New Grants Will Help Lincoln Small Businesses Pay Rent and Mortgages

Oct. 5, 2021, 1:22 p.m. ·

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird
Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird at a small business grant briefing on Tuesday. (Photo from live stream))

Small businesses in Lincoln affected by the pandemic can soon apply for grants that will help them pay back-rent or mortgage payments. The city’s Small Business Stabilization Grant Program will dole out $7 million in grants to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

“Businesses can apply for up to six months of assistance for up to a total of $60,000,” Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said at a press briefing Tuesday. “These resources will help small businesses in Lincoln stabilize, grow and thrive.”

The grants don’t have to be paid back and come from the American Rescue Plan recovery funds. Steve Engel operates the Starlite Lounge and Buzzard Billy’s restaurant in Lincoln and is also the president of the Lincoln Haymarket Association. He said the grants are a lifeline for some.

“We had to pay rent on months that we were closed,” Engel said. “We were taking losses on all those months where we were also paying our employees, so the benefit that we can have is actually make-up for losses that we sustained in 2020 and now move forward into 2021 with optimism.”

Grant awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. A webinar on the program is planned for Friday and the first day to apply online is October 18th.