Additional funding has been made available for the Sector-Specific Relief Grant Program for Massachusetts Businesses. Click here for full details! Here are the highlights:
- If you applied for the Massachusetts state grant in fall 2020, you do not need to apply again, but be sure to check your spam folders for emails from MGCC, which may contain requests for additional information and/or notice of award.
- Application closes on January 15 at 11:59 p.m.
- To be eligible, your business must have been established prior to 6/30/2019, and be a for-profit. Additional eligibility requirements and allowable uses of grant funds are available here.
- At your earliest convenience, request your Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State’s office – you’ll need it for your application!
- Gather up your personal and business tax returns for 2019; you’ll need those, too!
- Ready to apply? Click here to start your application
- Be sure to reach out to your Massachusetts Women's Business Center teams if you need any support on your application!
MA Small Biz Reopening Guide - Massachusetts Small Business COVID Response Coalition
The MA Small Biz Reopening Guide is a website that helps small business owners in Massachusetts figure out how to reopen their business following the COVID-19 pandemic and the temporary safeguards implemented by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including the mandatory closing of many businesses. The site is focused on assisting micro businesses, especially those located in low-to-moderate income areas or otherwise under served communities, including businesses that are owned by people of color, immigrants, and women. Click here to go to the website.
COVID-19 Recovery Fund - Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC)
The purpose of this new fund is the alleviation of sudden and severe economic dislocation cause4d by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to provide permanent resources to support economic resiliency, and to further the City of Boston 's objectives for long-term economic recovery. BLDC staff has compiled a list that includes many needs that can be addressed through small business loan assistance. These need generally fall under two categories: renovating and activating Boston small businesses.
Renovate recognizes the need for a number of new practices and physical improvements small business will have to complete in order to safely open.
- Boston is a city of walking neighborhoods; people walk by rather than drive through. The BLDC will provide financing that allows businesses to change their physical environment with a goal of increasing take out and quick service capabilities.
- The ability to provide a safe environment that embraces best practices in social distancing and protection for both customers and employees will be key to small business recovery. Businesses will need physical barriers including plexiglass and other solutions that will help comply with social distancing requirements.
- There will also be a need to renovate existing spaces. This will include reconfigured aisles and alternatives to current seating arrangements. The funding for this new RLF will allow the BLDC to target financing these types of improvements.
- Businesses also need to address issues related to their HVAC systems. They need to consider installing portable, high efficiency air cleaners, upgrading air filters to the highest efficiency possible, and making other modifications to increase the quantity of outside air and ventilation in offices and other spaces.
- If a business’s existing HVAC system is beyond its useful life, there may be a need to install a completely new system with features that could include MERV-13 filters, ultraviolet light treatments and other improvements.
Activate encompasses a variety of other financing needs for new and existing businesses. Some examples of activate are:
- Substitute for the lack of, or reduced, bank financing to activate new business projects currently in the pipeline.
- Assist with funding improvements to a small business’s social media presence to activate sales.
- Provide working capital to assist businesses as they hire and/or rehire staff and to fund restocking inventory needed to activate sales.
The Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) is a private non-profit corporation that utilizes staff from the Boston Planning and Development Agency to support its operations and is overseen by an independent Board of Trustees. In the last twenty years, the BLDC has provided over $20 million in small business loans. These loans have successfully leveraged over $95 million in other funding and have helped to create or retain over 3,500 Boston jobs. For additional information on the BLDC, please refer to our website at bostonbusinessloans.org
. If you have any questions, please contact William Nickerson, the BLDC General Manager. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - State of Massachusetts
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals wo are unable to work because of COVID-19 related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes: self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others. Note: You should apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance retroactive to your first week of total or partial unemployment. Most regular UI claims are processed within 21-28 days after filing, and many are processed within the first week of filing. Click here for more information and to apply.
Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund - First Lady Lauren Baker and the One8 Foundation
First Lady Lauren Baker and the One8 Foundation are teaming up with philanthropists, business leaders, Eastern Bank, The Boston Foundation, and the Foundation for Business Equity to launch the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund to support those across the state most impacted by this health crisis. The Fund will work in concert with regional non-profit leaders, community foundations, leaders on the ground and at the state level to understand the response and relief landscape locally and statewide to strategically fill in where gaps are pronounced. The mission is to ensure essential needs are understood in real time and provide resources for interventions that are effective and impactful.
Who the Fund will Support
- Frontline healthcare professionals, first responders, and other essential worker assistance
- Households disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19
- Immigrant and undocumented populations
- Food insecurity
- People with disabilities
- Homeless populations
- Demonstrated ability to act quickly to support non-profit organizations serving vulnerable residents, healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential service providers
- Well informed with collaborative public/ private partnerships to advise who to fund in their local communities
- Local partners and grantees have the ability to sustain services over the coming months
- Ability to monitor progress to inform needs
- Grantees must provide data on how exactly the funds are used
- Non-profit partners must be fully vetted to receive funding
- Leadership of the Fund will make grant decisions
Crisis Relief Loans - Capital Good Fund
In response to the current times with COVID-19, Good Fund has developed the Crisis Relief Loan to help those financially impacted. This loan ranges from $300-$1,500, and had a fifteen-month term with a special 90-day deferment payment period and 5% APR; there is also expedited loan application review. The Crisis Relief loan can be used for (but is not limited to) paying utilities, covering medical bills, paying rent, and purchasing groceries, and will be available to resident of RI, FL, MA, DE and IL. To view the Eligibility Check please click here. For more information please click here.
MA Regional & Specific Industry
Boston Financial Relief - Handbook for Small Business Owners - City of Boston
In response to the quantity and scope of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development has assembled the following resource guide to support business owners in navigating the many capital programs at the local, state, federal, and private level.
As many programs are still evolving, this handbook will be updated regularly in weeks ahead. However, interested parties should refer to the website of any named organization / program for the latest details.
This handbook contains examples of capital programs available, it does not contain an exhaustive list of such programs. If you know of or operate a funding source that does not appear in this handbook and would like to be included, please email email@example.com.
Please note that the City of Boston will not be a party to and shall not be held liable for any agreement or contract that may result from the use of this handbook. Click here for the Handbook
Women & Minority Owned Small Business Support - Small Business Strong
Small Business Strong is a non-profi organization empowered to help women and minority owned small businesses navigate the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide expedited, pro-bono resources to small businesses ranging from access to capital to consulting, business restructuring, business growth, digital marketing and customer engagement plans.
Massachusetts women and minority owned small business owners can participate by engaging in one or more of the core elements of Small Business Strong, all free of charge with no strings attached:
- Online portal with curated content and resources for small businesses
- Business Advisors who will initially consult with small businesses to understand the impact of COVID-19 and provide general guidance and resources
- Functional Specialists who will provide more specialized support and deliverables backed by years of experience.
Click here for more information.
Industry-Specific Resources - Small Business Strong
Resources to help with industry-specific COVID-19 related challenges for the retail, food services and hospitality sectors among others. Click on the industry below to view information and resources.
Black Business Relief Program, The Futures Fund - Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) and the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) enhances the economic well being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community, and Black residents of the Commonwealth by advocating for economically progressive policies, convening stakeholders in solutions-based dialogues, and connecting its members to important opportunities and one another.
COVID-19 presents an unprecedented threat to the survival of small businesses in Massachusetts, the impact of which is compounded for Black-owned businesses that continue to experience longstanding and historic racial discrimination. The survival of these businesses is key to the longterm economic health of the Commonwealth. Over 1,200 Black-owned firms employ 13,000 Massachusetts residents. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the stability of these businesses and thus throws the Black community into financial disarray.
To offer relief for small businesses that are already feeling significant pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BECMA, in partnership with the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce and powered by Berkshire Bank, is announcing The Futures Fund to help stabilize existing Black-owned businesses across the Commonwealth. This resource can be used in conjunction with SBA products.
- Line of credit for up to $50,000
- No payments for 3 months with the option for a 3-month extension
- 3% interest
- 600 credit score
- Annual revenue of $500k/year
- 1 year of past financials
- 1 year of projected financials
- Tax and credit history
- A sound plan for getting through the COVID-19 crisis
- Business assets (no personal assets)
- Ability to explain your profitability
- Sound meeting with your referral partner
*We encourage thos who may not meet all eligibility requirements to reach out regardless. We will work with you to access other resources to stabilize your business.
In addition to monetary support, recipients will be partnered with technical assistance providers and Berkshire Bank staff (MY Bankers) who will offer their services to help advise and consult these businesses. With sufficient support structures in place, this temporary standstill affords hard-working business owners the unique opportunity to dedicate time to further develop their business. By offering business owners access to comprehensive professional support services, they can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger than ever and ready to represent themselves effectively in the marketplace.Click here for more information.
If your business meets the criteria listed above, please reach out to to info@BECMA.org discuss next steps.
Interest-Free Loan Program - Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP)
In collaboration with the Hebrew Free Loan Programs at Jewish Family & Children’s Service and Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, the CJP Interest-Free Loan Program is helping with: small business cost; job training; lifecycle ceremonies (i.e. bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, or funerals); new baby, fertility, and adoption; care of older adults or people with disabilities and more. For more information please click here.
Fast Track Loan Program - Common Capital
Common Capital and Franklin County CDC (www.fccdc.org; 413-774-7204) are working together to support small businesses in western Massachusetts during this unprecendented time
Common Capital offers a Fast Track Loan Program to address the needs of local businesses that need quick access to capital. This is an alternative to high interest rate credit cards and deceptively-priced and expensive on-line lenders. Loan proceeds may be used for most legitimate business purposes, including purchasing inventory or equipment, and for working capital.
The Fast Track Program offers a loan decision in two to three business days for loan requests up to $50,000, with funding typically within a week after approval. It is a credit score-based program for businesses in operation at least one year. If approved, you will be eligible for no-cost business assistance from Common Capital staff and consultants. Please click here for more information
Flexible Financing for Small Business - Franklin County CDC (FCCDC)
The FCCDC finances both start-up and existing small businesses for a wide range of purposes. They lend between $5,000 and $200,000 to both existing and start-up businesses. The FCCDC partners with the following loan funds and lending programs:
- The Four Town Trust Fund provides loans for businesses in Greenfield, Montague, Shelburne and Buckland.
- The PVGrows Investment Fund provides financing and business assistance to farm and food businesses. For more information click here.
- The Ten Town Trust Fund targets businesses located in Ashfield, Bernardston, Charlemont, Erving, Gill, Hawley, Northfield, Warwick, Wendell, and Whately.
- THE SSED Fund (Sudden and Severe Economic Dislocation) is for businesses that require financing for the retention or creation of jobs in Franklin County as well as Athol, Petersham, Phillipston and Royalston. It is also available to support minority and women-owned businesses.
- The Rural Development (USDA) Intermediary Lending Program is for established businesses that need gap financing. Funds may also be available for new and expanding businesses.
- The Rural Development (USDA) rural Microenterprise Assistance program is for established businesses that need gap financing. Funds may also be available for new and expanding businesses.
Click here for more information.
Emergency Microloan Program- North Central MA
The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation has launched an Emergency Micro-loan Program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist small businesses that need access to funding due to hardship stemming from the outbreak. Loans of up to $20,000 will be awarded to qualifying local businesses that find themselves in a situation where they need access to capital and want to avoid high-interest credit cards or expensive and un-regulated online lenders. If approved, the business is also eligible to receive business assistance from NCMDC staff and consultants. Click here for more information.
COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley - Community Foundation of Western MA (CFWM)
The CFWM is mobilizing its emergence resources toward its new established COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley. There is no application for this funding. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues, making it possible to move resources quickly to adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases. To learn more please click here.
Emergency Small Business Grant Program - City of Framingham, MA
The City of Framingham has established the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Grant to assist in the stabilization of existing small businesses within the City of Framingham that have had significant business disruption due to the impact of COVID-19. These grant funds will assist small businesses in the City of Framingham to cover wages, rent, lost of inventory, and other fixed costs.
- Have a physical establishment within the City of Framingham.
- The business owner must be low- to moderate-income (see income thresholds below).
- Have experienced a loss of revenue of 50% or more due to COVID-19 since March 10th.
- Have less than $2,000,000 in gross annual receipts.
- Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements.
For more information please click here.
City of North Hampton Small Business Emergency Grant Program - Valley Community Development Program
The City of Northampton through Valley Community Development Corporation will provide financial assistance grants to business owners. The purpose of these grants is to provide funds to low-moderate income businesses or businesses with low-moderate income employees to assist them in remaining open, as well as stimulating and adapting their businesses during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
The City is utilizing federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for these grants thus assistance must be compliant with federal regulations. The City is providing $125,000 in grants for this Program. Please click here for eligibility criteria, permitted uses of grant funds and more information.
Restaurant Strong Fund - The Greg Hill Foundation and Samuel Adams
The Greg Hill Foundation has teamed up with Samuel Adams to support those from the Massachusetts restaurant industry who have been impacted by the COVID-19 closures. They are raising awareness and funds to provide grants to full-time restaurant workers in Massachusetts who are dependent on wages plus tips to cover basic living expenses and provide for their families. The Restaurant Strong Fund goal is to provde $1,000 grants to as many qualifying grantees as possible. To qualify you must be a full-time tipped compensated employee (Minimum of 20 hours total per, week, can be multiple restaurants), employed 3 months or longer at the same location and work in a restaurant, bar, café or nightclub located in Massachusetts. For more information please click here.
Emergency Small Business Grant - City of Fitchburg
The City of Fitchburg has developed a $2,500 grant program for small businesses in the City of Fitchburg. Preference will be given to businesses that are existing loan customers, businesses with 5 or few employees, and restaurant/retail/entertainment businesses. Businesses must demonstrate business loss as a direct result of COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for more information.
Small Business Strong: A new initiative where business owners can access business advisors and functional specialists to support their plan to survive, recover and grow. APPLY HERE to connect with a business advisor.
Protect MA: An online marketplace that connects Black and Latinx suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) to potential buyers in the business and residential communities. Sign up as a supplier or buyer of PPE.
Beyond Six-Feet-Apart Accelerator: This program, launched by LISC Boston and the IXL Center, helps minority-owned small businesses get-back-to-business safely. Learn more here.
Advice on avoiding credit problems related to COVID-19
Foisie Business School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, leveraging a regional ecosystem of business resource organizations and teams of students and faculty to help businesses digitally transform from onsite to remote operations and from in-person to online customer engagements.
Lawyers for Civil Rights provides free legal support to qualifying entrepreneurs and small businesses in Massachusetts.
Mass MoCA's Assets for Artisans
Commonwealth Kitchen Small Business Resource Guide
North Central MA Webinar Series
WesternMass List of Business Resources: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties.
Stay in touch with your local CWE Center. Let us know your concerns, and follow us to stay up to date with available webinars and resources.