COVID-19 Updates for our Business Community:
The Town will do our best to provide you with any updates on resources that become available to help North Reading's businesses through this crisis.
Round 5 of Microenterprise Grant Program (rolling, no deadline announced)
A fifth round of the Microenterprise Grant Program is open.
- Eligible applicants may now apply for an additional round of funding, even if previously funded in this program.
- Expenses to be covered by an additional grant must be different from those covered by the previous grant (no duplicate applications, though the same business can now be funded more than once).
- As with round 4, the start date of a business opening has been extended from Jan. 2019 to Oct. 2019. The grant is now available to any business that has opened prior to October 1, 2019.
- Updated FAQ
- Please continue to use the same link to access the application with MGCC: https://massgcc.submittable.com/submit
Additional Small Business Grant Funding and New Sector-Specific Grant Program: Deadline January 15, 2021
Governor Baker's office recently announced new funding for the Commonwealth's small business grant program, meaning some applicants not initially funded will receive grants; as well as an additional new program focusing on certain sectors hardest hit by the pandemic (such as restaurants and fitness centers). Please note a new application deadline of January 15, 2021. Complete information about the new grant funds is posted on www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org. *PLEASE NOTE, THESE ARE GRANTS, NOT LOANS, AND DO NOT NEED TO BE PAID BACK. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA ARE DIFFERENT FROM EARLIER ROUNDS, AND IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO BE LOW/MODERATE INCOME, OR A MEMBER OF AN UNDERREPRESENTED GROUP, TO APPLY FOR THE SECTOR-SPECIFIC PROGRAM. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED OTHER ASSISTANCE, YOU ARE STILL ELIGIBLE, PROVIDED YOU ARE NOT USING THE FUNDS FOR THE SAME EXPENSES.*
The following information was provided by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development about the new $668M in grant funding:
"These funds will be used for two purposes: first, to make awards to qualified, existing applicants that did not receive grants in the first round of the MGCC Small Business Grant program, and second, to accept new applications from businesses in targeted industries, including restaurants, bars, indoor recreation and entertainment establishments, gyms and fitness centers, personal services, and others.
Eligible businesses that already applied to the MGCC Small Business Grant Program, but were not funded due to limited funds available, will be prioritized for funding first and do not need to reapply. The online application portal for the new program will open on Thursday, December 31, and will close on Friday, January 15. Awards are expected to be announced in early February." For more information, and to apply, please visit MGCC's website at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.
Previous grant program announcements:
The governor is recently announced a new small grant program for small businesses: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/covid-19-response/covid-19-grants-massachusetts-small-businesses.
There is a three-week window to apply, and priority will be given to businesses most impacted by Covid, such as those that have not been able to re-open yet, and businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans.
- Businesses with 50 or fewer employees can apply for grants of up to $75,000 to be used for employee payroll and benefit costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and interest on other debt obligations.
- Businesses with five or fewer employees can apply for up to $25,000 to cover business costs like rent, staffing, and utilities, or to purchase personal protection equipment.
- Each program encompasses its own eligibility criteria, set forth on the application website and requires supporting documentation.
A third round of Microenterprise grants is now available to North Reading Microenterprises. Click HERE for more information.
Up to $10,000 in grant funds available to eligible businesses
Low/Moderate Income Eligibility Information (recently revised according to program guidance)
Additional Resources from the Commonwealth:
Resources and Guidance for Businesses - this link provides an easy access point to several resources for businesses, including administrative tax relief measures, MEMA's private sector hotline and information about assistance offered by the Small Business Administration
Attend the North Reading Economic Development Committee's Business Community Workshop!
The event is free, but kindly RSVP for planning purposes.
The North Reading Economic Development Committee (EDC), created in early 2015, acts as an advisory board to the Board of Selectmen and Community Planning Commission. The EDC focuses on developing the town's economy and strengthening the local businesses. For a complete description of the EDC's responsibilities, please see their approved charge:
Meetings are generally held the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall. The EDC is supported administratively by the Community Planning Department.
For more information, please contact Danielle McKnight, AICP, Town Planner, at 978.357.5206.