Amherst Small Business COVID Recovery Grants Program

The town of Amherst has been awarded federal funds through the CARES Act to support local small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Valley Community Development Corporation will act as Program Administrator for the application and selection process to award one-time grants up to $10,000 for businesses located in Amherst.

NEED HELP ON YOUR APPLICATION?

These local resource partners and community organizations can help you prepare for your application:

  1. The Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE): Info.CentralMA@CWEonline.org
  2. SCORE
  3. Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Applicants must be able to provide supporting documents to show eligibility in all four of the following categories:

  • “Micro-enterprise” businesses (5 or fewer employees including owner) that were established prior to the pandemic (business must have been operating prior to January 1, 2019).
  • Applicant must be able to show records that support a loss of income due to COVID-19.
  • Grant funds must be used to pay for or reimburse expenses in the following categories:
    • Working Capital – Business operating expenses such as rent, utilities and staffing.
    • Technology and Online Marketing or Sales Services – Software purchases or upgrades, website design, app development, transitioning to e-commerce, online ordering and payment systems and the training that comes with new technology.
    • Safety Equipment and Products – Extra costs for PPE, cleaning supplies, safety or other procedures to remain open and provide a healthy and safe atmosphere for employees and customers. Implementation, monitoring and maintenance of same.
    • Costs for Adapting to Operations During Pandemic – Examples might be new materials, supplies or inventory related to packaging or handling merchandise, reconfiguration of space to accommodate curbside pick-up, delivery options added, etc.
    • Business Advising and Support – Expenses related to modifying existing business model. This might include capacity building, accounting support, business planning, financial education or training to gain other necessary business skills
  • The business owner’s gross annual family income must be less than the maximum amount listed in the table below:

 

 

 

Please note there is also an Equal Opportunity Set-aside for business owner applicants who are of racial/ethnic minority, women, veterans, persons with a disability, or LBGTQ.

Grants will be awarded on a basis of first-come, first-served, first-completed and determined eligible for each funding pool.

TIMELINE

The online application portal is expected to launch on or before November 2, 2020. The link to the application portal will be posted here on Valley’s website.

Required forms, helpful links and dates for Technical Assistance webinars will be posted regularly on this webpage.

We also strongly encourage you to join the Small Business COVID Recovery Grants Program email list to receive updates and links.

APPLICATION MATERIALS AND LINKS

Sign up for email updates and application materials

Amherst criteria grid

Funding made available through the Federal CARES Act with Community Development Block Grant funding (CDBG-CV) as awarded to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).