Fairfield COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program
The Fairfield COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program was established to provide limited, one-time direct financial assistance to eligible Fairfield small businesses that employ five or fewer employees and that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program is funded through a grant from the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and administered by the Town of Fairfield’s Department of Community & Economic Development. The Program is intended to provide assistance to allow eligible Fairfield businesses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, use of the funds must be directly related to the pandemic and resultant public health emergency.
Who is eligible to apply?
To be eligible for assistance under this program, applicants must be a for-profit business enterprise that is physically located within the Town of Fairfield and that employs five or fewer employees (i.e. a micro-enterprise). The business must have been in operation and be current on its federal, state and local tax obligations as of March 15, 2020. Further, the business must not have received, or been approved to receive, federal or state assistance for the same purpose. The business must be able to demonstrate satisfactorily that is has been negatively impacted by coronavirus pandemic, and must not be debarred or ineligible to receive federal funds.
Are there any funding priorities?
Yes. To ensure that public benefit goals are met, priority will be given to businesses that are either owned by, or the majority of their employees are classified as, persons of low/moderate income. (See income guidelines here.) Additionally, the Town will also seek to target assistance to those businesses with annual net revenues of less than $500K and that have not yet received or been approved to receive any governmental assistance related to the pandemic and/or disaster declaration.
How much can I apply for?
Eligible businesses may apply for grants of up to $5,000. Funding is limited and it is anticipated that requests for assistance will be greater than funding on hand. Not all businesses approved for participation will receive the maximum amount, and it is anticipated that average grants will be in the range of $2,000-$3,000. Applications will be accepted and processed first-come, first-served, and grants awarded on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.
What can the funds be used for?
Funds are intended to allow eligible Fairfield businesses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the pandemic. Funds may be used for interior renovations and lease-hold improvements, particularly those to achieve social distancing requirements; the purchase of equipment and furnishings; the purchase of consumable supplies, including personal protective equipment and disinfecting materials; marketing and advertising expenses and other legitimate business costs deemed appropriate for public participation at the discretion of the grant review committee. Applicants are asked to be as specific as possible regarding the proposed use of the funds. Applicants should attach paid invoices, receipts or other documentation to support their request. 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.
How can I apply?
Applications must be completed and submitted on-line using the link below. Applicants should note that all information submitted in connection with this application is subject to verification. Non-disclosure or the making of false or misleading statements will result in disqualification, forfeiture of benefits and/or criminal prosecution under the laws of this State.
What other documentation is required?
In addition to the completed application, applicants will need to furnish a copy of the most current signed federal tax return. Applicants may also be asked to provide other documentation as required by program staff to determine eligibility. Incomplete applications may be excluded from grant consideration.
Tax and financial information provided as part of this application process will be maintained as confidential, and will only be used by program staff for determining eligibility and participation in the program.
What is the approval process?
All applications will be reviewed by a sub-committee of the Economic Development Commission. The decision of the grant review committee is final. Program staff will make every effort to ensure timely review of all applications received. The Town anticipates that grant awards will be made with three weeks of submittal of a completed application. In addition to program requirements, awards will be based on a number of factors including: the continued viability of the business enterprise, the number of jobs retained and/or created, the degree to which the business has been impacted by the pandemic and the proposed use of the funds. The Committee will also consider the extent to which the business has received other assistance to date and its access to other funding sources.