Christopher Candon | February 25, 2022
For the past two years the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented economic disruption to businesses in Massachusetts. Numerous federal and state programs have been launched to aid these businesses. But the twists, turns, stops and starts that the original virus, and now variants, have imposed upon businesses continue to take a toll, especially on small businesses that may not have the structure or business-type to withstand the uncertainty triggered by COVID-19.
In yet another effort to assist Massachusetts businesses, on February 23, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker announced the launch of a new $75 million grant program to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program is an initial part of the much larger plan to spend $4 billion of the Commonwealth’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act funding that was signed into law at the end of 2021.
The new grant program is modeled after Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation’s (MGCC) successful COVID-19 small business relief program. The MGCC will administer this new program as well. The $75 million will be focused on small businesses that employ between two and 50 people. The program will have two categories. In the first category (New Applicant Grant Program), $25 million will be directed toward businesses that did not qualify for previous MGCC grants because of a lack of revenue loss in 2020. The other category (Inclusive Grant Program) will have $50 million directed to businesses that reach underserved markets and historically underrepresented groups, and those owned by minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, or those that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Regardless of the category for which funds are approved, 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.
The application period opened on February 23, 2022 and closes on April 4, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
For more information and specific eligibility requirements, visit the MGCC’s website: EmpoweringSmallBusiness.org.