AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) along with the town of Amherst are accepting applications from new businesses to receive assistance in opening.

Businesses can apply for one of two grants. The business grant will award $10,000 to selected businesses in the town to help open. The grant applies to brick and mortar, and storefront businesses. In order to apply for this grant, you must have a fully executed lease and business plan.

The technical assistance grant is also available to help with professional fees in opening a new business in the town. The funds can be used to help with architects, attorneys, internal systems, build-out needs, and branding specialists. To apply for this grant, you must have a preliminary business plan ready and have found a suitable space for your business. A fully executed lease is not required to apply for this grant.

New and upcoming businesses can send in their applications to Amherst BID from now through February 15. Applications will then be reviewed and rated by a scoring system between February 16-28, then funding will be released to selected businesses. After receiving grants, businesses must show proof to Amherst BID of completion and use of the funds.

In order to apply for the grants, a business must be the following:

• A brick and mortar for profit patron facing in the town of Amherst.
• A non-franchised local business with 50 or fewer full-time employees and a location within the Town of Amherst.
• Must be compliant with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations pertaining to zoning, licensing, and permits.
• Must be in good standing with their landlord or potential landlord.

Real estate rentals or sales, liquor stores, weapon or firearm dealers, lobbyists, and cannabis-related businesses can not apply for the grants.