SPRINGFIELD – Mayor Domenic Sarno is distributing funding awards totaling $4.16 million for the city’s seventh round of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund distribution. The announcement came during an Aug. 4 ceremony that welcomed several of the awardees.
ARPA funds received approval from the federal government in March 2021. The program was designed as a community fund that would mitigate the lingering impacts of the coronavirus pandemic for businesses, homeowners, infrastructure needs and other citywide initiatives.
Springfield is set to earn $123.8 million from ARPA and has dispensed some of the money across different funding rounds.
The ARPA distribution timeline is set by the state. So far, Springfield has dispensed over $50 million from the city’s ARPA awards, according to the city’s press release.
The seventh ARPA round focuses on supporting several business and nonprofit entities throughout the city. Among the awardees, the seventh round includes financial relief for the 14 minority-owned businesses. The funding also includes 17 entities that qualify for Qualified Census Tracts (QCT), which are organizations located in areas where 50 percent or more of the incomes are below 60 percent of the city’s media.
The awards include:
• $500,000 for The Children’s Study Home, a nonprofit
• $500,000 for the Boys and Girls Club Family Center, a nonprofit
• $250,000 for Mason Wright Senior Living, a nonprofit
• $200,000 for Kingdom Builders Contracting, a small business
• $140,300 for Dress for Success, a nonprofit
• $100,000 for Golden Heart Home Healthcare, a small business
• $100,000 for Roca/Nonprofit
• $75,000 for Northern Soul Café, a new business
• $75,000 for Juguitos LLC, a new business
• $75,000 for SkinCatering, Inc., economic development and job creation
• $75,000 for L & A Fine Men’s Shop, a small business
• $75,000 for Palate Restaurant, a small business
• $75,000 for Five Star Cleaners, a small business
• $75,000 for Drama Studio Inc., a nonprofit
• $50,000 for Exotic Scentsations, a small business
• $50,000 for The Kitchen Catering Company, a small business
• $50,000 for GJG Signs and Digital Signs Corporation, a small business
• $50,000 for Baystate Home Guard Inc., a small business
• $50,000 for Superstars Beauty Salon, a small business
• $30,000 for A Cut Above the Rest Inc., a small business
• $25,000 for Follow My Steps Foundation, a nonprofit
• $13,100 for Mundos Barber Shop, a small business
Reflecting on the seventh ARPA round, Sarno discussed the importance of stabilizing the job market.
“It’s about saving jobs, creating new jobs and growing our small businesses which are vital and so important for the economic health of our city,” Sarno said in the city’s press release.
The mayor also highlighted the efforts of the awarded nonprofits. He stressed that nonprofit organizations continue playing a vital role as the city recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
“This COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress on individuals and families, and it is important to support our local nonprofits so that they can continue to assist and provide their services for our residents and the community.” Sarno said.
The seventh ARPA round also included four recipients for the city’s Neighborhood Economic Recovery and Relief Fund. Sarno created the economic program as a means of supporting neighborhood institutions with ARPA funding.
The New North Citizens’ Council, South End Citizens’ Council, Indian Orchard Citizens’ Council and Mattoon Street Historic Preservation Association each received awards for capital and safety improvements.
Readers can learn more about Springfield’s ARPA efforts so far at https://www.springfield-ma.gov/dr/disaster-recovery/arpa.