Vermont Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Cares Act Sole Proprietor Stabilization Grant Program Set to Launch Second Round of Grants
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact revenues for small businesses across the state, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and Two Rivers - Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) have announced a second round of the Vermont CDBG-CV economic relief grant program to support Sole Proprietors.
The additional $1.6M in funding will offer grants between $1,500 and $10,000 to qualifying Sole Proprietors on a first-come, first served basis. Applicants must demonstrate financial need through business expenditures that have not yet been reimbursed through other relief programs. Expenditures may represent expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, or ongoing expenses in order to “pivot” business operations due to the pandemic. The program is funded by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) CDBG program. The federal funds are passed through the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD).
The application for this new round of funding will open on April 5th and run through May 26th.
The first round of grants was awarded to 157 businesses totaling $1,385,000 between August 2020 and March 2021.
“While the first round of CDBG grants supported many businesses, more are still in need,” said Bobbi Kilburn of BDCC who has been administering the program. “We know this money will help many more businesses but will come nowhere near the total need that is out there. We are encouraged that state legislators are currently considering adding significant state dollars to these modest federal funds in order to support small and medium-sized businesses across the state,” said Peter Gregory of TRORC who has been administering the program.
Eligibility criteria have been altered for this second round of grants to include both Sole Proprietors with no W2 employees and S-Corp owners with no W2 employees. Other key eligibility criteria include that the applicant must:
· Be from a Low to Moderate Income household per federal guidelines, which is defined as having a household income of 80% or below the area median income for your county.
· Be a for-profit entity, providing goods or services to clients.
· Have a physical establishment in Vermont.
· Have pre-pandemic or current gross annual revenues of over $24,450 for the business.
· Have been legally established prior to March 15, 2020.
Webinar training to explain the online application process will be available on April 1st. To sign up for the Webinar and learn more about the program breakdown, full eligibility requirements, application materials and timelines, contacts for language translation services, and to view technical assistance recorded trainings visit the program web site: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.
BDCC will be administering funds for the counties of Windham, Bennington, Rutland, Addison, Washington, and Lamoille. TRORC will be administering funds for the counties of Windsor, Orange, Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Franklin, Grand Isle, and Chittenden (including the City of Burlington).