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Restore and Reopen Program Grants Awarded

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Via the City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia, in partnership with The Merchants Fund, today announced that 171 businesses were awarded a total of $1.4 million in grants from the Restore and Reopen program. The program, first announced on June 15, provides grants to small, independently-owned businesses that have suffered property damage, vandalism, or inventory losses during the recent civil unrest—with a focus on those in historically disadvantaged communities.

“Philadelphia’s small businesses are the anchors of neighborhoods across our city—providing jobs, goods, and services for residents,” said Sylvie Gallier Howard, Acting Commerce Director. “It has been devastating to see the impact on Philadelphia workers and our local businesses from the months-long shutdown required to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the damage caused during recent civil unrest only added to their challenges. It was critical that we act quickly to ensure impacted businesses—particularly those serving our most vulnerable communities—were supported so that residents can continue to access goods and services in their neighborhoods.”

The awardees are businesses that were impacted by the civil unrest and are located in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates. The selected businesses will receive grants of up to $10,000 for repairs, renovations, losses to inventory, and other costs incurred. More than 90 percent of businesses receiving grants are minority-owned.

“Once we saw our local businesses’ need for immediate support, we engaged our partners across the city to ensure that every commercial corridor and local nonprofit were made aware of the Restore and Reopen program,” said Jill Fink, Executive Director of The Merchants Fund. “While we’re proud of the impact this program will have on our local small businesses, we also hope to raise even more funding to meet more of our communities’ needs.”

The program received a total of 332 applications from businesses located in neighborhoods across the city. To be eligible for a grant, businesses needed to have less than $2 million in annual revenue, be independently owned, and occupy a storefront, retail, or commercial space in Philadelphia, which included kiosks. Eligible businesses were further evaluated to assess the extent of the damage and their location in high-need and hard-hit communities—prioritizing historically disadvantaged communities.

A preliminary list of businesses that received awards can be found here; businesses are in the process of finalizing grant agreements. The Barra Foundation generously supported this program with a $50,000 contribution. The Merchants Fund, in concert with the Department of Commerce, continues to seek additional funding for this program; if new funding is secured, there are 46 additional businesses in areas with a poverty rate of 25 percent or greater that would be eligible to receive grants, leaving a funding gap of approximately $350,000.

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