The following is a press release from the baker-Polito administration submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON — Today, February 11, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $64 million in awards to 1,312 additional businesses in the seventh round of COVID relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC).
Each business meets sector and demographic priorities set for the two grant programs.
With the addition of this round of grant awards, the Administration has awarded approximately $514 million in direct financial support to 11,212 businesses across the Commonwealth.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the Massachusetts business community, I’m pleased we are able to provide relief to another 1,312 hard hit businesses,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this round of awards, our efforts to deliver vital assistance to foster our economic recovery have now reached more than 11,000 businesses across the Commonwealth for a total of over a half billion dollars in direct financial support.”
“The COVID-19 public health crisis has hit small businesses hard, and there are communities and sectors that have seen their livelihoods significantly impacted through no fault of their own,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We continue to target these grants to those businesses – whether they’re owned by women or minorities, located in Gateway Cities, or from sectors like restaurants and gyms – that need support the most.”
Among the sectors that received the highest total number of grants this round are: restaurants, bars, caterers, or food trucks (426); personal services businesses (173); and independent retailers (114).
In addition, grants for this round were awarded to 596 minority-owned, and 489 women-owned, businesses; 356 recipients are located in Gateway Cities, and 352 businesses have not received any prior aid.
Acknowledging the importance of restaurants and independent retailers to communities across Massachusetts, business owners of multiple locations that met demographic and sector priorities are receiving awards to support up to two additional locations.
“Thanks to the team at MGCC, these grants create a key opportunity to sustain our small businesses by the thousands in every corner of Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Recognizing how critical a component our small businesses are to the Commonwealth’s economy, providing direct support has proven to be essential to our strategy for economic recovery.”
Following the previous announcement of grant awards on Feb. 4, MGCC began a process of engaging directly with applicants that met sector and demographic priorities but were missing documents necessary to be considered for an award. MGCC is continuing to work with business owners in targeted sectors and demographic groups over a two-week period to allow for applicants to submit necessary documents.
The Commonwealth remains in Phase 3, Step 1 of the Baker-Polito Administration’s reopening plan. On Monday, temporary capacity limits of 25% instituted during the second surge of COVID-19 were lifted, allowing many businesses to return to 40% capacity. In addition, restaurants and close contact personal services are now allowed to operate at a 40% capacity limit, with workers and staff not counting towards the occupancy count for these sectors.