The Jamaica Plain Main Streets Relief Fund will distribute $500 grants to Jamaica Plain residents, or employees of neighborhood businesses. Applications are now open for the fund. Applications went live on Monday and priority will be given to applicants who are unable to receive or ineligible for other forms of public assistance. "We would like to place people of color, all genders, people without papers, people formerly incarcerated, and those facing housing instability at the front of the line for support," said an email sent out by JP Centre/South Main Streets. The total number of grants to be given out in the first round, or any successive rounds, depends on the success of the fundraising campaign.
Three Boston City Councilors are looking to decrease the exorbitant fees that the four major food delivery service companies charge. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, sit-down restaurants were making the majority of their revenue from customers dining in. But things have changed since restaurants can now only offer takeout or delivery. Restaurants are known for operating on razor thin margins, and the pandemic has exacerbated profit margins. "We want to limit the percentage of delivery fee these firms are doing.
Mayor Marty Walsh announced that 12 lenders have agreed to offer homeowners with at least three months of deferred mortgage payments if they can demonstrate they have been financially impacted by the public health crisis. "No person should have to worry about losing their home right now. During these times of global uncertainty, homeowners and renters in Boston can be certain that we are doing everything we can to help ease the burden brought on by this pandemic and give them much-needed flexibility," said Walsh. The 12 lenders offering homeowners relief are: Bank of America, Boston Private, Cambridge Trust Company, Century Bank, Citizens Bank, City of Boston Credit Union, Dedham Savings Bank, Eastern Bank, Mortgage Network, Inc., Prime Lending, Salem Five Bank, and Santander Bank. As part of the agreement, lenders have said they will not charge late fees, or report non-payments to credit bureaus.
Independent bookstore JP Papercuts opened on Green Street in 2014, and only earlier this year it moved to a larger location on South Street. But restrictions placed on nonessential businesses due to the Coronavirus has pushed JP Papercuts into danger of closing. And the store's owner is asking for the public's help to keep the business open. Owner Kate Layte created the GoFundMe page on April 6, and as of Wednesday night, had raised more than $8,000. Layte explained she closed the business on March 14 to do her part to flatten the curve and help stop the spread of the virus.
The city has created a Small Business Relief Fund to assist Boston's small businesses most directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is specifically for for-profit entities with fewer than 35 employees, and that earns less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue. "We are committed to helping Boston's small businesses during this unprecedented time by providing strategic, accessible, and critical financial resources to help them stay afloat and pay employees," said Mayor Marty Walsh. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. As the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to make this resource as straightforward as possible for business owners and work one-on-one to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on financial assistance available."