Release Date: August 11,2020

Downtown Akron Partnership Announces COVID-19 Recovery Grant for Eligible Downtown Businesses

Akron, Ohio — Today Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) announced a new grant designed to support for-profit businesses located in the 42-block Special Improvement District in downtown Akron. The Downtown Akron COVID-19 Recovery Grant has been made possible by the Akron/Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund. It is intended to provide assistance to retail, personal service, entertainment and restaurant businesses that have returned or plan to return during or following the pandemic. Interested business owners can apply through the DAP website:

President and CEO of DAP Suzie Graham said, “Downtown Akron is the city’s living room. A healthy, vibrant downtown business community is critical to the economic well-being of our region. That’s why this grant is focused on downtown, specifically in the Special Improvement District.”

The estimated maximum grant per business is $5,000 and will be distributed from the Akron/Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund’s subsidy of $100,000. Funds are intended to be used for operating and business expenses such as rent, utilities, payroll, and inventory. They cannot be used for capital expenses or to cover costs associated with expansion or relocation.

Graham said, “Storefront businesses downtown enrich the neighborhood through employment, improving safety, helping to retain talent, adding character and vibrancy, contributing to the local economy and raising the quality of life for everyone who visits. We’re here to help build a vital, valuable downtown that welcomes and serves everyone.”

The Akron/Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund was created through a partnership of United Way of Summit County, the City of Akron, the County of Summit, Akron Public Schools, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Summit County Public Health and Job & Family Services.

“Though the negative impact of the pandemic has been widespread, much of the economic damage has been concentrated in communities that rely on nearby small businesses to serve residents and provide jobs,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina. “These grants will help local businesses stay afloat and provide some financial stability to those living in the surrounding neighborhoods.”

The application takes a short time to complete. A diverse cross-section of community members comprises the committee overseeing the selection process and includes leaders across different industries, including local government. The selection process will align with DAP’s mission of promoting and building a vibrant and valuable downtown for all people and will include an emphasis on support for minority and woman-owned businesses. Businesses must submit their applications by Monday, August 24, 2020 at 5 P.M. EST.

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