Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy joined small business owner Raquel Mullaney and state and local officials representing Plymouth to announce an additional $45.3 million in grants to 1,100 small businesses in the fifth round of awards through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC).
Among the key industries most impacted by the pandemic, restaurants, bars and retail stores comprise the leading groups to receive grants. Today’s announcement was held at The 1620 Winery, located at Cordage Park in Plymouth, a recipient of a small business grant in a previous award round.
To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $277 million in direct financial support to 5,857 small businesses. This funding has been made available through a $668 million business relief fund set up in December 2020, as well as $50.8 million for small and diverse businesses included in the economic recovery package announced in October of last year.
Additional grants will be announced in the coming weeks for thousands of additional businesses.
“Our administration remains committed to supporting the needs of businesses as we continue to navigate the pandemic and its economic impact,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to award this latest round of grants to help a total of more than 5,800 small businesses cover expenses like payroll, rent and utilities, and look forward to getting more funding into the hands of small businesses across the Commonwealth as soon as possible to support their recovery.”
“Our small businesses have been challenged throughout this crisis, and each has played an important role in stopping the spread of this deadly virus,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Since the first applications came in for relief, we have been working to prioritize the small business owners that need the help the most, and I am proud to see so many woman-owned businesses, as well as priority sectors, included in this round of grant awards.”
“Prior to the pandemic, our administration had already identified opportunities to enhance access to capital, space, and networks for women- and minority-owned businesses, and our work today is aimed at ensuring that these enterprises make it to the other side of this crisis,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “MGCC will continue to expertly administer both of these grant programs to provide cash assistance to struggling businesses, as well as partner with organizations across Massachusetts helping these businesses tap into new federal resources.”
Separate from this round of small business grants, MGCC continues to review applications submitted for its Sector-Specific Small Business Relief Grant Program. Based on the success of MGCC’s first grant program targeting small businesses, the sector-specific program targets businesses in the industries experiencing the greatest economic hardship, regardless of employee headcount.
The industries that will be given preference in the 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, barbershops, independent pharmacies, etc.);
- Independent retailers.
Sector-specific applicants are able to review the status of their application through the Submittable portal found on www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org. Award notifications for the sector-specific program will be made in February.
Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program
The Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation also announced nearly $5 million in small business technical assistance grants to 63 non-profit organizations across the state. The state-funded Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program, administered by MGCC, aims to expand economic and entrepreneurial opportunities in underserved communities throughout the Commonwealth.
These technical assistance grants enable nonprofit organizations throughout Massachusetts to provide crucial services such as help with applying for pandemic-related grant and loan programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as individualized business management assistance, financial training, access to non-COVID capital and loan packaging services to under-resourced small businesses in urban and rural communities. The grant recipients, selected through a competitive process, are as diverse as the businesses they serve, including community development corporations, micro lenders and chambers of commerce.
Since Fiscal Year 2015, the program has awarded more than $15 million in grants. These funds have directly benefited more than 15,000 jobs and served over 12,500 small businesses, including 2,682 startups across Massachusetts.