Small Business Apocalypse

Parma is a community of small businesses. These small businesses are the life blood and backbone of our community. Polish Village Parma, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, staffed by volunteers and dedicated to the 9/10 of a mile commercial district, on Ridge Rd., called Polish Village. This nonprofit has been increasing made aware of the devastation the last few months have done to the small business community. The nonprofits mission is the ongoing development of the community by uniting residents, businesses and the government with plans that focus on the long term economic viability of the area. 

Polish Village Parma, Inc. felt now is the time to help the small locally owned businesses in Polish Village. In late March the volunteers began diligently searching for solutions. Numerous grant proposals were submitted to various sources, alternative plans to increase foot traffic to local businesses, once they reopened, were discussed. 

In late April, Polish Village Parma, Inc., was awarded a grant from the General Motors Giving Back program, for it’s Covid-19 Small Business Support grant request. A committee of five was established to determine the guidelines. Letters were mailed to the targeted small business owners explaining the process and how the grant funds were to be used for rent, supplies or employee expenses and an application was included. Returned applications were reviewed for completeness, and awards will be made on a first received basis. The deadline was June 30, 2020. Funds will be awarded the week of July 6, 2020. A big thank you goes out to General Motors for recognizing the need for assistance. 

Of the approximately 200 businesses in Ward 2/Polish Village, only 7.5% will be awarded this assistance. They’ve discovered that little, if any, of the small business economic relief funds have reached the small businesses in Polish Village. They’ve discovered that a few of these businesses will never reopen. Polish Village Parma, Inc. fears more closings are coming as these businesses are struggling to survive a 3 month loss of business, increased costs due to Covid-19 guidelines associated with the additional cleaning, sanitizing and the social distancing now required. 

Polish Village Parma, Inc. continues to look for solutions or ways to offer assistance through this economic and health crisis.

Kathryn Mabin

Board Secretary of Parma Area Fine Arts Council, Inc, or PAFAC, and Artist/Jewlery Designer, Owner Aire of Oppulence.

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 10:46 AM, 07.01.2020