The Georgetown BID, headed by FC2 Trustee Joe Sternlieb, is providing cash assistance to laid-off workers in the Georgetown commercial district through its Employee Emergency Relief Grant program. Started in March, the BID funded the program with $150,000 and has collected more than $70,000 in additional donations. In its first round of distributions, $300 checks were sent to about 500 workers. Priority was given to those who don’t have other means of support or who were not able to apply for unemployment insurance. There will be another round of applications and distributions this month. You can make donations to the commercial worker relief fund here.
It is also offering a technical assistance program, launched in early April, for business owners to meet with lawyers and CPAs and get advice about which government assistance programs they should apply for. The BID is covering the initial $1,200 cost for a 3-6 hour consultation. They are still accepting applications for businesses looking for legal help and financial advice.
The BID is exploring broadening the program to include website assistance with design firms. Many small businesses were unprepared for online sales and need help getting their e-commerce platforms up and running.
Lastly, the BID is starting a storefront window art program. A lot of storefronts are boarded up. The BID wants to spread positive messages about re-opening and employ local artists to paint murals or messages on window fronts. The first set of 10 window fronts should be completed by June 5.