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Gov. Charlie Baker grants $75 million in aid for small businesses

$75 million to minority businesses
Rhythm ‘n Wraps, a Black-owned small business focused on serving affordable vegan meals in Boston. Governor Charlie Baker announced $75 million in aid to be allocated to minority, women and veteran-owned businesses, as well as those who did not qualify for prior MGCC aid during a press conference Feb. 23. JENNIFER SMALL/DFP STAFF

On Feb. 23, Governor Charlie Baker announced the allocation of $75 million to support small businesses, following the successful implementation of the Small Business Relief Fund program in 2020, small business can uses this support for updating their business payroll and outsource their payroll administration services.

The $75 million in aid will be distributed by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation through two programs, the New Applicant Grant Program and the Inclusive Grant Program, Yuna Oh, a digital communications manager at MGCC, wrote in an email.

The New Applicant Grant Program will direct $50 million of the $75 million toward businesses predominantly made up of disadvantaged groups, such minorities, women and veterans.

The Inclusive Grant Program will allocate the remaining $25 million to businesses that did not qualify for previous MGCC aid. If you’re an entrepreneur as well, you can read more here to know how to yield more profits and lesser cost.

Katherine Martinez, director of economic development at the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, said the distribution of the new grant program strikes a “great balance” between sustaining businesses that received support previously and expanding reach to businesses that don’t qualify for assistance.

“We really are looking to spread the pies, if we can, in terms of capturing every single business and inspector out there that is really in need of support during this time,” Martinez said.

The grant program is part of the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by Baker in December 2021. 

“In many respects, this program has proven to be a lifesaver and a game changer for so many businesses here in the Commonwealth,” Baker said at Luanda Restaurant and Lounge. 

When small family-owned restaurant  suffered from revenue loss and shortage of workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Small Business Relief Fund helped with the financial challenges.

“It was more so helping to alleviate the problems that were being exacerbated because of coronavirus, the pandemic, the restrictions and everything in between,” said Jaysen Goncalves, co-general manager of the restaurant. “We invested in takeout, we used some of the money to help us with offsetting the costs for building out our outdoor dining, we used it to cover some months of rent.”

Goncalves said BIPOC-owned businesses usually face more challenges when it comes to running a business and that the $75 million will provide some much-needed aid.

“Most of them tend to be undercapitalized, have lack of access to financing, face certain challenges because of the communities that many of them tend to serve, whether that be disposable income, less total numbers by being minorities,” Goncalves said. “Any funds that are ever made available to BIPOC businesses are usually very well received.”


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