Massachusetts tax-free grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made grant funds of $50.8 million available to support small businesses that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.  The application deadline is November 12th at noon.

There are two aspects of the program.  The first is a Small Business Grant for companies with 5 or fewer employees. This grant provides up to $25,000 and the funds can be used for working capital to cover rent, payroll, utilities, and technical assistance.

Eligibility for the first grant (5 or fewer employees) are as follows:

  • Business has 5 or fewer employees (1 or more of whom owns the business)
  • Business must provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers
  • The owner(s) of the business must qualify under the Low-Moderate Income (LMI) Limited Clientele national objective criteria. They must earn an annual income equal to or less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) based on family size

The second is a Small Business Grant for companies with 50 or fewer employees and provides up to $75,000 for use on employee payroll and benefit costs, rent, utilities and more. There are more restrictions for this grant as it is capped at up to 3 months operating expenses as reflected on your 2019 tax return. However, your expenses can be considered as beginning March 10, 2020.

Eligibility for this grant include:

  • Business has 50 or fewer full-time equivalent FTE employees (1 or more of whom owns the business)

BOTH program requirements are as follows:

  • Must have a physical establishment in Massachusetts
  • Must be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, cooperative, or LLC)
  • Must be able to document a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance due to COVID-19
  • Must be currently in operation or if not in operation must have an intent to reopen.
  • Must have been established prior to 06/30/2019.
  • Must be in good standing with the state and city/town.
  • Must be current on all taxes due through 3/1/2020; and
  • Must have active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable; and
  • Not a party to litigation involving the Commonwealth or municipality you operate in.

Ineligible businesses:

  • Real estate rentals/sales businesses;
  • Businesses owned by persons under age 18;
  • Businesses that are chains;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Weapons/firearms dealers;
  • Lobbyists; or
  • Cannabis-related businesses.

Preference will be given to small businesses whose owners are women, minorities, veterans, members of other underrepresented groups, who are focused on serving the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts, and those most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preference will also be given to applicants of the greatest need that have not been able to receive aid from other federal programs related to COVID-19.

Before applying, make sure you have all required documents:  

  • A copy of filed 2019 Federal business tax return
  • A copy of filed 2019 Federal personal tax return
  • A copy of your business license
  • Certificate of good standing from the Secretary of State.
  • Supporting documentation showing your business has been impacted

The certificate of good standing usually takes 24 – 48 hours to process if you select to receive the certificate by email.  You can apply for the certificate by searching for your company on the MA Secretary of State site, clicking on your profile and select “request certificate” in the top right-hand corner.

If you are a business with 5 or fewer employees, please click here to apply.

If you are a business with 50 or fewer employees, please click here to apply.

As always please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Angela and Devon