City of Lakewood Announces Completion of Small Business Rent Relief Grant Program | The City of Lakewood, Ohio
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City of Lakewood Announces Completion of Small Business Rent Relief Grant Program

May 05, 2020

The City of Lakewood completed its Small Business Rent Relief grant program on Monday, May 4.  With the announcement of awards to the final recipients, the City has issued $187,492.92 in rent relief grants to 118 small businesses in Lakewood.

“We understood at the very beginning of this pandemic that the public health crisis was only half of the equation—the economic fallout would be severe. Lakewood is so proud of its small businesses and Shop Local mentality. Unfortunately, our small businesses are vulnerable to the kind of disruption or total shutdown that has resulted from the pandemic. I want to do everything within the power of the Mayor’s Office to show our small businesses that we support them. I’m proud of my team and our partners, LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, for their roles in making this happen for the Lakewood small business community,” Mayor Meghan George said.

City Planner Katelyn Milius said, “Lakewood was fortunate to be able to mobilize quickly in implementing this program. The City has not offered a program like this before but the Mayor and our team saw the importance of supporting our small, local businesses that line Lakewood’s commercial corridors.  Lakewood’s Community Vision document guides our decisions as a department and one of the goals in the Vision is to ‘strengthen economic development efforts to increase commercial occupancy.’  This was a critical time to support that goal.”

The City officially closed applications to the Small Business Rent Relief grant program on March 27th, 2020.  The program reimbursed one month’s rent to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Lakewood small businesses.

This program allowed for a maximum rent reimbursement award of $3,000 for small businesses operating out of commercial or retail storefronts in Lakewood.  The Small Business Rent Relief grant program was sourced from the City of Lakewood’s economic development budget and from Community Development Block Grant funds.

“It was also touching that some business owners voluntarily withdrew their applications during the process so that the money could be distributed to those who needed it most.  We’re thankful for all of Lakewood’s business owners who contribute to the betterment of our community,” said Milius.

Several businesses receiving support from the program voiced their appreciation.

Allen Singleton of Apple Jax Toys also received Small Business Rent Relief Grant Program support. “The Small Business Rent Relief program was a welcomed resource for us. We didn’t need to borrow as much from lenders for a retail store that has zero income currently coming in to pay our mounting bills,” Singleton said. “Add the fact that banks are backlogged with everything going on, and their lobbies being closed, the relief was so very helpful.”

“The Small Business Relief Program has been an absolute blessing,” said Brandon King, owner of Heirloom Barber & Shave Shop, who received support from the Small Business Rent Relief Grant Program. “The shop has been closed since March 18th and is still closed as we wait for the governor to allow us to open back up. All of our barbers are contemplating and speculating how life at the barbershop will be once we reopen. This program has been the only assistance that we have had thus far. The Heirloom Barber & Shave Shop family is truly grateful.”

The City of Lakewood, LakewoodAlive, and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce remain committed to the fiscal wellbeing of Lakewood’s small business community.  By supporting small businesses in rent reimbursement, the City of Lakewood aims to improve commercial occupancy rates and offer stability in this unprecedented economic environment.

For more information on other Business Emergency Resources, visit http://www.onelakewood.com/covid19businessresources/ or contact the Planning & Development Department via email at planning@lakewoodoh.net.