The Baker-Polito Administration has announced $37.4 million in awards to 638 additional small businesses in a fourth round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.
Restaurants, bars and retail stores, which have been especially impacted during the pandemic, are among the key industries to lead this round.
The Administration announced an extension of the existing, across the board 25 percent capacity limits for most businesses and current limitations on gatherings through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 8. The Administration also announced that effective Monday, Jan. 25 at 5 a.m., it would rescind an existing Early Closing order requiring many businesses to close at 9:30 p.m. each evening, and that at the same time it would also withdraw its related Stay At Home advisory urging residents to remain at home between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
All other orders and safety guidance remain in place throughout the Commonwealth as the state continues to fight COVID-19 and vaccines ramp up in all regions.
COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program
To date, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $232 million in direct financial support to 4,757 small businesses. This funding has been made available through a $668 million business relief fund set up in December, as well as $50.8 million for small and diverse businesses included in the economic recovery package announced in October.
Additional grants will be announced in the coming weeks for thousands of additional businesses.
On Monday, the Sector-Specific Small Business Relief Grant Program, a new program also administered by MGCC that targets industries experiencing the most significant economic hardship and a loss of revenue, closed for new applications. MGCC will continue to review applications to both programs in the coming weeks, and applicants will be able to review the status of their application through the Submittable portal. Award notifications for the sector-specific program will be made in February.
Sector-Specific Capacity Restrictions and Gathering Limits
Capacity Limits: Under the current restrictions that are being extended, most customer-facing businesses operating in Massachusetts remain subject to a 25-percent capacity limit.
Gatherings Limit: The current gathering limits in place since Dec. 26 are also being extended to Monday, Feb. 8. Indoor gatherings and events will remain limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings and events will remain limited to 25 people outside. The gatherings limit applies to private homes, event venues and public spaces.