Franklin, Berkshire County organizations create COVID-19 small business assistance programs

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More programs are popping up around western Massachusetts that provide assistance to small businesses.

Small, locally owned businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic and a few organizations in western Massachusetts are hoping to help them. The Greenfield Community and Economic Development office is seeking funds to create the Franklin County Covid Recovery Business Assistance Program.

Small businesses can get up to $10,000 to cover business expenses.

“There’s also some income guidelines because it’s to reach out to low and moderate income people in terms of business owners. And the interesting thing is we take a look at their recent income and given the economic impact, it’s not hard for many of them to qualify,” Greenfield Community and Economic Development Director, MJ Adams told 22News.

The funds are for businesses with five or fewer employees, and one of those employees has to be the owner of the business.

In Berkshire County, the Regional Planning Commission was granted $45,000 to assist small businesses. The grant comes from the Small Business Relief Partnership Grant Program from the state Attorney General’s Office.

“We’re so pleased to have received this grant. It is definitely part of a larger strategy in terms of economic recovery for our region. But this type of assistance is so crucial for small businesses,” Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Planner, Laura Brennan told 22News.

In a press release from the AG’s office they say, the grant can be used “to help small businesses address fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities and other working capital expenses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The grant was also given to Easthampton, Holyoke and Orange.

The grant is funded by settlement funds from the AG’s Office. All funds must be distributed directly to the small businesses.

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