Town of Agawam
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
36 Main Street
Agawam, MA 01001
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
P: (413) 786-0400 ext. 8200
F: (413) 786-9927
Marc A. Strange, Director
Planning & Community Development
P: (413) 786-0400 ext. 8245
F: (413) 786-9927
Town of Agawam Awarded Community Development Block Grant
To Expand Support of Microenterprises Harmed by COVID-19
Agawam, MA, July 20, 2020—Mayor William Sapelli announced today that the Town of Agawam has been awarded a COVID-19-related Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Agawam will receive $200,000 in grants for microenterprises in Agawam. A microenterprise has five employees or less.
Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $19.6 million in COVID-related grant funding to 36 lead-communities. The Town of Agawam, which is the lead community in a joint effort with the Town of Southwick, was awarded $435,000 with $180,000 going to the Town of Southwick for microenterprise and food pantry assistance. The balance of the award will be allocated to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), who will administer all three programs.
“The Town of Agawam is proud to partner once again with the Baker-Polito Administration, which deserves tremendous credit for their tireless support of local governments, particularly in these times of crisis,” said Mayor Sapelli. “We know that many of our smaller businesses continue to struggle with challenges presented by COVID-19. So we look forward to working with PVPC to get this program started as soon as possible.”
The CDBG-CV microenterprise award will fund a second round of grants to be made available by the Town of Agawam. In April, Mayor Sapelli and the Agawam City Council worked together to reallocate $168,000 of CDBG grant money for microenterprises suffering from the COVID-19 shutdown. Those funds were originally appropriated for an infrastructure planning study in North Agawam. In that first round of grants, eleven microenterprises were awarded grants, which averaged $5,000.
“We were happy to support eleven businesses with the first round of funding. And we hope to expand our reach this time around since the award criteria have loosened up. We would encourage all microbusinesses affected by COVID-19 to apply and see if they qualify,” added Sapelli.
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, in concert with the Agawam Department of Planning & Community Development, will be administering the program. For more information, please feel free to contact Marc Strange at (413) 786-0400 x8245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.