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Small Business Grant Program


To assist in the creation of new small businesses or the physical expansion of existing small businesses in targeted commercial corridors by providing forgivable loans to qualified applicants.

Eligible Applicants

New small business owners occupying vacant space, or expanding small business owners in the Commercial Area Revitalization District as well as Quinsigamond Village. The business must be located in a first-floor storefront unit with emphasis to the Creative Economy.

Eligible Uses

  • Interior Renovations
  • Merchandising Equipment
  • Fixtures
  • Retail and/or food service equipment


This program is funded through the City of Worcester's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which are allocated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funding amount per project is based upon the total new square footage to be occupied by the entrepreneur or existing business owner. The maximum funding amount per project is not to exceed 50% of the total project cost.

Total Square Footage to be Occupied Maximum Funding Amount
Worcester CARD &
Quinsigamond Village
Downtown CARD
Up to 2,500 Square Feet Maximum of $5,000 Maximum of $10,000
2,501 to 5,000 Square Feet Maximum of $10,000 Maximum of $20,000
5,001 or More Square Feet Maximum of $20,000 Maximum of $30,000

HUD Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for CDBG funding, each applicant must qualify as meeting one of the following national objectives of the CDBG program:

  • Benefiting Low- and Moderate-Income Persons
  • Meeting an Urgent Need
  • Prevention or Elimination of Slum or Blight
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