Microenterprise grants available to offset COVID-19 losses

Submitted

Microenterprise assistance funding available to Leicester, Brookfield, Dudley, Millbury, North Brookfield and West Brookfield businesses

Grants up to $10,000 will soon be available to qualified microenterprises in six Central Massachusetts communities to help offset losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Oct. 16, the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) will start accepting applications from eligible microenterprises located in Leicester (lead community), Brookfield, Dudley, Millbury, North Brookfield and West Brookfield.

Participating microenterprises must have five or fewer individual employees, at least one of whom owns the enterprise. Businesses must be located within one of the six participating towns and must be able to document a loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualifying business owners’ family incomes must be within limits set by the federal government. Other exclusions and eligibility criteria apply.

Funding for the microenterprise program is provided through a $376,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded to the town of Leicester from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. The CARES Act-funded grant is administered by CMRPC on the towns’ behalf. In addition to the microenterprise program, the grant will support a variety of social services in several participating communities.

For more information or to download an application for the microenterprise assistance program, visit www.cmrpc.org/microenterprise and click on the project webpage link. Applications are also available on request by contacting CMRPC at the email address or numbers listed below. Applications for assistance will be accepted on a rolling basis and grants to qualified businesses will be made until funds are spent out. Interested parties should continue to track the program website for updates.

For more information, email microenterprise@cmrpc.org or call CMRPC Project Manager Andrew Loew at (508) 459-3339 or Associate Planner Ian McElwee at (508) 459-3331.