The Hudson Community Foundation has created a special fund, initially seeded with $50,000, to provide grants to locally owned and operated restaurants and retail stores that are struggling economically as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.
"This fund is intended to extend a helping hand to the restaurant and retail-oriented small businesses that are such an important part of the fabric and character of our community," said Amy Jordan, president of Hudson Community Foundation. "Even while many of these businesses are beginning to reopen and ramp up, they are doing so with necessary restrictions related to social distancing, health and safety that do not permit full, normal operations. The mandated closures over such a prolonged period of several months have left them struggling to survive and rebuild."
The newly created HCF Restaurant & Retail Stores COVID Support Fund will provide grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying Hudson small business that are locally owned and operated. In particular, grants are intended to help business owners pay ongoing operating expenses such as rent, utilities, equipment lease payments and marketing supplies. The grants will supplement support the businesses may have received from government programs such as the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).
"It is important to note that the Hudson Community Foundation’s fund is for grants, not loans," Jordan said. "This recognizes that many small businesses may not be able to withstand more debt. Our intent is to jump start and accelerate efforts to return our restaurants and stores to ongoing health. One of the primary purposes of the Hudson Community Foundation is to support the needs of our community in extraordinary times like this."
The business grants fund is in addition to donations made through HCF to organizations such as the Hudson Food Pantry in support of Hudson individuals and families during the epidemic.
Local restaurant and retail store owners can apply for grants online at www.myhcf.org, with applications accepted until 5pm on Monday, June 8, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by an independent local committee of four women and three men with professional backgrounds in law, banking, financial management, entrepreneurship and business. Funds will be awarded no later than Monday, June 22.
In addition to its initial pool of $50,000, Hudson Community Foundation is seeking additional Hudson families, companies and institutions to add to the fund so as to enable as many grants as possible to applicants. To contribute to the Restaurant & Retail Stores COVID Support Fund or discuss other charitable needs or opportunities with the Hudson Community Foundation, visit www.myhcf.org/donate or call the foundation’s office at 330-655-3580.
Founded in 2000, Hudson Community Foundation’s mission is to enhance the overall quality of life in Hudson by increasing charitable giving, educating and connecting donors to community needs and leading on community issues. Supported by hundreds of local donors and Donor Advised Funds, we ended 2019 with assets of $22.2 million. The foundation operates from an office in the historic Baldwin House on Hudson’s village green and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.