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Allentown unveils $500K grant program for city small businesses

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The City of Allentown’s Department of Community & Economic Development is implementing a $500,000 Small Business Stabilization Program using funds it received through the CARES Act.

Grants of up to $5,000 will be made to qualifying city businesses suffering financially because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The money is aimed at neighborhood businesses to help with cash flow needs so they can continue to pay employees and provide goods and services to the city’s residents where possible.

To be eligible for a grant a business must be licensed and located in the City of Allentown, with a strong preference to businesses owned by city residents.

The business must have under $1 million in gross revenue, with half of the fund targeting businesses with gross revenue of under $500,000 annually. The business must be able to demonstrate a loss in monthly revenue of more than 25% because of the pandemic.

Applicants must show how the grant will be used in promoting the interests of the program and their business.

The city intends to direct funds to small businesses that wouldn’t likely be able to get funding through larger Small Business Administration programs, but a business can receive grant funds as long as it’s not used for the same purposes as any SBA money.

The grant money can be used for such things as rental or mortgage payments, utilities, payroll, real estate taxes, and outstanding vendor invoices.

Applications will be available on the city website www.allentownpa.gov starting Friday, May 1.

Writer Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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