COVID-19 Business Resources
Resources for Businesses
The following are resources (including webinars and conference calls) that may be helpful in providing information and/or assistance to business (for- and non-profits) and employees during this difficult time, including some business survival strategies. We will add resources as we become aware of them.
List of Webinars & Conference Calls
Visit the Small Business Development Center's website for informational webinars, including archived webinars such as "Business Resiliency Webinar: Keeping the Lights On."
COVID-19 Business Relief Grants
As of February 25, 2021, an additional 1,108 businesses are receiving COVID-19 relief grants totaling more than $49 million in awards to help with expenses like payroll, benefits, utilities and rent. To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $563 million in direct financial support to 12,320 businesses impacted by the pandemic through the Small Business and Sector-Specific Grant Programs.
Each business meets sector and demographic priorities set for the two grant programs. More than half of grantees are restaurants, bars, caterers, operators of personal services like hair and nail salons, and independent retailers. Over half of the businesses receiving relief are women-and-minority-owned enterprises.
Today’s awards are the result of a process by MGCC to engage directly with applicants that met sector and demographic priorities but were missing documents necessary to be considered for an award. MGCC is continuing to work with business owners in targeted sectors and demographic groups to allow for applicants to submit necessary documents.
Sector-Specific Small Business Grant (Deadline: January 15, 2021)
On December 31, 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration opened a new Sector-Specific Relief Grant Program for Massachusetts Small Businesses, making $668 million available to sectors experiencing the most significant economic hardship and loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grant Program will be administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). The application deadline closes on January 15, 2021 at 11:59pm.
- Grant Application Information and Grant Portal APPLY FOR GRANT HERE
- Governor Baker's Office Press Release
CDBG-CV Microenterprise Assistance Grant (Deadline: Rolling)
The City of Beverly still has funds remaining in another small business grant program administered by MGCC, the CDBG-CV Microenterprise Assistance Grant Program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the funds run out.
The maximum award per microenterprise is $10,000. A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has 5 or fewer employees (regardless of whether they are part or full time), including 1 or more of whom owns the enterprise. Businesses must be for-profit. Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, utilities and personal protection equipment (PPE) as well as technical assistance, general support, and stabilization of the business. Microenterprise Assistance grant funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying. Applications are available here (https://massgcc.submittable.com/submit)
Education & Skills Training
North Shore Community College Corporate and Professional Education Division. Your business or your employees may be eligible for training funds. Find out more by visiting MassHire.
Fund to Help Those Hit Hardest by COVID-19
On April 6, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker announced the launch of a new corporate- and foundation-backed fund that will support health care workers, the homeless and others in Massachusetts that have been especially affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund, called the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, is already stocked with more than $13 million, attracting contributions from One8 Foundation, The Boston Foundation and many more. It is also open to donations from the general public. Eastern Bank is administering the fund at no cost and contributed some of its own money.
The fund will partner with existing community foundations and local nonprofits to disperse the money quickly where it's needed most. The new fund is being spearheaded in part by Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker, who said "sky's the limit" for expected fundraising totals.
- MyMoney.gov is a website created as a result of the Congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission for the purpose of strengthening the financial capability and increasing access to financial services for all Americans. Their website provides a good deal information including budgeting tools and worksheets that may be useful.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal entity, provides people with information and resources to protect and manage their finances, covering issues such as mortgage relief, student debt, and protecting your credit. Visit their webpage focusing on COVID-19 for more information
- U.S. Department of Labor has issued some guidance (PDF) (not requirements) regarding preparing your workplace for COVID-19.
- United States Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Free assistance for non-profits and small businesses is available through the newly formed COVID relief coalition. It is a coalition of law firms, non-profits and governmental agencies in Massachusetts offering help to access emergency loans and other sources of relief.
- The United States Chamber of Commerce has developed a CARES Act guide to identify the many programs funded by the cares act and how you access the funds.
- From U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Small Business Guide.
Information Tailored to Address Concerns of Specific Business Sectors
- The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives has produced a series of form templates to address different situations along with guidance that business executives may find useful.
- Commonwealth Kitchen has created a detailed, very comprehensive guide entitled "Running a Food Business in the Face of COVID-19 Resource Guide."
- The National Restaurant Association has a page devoted to COVID-19. Visit it for facts relevant to the food service industry as well as business planning guidance.
Attention Restaurants/Eateries & Hotel/Motel Owners/Tourism
- The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) issued emergency regulation 830 CMR 62C.16.2(7), which grants extensions on remitting the room occupancy tax and the sales/meals tax and is aimed at assisting small businesses.
- The U.S. Travel Association highlights components of the CARES Act that impact their industry.
- CODA WORX has improved its website to facilitate the matching of artists with prospective clients. Both artists and their potential clients should visit the website for more information.
- The Artist Relief Fund has been formed by a coalition of national arts grant makers who have come together to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States. You may apply or donate online.
- The Creative County Initiative, through the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF), is compiling a list of resources to assist artists impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website for additional information.
- Creative Capitol has developed a list of resources for artists in response to COVID-19 impacts.
- The Retailers Association of Massachusetts has developed a very good resource page for businesses and employees in the retail industry.
Other Types of Assistance
- National Grid is offering several payment plans for those having difficulty paying their energy bill as a result of COVID-19.
Resources for Employees
- The Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General has information for employees regarding their rights, health benefits and on topics of particular importance at this time.
- North Shore Community College Corporate and Professional Education Division. Your may be eligible for training funds. Find out more by visiting MassHire.
- On April 10 the ECCF (Essex County Community Foundation) announced its second round of grants from the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund. The funds were awarded to partnerships and organizations serving people experiencing homelessness in Essex County.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance.
- The Massachusetts Division of Banks has assembled information for financial institutions and those who have taken out loans at this time.
- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has a webpage devoted to COVID-19 unemployment information including how to file for benefits online. Also see their Unemployment Handbook (PDF).
- The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance also has some information about certain businesses that are hiring such as Amazon.
- The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development has a webpage devoted to action taken by the Commonwealth and guidance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal entity, provides people with information and resources to protect and manage their finances, covering issues such as mortgage relief, student debt, and protecting your credit. Visit their webpage focusing on COVID-19.
- An organization named Behind You! is establishing the Behind You Emergency Fund for restaurant employees, who meet their criteria, and work in Beverly, Lynn, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem, and/or Swampscott and whose work is currently negatively impacted by COVID-19. They are currently soliciting donations and they have an application on their website for impacted employees to complete.
- The Greg Hill Foundation seeking donations in order to provide grants to those in the Massachusetts restaurant industry.
- The United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) Charity Foundation is seeking donations and providing assistance.
- Restaurant Workers Community Foundation collecting information about resources available.
Resources for Not-for-Profit Organizations
- The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has created the COVID-19 Response Fund which will focus on supporting nonprofit organizations working directly to respond to the pandemic among the most vulnerable populations in order to help build their capacity for response.
- From Entrepreneur, "A 10-Point Small Business Survival Plan for Dealing with Coronavirus".