Table of Contents
The COVID-19 pandemic might have affected your small business, like all other hard-hit small businesses, in 2023. Various business grant programs are available to small businesses, families, and communities. These resources and information will assist small businesses in Massachusetts grow and sustaining their business.
Massachusetts has $22.38 billion in federal government grants and $15.2 billion in local government funding. There is no restriction on the type of business that can apply for Massachusetts funds. Massachusetts has 138,370 businesses and 8,000 farms.
In addition to launching marketing campaigns, hiring more staff, and bridging cash flow gaps, grants can be extremely beneficial to eligible businesses. Salary and payroll payments in Massachusetts total $153.78 billion each year. The number of bankruptcy petitions filed by Massachusetts residents every year totals 22,942. Federal grants cannot be awarded to a new start-up or an existing expanding business. In addition to government grants, private grant awarding bodies can provide funding for start-ups and expansions of existing businesses.
What Is a Grant?
In product development, business, or project development, funds are awarded by authorities or agencies. Grants cannot be repaid, unlike secured loans or loans backed by the government. A grant can also be used as a business financing option instead of a loan, which must be repaid. Due to this, grant programs are extremely beneficial to average business owners.
The process of applying for and administering grants can be lengthy despite their low cost. A small business funding application requires you to demonstrate that the funding will assist you in building a successful business. Several grant funding options are available from non-profit organizations, local governments, and foundations.
Massachusetts Small Grants
Residents of Massachusetts can apply for a variety of grants. The year 2023 may bring a variety of grants for business owners.
Biz-M-Power crowdfunding matching grant program provides Massachusetts small businesses with financial assistance towards the acquisition, expansion, improvement, or lease of a facility, the purchase or lease of equipment, or meeting other capital requirements. Innovative approaches to obtaining capital will empower eligible applicants to advance their businesses. Their crowdfunding campaigns connect them with residents and stakeholders to support economic success in their communities and businesses. A portion of the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 will be used to fund this program.
Small businesses owned by individuals with low to moderate incomes (LMI), women, minorities, immigrants, non-native English speakers, US military veterans, disabled individuals, LGBTQ+ members, and businesses located in gateway cities of Massachusetts will be given priority.
- Facilities can be acquired, expanded, improved, or leased.
- Equipment can be purchased or leased.
- Providing capital for a business’s other needs.
- Workplace payroll, employee benefits, inventory purchases, and general working capital cannot be funded by these funds.
In Fiscal Year 2021, $7,500,000 was appropriated for this program in Commonwealth’s Operating Budget.
There is a minimum matching grant of $2,500 and a maximum matching grant of $20,000 available from the MGCC. The crowdfunding dollars combined with their earnings can amount to more than $40,000!
Businesses will launch a crowdfunding campaign once their application has been approved. Matching grants must be earned according to a set goal. MGCC will match businesses’ fundraising efforts if they raise $5,000 or more.
Biz-M-Power does not accept applications from home-based businesses. Here are some examples of businesses that are not eligible:
- Daycare providers who work from home
- Carpenters who work from their homes
- Vacation rentals on Airbnb
- Drivers working for Uber, Lyft, or Solo Livery
- Chairs for rent by barbers
The application will be processed on a rolling basis. MGCC will conduct monthly reviews for existing applications. After submitting a completed grant application, along with all necessary supplementary materials and information, applicants can expect a response within six weeks.
We will begin reviewing applications on August 30, 2022, and you can apply through August 29, 2022. Funds will run out on June 30, 2023, or as soon as funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
Empower Digital Grants will be available to recipients starting in May 2021 for $3,800,000. For up to $5,000, this grant program assists small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals with developing their digital capabilities by providing tools and services in partnership with Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) providers.
SBTA providers provide applicants with access to this grant program. Small businesses will be sponsored by SBTA providers and receive technical assistance in the application process from SBTA providers. SBTA sponsors will work with small business applicants to pursue a digital development plan with a Qualified Professional in their area of greatest digital need(s).
Special consideration will be given to businesses owned by women, minorities, immigrants, non-native English speakers, US military veterans, disabled individuals, LGBTQ+ individuals, low-to-moderate income owners, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and businesses in gateway cities.
MGCC will administer these funds, appropriated by the Commonwealth for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). The funds will be made available to eligible businesses until the funds have been disbursed in full.
Applicants must meet the following requirements for the Empower Digital Grant. Small businesses that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:
- Through the Small Business Technical Assistance Program at MGCC, it has been nominated by a Technical Assistance Provider.
- A Massachusetts-based company that operates within the state
- Employs 1-20 full-time employees
- Is the primary income source of the business owners
- A company with revenues under $2,500,000 a year
- Their SBTA Sponsor has reviewed the Digital Assessment they completed
- At the time of application, the business has been in operation for one year.
- A Federal Business Tax Return or Schedule C must be filed in 2020 or 2021
- Neither is owned by nor controlled by a sponsoring SBTA employee
- Does not operate as a non-profit, a not-for-profit, or a charitable organization
- The business does not provide other businesses with digital services (such as web design/development, SEO, and programming).
- The MGCC reserves the right to limit grant funding to one location for franchises with more than two locations, including those owned and operated individually.
- Is not involved in the rental or sale of real estate
- Does not work for a lobbying firm
- The business that is NOT related to cannabis
In this case, the business is owned by:
- The application must be made by someone at least 18 years old.
- Citizens of the United States or permanent residents of the United States
Searching on Google for grants for female entrepreneurs will bring up a variety of websites offering grants for women-owned businesses. There are already a lot of scams on the Internet and confusing government websites (SBA), as we are all aware of them. The majority of forms and applications require information about your personal and financial information.
Through the WomensNet website, you may be able to find funding for your new business venture. Even though it will take some time and effort to complete, it is well worth your while. A lot of help is available to women who want to pursue their business dreams through Amber Grants.
Throughout the country (including Massachusetts), women-owned or operated businesses are eligible to apply for this grant. If you are interested in applying for the $10,000 Amber Grant, offered every month, now is a perfect time. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact me. Consider the possibility of being selected as one of their 12 monthly winners. As a monthly winner, you will automatically be eligible to receive a grant of $25,000 if you meet their eligibility criteria. Through the grant, the recipient can receive a total of $35,000 over 12 months.
Businesses that were impacted by the pandemic, such as restaurants, caterers, bars, hotels, and others, are receiving grants and low-cost loans from Gardner. Businesses with 75 employees or less can receive either $25,000 or $30,000 in grants. In the city, businesses can obtain low-cost or interest-free loans to improve their properties, for instance, by installing new signs.
Massachusetts small businesses can obtain financial assistance from the SBA Microloan program for working capital or to purchase furniture, fixtures, supplies, or materials.
- Businesses that are already in operation
- A childcare business that is for profit or a childcare business that is not for profit
- Massachusetts-based company
- Up to $50,000 in term loans
- Up to six years of amortization
- A personal credit score of 575 is required – no historical credit card charge-offs or government liens are allowed
- Business and personal tax returns for the past two years
- Business assets are encumbered with a lien
- A personal guarantee (possibly requiring security)
- Investing in real estate, for example, is not eligible
Through the Massachusetts GrantWatch program, small businesses can find grants that are relevant to them. The website also offers loans and grants for small businesses from local, state, and federal sources. Utilizing GrantWatch to find new grants allows you to get in contact with grant writers who can help you prepare winning grant proposals. GrantWatch is a free resource that assists you in finding new grants. It takes only a few minutes to fill out a grant application.
Information contained in Massachusetts GrantWatch can only be accessed by subscribers who have purchased a subscription. There is a $199 annual subscription fee and an $18 weekly subscription fee. Free members cannot submit grant applications as they are not eligible.
Massachusetts is seeking non-profit lenders with experience in helping small businesses obtain capital. Small businesses unable to access traditional sources of capital can use the Commonwealth’s funds to facilitate lending. Through this grant program, Massachusetts’s small businesses will receive more capital and will be able to continue to thrive. Grantees will provide small businesses with a range of loan products by leveraging state funds and substantial non-state capital sources.
Microlending Operations Support and CDFI Lending Capital Matching Funds Grants will be awarded to established certified community development financial institutions making direct small business loans to borrowers on a regional basis and providing technical assistance to applicants and borrowers to foster business establishment and success; provided that the funds shall be used to support the.
- Established certified community development financial institutions will receive the Microlending Operations Support and CDFI Lending Capital Matching Funds Grant Programepresented groups or underserved markets that are:
- Founded by minorities
- A woman-owned business
- Owner-operated by veterans
- An LGBT+-owned business
- Cities serving as gateways
- Communities in the rural sector
- Income level: low-moderate
- An English speaker who is not a native speaker
- The cooperative movement
- A 50% organization match is required for CDFI lending capital awards. The organization must provide a bank statement showing the required matching funds within six months to receive the loan capital awarded. MGCC must recapture awarded amounts if an awardee fails to secure matching funds within six months.
- It is highly desirable to offer multilingual services in proposals.
There are a variety of resources available from the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSSBDC) to help small business owners start and grow their businesses. Several government and private organizations have provided financial assistance to small businesses to help them overcome Coronavirus. By providing a boost to the growth of small businesses, financial aid can boost the economy in various ways. Choosing a funding source from the above list will be the best way to get funding for your business.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!