‘It's Essential': Boston Businesses Relying on Grants to Survive

Companies like 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness in Dorchester are trying to weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic

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For a business like yoga and massage companies, which include busy classes and close contact, a pandemic doesn't really fit with the business plan.

"These are all in-person things," said Karuna O'Donnell, co-founder of 4 Corners Yoga + Wellness in Boston. "That's how they work the best."

But when O'Donnell and co-founder Christine Rose had to shut down the company's Dorchester studio, it had to go virtual.

"We had never done a single online offering, so the learning curve was pretty steep," said O'Donnell.

Membership has dropped 40%, and the owners have been looking for lifelines.

"Anytime I see an opportunity for a grant, I immediately click and look and read and see what the deadlines are," said Rose.

They have been successful in finding sources of funding, including a grant from Boston's Small Business Relief Fund.

"We wouldn't have a workable strategy without the funding," said O'Donnell.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday more than 500 businesses have received grants to help get through the economic hardship.

"Small businesses, they're at the heartbeat of our economy," said Walsh.

The funding can be used for a number of purposes, including rent, utilities and employee wages.

"Given the economy, the state of the economy right now, it's essential," said Rose. "We would not be able to keep our doors open."

More than $2 million has been awarded so far, with another $5.5 recently added to the pot.

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