Amherst Small Business COVID Recovery Grants ProgramThe 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.

!! Application Portal Is Open!!!

Use the links below to Register your account.

REGISTRATION LINK HERE

Instrucciones de registro

Instructions d'inscription

Registration Instructions In English

PDF of Application Questions - Updated October 31st

NEED HELP ON YOUR APPLICATION?

  • View recorded webinar here.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) can be found here. If you have questions, send them to grants@valleycdc.com and check back on the FAQ page for answers.

These are FREE local resources to 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 will launch at NOON on November 2, 2020 here.

APPLICATION MATERIALS AND LINKS

 !! APPLICATION PORTAL IS OPEN!!

Sign up for email updates and application materials

Frequently Asked Questions

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).  

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OTHER GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Two new STATEWIDE programs were released on October 22nd:

NOTE: You can apply for Valley’s Program and these programs simultaneously, but you cannot receive grants for the same use of funds for the same time period. (See “Duplication of Benefits” in the FAQ)