Baker-Polito Administration Announces $668 Million Small Business & Restaurant Relief Program

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BOSTON The Baker-Polito administration announced today, December 23, a holiday gift for businesses that have been struggling in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced a $668 million small business relief program, which will be administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.

Businesses can receive up to $75,000 or 3 months of operating expenses..

Massachusetts is in a second surge of this virus, said Gov. Baker.

Yesterday, the Governor announced capacity reduction for businesses starting Saturday, December 26 through at least January 10.

“We hope these restrictions are temporary,” said the Governor. “The impact of these decision have serious impacts on people’s lives, and we take this seriously.”

“There is certainly an urgent need for this help,” said the Governor, who said the program relies in part on the federal plan.

“2020 has been exceptionally difficult,” said Lt. Gov. Polito. “We all need to hang in there just a little bit longer to fight the virus.”

Businesses that have already applied do not need to re-apply said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

Earlier this week, the Administration announced nearly $49 million in grants through the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) COVID-19 Small Business Program to support over 1,158 small businesses. More than 10,000 applicants had sought relief in this grant round.

Additional grants will be made available to eligible small businesses through MGCC. The Small Business Grant Program was established in the fall, and currently has a pool of eligible applicants awaiting funding. This additional funding will allow the Administration to award more of those pending applicants. Eligible businesses that already applied to the program, but were not funded due to limited funds available, will be prioritized for funding first and do not need to reapply.

The funds will also be used to stand up an additional grant program at MGCC.

This program will target the industries most hard-hit during the pandemic.

Eligible industries for the new program include:

  • Restaurants, bars, caterers
  • Indoor recreation and entertainment establishments
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Event-support professionals (photographers, videographers, etc.)
  • Personal services
  • Retail

If you have not applied, a portal will open on Thursday, December 31, said the Lt. Governor.

The online application portal will close on Friday, January 15.

Awards are expected to be announced in early February.

More details on how to apply and eligibility requirements are available at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.

Funds may be used for:

  • Employee payroll and benefit costs
  • Mortgage interest and rent
  • Utilities
  • Interest on other debt obligations  

There are some requirements to apply.

Business must have a physical establishment in Massachusetts

Business must be a for-profit entity

Business must be able to document a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance due to COVID-19

Business must be currently in operation or if not in operation must have an intent to re-open

Business must have been established prior to June 30, 2019.

Editor’s Note: The press conference is happening now (2:42 p.m.) and this is being updated in real time

editor

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