Amherst foundation bolsters 33 businesses with $150k in grants

  • A view of Main Street in downtown Amherst on Saturday afternoon, March 14, 2020. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/20/2020 10:22:14 AM

AMHERST — More than 30 Amherst businesses are benefiting from almost $150,000 in an initial round of grants aimed at keeping them afloat and preparing them for reopening during the pandemic.

The Downtown Amherst Foundation announced Tuesday that its review committee selected 33 applicants in the first grant cycle, with each business receiving up to $10,000.

Gabrielle Gould , executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District, said the foundation was supported by more than 250 donors, with Amherst College among the larger contributors.

Those receiving grants included 14 restaurants and bars, including Crazy Noodles, Fresh Side and Sibie’s; seven retailers, including Amherst Books, M&M Links and Zanna; five salons, including Cheryl Nina Salon, Matt’s Barbershop and Styles by Deborah; and seven service businesses, among them Amherst Fitness, Hope & Feathers Framing and the Yoga Center Amherst.

Gould said there is still uncertainty about what the town will look like come fall and whether businesses will be able to resume normal operations.

The BID and Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, which oversee the foundation, are hoping to hit the next milestone of $300,000 soon so more applications for funding can be supported.

“Knowing we’ll be able to do a round two speaks to the community’s generosity,” Gould said. 

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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