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New London offers competitive grants to owners of small businesses

New London — The city is offering up to $10,000 in grant funding to small business owners through its Small Business Emergency Relief Grant program.

“The new SERG round is an excellent opportunity for our local businesses to think about innovative and long-term solutions for moving forward from the economic impact of the pandemic,” Mayor Michael Passero said in a statement. “This is a challenge to all of our businesses to get them to think about their resiliency and to find creative ways to leverage these funds.”

A total of $150,000 for the program comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. The program is being administered by the New London Office of Community and Economic Development.

Grant applications should demonstrate how each project will help ensure a small, brick-and-mortar business can remain viable despite challenges outside their control. The city will fund innovative projects that propose ways to increase traffic to businesses, including but not limited to website development, improved branding, increased social media presence, creative ways of marketing, increasing online retail, expanded outdoor seating, improved safety measures, solutions to mobilize a business and sustainable solutions such as investing in green to-go packaging.

The application review process is scheduled to begin Oct. 25. Applications will be reviewed and grants will be awarded as they are received until all funding is expended. This is a rolling grant with a first-come, first-reviewed process. Grants will be awarded based on the strength of the application and demonstrated need.

Guidelines in both English and Spanish are posted at newlondonct.org or developnewlondon.com.

All questions must be submitted in writing beginning immediately through 4 p.m. on Oct. 18 to enocera@newlondonct.org. All answers will be published on the websites above under Frequently Asked Questions by Oct. 21.

All applications must be submitted electronically to enocera@newlondonct.org.

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