BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced $67.4 million in awards to 1,366 additional small businesses in a second round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp. (MGCC). Additionally, the new Sector-Specific Small Business Relief Grant Program, also administered by MGCC, is now accepting applications from businesses from sectors most impacted by COIVD-19. Both grant programs are part of a new, $668 million relief package.
The businesses being notified of their successful grant application include many that are owned by minorities (50%) and women (48%). Restaurants and bars, beauty and personal services, healthcare, and retail are among the top sectors receiving relief in this second round of awards. The first round of grants announced late last month totaled nearly $49 million in support of 1,158 Massachusetts small businesses.
MGCC is continuing to review existing applications and will make awards over the coming weeks to companies that meet demographic and industry preferences. Businesses that have already applied to MGCC’s Small Business Grant Program do not need to reapply to the new program.
In addition to providing grants to businesses within the existing pool of applications for the Small Business Grant Program, applications are now being accepted for a new Sector-Specific Small Business Relief Grant Program that targets industries experiencing the most significant economic hardship and a loss of revenue. Industries given preference in this new program include restaurants, bars, caterers, and food trucks; indoor recreation and entertainment establishments; gyms and fitness centers; event-support companies (photographers, videographers, etc.); personal services (nail salons, barber shops, independent pharmacies, etc.); and independent retailers.
This new business-relief program will offer grants up to $75,000, but not more than three months’ operating expenses, to be used for payroll and employee-benefit costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, and interest on other debt obligations.
The online application portal for the new program will close on Friday, Jan. 15. Awards are expected to be announced in February. Program details, application instructions, eligibility and documentation requirements, and more are available at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.