ASHLAND – The Baker-Polito Administration announced yesterday, July 16, that Ashland was the recipient of a $4,950,000 grant from the Department of Housing & Community Development to assist small businesses in 23 cities and towns across the Metropolitan Boston Region.
The funding is being made through the competitive Community Development Block Grant Program being utilized to address emergency needs in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. This funding will support 181 communities in their work to provide vital services to low-income residents and small businesses affected by the recent outbreak.
Specifically, the grant award for Ashland and the other 22 communities will be utilized to award individual grants of up to $10,000 for microenterprise businesses. A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has 5 or fewer employees, 1 or more of whom owns the enterprise and must be a for-profit entity. Business type exclusions to the grant include: 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.
“Small businesses have been some of those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic said Ashland Town Manager, Michael Herbert. We are grateful that the Baker-Polito Administration understands this and is willing to put these programs in place to provide valuable relief to those that need it most.”
As the lead community for the regional effort, the Town of Ashland will work closely with the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (“MGCC”) to administer and oversee the grant program.
“We appreciate the partnership we have with these 22 other cities and towns across the Commonwealth, as well as the partnership we have with MGCC and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to put together such a competitive application,” said Herbert. MGCC will administer the application process and payment to businesses.
In addition to Ashland, the other communities that are part of the coalition include: Beverly, Burlington, Canton, Concord, Dedham, Essex, Lexington, Manchester by the Sea, Marlborough, Melrose, Milton, Natick, North Reading, Norwood, Randolph, Reading, Sharon, Southborough, Stoneham, Watertown, Winchester or Woburn.
An application will become available in the coming weeks. Individual cities and towns will be responsible for distributing application information to microenterprises in their community.