Cambridge City
MA

Policy Order
POR 2020 #94
Order Adopted
May 4, 2020 5:30 PM

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the Economic Development Division of the Community Development Department to create a plan for how the City will support small, local businesses in recovering from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including use of existing city resources and CARES Act funding to provide additional support, such as individual coaching to support businesses as they are allowed to return to work

Information

Department:City Clerk's Office, AMSponsors:Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon, Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Councillor E. Denise Simmons
Category:Policy Order

Attachments

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WHEREAS:

The Stay at Home Advisory and continued closure of non-essential businesses has had a devastating impact on our local business community; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

In a District Impact Study conducted by the Central Square Business Improvement District, 96% of businesses surveyed reported being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and 78% reported a decrease in sales, demonstrating just how desperately small businesses need assistance during these difficult times; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

While different programs to provide financial relief to small businesses have been created at each level of government, there is often confusion on how to apply for these funds, with 70% of small businesses identifying “information on financial assistance over the next 90 days” as a critical need; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

These financial aid programs do not necessarily address knowledge gaps in technical areas, which can be a significant barrier as more businesses move their services online; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

In response to these issues, Cambridge has modified its Small Business Enhancement program to respond and has modified the Business Coaching program that provides individual assistance to businesses and pairs them with a coach who fits their specific needs to tele-coaching and has expanded it to include COVID-19 specific coaching; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

As the closure of non-essential businesses winds down and the small business community prepares to return, this is the optimal time to assess the issues that small businesses will face in a post-pandemic environment and plan for how to reopen the small business economy and plan for recovery; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Having readily available access to business coaching, technical assistance, hands-on support, and related wrap around services would greatly benefit Cambridge’s small business community, and would give them the tools they need as they adapt to the challenges and ever-changing circumstances that this public health crisis presents; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Supporting the recovery of Cambridge’s small businesses would align with the Envision Cambridge goal of “[ensuring] local businesses of different types, sizes, and growth stages are able to start, grow, and remain in Cambridge”; now therefore be it

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the Economic Development Division of the Community Development Department to create a plan for how the City will support small, local businesses in recovering from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including use of existing city resources and CARES Act funding to provide additional support, such as individual coaching to support businesses as they are allowed to return to work; and be it further

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Manager report back to the City Council on this matter in a timely manner.

 

Meeting History

May 4, 2020 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:ORDER ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
YEAS:Dennis J. Carlone, Patricia Nolan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Alanna Mallon, Marc C. McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Timothy J. Toomey, Quinton Zondervan