TAKOMA PARK, Md. (WDVM) — Leaders in the city of Takoma Park say its small businesses are feeling the impacts of major decreases and changes in business operations due to COVID-19.

Following the governor’s order to shut down non-essential businesses and the move to only allow carryout at restaurants, Takoma Park businesses had to adapt.

Samira Cook Gaines, the city’s economic development manager, came up with the idea to provide mini-grants for those hit hardest by the pandemic.

City leaders found that giving out loans and adding additional debt wasn’t the best way to help businesses during trying times, so they went with the idea of a grant program instead.

The fund needs more donors to be able to fund as many grant requests as possible. So far, the city has received 69 requests for funding.

The mini-grants will max out at $3,000. The city recognizes that a mini-grant won’t fix everything.

“We see this fund more as triage to stop the immediate pain, not stop the bleeding. It will give them a breath, a beat, to be able to collect themselves and know they have a little cash to know they can do they can do whatever it is they need to do,” said Cook Gaines.

She added that other neighboring cities have reached out with interest in implementing similar programs for their own local businesses.

The application for funding closes Friday, April 3. Those interested in donating can learn more here.