New fund should help bridge the gap

Businesses at some point will have to reopen as our state continues to navigate COVID-19 and its far-reaching impact. Greater Nashua cities and towns may not have direct control over what will open and when, but it’s reassuring to look toward the future and some support that is forthcoming for the local economy.

This week the Nashua Board of Alderman approved $1.2 million for the creation of the Coronavirus Impact Fund. It will provide much-needed grants and loans for small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are struggling as a direct result of COVID-19.

Awarded funds “must help contribute to the business or nonprofit’s ability to remain open, retain employees, and/or provide critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the program’s parameters. City officials noted grant awards would average $25,000 each for those operations that qualify, and others would be eligible to pursue loans through the program.

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen Greater Nashua set the bar for innovation in crisis-management response when it comes to what local officials and leaders can control at the community level. The establishment of this fund embodies the forethought and spirit of activism that we need from our elected officials during these trying times.

Nashua worked very hard to redevelop downtown, attract small businesses and be a welcoming city in which to operate. Now that so many small, locally owned businesses are in danger of permanent closure, along with the nonprofit organizations that provide vital services to our community, we hope this newly established fund will help bridge a gap toward relief. May it provide renewed sustainability when stay-at-home orders are lifted and commerce may safely resume within the city.