State launches new round of small business grants totaling $75M

  • A view of Main Street in downtown Amherst. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, March 07, 2022

NORTHAMPTON — The state is providing a new round of pandemic-relief grants for small businesses, totaling $75 million.

The money comes from American Rescue Plan funding and last year’s state budget surplus, and is targeted at two groups. The program is modeled on the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp.’s successful COVID-19 small business relief program, and is being administered by the MGCC.

“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,” Gov. Charlie Baker, said in announcing the grants.

The first group the program aims to assist with $25 million is businesses that did not qualify for the MGCC’s pandemic program. The other $50 million is for businesses that reach underserved markets and historically underrepresented groups, or are minority-, women-, veteran-owned businesses, owned by individuals with disabilities or who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

The program is for businesses with two to 50 employees. Grants will range from $10,000 to $75,000 and be capped at $75,000 or three months of operating expenses, whichever is lesser. Grant recipients can use the money for employee and benefit costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, and interest on debt, among other areas.

Businesses have five weeks to apply for grants that can be used on everything from payroll, mortgages and rent to COVID-19 safety supplies or outdoor dining upgrades.Businesses must demonstrate that their revenues for 2020 were between $40,000 and $2.5 million. Applicants can apply at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.