Mayor Galvin: Grants Remain Available for Microenterprises in Woburn on Rolling Basis

GRANTS AVAILABLE NOW FOR MICROENTERPRISES IN WOBURN

APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED ON A ROLLING BASIS

Mayor Scott Galvin is pleased to announce that grant funding remains available to assist Woburn microenterprise businesses in grappling with COVID-related difficulties. Woburn was one of 23 cities and towns in Massachusetts to receive CDBG funding for businesses meeting certain Federal criteria.

Approximately $250,000 is now available to distribute to microenterprise businesses located in Woburn, with grants of up to $10,000 per business possible.  A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees one or more of whom own(s) the enterprise, and which enterprise is a for-profit entity.  Businesses meeting these criteria will be eligible for funding except for those excluded by Federal law from applying:  Real estate rentals/sales businesses, businesses owned by persons under age 18, businesses that are chains, liquor stores, weapons/firearms dealers, lobbyists or cannabis-related businesses are not eligible to receive funding.

The City hopes that 30-40 Woburn microenterprises will qualify for the grants which are available by applying directly to the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (“MGCC”) (APPLY HERE).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of a microenterprise business?  Five (5) or less employees, including the business owner.  There must be no more than a total of five (5) employees, regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time employees.

For microenterprises, what is the date of the “count” of number of employees? It would be the date on which the business applies for assistance.

What is LMI and what are the requirements for this grant? LMI stands for “low- and moderate- income persons.  A business is considered to be LMI based on the total income of all members of the business owner’s household.  Overall, to be classified as LMI, a household’s income must be less than or equal to 80% of the median income for the area where they reside.

How do I find out what the AMI is for where I live? Click the HUD calculation link HERE. Woburn businesses will fall under the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA area.

If there are multiple owners, do all need to meet LMI requirements in order to be eligible or does just one need to be eligible?  If two owners, both must be eligible.

How long does a business have to be open to qualify for this grant? Must be in business as of 1/1/19 and have a physical establishment that serves the community that is distributing the grant. Some home-based businesses will be eligible.

Which communities are participating in this grant?  The following 23 municipalities are participating in this grant program, so businesses that have a physical establishment in the following can apply: Ashland, Beverly, Burlington, Canton, Concord, Dedham, Essex, Lexington, Manchester by the Sea, Marlborough, Melrose, Milton, Natick, North Reading, Norwood, Randolph, Reading, Sharon, Southborough, Stoneham, Watertown, Winchester or Woburn.

How much money can one business apply for? Up to $10,000.

What documents will I need to submit with the application?  Applicants will be required to submit documentation to support all provided information. The following list identifies the required documents that must be provided at the time an application is submitted:

  •    DUNS number
  •    W-9 Form Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification
  •    2019 or 2020 Certificate of Good Standing
  •     A copy of complete 2019 Federal Personal Tax Returns for each business owner with a 20% or greater ownership interest in the business for LMI requirement verification. If on extension, 2018 will be accepted.
  • A copy of your complete 2019 Federal Business Tax Return. If on extension, 2018 will be accepted.
  • A copy of your License to Operate/Business License/Professional Certification, if applicable
  • A copy of your Lease or Mortgage Bill
  • If you received any state, local or federal aid, please provide documentation
  • Documentation to demonstrate that COVID-19 has caused a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance

How is “currently in operation” defined?  If a business was in operation but closed because of COVID, it would make sense that the business should be eligible for this funding.  “Currently in operation” means that the business has not permanently closed, gone out of business, or filed for bankruptcy.

Can businesses buy equipment with grant funding? The purchase of equipment, fixtures, furnishings, property with CDBG funds is generally ineligible.  Funding may be used for rent, mortgage assistance, utilities or payroll. Funds may also be used to purchase PPE.

Are home-based businesses eligible? For example: landscapers, contractors, artists, daycares, consultants, etc.  Legitimately licensed commercial businesses may be considered eligible for assistance.

Can the funds be used to assist a business owner with making payments on a loan that they received prior to the start of the pandemic, even if it’s for an equipment purchase? Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, and utilities.  These Microenterprise grant funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying.

What if I have questions?   The City has limited resources available to assist with applications but will facilitate applications as much as possible.  Contact Tina Cassidy ([email protected]) with specific requests.