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COVID-19 Resources and Guidance for Businesses

The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to partnering with the business community to navigate the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to partnering with the business community to navigate the outbreak of COVID-19. Through this resource page, Secretary Kennealy and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) seeks to offer the best information we can, as soon as we can, to those on-the-ground navigating this economic crisis.

On April 27, 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries effective May 10 and put plans in place for further reopening on May 29 and August 1. You can find details at mass.gov/reopening.

In October 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a comprehensive plan to stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy. The plan has focused on getting people back to work, supporting small businesses, fostering innovation, revitalizing downtowns and ensuring housing stability. The Administration through the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation awarded more than $687.2 million in direct financial support to 15,112 diverse businesses across Massachusetts.

The information and links related to relief provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a federal agency, are provided to give a complete picture of what is available. EOHED does not administer these programs.

Table of Contents

SBA Relief Options

Summary of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Financial Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration has a number of resources available to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

You may direct all inquiries and questions to the SBA’s Massachusetts District Office email at: MassachusettsDO@sba.gov.

Important SBA Links:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

 

*THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM HAS EXPENDED FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE BY CONGRESS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FUNDING MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH COMMUNITY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. BUSINESSES SEEKING FUNDING SHOULD USE SBA’S LENDER MATCH TOOL TO LOCATE A COMMUNITY FINANCIAL INSTITUTION PRIOR TO THE PROGRAM’S CLOSE ON MAY 31, 2021.*

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a Small Business Administration loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. Loans issued under this program may be forgivable if a borrower uses the funds for certain eligible costs. 

Read more about the Paycheck Protection Program here.

 

 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

Notice: The SBA will accept applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from first-time EIDL borrowers until December 31, 2021.

Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

  • A streamlined application is available online: covid19relief.sba.gov.
  • On March 24, 2021, SBA announced an increase to the lending cap for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the SBA raised the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.

The SBA will accept applications for first time Economic Injury Disaster Loans until December 31, 2021.

Read more about the EIDL Loan on the SBA’s website.

 

SBA Debt Relief Program

The SBA is also offering Debt Relief to small businesses. Under this relief, the SBA will automatically pay the principal and interest for six months beginning March 27th, 2020 for qualifying new and current holders of 7(a) loans, 504, and microloans

  • Who can apply? Businesses who already have a covered 7(a), 504, or microloan or receive one prior to September 27, 2020.
  • When can I apply? This relief is automatically applied for covered loans beginning with payments due after March 27, 2020.

Read more about SBA debt relief for 7(a) and 504 loans and microloans.

 

***NEW*** Shuttered Venues Operators Grants

The Shuttered Venues Operators (SVO) Grant Program is new program authorized by The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020 and administered by the Small Business Administration.

Eligible businesses that have suffered revenue losses resulting from the Coronavirus may apply for up to $10M in grant funding, which must be used to cover allowable costs. Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Other requirements of note:

  • Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount

How to Apply: Register with the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program portal here.

The SBA has created several tools and resources to help potential SVOG applicants prepare, including:

 

***NEW*** Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The American Rescue Plan created a new, $28.6B relief program for the restaurant and food service sector. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

  • Eligible entities include:
    • Restaurants
    • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
    • Caterers
    • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
    • Bakeries
    • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms
    • Breweries and/or microbreweries
    • Wineries and distilleries
    • Inns
    • Licenses facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
    • See the full list and details of eligibility on SBA’s website.
       
  • Funds may be used for specific expenses including:
    • Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
    • Payments on any business mortgage obligation
    • Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
    • Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
    • Business utility payments
    • Business maintenance expenses
    • Construction of outdoor seating
    • Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
    • Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
    • Covered supplier costs
    • Business operating expenses
  • In the first 21 days of the program, applications from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses will be prioritized. SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants, but only process and fund group applications during this timeframe.  After day 22, all eligible applications will be processed.
  • Read more about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund here.
  • This program is now accepting applications. You can register and start an application here.

 

Not sure which combination of SBA relief programs are allowable?

Businesses should reference the SBA’s cross-program eligibility matrix for COVID-19 relief programs.

State Tax Relief Measures

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) is actively monitoring the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus. Please visit their COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update page for the latest on filing and payment extensions and penalty relief, tax or debt resolutions, communicating with DOR, and more.

Technical Assistance Resources for Small Businesses

SBA AND PARTNER RESOURCES

The Small Business Administration’s Boston District Office offers financial and technical assistance; the District Office also connects small business owners to information and Resource Partners. SBA Resource Partners offer consulting services for free or nominal registration fees. These partners include:

  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): A network of centers that provide counseling and training to help small business owners start, grow and expand their business.
    • COVID-19 Response: serving both new and existing small business clients with 1:1 remote business counseling and group workshop webinars
    • Find an SBDC here.
       
  • SCORE: Volunteer business counselors, advisors, and mentors who offer individual free to low cost counseling throughout the U.S. and its territories.
    • COVID-19 Response: Tele-consults via call or Zoom offered by SCORE mentors, webinars and workshops
    • Find a SCORE mentor here.
       
  • Women’s Business Centers: WBCs provide free to low cost counseling and training and focus on women who want to start, grow and expand their small business.
    • COVID-19 Response: Offering remote classes and self-paced workshops
    • Find a WBC here.
       
  • Veterans Business Outreach Centers: Designed to provide entrepreneurial development services and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business.
    • COVID-19 Response: Offering remote classes and self-paced workshops
    • Find a VBOC here.

MGCC RESOURCES

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp. offers online resources and directories to support your search for technical assistance, funding opportunities, and other tools to grow your business.

  • The COVID-19 Small Business Stabilization Network consists of MGCC Small Business Technical Assistance grantees, nonprofit organizations offering small business supports, including lending, financial education, and business coaching. There are 48 organizations in this cohort brought together by MGCC. Together, they cover the whole state.

MEMA’s Emergency Operations Center’s Private Sector Hotline

  • The hotline will be staffed Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm.
  • The number for the hotline is 508-820-2094.

Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development Resources

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers resources for businesses related to employee benefits and has a new resource page. Programs include:

Last updated: May 6, 2021
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