Article by Don Bianchi and Elana Brochin
Report by Liam Baxter-Healey
Our Commonwealth faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged families and communities. CDCs helped lead the way in responding to the health and the economic challenges created by the pandemic.
Today, MACDC releases a report “COVID-19 Response Report
” which highlights CDCs’ responses to three of the most persistent manifestations of the pandemic:
- Initiatives to keep residents, and the broader community, safe and healthy
- Assistance to small businesses facing economic peril from the pandemic
- Emergency financial assistance to prevent displacement of those enduring a loss of income during the pandemic
CDCs undertook a variety of strategies to ensure the health and safety of the communities they serve. These included efforts directly targeted to health, such as ensuring social distancing, providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and making wellness calls. Other initiatives included providing food assistance, helping with COVID testing, and helping make connections with mental health services.
To assist the owners and employees of small businesses, CDCs helped entrepreneurs collectively obtain almost $12 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, as well as just under $10 million in grants from a variety of sources. To prevent displacement, CDCs provided cash assistance totaling more than $28 million to almost 9,000 renter households.