The Baker-Polito Administration announced a series of economic development / COVID-19 relief mechanisms for small business yesterday. As the press release below details, there are a wide variety of funding will be utilized for a host of initiatives to improve infrastructure, broaden skills training, etc.. For purposes of this group, the proposal contains a small business grant program that may be of interest. In particular, grant funding is intended to help businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic. Preference will be given to small businesses whose owners are women, minorities, veterans, members of other underrepresented groups, who are focused on serving the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts, and those most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While preference will also be given to applicants that have not been able to receive aid from other federal programs related to COVID-19, it is not a prohibition or a bar to those who have received federal funds from receiving these funds.
The specific program in question is divided into two programs: one for companies with 5 or less employees (eligible for up to $25K), provided they meet certain income requirements (i.e. earn 80% or less of annual income compared to the Area Median Income)(AMI, for example, https://www.mass.gov/doc/erma-area-median-income-information/download) or for companies with 50 or less employees (eligible for up to $75K)(need to be able to show demonstrated loss due to COVID-19 not less than requested amount). Both programs require submission of various documents, but it does not appear to be too onerous. You can only apply to one program.
Eligible entities must:
- have a physical establishment in Massachusetts
- be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or LLC)
- be able to document a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance due to COVID-19
- be currently in operation or if not in operation must have an intent to reopen.
- have been established prior to 06/30/2019.
- be in good standing with the state and city/town:
- be current on all taxes due through 3/1/2020; and
- have active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable; and
- not be a party to litigation involving the Commonwealth or municipality you operate in.
Ineligible entities include: real estate rentals/sales businesses; businesses owned by persons under age 18; businesses that are chains; liquor stores; weapons/firearms dealers; lobbyists; or cannabis-related businesses.
I would suspect that most people will fall under the second program, but double check . The application process, which is open now, will remain open until November 12th, 12PM. (i.e. 3 weeks). It has been reported that this program is not a “first come, first serve”, but will be scrutinized a little more closely to determine companies who have not received previous assistance, etc. (Again, it is a “preference” for companies who have not received previous federal assistance; not a prohibition or statement that said companies won’t get funding.). More information about this program can be found at: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/covid-19-response/covid-19-grants-massachusetts-small-businesses