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Small Business Grants

Application will open on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 12:00 PM and close Friday, January 15 at 11:59 PM

Apply to the grant program here


Program Overview

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made an additional $668 million available to support businesses through new and existing programs. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will target a portion of these funds to sectors experiencing the most significant economic hardship and a loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These funds were appropriated through the Commonwealth’s Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) as well as the CARES Act of 2020. 

This business relief fund targets the hardest hit small businesses that have an exceptional need of cash relief. Though many businesses have been negatively affected by the pandemic, not all needs are equal. To ensure that these limited funds get to the most severely impacted businesses, you SHOULD NOT APPLY if you:

  • are not showing an operating loss due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • have access to other sources of relief
  • have been able to continue to operate without significant financial distress
  • have adequate available reserves

Additionally, larger companies that are better positioned to endure this economic downturn and COVID-19 related restrictions should not apply.

An excessive number of applications submitted by businesses with lesser need will delay the awarding of grants to businesses facing extraordinary circumstances. An application review for a company without a truly exceptional need delays assistance for a business at risk of permanent closure.


Who Should Apply:


Preference will be given to the following sectors:

Priority Categories:

  • Restaurants, bars, caterers, and food trucks that collect and remit meals tax
  • Indoor Recreation or Entertainment Establishments
    • Indoor entertainment establishments (e.g. movie theaters, comedy clubs, performing arts venues/organizations)
    • Indoor recreation (e.g. arcades, bowling centers, pool/billiard halls, escape-the-rooms, trampoline parks, roller-skating rinks)
    • Indoor spectator sports venues
    • Other indoor recreation or entertainment venues
  • Gyms or Fitness Centers
    • Gyms, athletic clubs, exercise centers, health clubs
    • Sports facilities (e.g. tennis clubs, racquetball clubs, hockey rinks, swimming facilities)
    • Fitness instruction centers (e.g. aerobics, dance, yoga, karate, etc.)
    • Other gyms or fitness centers
  • Personal Services
    • Nail salons, barber shops, etc.
    • Independent pharmacies 
  • Event Support Companies - primary source (more than 50%) of revenue is event-related
    • Photography studios, videography studios, florists, limo services, event planning companies, event rentals, performers, convention and trade show organizations
  • Independent Retailers
    • Businesses with brick and mortar locations that collect and remit sales tax

Non-Priority Categories:

  • All other eligible business types


Application Submission Instructions:

Your application must be filled out and submitted along with attachments as stated in “Required Documentation” electronically through MGCC’s online application portal, Submittable. Hard copies or electronic copies submitted in any other way, such as mailed in or emailed, will not be considered. Additionally, only complete, accurate and legible applications will be considered. 

Please be advised, applications must include all required documentation by the program deadline in order to be considered. Please see full list of “Required Documentation” details below. Common omissions that would exclude your application from consideration:

  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office
  • Complete 2019 Federal Business Tax Return
  • Complete 2019 Federal Personal Tax Returns for each business owner with 20% or greater ownership



12/31/2020 at 12:00 PM – Application opens.

01/15/2021 at 11:59 PM – Application closes.


Award Process:

After the application period closes, Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will review all applications to determine eligibility. MGCC will award and disburse grants based upon eligibility criteria and preference prioritization.


Compliance with Federal Funds, Laws and Regulations:

Applicants must comply with all applicable laws.


Language Translations:

Program overview information will be available in the following languages shortly: (Application remains in English)

  • Arabic
  • Guajarati
  • Haitian Creole
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Vietnamese


Applicant Eligibility:

Review the program’s eligibility criteria set forth below before beginning the application process to determine if your business is eligible to apply for the grant.


Program Details

Sector-Specific Relief Grant Program for Massachusetts Businesses



Businesses can receive up to $75,000 but capped at up to 3 months of operating expenses, as evidenced by 2019 Federal Tax Returns. Grant amounts will be considered for actual expenses for 2020 during the pandemic. Expenses can be considered since March 10, 2020, given that it does not exceed 3 months of operating expenses evidenced by 2019 Federal Tax Returns.



Employee payroll and benefit costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and interest on other debt obligations.

  • Business’s proposed uses of the funds granted in response to this application will be used only to cover those costs that are eligible expenses under section 601 of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136, div. A, Title V (Mar. 27, 2020) (“section 601”).
  • Business will not apply the funds granted in response to this application to any expense that has been or will be covered by any other source of federal or state funding including, but not limited to, Paycheck Protection Program loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Community Development Block Grants, or any other source of federal or state aid.
  • Business will collect and retain sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the expenses delineated in this application were incurred within the eligibility limits and established for the Sector-Specific Relief Grant Program. Documentation includes, but is not limited to, receipts, invoices, purchase orders, contracts, contemporaneous memoranda, or other relevant materials. These materials must be stored in an easily accessible and searchable format, in business control, and in compliance with document retention best practices. This documentation will be maintained in compliance with applicable federal, state, and municipal law to support internal and external audits of these obligations and expenditures. As the prime recipient of the Sector-Specific Relief Grant Program, the Commonwealth, reserves the right to request this documentation or other audit evidence at a future date.
  • Grantor reserves the right to require Business to report on incurred expenses and/or outcomes in a form prescribed by the Grantor.



Major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, lobbying. Also, grantees must prevent the duplication of benefits, which means these grant funds may not be used to pay expenses if another source of financial aid has paid that same expense.

*If a person owns multiple businesses and submits an application for each business, MGCC may reserve the right to limit proceeds to a business owner.

**If your business successfully applied for and received a grant from MGCC’s previous grant programs, the same business location may not apply to this program.




  • Business must have a physical establishment in Massachusetts
  • Business must be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, cooperative or LLC)
  • Business must be able to document a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Business must be currently in operation or if not in operation must have an intent to reopen.
  • Business must have been established prior to 06/30/2019.
  • 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
  • Ineligible businesses:
    • Real estate rentals/sales businesses;
    • Businesses owned by persons under age 18;
    • Businesses that are chains (chains are defined as businesses not headquartered in Massachusetts with multiple locations);
    • Franchisees;
    • Liquor stores;
    • Weapons/firearms dealers;
    • Lobbyists;
    • Cannabis-related businesses; or
    • Non-profit organizations


Required Documentation


  • A complete copy (all schedules) of your filed 2019 Federal Business Tax Return as submitted to the IRS
  • A complete copy (all schedules) of your filed 2019 Federal Personal Tax Returns as submitted to the IRS for each business owner with 20% or greater ownership
  • A copy of your License to Operate/Business License/Professional Certification, if applicable
  • Completed and signed IRS W-9 Form for your business
  • If your business is a LLC, Partnership or Corporation:
    • A copy of your Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office. If you need to request a Certificate of Good Standing, click here:
      • All entities organized in other states that operate in Massachusetts must be registered and in good standing in Massachusetts.
      • Please Note: A Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is not required and will not be accepted as a substitute of the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Certificate of Good Standing.
  • If your business is a Sole Proprietorship:
    • A copy of your Business Certificate (DBA) from the city/town in which your business operates