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Business Assistance & Resources

Business Assistance & Resources

Businesses across the City of Worcester, especially small businesses, have been impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemmic. To help lessen the strain, businesses can take advantage of a variety of local, state and federal assistance programs and grants.

Business Resources

Small Business Assistance

Numerous Federal, State and Local programs and policy changes have been introduced to provide small business assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. To reach the City's Economic Development Office staff, email development@worcesterma.gov

Small Business Resiliency Program

The City of Worcester (City) has established the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Grant to assist in the stabilization of existing small businesses within the City of Worcester that have had significant business disruption due to the impact of COVID-19. These grant funds will assist small business in the City of Worcester to cover wages, rent, loss of inventory, and other fixed costs. Grants are capped at $5,000 per business.

Minimum Eligible Criteria

  • Have a physical establishment occupying commercial space within the City of Worcester.
  • The business owner must be low- to moderate-income (see income thresholds in application).
  • Have experienced a loss of revenue of 50% or more due to COVID-19.
  • Have less than $2,000,000 in gross annual revenues.
  • Have not been approved for funding through other grant or forgivable loan programs related to COVID-19 relief.
  • Be in good standing with no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements.

*NOTE: The second round of applications closed on Wednesday, May 6:

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Translation Assistance

The City's grant staff speak Spanish, Vietnamese, Albanian and Portuguese. The City also has access to translation assistance for additional languages. Please email a request for assistance to development@worcesterma.gov.

Local Worcester Tax Assistance

The City of Worcester announced it will be utilizing the Municipal Challenges Bill signed by Governor Baker on Friday, April 3rd, including a delay of the due date for municipal property tax bills to June 1, 2020. The City will also waive the payment of interest and other penalties on late payments that were due after March 10 and paid before June 30 for any excise, tax, betterment assessment, water or sewer bill, or other charge added to a tax.

Learn More

Microloan Suspension

The City of Worcester is suspending until further notice all Microloan payments due to the City for small businesses within the City of Worcester that have participated in our microloan program.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The CARES Act established several new temporary SBA programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Paycheck Protection Program - Loans designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan & Emergency $10,000 Grant - Businesses applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan can now request a $10,000 loan advance for emergency, temporary relief. The $10,000 loan advance will not have to be repaid.
  • SBA Debt Relief - The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans - Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can be term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.

Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

Commonwealth of MA - Administrative Tax Relief

The Baker-Polito Administration announced state tax relief to support businesses. This tax relief includes postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax and room occupancy taxes that would be due in March, April and May so that they will instead be due on June 20. Additionally, all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply will be waived.

Businesses that paid less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief for sales and meals taxes, and business that paid less than $150,000 in room occupancy taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief with respect to room occupancy taxes.

Learn More

Business Continuity Resources

If you are an employer in Central Massachusetts and have an immediate need to fill critical positions, the MassHire Central Region Workforce Board can connect you with those looking for employment.

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Evictions & Foreclosures

Governor Charlie Baker recently approved a new law that helps protect tenants during the COVID-19 state of emergency. It is important for tenants to understand their rights and responsibilities under this law. This law is intended to keep tenants from being evicted, and from having to cope with the eviction process, in the midst of our current public health crisis. The eviction moratorium applies only to “non-essential” evictions for reasons that do not involve a threat to health or safety.

Unless extended by Governor Baker, this protection will end on August 18, 2020 or 45 days after the end of the Massachusetts state of emergency, whichever comes first.

Forms & Guidance

Response & Relief Fund Grants

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The Worcester Together: Central Mass COVID-19 Fund aims to support organizations in Worcester County that are working with communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The focus of this Fund is rapid response to support organizations on the front lines of the pandemic.

Grants between $5,000 - $50,000 will be awarded to:

  • Provide resources for nonprofit organizations that are authentically connected and providing coronavirus related relief to Worcester County's most vulnerable populations including seniors, children, residents without access to paid sick days, healthcare and gig economy workers, communities of color, immigrants and people with disabilities.
  • Provide operating support to nonprofit organizations that are meeting community needs resulting from COVID-19 and are in financial distress.

Learn More & Apply Today

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