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Mayor Sarno Announces Initial ‘Prime the Pump’ Grant to Assist Our Restaurants


SPRINGFIELD– Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today that he has directed Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan to launch an initial ‘Prime the Pump’ grant program to help our local restaurants that are struggling during these challenging times.

“In conjunction and on top of federal and state loan assistance programs, the city will immediately move to offer $222,679 in grants, up to a maximum of $15,000 for qualified restaurants.” Mayor Sarno stated. “As my administration continues to review any and all options to assist our residents and business community during these challenging times, I have asked my CDO Tim Sheehan to see what we could do immediately to ‘Prime the Pump’ to start to spur a ‘shot-in-the-arm’ relief and recovery initial assistance program for our restaurants and their employees. In the meantime, I ask our public to please continue to support our restaurants take out services as much as you can.”

CDO Tim Sheehan states, “ While the small business support being advanced by the federal and state government is beneficial, it is clear to me that more creative and flexible financial lifelines need to be established for the small businesses, especially restaurants which have disproportionately felt the economic impact resulting from the coronavirus mitigation measures designed to protect us all. Working with the city’s economic and community development staff, I am advancing a program that will make over $222,000 in grant dollars available to restaurant businesses that seek to reorganize their service delivery operations to meet the public health restrictions and retain their existing employees to degree possible. I am also seeking to increase the amount of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds used for small business development and retention in the upcoming fiscal year. These businesses support hundreds of local jobs, which are critical to our economy. Many of the people and families impacted by this loss are our friends and neighbors if not our own family. As such, your city wants to help in a meaningful way.”

For more information and details on how to apply, please contact the city’s Chief Development Officer Timothy Sheehan at (413) 787-6024 or

Community Foundation Establishes COVID-19 Response Fund with $1 Million Lead Gift from MassMutual

SPRINGFIELD—The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) today announced the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley has been established with a lead gift of $1 million from MassMutual.

Along with MassMutual’s gift, CFWM is contributing $500,000 to the Response Fund. Big Y, Easthampton Savings Bank, Greenfield Cooperative Bank/Northampton Cooperative Bank and PeoplesBank have also committed to contributing to the fund. Other area businesses and philanthropic organizations are being encouraged to contribute to the fund, as is the general public.

Those interested in making a gift to the fund should visit, or contact the Community Foundation at

Funds initially will be given to existing community-based organizations who currently serve vulnerable populations and who are best able to identify those requiring crisis services.


After coronavirus closes casinos, MGM Springfield donates 12,000 pounds of food to area food pantries

From MassLive


SPRINGFIELD — As a large white truck from MGM Springfield carrying bread, milk, celery, yogurt and other fresh produce pulled up to the Open Pantry’s Emergency Food Pantry on Main Street, a few residents came by to grab boxes of food.

“It is absolutely awesome. We are so appreciative for the extra food that we are getting," said Annie Rennix, director of food pantry services for the Open Pantry. “Due to the coronavirus we suspended all donations from individuals including residents, churches and community members in order to limit the contact between individuals. We rely a lot on those donations, so we are low on food. This delivery of a huge assortment of food means a lot to us, and I know it will mean a lot to our residents.”

Read the full article here.

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