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Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program

Applications have now closed, applicants will be notified shortly of the status of their application

Funded by the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and administered by the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, this award is open to businesses in Southern Worcester County for up to $2,000 to cover business expenses related to COVID-19. 

Find more resources provided by CMRPC to help your community address and adapt to COVID-19

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Contact Us

For questions or comments contact Ron Barron from CMRPC. Ron can be reached via email at


 Para preguntas relacionadas con esta solicitud, por favor comuníquese con Yahaira Graxirena por correo electrónico a

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The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) will award grants up to $2,000 to "small businesses" as defined below, for eligible business expenses related to COVID-19. Grants of less than $2,000 will be considered. Awards will be limited to one (1) award per business. Multiple businesses may apply in a single joint application; however, the total award will be limited to $5,000 per joint application. Businesses that apply as part of a joint application shall not be eligible to apply separately.  

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For the purposes of this grant, a “small business” shall mean any for-profit business OR non-profit organization with a physical place of business within one of the forty (40) communities within the CMRPC service area with twenty (20) or fewer employees prior to Governor Baker’s state of emergency declaration (on or about March 10, 2020).  All applicants will be required to demonstrate a direct or indirect financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. 

INELIGIBLE BUSINESSES: A small business that otherwise fits the definition above shall be considered ineligible for an award if:  

  • The business is a franchise or chain business with more than 20 employees across all locations regardless of physical location OR 

  • The business has been classified as an essential business by the original declaration of emergency (issued on or about March 10, 2020) OR 

  • The business has previously been awarded a forgivable loan under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program OR 

  • The business has previously been awarded a grant from any other source to cover COVID-19 related losses and/or business expenses of at least $1,000. Receipt of non-forgivable emergency loan funds from any source will not be counted against an applicant’s eligibility.  

FOCUS ON EQUITY: This grant is intended to provide emergency support to vulnerable businesses directly impacted by COVID-19. Priority will be given to owner-operated, minority and/or women-owned businesses, particularly those that are located in low- to moderate-income census tracts.  In addition, special consideration will be given to business with five (5) or fewer employees. 


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Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Grafton, Hardwick, Holden, Hopedale, Leicester, Mendon, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, Northborough, Northbridge, North Brookfield, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, Westborough, West Boylston, West Brookfield and Worcester.


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Grant funds may be used for only direct, legitimate business expenses which assist with the continued operation or reopening of a pre-existing business. Funds may not be used to reimburse costs related to any business that has permanently ceased operations or has plans to permanently cease operations in place by the date of their application. Legitimate business expenses include, but will not be limited to: 

  • Overhead related to business operations (i.e. rent, utility payments, payroll, etc.)

  • Costs related to payroll service or employee benefits 

  • Costs related to meeting new department of health guidelines for reopening (i.e. personal protective equipment, physical barriers to enforce social distancing, supporting takeout or delivery services, etc.) 

  • Costs related to business digitization (i.e., improving business website, online marketing expenses, setting up an online market, etc.)Other expenses will be considered on a case by case basis 

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The application period will run from June 22nd, 2020 until September 1st. 2020 or until funds are depleted, whichever is sooner.  Award eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the following principles;

  1. alignment with funding priorities (see Focus on Equity),

  2. the proposed uses of grant funds, and

  3. the date and time of application submittal.

To be considered for this program, applicants will be required to fill out an Application and Attestations form. In addition, CMRPC may require additional documentation to demonstrate any claims of hardship. Such documentation may include (but shall not be limited to) tax returns, most recent quarterly payroll tax filings, insurance claims, profit and loss statements, or any other documentation that can demonstrate evidence of hardship. In the event an application is awarded, all grant awardees will be required to fill out and return a W-9 form, which shall be provided by CMRPC along with the official notice of award.  

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All awardees of this grant will be required to complete a post-award survey which will be available within ninety (90) days of award. CMRPC may require additional supporting documentation to demonstrate how funds were utilized such as receipts, bank statements or other materials as needed.  

Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission
One Mercantile Street, Suite 520
Worcester, MA 01608
Phone 508.756.7717 Fax 508.792.6818

Southern Worcester County EDO COVID-19 Resources

Sources - Icons from Images from Upsplash and The Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation

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