Locke Lord QuickStudy: Massachusetts Announces Relief for Businesses Hit Hardest by COVID

Locke Lord LLP
December 31, 2020

Massachusetts businesses that have been the hardest hit by the COVD-19 pandemic will be able ‎to apply for up to $75,000 in relief from the Commonwealth beginning at noon on December 31, ‎‎2020.‎

Charlie Baker’s administration announced that it had made an additional $668 million available ‎to support Massachusetts businesses, and that the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation ‎‎(“MGCC”) will help funnel a portion of these funds to sectors that have severely impacted by the ‎pandemic through the Sector-specific Relief Grant Program for Massachusetts Businesses. The ‎funds, which will be in the form of grants, are to designed to reimburse the recipients up to three ‎months of their operating expenses for 2020 with a cap of $75,000.‎

‎“During this unprecedented public health emergency, the Baker-Polito Administration is ‎continuing to invest significant resources to support recovery and growth initiatives for small ‎businesses and Main Streets across Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance ‎Michael J. Heffernan.‎

Certain sectors will be given priority in the award of grants. These sectors are:‎

  • Restaurants, bars, caterers and food trucks;‎
  • Indoor recreation and entertainment establishments (such as movie theaters, comedy ‎clubs, arcades and bowling alleys); ‎
  • Gyms and fitness centers;‎
  • Personal services establishments (such as nail salons and barber shops); ‎
  • Event support companies whose primary source (greater than 50%) of revenue is event ‎related (such as photography studios, florists and event planning companies); and
  • Independent retailers with brick and mortar locations that collect and remit sales tax.‎

In order to be eligible for the grants, businesses must have a physical establishment in ‎Massachusetts; must be based in Massachusetts; must have been established prior to June 30, ‎‎2019; must be currently in operation or must have an intent to reopen; and must be in good ‎standing with the state and municipality in which they are located, among other requirements.‎

The MGCC has stated that businesses should not apply for the grants if they are not showing an ‎operating loss due to the pandemic; they have access to other relief; they have been able to ‎operate without significant financial difficulties; or they have adequate reserves available. In ‎addition, certain types of businesses are ineligible for the grants including real estate businesses, ‎chains, liquor stores and cannabis-related businesses.‎

The applications – which will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2021 – must be ‎supported by documentation including a complete copy of the business’s 2019 federal tax return; ‎a complete copy of each owner’s personal 2019 tax return; a Certificate of Good Standing from ‎the Massachusetts Secretary of State (if applicable); and a copy of the business owner’s photo ‎identification.‎

Applications will only be accepted through the MGCC’s online portal, which is located here.

Small businesses who have questions about this vital relief program should consider speaking ‎with a Massachusetts business attorney to help them navigate the application process and assist ‎with their rebound from the pandemic.‎

Please visit our Adapt. Adjust. Advance. Resource Center often for up-to-date information on ‎navigating these and other important legal considerations in the post-pandemic reality.‎