ORLEANS – With every day the COVID-19 pandemic continues, finding good news can be a challenge, but for small business owners in Orleans, there is hope courtesy of the Small Business Hardship Fund.
According to Noëlle Pina, executive director of the Orleans Chamber of Commerce, funds are coming from the Orleans Police Relief Association in order to help small businesses stay afloat during difficult times.
“This is a hardship fund that is for any business based in Orleans that’s been affected by Coronavirus to help them pay their phone or utility bill,” Pina said.
Pina said the Police Relief Association contacted the chamber about making a donation. After discussing the intention of the donation and drawing inspiration from other chambers through the Orleans organization’s membership in the Association of Chamber Executives, it was decided that a hardship fund made the most sense.
“It’s the chamber and police department’s way of supporting our local businesses during this trying time,” Pina said.
A top priority, other than helping businesses in need, was to keep the process of applying and donating simple. To apply, all small business owners have to do is visit orleanscapecod.org/hardshipfund and fill out the application. Donors are welcome to send checks to the Orleans Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 153, Orleans, MA, 02653, with “Hardship Fund” in the memo.
Grants will be awarded to small Orleans-based businesses in amounts up to $200 per business. Pina said that technically, every type of business in Orleans is considered a small business, with the exception of large national chains. When the funds run out, the initiative will end.
“People have enough going on in their lives,” said Pina. “We didn’t want to make it more complicated.”