A new $75 million grant program has been launched to support Massachusetts small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new program is part of the plan to spend $4 billion in American Rescue Plan funding that was passed by the Legislature and signed into law in December 2021. The application may be accessed at: empoweringsmallbusiness.org. It will be open until April 4, 2022.
The new program is modeled after Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation’s (MGCC) successful COVID-19 small business relief program. Under that effort, which became the biggest state-sponsored business relief program in the nation, MGCC oversaw the distribution of approximately $705 million to over 15,000 small businesses across Massachusetts.
Within the $75 million that will be focused on small businesses that employ between 2 and 50 people and have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic; there are two grant opportunities that businesses can potentially qualify for and apply for:
$50 million is available to small businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, or those that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. This funding will be especially directed toward small businesses who serve socially and economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented groups.
The other $25 million is restricted to those businesses that have not received financial relief from MGCC’s previous relief programs because of a lack of revenue loss in 2020.
Under both categories, grants will range from $10,000 to $75,000, and will be capped at the lesser of $75,000 or three months of operating expenses. Grant funding can be used for employee and benefit costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, and interest on debt.
In addition to prioritizing applications from businesses that did not qualify for prior aid and businesses owned by individuals from historically underserved populations or operate in underserved markets, eligible businesses must currently be in operation and based in Massachusetts. Applicants must also demonstrate that business revenues for 2020 were between $40,000 and $2.5 million.
Learn more at EmpoweringSmallBusiness.org.