Thursday, April 16, 2020

AG’S OFFICE ANNOUNCES NEW GRANT PROGRAM AND PARTNERSHIP TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

AG’S OFFICE ANNOUNCES NEW GRANT PROGRAM AND PARTNERSHIP TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
$500,000 Grant Program Will Provide Funds to be Distributed to Local Small Businesses; Partnership Will Provide Pro Bono Legal Support

BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey has announced two new initiatives to provide financial relief and legal assistance to small businesses impacted by closures and losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

            “This is an incredibly difficult time financially for people across the state – and our small businesses have been hit especially hard,” said AG Healey. “We hope that these resources will provide some much-needed relief and support to help keep their workforce employed. We will get through this crisis together.”

            The AG’s Small Business Relief Partnership Grant Program will provide funding to municipalities and regional planning agencies who are assisting small businesses in the communities they serve. Grant funds will be distributed by these organizations to help small business address fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities, and other working capital expenses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. The AG’s Office also recently contributed $50,000 to the City of Boston’s Small Business Relief Fund, which provides financial support to small businesses in Boston.

            This grant was funded by settlement funds secured by the AG’s Office. Grant awards will be issued in varying amounts up to $500,000, and individual requests may not exceed $50,000. As a condition of receiving the grant, all funds must be distributed directly to small business, and no portion of these funds may be used to defray administrative or operational costs.  Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted. For more information, please visit: www.mass.gov/ago/grants.

The AG’s Office also joined a coalition of law firms, nonprofits, and government agencies—led by Ropes & Gray, Lawyers for Civil Rights, and Lawyers Clearinghouse—to launch the COVID Relief Coalition to provide vulnerable businesses and mission-driven organizations with pro bono legal support. Coalition partners have created a new website that will support the Coalition’s mission by enabling small businesses and nonprofits to learn about and apply for emergency loans and other sources of relief. The website will connect eligible small businesses and nonprofits to free legal support by Coalition partners.

In addition to the AG’s Office, Coalition partners include the City of Boston, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston Bar Association, The Boston Foundation, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Dechert, Fish & Richardson, Foley Hoag, Foley & Lardner, Goodwin, Goulston & Storrs, Mintz, Morgan Lewis and WilmerHale.

Visit the AG’s COVID-19 resource page for information about how the AG’s Office can provide support during this crisis. 

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