Governor Baker Announces $668 Million
Small Business Grant Program
The Commonwealth has launched a $668 million grant program to provide financial assistance to Massachusetts small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds provide a second round of grants through the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation COVID-19 Small Business Program and are intended to provide access to relief to small businesses which applied for, but were not were funded due to limited funds available in the program’s first round.

The program is also meant to serve as an additional grant program for new applicants which targets the industries most hard-hit during the pandemic. Eligible industries for the new program include:

  • Restaurants, bars, caterers
  • Indoor recreation and entertainment establishments
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Event-support professionals (photographers, videographers, etc.)
  • Personal services
  • Retail

Eligible businesses that already applied to the program will be prioritized for funding first and do not need to reapply. The online application portal for the new program will open on Thursday, December 31, and will close on Friday, January 15. 

The new business relief program will offer grants up to $75,000, but not more than three months’ operating expenses, to be used for employee wage and benefits costs, space-related costs, and debt service obligations. Awards are expected to be announced in early February. 
 
Details on how to apply and eligibility requirements can be found here

Read the Governor’s full press release here
Changes to Massachusetts Wage and Hour & Paid Family and Medical Leave Law
Changes to the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Law and Paid Family and Medical Leave Law are scheduled to become effective January 1, 2021. The changes are as follows:

  • Minimum wage will increase from $12.75 per hour to $13.50 per hour.
  • The service rate will increase from $4.95 per hour to $5.55 per hour.
  • Premium Pay for Sunday retail workers will decrease to 1.2% from 1.3%.
  • Read about the Paid Family and Medical Leave Law here.
  • Read more about minimum wage in Massachusetts here and about Premium Pay here.
Melrose Chamber of Commerce