What can this grant be used for:
Local small businesses can apply for assistance in one or more of the following categories.
These funds may only be used for expenses incurred between July 2022 - December 31, 2022. A "Project" can be, but is NOT limited to:
- Exterior upgrades such as paint, lighting, or awning replacement
- Interior upgrades such as paint, shelving, internal branding/marketing
- Marketing/ Technology needs such as branding, logo upgrades, web design, and social media training. Purchase of digital resources needed to maintain take-out and delivery services
- Purchase equipment related to the pandemic or recovery of the pandemic, such as items needed to offer new services and programming
This grant cannot be used for the following:
- construction projects
- to pay for local, state, or federal taxes, permits, and license fees owed
- repayment of any previous federal or local grants/loans owed
- Rent, payroll or inventory
Please note, that even if a business meets the grant criteria, that business is not guaranteed to receive a grant due to the funding constraints of this program.
- Business Ownership* (owner owns at least 50% of the business):
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned (1 point)
- Disabled-owned (1 point)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBTQ+)-owned (1 point)
- Women-owned (1 point)
- Veteran-owned (1 point)
- Has not received a previous COVID-19 small business grant from the Downtown Amherst Foundation Micro Grant Fund or The Town of Amherst (1 point)
- Did not receive funding from the federal Restaurant Relief Fund (1 point)
- Loss of sales more than 40% from pre-pandemic levels (1 point)
- Have fewer than five (5) full-time employees, or full-time equivalent employees, including the owner (1 point)
Before you apply to the grant, please make sure you are eligible for it. This grant is federally funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and there are guidelines that we must follow.
- Proof of eligibility:
- Provide the Amherst BID your business 2019, 2020, and 2021 business taxes, profit, and loss statements, or other sales documents showing your business sales from 2019, 2020, and 2021. You only need to provide 2021 data if you were not open in 2019.
- Business must be a non-franchise local business with 50 or fewer full-time employees and a current location within the Town of Amherst, MA that has been in operation since January 1, 2020, or earlier.
- Businesses must be compliant with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations pertaining to zoning, licensing, and permits
- Businesses awarded a grant are required to report back to the Amherst BID with proof of completion and use of funds with contracts, receipts, and proof of payment. If a business does not provide proof of grant use, it may be required to return the funds to the Amherst BID.
Excluded business types:
· Real estate rentals/sales businesses
· Liquor stores
· Weapons/firearms dealer
· Cannabis-related businesses
Prepare these items before you apply for the grant.
- Provide the business 2019 (pre-pandemic), 2020, and 2021 profit and loss statements or other business sales documentation. 2021 data is only needed if you were not open in 2019.
- If you were not open in 2019 or 2020, please provide documentation, such as a business plan, to show what you expected your sales to be under regular business conditions.
- Have a list of all other COVID-19 grants/loans you received.
- A full description of the “project” you would like help funding, with cost estimates and a timeline to complete.
- Proof of lease/ ownership of storefront
Inability to provide this documentation by the grant application deadline of June 30, 2022, will mean your application could be denied for incompleteness. Upon receipt of your application, if you are eligible, someone from the Amherst BID will be in touch with you to get the above documents.