BROCKTON — The Baker-Polito Administration has announced the launch of a new $75 million grant program 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 signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in December 2021.
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 more than 15,000 small businesses across Massachusetts.
“We have been proud to support small businesses in every corner of the Commonwealth through the MGCC small business program during the pandemic, but we know that some challenges remain for many businesses,” said Baker. “With the launch of this new effort, we can build on MGCC’s successful work and direct important federal funding to those businesses with the greatest need quickly and effectively.”
The $75 million will be focused on small businesses that employ between two and 50 people, with $25 million directed toward businesses that did not qualify for previous MGCC grants because of a lack of revenue loss in 2020; and $50 million directed to businesses that reach underserved markets and historically underrepresented groups, or are minority-, women-, or veteran-owned businesses, or are owned by individuals with disabilities or who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
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.
“The challenges faced by Massachusetts’ small businesses during COVID have been enormous, but in my district and across the state I have seen so many entrepreneurs and innovators respond with incredible perseverance and grace. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they deserve our support,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “Today’s grants represent a choice by the Legislature to center small businesses in our effort for an equitable recovery. I am grateful to the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation for their work to distribute these funds to so many deserving businesses and I am thankful to all of the small businesses who have done so much for Massachusetts.”
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.