Grant Opportunities

Business Marketing Technical Assistance Grant


The Business Marketing Technical Assistance Grant focuses on an identified need- marketing support within the business community.  The pandemic negatively affected businesses; leaving businesses with a depleted workforce, increases in cost with lack of sales, and changing business plans to accommodate new regulations. These impacts created restrictions on the amount of time a business owner can dedicate to marketing their businesses, at a time when maintaining revenues is crucial.   This grant opportunity provides a much needed resource to help businesses survive during a very challenging time.  Business owners will have an opportunity to work directly with marketing professionals to create, redesign or update their website, upload online point of sale tool to business websites, and focus on social media marketing strategies for direct marketing to consumers.  

Through the Technical Assistance Grant, the communities of Ashland, Framingham and Natick are providing consultant services to assist businesses to improve their marketing efforts to increase sales. 

To apply for this grant please CLICK HERE to download an application.

Application deadline is Monday, May 3, 2021 by 5:00pm. 

This grant is made possible with funding from the  Baker-Polito Administration Regional Pilot Project Grant Award to Support Economic Recovery.
Read the Press Release from the Baker-Polito Administration here

If you are a marketing specialist and interested in applying to be one of the marketing specialists to provide services please CLICK HERE.




Marketing Grant Graphic

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

 

Businesses can apply for a First Draw PPP Loan until March 31st. A First Draw PPP loan is for those borrowers who have yet to receive a PPP loan before the program closed in August 2020. Interested businesses can visit SBA Lender Match online to be matched with a participating PPP lender.

PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. First Draw PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits, and may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

PPP access during this round is at first being given exclusively to community financial institutions (CFIs) including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and Microloan Intermediaries. Additional lenders will be able to submit First and Second draw PPP loan applications this week.  

As of today, participating CFIs may begin submitting application information to SBA for Second Draw PPP loans. A Second Draw PPP loan is for certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan, generally have 300 employees or less, and have suffered a 25% reduction in gross receipts. At least $15 billion is set aside for additional PPP lending by CFIs.

Updated PPP Lender forms, guidance, and resources are available online at SBA.gov/PPP

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA is currently accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations.

If you have already applied via the streamlined application portal, please do not resubmit your application.

CLICK HERE to apply

Microenterprise Grant

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 is now available.  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.

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 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.

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.  

TO APPLY  CLICK HERE to access the online application.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of a microenterprise business?  5 or less employees, including the business owner.

For microenterprises, what is the date of the “count” of number of employees? It would be at the time that the business applies for assistance.

What is LMI and what are the requirements for this grant? LMI is low-and-moderate income persons. An individual is considered to be LMI based on their annualized family income. Overall, to be classified as LMI, a family's household income must be less than or equal to 80% of the median income for the area where they reside.  
 

Is LMI based on place of residence or business?  It is based on place of residence.  Please use this link for guidance on what the LMI is for that business owner: 

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il2020/2020summary.odn



 How do I find out what the AMI is for where I live?
Click the HUD calculation link HERE. Most businesses within this grant will fall under either the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA area or Eastern Worcester County, MA area.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/VtPrvn3kNuAo9vqnI8GOpSjF46fGlzqtQrXkFlQQxB4Nhk-jUyVIRDGvF_vXtE5vX_Gcxa7CqmeY4NvEe2MvbZoKp5hJucv6LWS-IiMxoOWUY5PMW4ibQ2mmW1fYrndVId4u_PLG

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/aj3Waxfh5AnuJG3NMDLlocJDGJc9C5EKhBlm6xDz6PIG4IgweBWactzcJ9PTHCUVfWgDn7LEUsbRrqCxq07OtyQZ0pyG2-rKnuvB6HAEn_6lb5WKfdaQGqTEfdDcujMFo8_6TGDq

 

If there are multiple owners, do all need to meet LMI requirements in order to be eligible or does just one need to be eligible?  If two owners, both must be eligible. 

How long does a business have to be open to qualify for this grant? Must be in business as of 10/1/19 and have a physical establishment that serves the community that is distributing the grant. Some home based businesses will be eligible.   

What cities and towns are distributing this grant?  The following 23 municipalities are participating in this grant program. Businesses that have a physical establishment in the following can apply: Ashland, 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.

How much money can one business apply for? Up to $10,000

What documents will I need to submit with the application?  Applicants will be required to submit documentation to support all provided information. The following list identifies the required documents that will be requested at the time in which applications are submitted:

•    DUNS number

•    W-9 Form Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

•    2019 or 2020 Certificate of Good Standing

  • A copy of complete 2019 or 2020 Federal Personal Tax Returns for each business owner with a 20% or greater ownership interest in the business for LMI requirement verification. If on extension, 2018 will be accepted.
  • A copy of your complete 2020 or 2019 Federal Business Tax Return. If on extension, 2018 will be accepted.
  • A copy of your License to Operate/Business License/Professional Certification, if applicable
  • A copy of your Lease or Mortgage Bill
  • If you received any state, local or federal aid, please provide documentation

•    Documentation to demonstrate that COVID-19 has caused a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance

How is “currently in operation” defined?  If a business was in operation but closed because of COVID, it would make sense that the business should be eligible for this funding.  “Currently in operation” means that the business has not permanently closed, gone out of business, filed for bankruptcy.

Can businesses buy equipment with grant funding? The purchase of equipment, fixtures, furnishings, property with CDBG funds is generally ineligible.  Funding may be used for rent, mortgage assistance, utilities or payroll. Funds may also be used to purchase PPE.

Are home-based businesses eligible? For example: landscapers, contractors, artists, daycares, consultants, etc.  YES, Legitimately licensed commercial businesses may be considered eligible for assistance.

Can the funds be used to assist a business owner with making payments on a loan that they received prior to the start of the pandemic, even if it’s for an equipment purchase? Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, utilities and technical assistance, general support and stabilization of the business. Funds may also be used for purchasing personal protection equipment (PPE).  Microenterprise Assistance Program funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying.

What documentation is needed to demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a loss of income equal to or greater than the requested assistance?  Examples of documentation would be to show loss of income through bank statements, budgeting or unemployment payments.

How do I apply? 
CLICK HERE to access the online application.

If I experience technical issues with the application portal, is there someone with MGCC that can address their concern?  On the application, if someone gets stuck it will direct them to email grants@massgcc.com

I am a small business and I do not have separate business tax returns, only my personal taxes so I have uploaded my 1040 for 2019 or 2020, is that sufficient?  Yes, also include schedule C

Since my business has not been open for much of this year due to COVID-19, do I qualify if we use annualized year-to-date 2020 income? Is this an option? Yes, you may use your 2020 or 2019 tax returns to qualify for LMI. 

What could we send in for documentation to demonstrate COVID 19 has caused a loss of income?  Please provide a brief description (100 word limit) of what adverse economic effects COVID-19 had on your business.

Do applicants submit gross or net family income?
   Gross Family Income

If a business owner has two separate businesses does he/she apply for the two businesses jointly or apply separately for each business?  The business owner should apply separately for each business.

How do I apply for a DUNS number?

    • To Create or Update your DUNS Number, please visit our simplified self-service portal to provide you the fastest service.  There you will find step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process. 

    • Step 1:  Click Simplified Self-Service Portal link: www.dnb.com/govtduns and choose "Federal Government Contractors or Grantees DUNS Number Support"

 

    • https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/ZYKcFRh5n8VL-6ZJZjPhEGOvN6lU5JxcmufZmppk_FUa9qe5jEzAgGAK1jEuScq08HsB8IvzEC563TkZf-mx2gQXmBShpZm41NapC5Rp5HXlZHfnmxr0vDj-tahxvaqoms2Gz3Oz
    • Step 2:  Click on the “Create a New DUNS Number” or “Update Your Exiting DUNS” button (see screenshot below) and follow the step-by-step instructions.
    • https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/ZyO9sd9swOLUiwbLlhb2xUVTHf7ccFmXBKstQGK6QduOuqMUwVokSICsNrK97KBVyaA2qC3cjZ1FtbdOCk46iica44ZM-7uE6y4pAK0427yZ43wyMze_tPAqcHKRFH6qoOzj_h1W
    • For problems contact: Contact https://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/ or by phone at 866-705-5711

 

Where do I obtain a certificate of good standing?  https://www.mass.gov/how-to/request-a-certificate-of-good-standing-tax-compliance-or-a-corporate-tax-lien-waiver

  

For the question "How will this grant be used to assist your business?" - Are we supposed to include monthly figures for these or what we expect to need assistance with for the foreseeable future until we anticipate being at pre-COVID capacity?  Please enter in the anticipated total amount for your working capital needs. For example, if you need $10,000 for payroll. No further breakdown is needed.

 

For the questions "Has your business received additional COVID-19 financial aid from any of the following sources?" - Should we include loan amounts from the SBA EIDL? What about MA State unemployment assistance? And the Federal Stimulus money each US Citizen received? as it was personal assistance and not business assistance? PUA and FPUA?  SBA EIDL, and any business-related financial assistance, would need to be included. Any personal financial assistance does not need to be included.  

 

As for "Requesting a Certificate in Good Standing" - I file my business taxes for my business under my SSN.  Do I request that certificate on the MassTaxConnect site under individual or business? I don't have a FEIN.  Please upload your DBA certificate in place of the Certificate of Good Standing file upload.

Employment & Workforce Development

An additional $54 million is available to support workforce recovery efforts through existing programming such as the Skills Capital Grants program, the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, and the Workforce Training Trust Fund.

Life Sciences

$62 million in existing capital funding through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and MassVentures is available to support recovery and growth.