State offering $688 million in funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions
Abington businesses impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a state grant up to $75,000 starting December 31.
Gov. Charlie Baker last week announced a new $688 million funding pool to help businesses who are struggling due to shutdowns and other operational restrictions imposed in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
“This won’t be able to fix all the problems that businesses are experiencing but it will be able to help offset some expenses,” said Rep. Alyson Sullivan.
Interested business owners can apply through the Massachusett Growth Capital Corporation website: www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/
The deadline to apply is January 15.
Part of the $688 million in funding will pay for sector-specific grants to help businesses particularly hard hit by public health restrictions. These businesses include restaurants, bars, caterers, indoor recreation and entertainment establishments, gyms and fitness centers, event-support professionals such as photographers and videographers, personal services, and retail shops.
“I’m encouraging all the small businesses that fall under this criteria to apply for this program,” Rep. Sullivan said. “Even the smallest amount of money will be able to help.”
Another portion of the funding will be used to provide grants to businesses who already applied for funding through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program this fall. The Baker Administration announced $59 million in grant awards, enough to support 1,158 Massachusetts businesses. More than 11,000 businesses applied for that round of grant funding. Businesses who already applied for this grant program do not need to apply again.
The grants can be used to pay for three months worth of employee wages and benefits, rent and other space-related costs, and debt service payments. Individual grant awards are capped at $75,000.
“Our restaurants, local retailers, barbers salons, gyms, and other local businesses help make up the fabric of our communities,” state Sen. John Keenan said. “They have been hardest hit by the pandemic and I am proud we can provide them with additional support during these uncertain times through the expansion of the small business grant program.”
Funding for the grants is expected to come from the upcoming federal COVID-19 stimulus legislation.