Microenterprise Grant Southborough

28 July 2020 UPDATE

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 will be available late summer/early fall 2020. Southborough was awarded $204,000 in funds.

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 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.

The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (“MGCC”) is tasked to administer and oversee the grant program.  An application will become available in August or early September. Southborough will distribute the application information to microenterprises as it becomes available. For more information and updates, businesses can contact the EDC Coordinator at mmunsiff@southboroughma.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's will be updated as we learn more about the program guidelines.

What is the definition of a microenterprise business?  5 or less full time 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.  A business owner will qualify for this grant if their total annual income is 50% or less of the AMI or average income for the community where they live. 

How do I find out what the AMI is for where I live? Click the HUD calculation link HERE. Businesses in Southborough fall under the Eastern Worcester County, MA HUD Metro FMR Area.

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 1/1/19 and have a physical establishment.  

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

What documentation from the town, city or state will I need to provide? All applicants will need to provide a DUNS number. Applicants may need to provide a DBA or proof of LLC. 

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.

Are home-based businesses eligible? For example: landscapers, contractors, artists, daycares, consultants, etc.  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, and utilities.  Microenterprise Assistance Program funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying.

How do I apply? What are the next steps?  Businesses should get in touch with the EDC Coordinator at mmunsiff@southboroughma.com to get relevant updates about the program.  Please stay tuned for the online application coming soon.