be assigned a random application number. All of the completed applications will then be placed into a lottery. A live public drawing will be conducted by Mayor Rilling during the week of February 15.
Businesses with questions or that need more information are encouraged to contact Sabrina Church, Director of Business Development and Tourism at SChurch@norwalkct.org or (203) 939-2202. Complete eligibility guidelines and the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program application can be found at norwalkct.org/covid19businessresources.