Find Out About the Microenterprise Grants, Deadline Approaching

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Businesses with five or fewer employees can apply for microenterprise grants.

The following information was provided by the Watertown Department of Community Development & Planning:

Building on its commitment to supporting Watertown residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Watertown has established a $175,000 emergency rental assistance program. The program will allow income-eligible tenants to apply for up to three months assistance if they have lost income and are having trouble paying rent as a result of the pandemic. The deadline to complete the application is Thursday, September 24.

“During this difficult time, it is important that we help Watertown residents stay in their homes and help ensure their health and safety,” said Assistant Town Manager Steven Magoon. “We are pleased that the Watertown Housing Partnership was able to tap our existing affordable housing resources to fund this emergency program for households who otherwise would be unable to make their rent payments.” The Town Council endorsed the program in August.

This program will provide assistance for up to three months to Watertown residents not receiving other government rental assistance and earning below 80% of Area Median Income. Assistance is for up to $750 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment, $950 for a 2-bedroom apartment, and $1,150 for a 3-bedroom apartment.

Area median income for a household of one person is $67,400, two persons is $77,000 and 3 persons is $86,500. Applicants will need to submit documentation that they are income-qualified and that they are having trouble paying rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on the number of applicants, a lottery may be used to select recipients of this assistance.

Rent payments, which will be made directly to participating landlords, are expected to start in October.

Metro West Collaborative, a non-profit community development corporation, will administer the program. Those interested in applying can contact Robyn Rufo at robyn@metrowestcd.org or 617-923-3505 extension 5. Metro West Collaborative staff are available to assist individuals in completing their applications, including those with disabilities that may impede their ability to complete the application. Staff can also arrange for assistance for households with limited English proficiency.

This assistance is in addition to that offered by the Watertown Community
Foundation’s Community Resilience Fund.

A statewide eviction and foreclosure moratorium is currently in place across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, protecting tenants from being evicted and homeowners from foreclosure. The moratorium will remain in place until October 17 or 45 days after the state of emergency ends, whichever is sooner.

Other COVID-19 resources available in Watertown are listed in a Watertown Library’s Guide at https://sites.google.com/minlib.net/watertowncovidguide/home
For more information, please contact: Steven Magoon, Assistant Town Manager and Director of Community Development and Planning SMagoon@watertown-ma.gov 617-972-6417

Watertown Business Coalition Discusses Info on Microenterprise Grants

Find out more about the Microenterprise Grants at the Watertown Business Coalition’s Coffee Connect on Wednesday, Aug. 19 from 9-10 a.m.

The WBC sent out the following announcement:

At this month’s Coffee Connect we will be discussing who is eligible and how to apply for the Microenterprise Grants. This grant money is available to many small business owners and can be for as much as $10,000. You don’t want to miss this!

Our online forum is free to Watertown Residents and our Business Community. Format will include: Find a comfortable place in the home with a cup of coffee or tea! Information on Microenterprise Grants General networking breakout rooms, as time permits Let’s get through these times together, Watertown!

To Register click here.

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