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Posted on: November 19, 2020

Grants to Help Businesses Sustain Outdoor Winter Operations Now Available

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The City of Portland’s Winter Business Sustainability Grant Program (WBSG) is being launched today, November 19. Offering grants of up to $10,000, the Program’s purpose is to assist Portland businesses with the cost of maintaining a portion of their operations outside through the fall and winter, due to the pandemic. The program’s main objective is job retention. 

The application deadline is December 9, 2020 at 4:00 PM. Applications are available online and should be completed fully, including attachments, and submitted electronically.

Grant funds can be used for a variety of items including furniture, equipment, heaters, coverings, platforms, lighting, signage, barricades and other things needed to extend outdoor business operations as the temperatures goes down. Items must be purchased after November 19, 2020 to be eligible for grant reimbursement. 

For questions about this program, please contact Nelle Hanig in the City’s Housing and Economic Development Department at nrh@portlandmaine.gov.

On October 8, the City Council approved $100,000 for the Winter Business Assistance Program through additional federal funding it received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The City had to wait for the funds to be released by HUD before it could begin accepting applications. 

Businesses must comply with all government requirements during the pandemic. The City of Portland launched a new campaign in September 2020 to remind people to ‘Stay the Course’ to prevent further COVID-19 spread. Businesses along with residents and visitors are encouraged to visit staythecourse.me for information related to the four pillars of keeping Portland healthy – washing hands, wearing a mask, physical distancing and avoiding large gatherings – as well as information on where to get tested, latest updates from the City and City Hall services, FAQs and downloadable resources for businesses and other organizations to use. 

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