BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been the quietest holiday shopping season Steven Adelson has ever seen since his Cambridge dance supply store opened more than six decades ago. “Sometimes one or two sales,” he said. “Sometimes no sales.”
His store, Teddy Shoes, is wedged on a block full of small businesses hoping last minute gift shoppers will come in-person this week, since deadlines for online deliveries are now too close to the holidays for any guarantees. “These days, we’re just struggling. It’s really hard. We’re not seeing very many people,” said Adelson.
Monday, Governor Charlie Baker announced hundreds of small businesses will get more than $49 million in pandemic relief grants. But there’s only enough money to help about 10 percent of the applicants. Thousands did not make the cut. “The funds for the first round clearly didn’t cover the ground associated with those who applied,” Baker said.
The governor says there’s still hope for some of them. The latest budget allows for another $17.5 million, now available for a second round of grants. “For small businesses that have already applied to the program and were not awarded a grant in round one, your application will be automatically eligible for future rounds,” he said.
Back in Cambridge, Adelson did something he never imagined he’d have to do, beg for donations on a GoFundMe account. “It’s really important that we are able to get continued support from the governor, because I don’t know how long we can stay in business,” Adelson said. “It’s just very dire here.”
Governor Baker filed a supplemental budget bill that would allow another $50 million for small business help. He says the stimulus bill in the hands of lawmakers in Washington DC Monday would also help.