FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Contact: City Manager Erin Herbig (207)338-3370x110
Belfast Mayor and City Council Approve Third Round of "Belfast Keep the Faith Fund"
Grocery Voucher and Small Business Grant Program open for Third Round of Applications Today
Today, the City of Belfast began accepting applications for the third round of the Belfast Keep the Faith Fund: Grocery Voucher and Small Business Grant Program following approval of the City Council at their December 15 Regular Council Meeting. The program had offered two rounds previously to applicants this year, the first in April and a second in May. The grocery voucher program offers a $100 grocery gift card per qualified household with an additional $50 per child to either the Belfast Hannaford or the Belfast CoOp. The small business grant program offers a grant of $500 to qualified small business owners.
The Belfast Keep the Faith Fund was created by the Mayor and City Council on April 15, 2020 to provide relief to Belfast residents who have been laid off or experienced reduced work hours and small businesses located in Belfast that have been forced to close or had a reduction in revenue beyond 25% due to COVID-19. Since its inception, $28,900 in awards have been given through the grocery voucher program and $63,500 in awards have been given through the small business grant program. 126 local kids with 47 heads of household and 35 individual adults in the first round 97 local kids with 47 heads of household and 31 individual adults in the second round of the grocery voucher program. 87 local businesses were awarded in the first round and 20 local businesses were awarded in the second round of the small business grant program.
“This fund was first created to for our community to keep the faith during these very challenging times,” explains Councilor Neal Harkness. “The light is now returning to the world.”
The Council initially approved an appropriation of $150,000 to create the Keep the Faith Fund Account. The Fund has since received outside donations totaling $61,695 from over 120 generous community members.
Community members and local organizations are still encouraged to donate to the Belfast Keep the Faith Fund. If you would like to donate to the Belfast KTF Fund, please call (207)338-3370 x131. Donations can be made by check to the City of Belfast with subject line: Belfast KTF Fund and mailed to: City of Belfast, Attn: Belfast Keep the Faith Fund. 131 Church Street, Belfast, ME 04915. A donation to the Belfast Keep the Faith Fund is tax deductible.
“In these challenging times, the City wants no one hungry, and all businesses to know we stand behind them,” describes Mayor Eric Sanders. “This fund allows us all the chance to help each other. There is nothing more critical to the Council than to get us all safely through the winter. Please call us and we can help.”
To apply for the Belfast KTF Fund Grocery Voucher Program, please visit: www.cityofbelfast.org/groceryvoucher, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207)338-3370 ext 131 and leave your name and phone number. A staff member will contact you on how best to proceed.
To apply for the Belfast KTF Small Business Grant Application, please visit: www.cityofbelfast.org/smallbusinessgrant, email email@example.com or call (207)338-3370 ext 116 and leave your name and phone number. A staff member will contact you on how best to proceed.