The application is now open for the Microenterprise Assistance Grant Program! These funds will provide grants to support qualifying microenterprises in 23 cities and towns across the Metropolitan Boston Region, including the Town of Stoneham, that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
This program makes a total of $4,950,000 in grants available, which is part of the $19.6 million award through the federally-funded Community Development Block Grant COVID-19(CDBG-CV) program. These special funds were appropriated through the CARES Act of 2020.
The funding is being utilized to address emergency needs in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the grant award for these 23 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 full-time equivalent employees, including 1 or more of whom owns the enterprise and must be a for-profit entity. The town/city of Stoneham will be receiving $70,125.00 to support small businesses in the community. Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, utilities and personal protection equipment (PPE). Microenterprise Assistance grant funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying.
Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will serve as the Program Administrator. Applications are available here (https://massgcc.submittable.com/submit) and are due by September 25th at 5:00 PM. Businesses interested in applying must complete and submit the application electronically through MGCC’s online application portal. Hard copies or electronic copies submitted in any other way, such as mailed in or emailed, will not be considered.
Businesses interested in applying must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Business must have a physical establishment in one of the following cities/towns: 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.
- Business must be a microenterprise (a commercial enterprise that has 5 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, 1 or more of whom owns the enterprise, as of today).
- Business owner(s) must qualify under the Low-Moderate Income (LMI) Limited Clientele national objective criteria. All owners of the business must earn an annual income equal to or less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) based on family size.
- Business must be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations, or LLCs).
- Business must provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers.
- 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 and have been established prior to 01/01/2019.
- Business must be in good standing with the state and city/town:
- Business must be current on all taxes due through 3/1/2020; and
- Have active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable; and
- Not a party to litigation involving the Commonwealth or municipality you operate in.
- Ineligible businesses:
- 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.
For questions, please contact Erin Wortman, Director of Planning & Community Development at EWortman@stoneham-ma.gov