published on July 15, 2020 - 2:21 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

In response to the economic impact that Covid-19 has had on local, Black-owned small businesses, the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Central Valley Community Foundation to help businesses start over.

The Regional Economic Sustainability Through Aligned Responses to Threats (RESTART) Black Fresno Grant aims to preserve at-risk small microbusinesses from permanent closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Chamber, most of Downtown Fresno’s businesses have closed their doors to comply with the City of Fresno’s emergency shelter-in-place order, and businesses that have remained open experienced a 75% decrease in revenues, with only 2% receiving any assistance despite over 85% applying for financial aid.

Businesses within the Fresno metropolitan area can apply for up to $3,000 in grant funding to help cover expenses, with Thursday at 11:59 p.m. being the deadline.

“We are proud of the work we are doing in the community and blessed to be able to meet the needs of our small businesses,” said Richard Keyes, vice chair for the Fresno Metro Black Chamber Foundation. “These are unprecedented times and help is necessary to make sure our businesses don’t permanently go under.”

RESTART will provide direct grants to small- and micro-businesses that have suffered economic loss due to the pandemic. Grants will be made to businesses that have been in existence for one year or more with fewer than 25 employees and recipients must agree to stay in business, participate in the RESTART Technical Assistance program and complete a Covid-19 survey.

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