COVID-19 Small Business Resources
Central Mass Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program
Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis through the Central Massachusetts Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, administered by CMRPC.
For the purposes of this grant, a “small business” shall mean any for-profit business or non-profit organization with a physical place of business within one of the forty communities within the CMRPC service area with twenty or fewer employees prior to Governor Baker’s state of emergency declaration (on or about March 10, 2020). All applicants will be required to demonstrate a direct or indirect financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individual Artists by Mass Cultural Council
The purpose of this COVID-19 Relief Fund is to support individuals whose creative practices and incomes are adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $1,000 will be available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures.
Please click here for more information and the application. Please be sure to read thoroughly the eligibility requirements.
Economic Update on Coronavirus
- The Baker-Polito Administration announced on March 18, 2020, that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available following a request from Governor Charlie Baker on March 17, 2020.
- The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Massachusetts; and the contiguous counties in neighboring states.
- Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
Here are a few key links that will assist businesses in navigating the COVID-19 outbreak
- Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at the SBA website.
- Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email SBA for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
- Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
- Any interested business needs to apply directly to the SBA.
- Fact Sheet – SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Businesses can learn more about the SBA’s response to COVID-19 here.
SBA Express Bridge Loan Program
The Express Bridge Loan Program is available to businesses that have an existing business relationship with an SBA-approved lender; speak to your lender about accessing this option while you await a decision on long-term financing.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance is a Loan Advance of $10,000 that is available to applicants who have been approved for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan; it does not need to be repaid, so you can think of the Advance as a grant for business expenses.
- Visit the SBA’s website to submit an application for the Economic Disaster Injury Loan and Loan Advance.
- SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. Loans are up to $10M, with a 0.5% interest rate and a 2-year maturity; there are no payments for the first six months.
SBA Debt Relief
The SBA is also offering Debt Relief to small businesses. Under this relief, the SBA will pay the principal and interest for six months beginning March 27th, 2020 for qualifying new and current holders of 7(a) loans.
Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development Resources
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers resources for businesses related to employee benefits and has a new resource page. Programs include:
- The WorkShare program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn – read more about WorkShare.
- The Rapid Response program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry; read more about how the Rapid Response Team can help businesses.
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
This is a grant up to $10,000 and managed by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corp). Please click here LISC Grant Application for the application and more information. Deadline to complete is this Saturday, April 4, 2020, 11:59pm ET.
Information regarding unemployment resources can be found here.