Assistance and Resources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19
Business Assistance & Resources
Businesses across the City of Worcester, especially small businesses, have been impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. To help lessen the strain, businesses can take advantage of a variety of local, state and federal assistance programs and grants.
Business Resources & Assistance
The following is a current listing of resources and aid for businesses in the City of Worcester impacted by COVID-19:
On Friday, May 13, 2022, Worcester health officials issued a citywide mask advisory due to a surge in positive COVID-19 cases and rising coronavirus levels in regional wastewater. It is strongly recommended that all residents wear masks when indoors and around others. In addition, it is recommended that all eligible residents be up to date on vaccines and boosters, avoid crowded spaces when possible and get tested for COVID-19 when exhibiting symptoms.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 and American Rescue Plan have established several new temporary COVID-19 Relief options to address business disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about the programs below:
Paycheck Protection Program - Notice: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness. To learn more about PPP loan forgiveness, visit the SBA Website.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 if the reconsideration/appeal is received within the timeframes in the regulation. This means six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals - unless funding is no longer available.
Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest.
SBA continues to offer other funding options for small businesses including traditional SBA Loans.
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. For latest guidance on SBA Debt Relief see SBA Procedural Notice released on December 6, 2021.
The City of Worcester was awarded approximately $146 million from the US Department of Treasury and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts related to American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Of these $146 million, $6 million has been set aside for Local Business Assistance and Marketing. Programs for business assistance are currently being developed, please check back soon for further information.
The City is establishing ad-hoc committees to review various priorities and grant applications within core areas - social services, mental health, business assistance and arts & culture. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, please send a cover letter and resume to ARPA@worcesterma.gov.
COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Program
The City of Worcester (City) established the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Grant in two rounds at the onset of the pandemic to assist in the stabilization of existing small businesses within the City of Worcester that had significant business disruption due to the impact of COVID-19. These grant funds assisted small business in the City of Worcester to cover wages, rent, loss of inventory and other fixed costs. Grants awards ranged from $5,000 - $10,000 per business.
In total, the City successfully disbursed approximately $1.9 million to 271 local businesses.
Of the 271 businesses, 59% were minority-owned and 43% were women-owned.
25% of businesses awarded were close contact personal services, 22% were retail businesses and 22% were food establishments.
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 email@example.com.