Boston officials have pledged $6 million in grants to support small businesses where employees must work in close proximity with either coworkers or customers — such as hair salons and barber shops, retail stores, gyms and food service establishments — to provide personal protective equipment so those businesses can reopen.
Companies with fewer than 15 employees can apply for up to $2,000 for materials such as masks and safety partitions for customers and employees. The funding will be available in three rounds: first, for personal services including barber shops and hair salons; second, for retail, restaurants, nail salons, day spas, waxing and laser services; and third, for bars, arts and entertainment venues and fitness businesses.
Applications open Thursday at 5:00 p.m. at boston.gov/reopen-fund.
“When our small businesses are ready and able to open, we want our business owners and workers to have access to the appropriate resources to stay safe,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “These additional grants will help level the playing field for Boston’s small businesses and support both our public health and economic equity priorities.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, Walsh stressed that employees should continue to work from home if possible. Workers should not feel pressured to come into work if they don’t feel safe, he said.
“We have to do our part to minimize the risk of another surge,” he said. “It’s not the time to let up.”