Amesbury Businesses: COVID-19 Support Update

business covid update

Throughout the pandemic, the City of Amesbury has worked to support our local businesses as much as possible in as many ways as we could. We worked to create our own programs to provide assistance, while also proactively sharing information and resources for State and Federal programs and funding that could help our businesses stay afloat during an incredibly difficult time.

Amesbury businesses have received almost $20 million in grant funding from State and local resources during the pandemic, to help them with payroll, inventory, rent and utility payments and more. The City of Amesbury has awarded more than $200,000 in grant funds, with additional funds coming directly from State and Federal programs.

Here are some of the ways we were able to support our businesses:

  • Launched the Business Economic Adjustment Team (BEAT) to help guide our businesses through closing, re-opening and everything in between
  • Sent regular e-newsletters with updates, resources, information and assistance
  • Created the Back to Business Facebook group as another method of regular communication between and with local businesses
  • Social media posts highlighting businesses on the City’s social media channels
  • Surveyed businesses multiple times to gather information on assistance needed
  • Quickly processed outdoor dining / liquor license extensions, and provided space on City property
  • Appropriated 10+ parking spaces downtown to create Grab ‘N Go spots with 15-minute parking
  • Held webinars and promoted educational opportunities to help business owners learn, adjust and pivot
  • Mayor Gove proactively reached out to the Merrimack Valley mayors from Newburyport, Haverhill and Methuen to support Senator Diana DiZoglio's bill for Governor Baker, asking him to allow alcohol sales with take-out orders. Mayor Gove sent this letter on March 21, 2020
  • Mayor Gove testified before the Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses in favor of Bill S.2564, an Act to Support MassMakers
  • Partnered with the City of Newburyport to get $800,000 in CDBG-CV grant funding to provide financial assistance to Amesbury and Newburyport businesses
  • Collaborated with Governor Baker's administration to bring the COVID-19 vaccine clinic to Amesbury, which held clinics especially for essential workers like restaurant employees, helping those businesses get back on track faster 

We surveyed businesses early in the pandemic to ask them what they were most concerned about, and we heard overwhelmingly that they were worried about being able to pay rent, keep their staff and just make a living. Almost 75% of respondents said they needed financial assistance to be able to stay open. The over $2.5 million that Amesbury businesses received in help allowed them to keep the lights on, keep their staff employed and stay open until the State rescinded business restrictions and they could operate at full capacity.

business helpful measures

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation Grants
The MGCC offered sector-specific grants in early January 2021, which were promoted in our business e-newsletter and Back to Business Facebook group. City staff also followed up directly with local business owners. While we don’t know which businesses received the grants, we received a breakdown by industry.

CategorySum of Amount
Events / Arts$20,000
Healthcare$20,000
Gym / Fitness$70,000
Hotel / Motel$75,000
Indoor Recreation$75,000
Beauty / Personal Services$95,000
Professional Services$200,000
Restaurant / Bar$450,000
  
Total$1,005,000

Paycheck Protection Program
Many companies nationwide and in Amesbury received PPP loans to help keep staff employed during the pandemic. Amesbury businesses received more than $17 million in PPP funds. We’re grateful to our local funding institutions who helped these businesses apply for and receive PPP funding, which helped save more than 1,800 jobs at Amesbury companies. PPP loans can be fully forgiven (no need to be repaid) if business followed the guidelines of the loan.
You can search a full list of Massachusetts businesses who received PPP loans here

Amesbury / Newburyport CDBG-CV Grants
The City of Amesbury partnered with the City of Newburyport to apply for CDBG-CV funds in mid-2020 and after receiving grant approval, began providing grants to local businesses in early October 2020. Grants are open to businesses with fewer than 5 employees, and began with grants of up to $10,000 which increased in 2021 allowing businesses to re-apply for funds if needed. We are thrilled to have been able to support these businesses during a challenging year. Below is a breakdown of the businesses who have received grants, as well as how much grant funding remains.
Applications are still being accepted!

Amesbury BusinessesNewburyport Businesses
  • 19 grants awarded
  • $235,295 granted
  • Grants range from $4,766 to $35,000

Amy Vander Els

Bernadette's Day Spa

Coastal Home Cleaning

Color Me Happy

Dynamic Balance

Ebacher Photography

Foley Vision Center

Giggles of Amesbury

Jennifer Davis

Jenny's Wedding Cakes (2)

Kate Donovan Photography

Kitchen Local

Muscle Madness Therapeutic Massage

Salt Marsh Canvas, Inc

Stillwaters

Toy Soldier Games

Wicked Cool Sea Glass

Willie Jo & Woodie's

 

 

  • 25 grants awarded
  • $253,405 granted
  • Grants range from $6,275 to $25,000

Annie's (2)

Bateau Ventures

Blue Lamb Finishings

Copper Penny

Dana Sands

Encompass Premiums & Apparel (2)

Engage Your Core Pilates (2)

Grand Trunk Imports

Healing Rose, LLC

Mandarava, LLC

Piperfine Carpentry

Radiant U Esthetics

Renaissance International

Sankofa Massage & Bodywork (2)

Savvy Hair Salon

Soak, Inc (2)

The Handyman

The Silent Seed

Vaalbara

Vintage Chic

annies storefront
"Dear Mayor Gove,

I want to thank you and Mayor Holaday for providing the two communities with the Small Business Relief Grant Program. The two grants awarded to me have helped immensely while I, like many others, struggled with the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. My part time employee is back on a regular schedule, and with business steadily improving, I will no doubt be hiring an additional employee as well.

My wife Kate and I truly appreciate the help you extended to us. I hope other businesses that were awarded grants are also seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Once again, thank you both very much.

Best,
Ted Hochheiser
Owner, Annie's
May 14, 2021"

If you’re a business owner who wants to get updates from us, sign up for the e-newsletter and join the Facebook Group! If you ever have questions, comments or suggestions on ways the City can support our businesses, reach out by emailing business@amesburyma.gov or give us a call (978-388-8110).