Small Business COVID Adaptation Program

Graphic with photo of dancers, barber, and restaurant with people wearing masks and says Small Business COVID Adaptation Program

We're providing grants to qualifying small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualifying small business will be able to apply for up to $10,000.  We'll award approximately $165,000 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds. These grants will assist small businesses located in the Neighborhoods of Focus or one of the Corridor Improvement Authority boundaries.

These funds are to cover the cost of adaptations made in response to the pandemic, like outdoor furniture. We will award grants on a first-come, first-served basis for qualifying businesses.

Applications Now Closed

The Small Business COVID Adaptation Program is now closed.

Program Overview & Requirements

Eligible Businesses

To be eligible, your business must meet all the following requirements. It must: 

Ineligible Businesses

The following businesses are not eligible for program participation.

  • nonprofit organizations
  • businesses without a physical location, like home-based and online only businesses
  • businesses located in a shared facility, like co-working spaces
  • mobile businesses, like food trucks
  • any business or activity that does not comply with local, state or federal laws, like marijuana-related businesses
  • business franchises

Eligible Use of Funds

Businesses can use grant funds for adaptation costs related to the pandemic. These funds can cover the cost of eligible expenses from March 1, 2020 through the grant period. Below is a list of costs the grant funds can cover:

  • Outdoor furniture, fixtures, and equipment that helps serve customers in a manner compliant with social distancing requirements or recommendations (ex. tables and chairs, planter boxes/barriers, heaters, igloos/pods, parklets, canopies that are not physically attached to the building, associated permits and fees, etc.);
  • Movable furniture, fixtures, or equipment that can be used to move product outdoors on a regular basis to allow for expanded shopping areas (ex. rolling bookshelves or clothes racks, etc.);
  • Plexi-glass and similar items designed to create barriers separating customers from other customers, or customers from employees;
  • Air purification systems that are not an integral part of the buildings heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems;
  • Signage (ex. “Masks Required to Enter” or similar);
  • Point-of-sale investments to enhance contactless payment or other health- and safety-focused experiences for customers/patrons;
  • Technology/software investments for reservation or pre-order systems, curbside pick up processing, timed reservations, paperless menu, or delivery service implementation, or similar investments to enhance service options in response to the impacts of COVID-19 (note: this doesn't include ongoing fees associated with meal delivery services such as GrubHub, Uber Eats or Door Dash, but does include costs associated with commission-free ordering services);
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees (ex. masks, gloves, sanitizer, etc.).

Ineligible Use of Funds 

Grant funds may not be used for the following:

  • Expenses that have already been paid for by other grants or forgivable financing (ex. SBA grants or forgivable loans, grants from other governmental agencies such as Kent County, the Downtown Development Authority, or a Corridor Improvement Authority); 
  • Reimbursement of expenses incurred prior to March 1, 2020;
  • Reimbursement or payment for rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, or other day-to-day business expenses;
  • Pay off non-business debt;
  • Pay taxes or fines;
  • Construct or physically alter the business itself;
  • Purchases not related to responding to COVID-19.

Applications that include a request for items that are ineligible under this program will be closed.

Before you apply, you should gather the following information in advance:

Proof of Loss of Revenue

Documentation to show a loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The documentation must show a decrease in revenue in one or more accounting periods year-over-year (ex. revenue/sales in May 2020 was significantly less than May 2019). The following documentation will be accepted.

  • Tax returns (2019 AND 2020); or
  • Two sales reports, one pre-pandemic and one during the pandemic (template(XLSX, 22KB)); or
  • Two profit and loss statements, one pre-pandemic and one during the pandemic (template(XLSX, 78KB))

Purchase Documentation 

Prepare documentation of purchases you would like to make or have already made - as early as March 1, 2020 - that you are requesting be reimbursed with this grant, if approved.

  • Past Purchases: you'll submit the invoices or quotes and proof that your business paid the invoice for the goods or services (ex. receipts, copy of checks or bank statements reflecting the purchase)
  • Planned Purchases: you'll submit an estimate or quote from the vendor(s) for the purchase(s) you would like to make

Applications that do not include the required loss of revenue or purchase documentation attachments will be closed.