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Boston Offers Rent Relief To Businesses Reeling From COVID

A man walks past a shop, open for business in the North End neighborhood of Boston, but only allowing five customers at a time, March 21, 2020. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
A man walks past a shop, open for business in the North End neighborhood of Boston, but only allowing five customers at a time, March 21, 2020. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

The city of Boston is offering more help to local small businesses struggling to stay viable amid the pandemic.

Mayor Marty Walsh on Friday announced three new relief funds totaling $6.3 million. One will provide up to $15,000 to small businesses that are struggling to pay their rent. Another will make $15,000 grants available to businesses owned by minorities, women or veterans. The third will offer grants to restaurants to enable them to retain or rehire employees.

Since the start of the pandemic the city has set aside more than $15 million in total to help businesses survive the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

Massachusetts hit 10,015 confirmed coronavirus deaths on Thursday, nearly nine months after the state’s initial case was detected. Confirmed cases have topped 174,000 and the number of cities and towns designated as “high risk” nearly doubled over a two-week period last month.Amid growing calls for action, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker recently tightened restrictions but has resisted taking more drastic measures such as halting indoor dining.

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