by: Ashley Shook
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Sarno and Springfield’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) team announced funding awarded to small businesses.
The city’s ARPA advisory committee reviewed request for proposal applications and awarded a total of $254,000 to five small businesses. According to a news release sent to 22News from the Office of Mayor Domenic Sarno, the funding was awarded to minority owned businesses, three African-American/Black, one Hispanic and one Asian.  
“I am very pleased to announce this initial round ARPA RFP awards. I want to thank our ARPA team for their continued dedicated efforts on turning around these RFP as quick as possible.  As stated, we wanted to get this life-line funding out ASAP.  These initial awards are just the start of many more to come from all of our seven designated categories.  I appreciate these small businesses and their continued belief and investment in the City of Springfield, of which all are minority owned businesses.”
ARPA Advisory Committee member and City Council President Williams stated, “I want to thank the ARPA team for their continued efforts in reviewing and awarding this initial round of applications for ARPA RFP funding.  I am proud to report that all five of the awardees and over $250,000 will be going to minority owned businesses, which will have a tremendously positive impact upon these small businesses.  I am looking forward to continuing to work with Mayor Sarno and his administration as we continue to move forward in awarding future awardees and getting this much-needed funding out into our community.”
ARPA Advisory Committee member and City Clerk Gladys Oyola said, “I am thrilled with the diverse group of recipients that have been awarded in this initial round of ARPA funds. Investing in these small businesses is an investment in Springfield’s vibrant future.”  
The City of Springfield received $123.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding in support for enhancing projects, programs, and initiatives across the city. Mayor Sarno identified seven categories for those interested in submitting requests for proposals that include: 
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Wind chill temperatures or feels-like temperatures will drop to 10 below zero early Tuesday morning.
A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for Berkshire County, and the western areas of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin counties from 1 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Symphony Orchestra Board has named an interim executive director.
Paul Lambert will begin work immediately after the former interim executive director, John Anz, left the SSO to take a position with another organization.
CHICOPE, Mass. (WWLP) – Five Americans died of rabies last year, the largest number in a decade, and health officials said that some of the people didn’t realize they had been infected or refused life-saving shots.
Rabies is caused by a virus that invades the central nervous system and is usually fatal in animals and humans. It’s most commonly spread through a bite from an infected animal, with most U.S. infections in recent years traced to bat encounters.