As an acknowledgement of the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, the Massachusetts Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE) is offering a grant to small businesses registered in a Gateway City in Massachusetts. These cities are Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, and Worcester.
The Empowerment Grant for Small Businesses is available in an amount of up to $2,500. To be eligible for the grant, the applicant’s business must have been in operation for at least one year and had annual sales of less than $5 million in its most recently completed fiscal year. Excluded businesses include those that are chains or franchises and multi-level marketing entities.
Applicants must submit all required information and forms on or before May 29, 2020. Funding decisions will be made by June 12, 2020. Businesses that are minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and/or immigrant-owned are encouraged to apply, with preference being given to those in an industry category especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, examples are as follows:
- Home Cleaning Services
- Personal Training/Fitness Establishments
- Brick and Mortar Establishments
- Personal Care Services, such as Hair and Nail Salons
- Other Industries, including Non-Manufacturing Goods Production & Associated Services; Manufacturing; Retail; Leisure & Hospitality; Finance & Insurance; Healthcare & Education; Professional Services & Real Estate; Business Support & Consumer Services
Detailed information on the grant application process can be found on the OEE website at https://www.mass.gov/how-to/the-empowerment-grant-for-small-businesses.