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Biz-M-Power: Crowdfunding Matching Grant Program

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BIZ-M-POWER GRANT PROGRAM OVERVIEW

This program is focused on assisting low-income and moderate-income entrepreneurs with their acquisition, expansion, improvement or lease of a facility, purchase or lease of equipment, or with meeting other capital needs of a business through crowdfunding. 

The objective of the BIZ-M-POWER grant is to provide entrepreneurs with new knowledge and skills for growing their business and advancing toward innovative approaches to obtaining capital through the earned support of local residents, neighborhoods, community members, and stakeholders alike.  

Biz-M-Power has two phases for empowering Massachusetts small business owners and entrepreneurs for economic success. The goal is to promote the economic success of Massachusetts small business owners through support for raising capital/equity for businesses applying for the Biz-M-Power Grant. The first stage will be to apply to the program, which requires a partnership with an organization from MGCC’s network of Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) Providers, who will serve as a sponsor to the applicants. The second stage, pending MGCC application approval and Patronicity’s approval, will be to utilize Patronicity’s crowdfunding platform to leverage community support and raise funds to match the amount requested in their grant application.  

Download the PDF of the FULL RFP here. 

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY   

Biz-M-Power is open to participants who meet the following requirements. Must be an entrepreneur or small business that:  

  • Is based in Massachusetts with a public-facing, brick-and-mortar (physical) location, or storefront, operating within Massachusetts 
  • Is NOT a home-based business
  • Is employing 1-20 FTE employees, including 1 or more of whom owns the business (including 1099s')
  • Is the business owners’ primary source of income  
  • Has an annual revenue not exceeding $2,500,000  
  • Has been nominated by a Technical Assistance Provider through MGCC’s Small Business Technical Assistance Program  
  • Has been legally established/in the early-stages of business operations for at least 3 months 
  • Is NOT owned by someone employed by the sponsoring SBTA
  • Is NOT a nonprofit, not-for-profit, or charitable organization 
  • Is NOT a franchise with more than 2 locations, including those individually owned-and-operated (Franchises with up to 2 locations will be considered, but MGCC reserves the right to limit grant funding to one location)  
  • Is NOT a real estate rental/sales business 
  • Is NOT a lobbyist
  • Is NOT a cannabis related business 

Owned by: 

  • An individual of 18 years or older at the time of application  
  • A United States citizen or permanent resident

ATTENTION MULTI-BUSINESS OWNERS: When applying, be aware MGCC reserves the right to limit grant funding for one business per owner. 

NOTE: Businesses with retail stores or that offer face-to-face services may have a better chance with successfully crowdfunded campaigns: Examples include: 

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Coffee Shops/ Cafes/ Bakeries
  • Salons/ Day Spas
  • Retail Shops (especially convenience stores, hardware stores, etc.) 

This is not an exhaustive list. Eligible businesses not on this list are still welcome to apply. 


TRANSLATIONS - OVERVIEW FOR BIZ-M-POWER GRANT PROGRAM

SMALL BUSINESS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDER (SPONSOR)

Prospective applicants need to directly partner with an organization from MGCC’s network of Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) providers first who will then serve as a sponsor to eligible small businesses.  

Partnership with a SBTA Provider as a sponsor will help to maximize the potential positive impact of this grant. Our SBTA Providers’ understanding of the landscape of small businesses in Massachusetts, familiarity with small businesses’ areas of greatest needs, and extensive network of collaborators helps to optimize this effort. 

The SBTA Sponsor will support the applicant in the following ways: 

  • Assist the applicant to complete the grant application by: 
  • Educating the applicant about the overview of crowdfunding,  
  • Navigate the application process, 
  • Supporting approved grantees with follow up reporting requirements at the end of program,  
  • Facilitating communication with all parties involved (MGCC & Patronicity)  

APPLICATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS 

Businesses must work with their SBTA provider and be nominated by that sponsor to apply to MGCC for the Biz-M-Power program. It is incumbent upon the business to identify and initiate a relationship with this SBTA provider if applicant does not already have one. Our list of potential SBTA Sponsors can be found on our website (click here).

Once a business has secured an SBTA Sponsor, the entrepreneur may fill out an online application to MGCC’s Biz-M-Power program with their sponsor. The application must be filled out and submitted along with attachments as stated in “Required Documentation” electronically through MGCC’s online application portal, Submittable. Hard copies or electronic copies submitted in any other way, such as mailed in or emailed, will not be considered. Additionally, only complete, accurate and legible applications will be considered. 

Applicant must submit the following to MGCC for approval:  

  • Completed application (via Submittable) answering all the questions and providing information regarding the business status, projected allocation of approved funds, project costs, and projected outcome(s) 
  • Supporting financial statements 
    • A complete copy (all schedules) of your filed 2019 (or 2020 if available) Federal Business Tax Return as submitted to the IRS. If you file Schedule C income, please upload that document in place of a Business Tax Return 
    • A complete copy (all schedules) of your filed 2019 or 2020 Federal Personal Tax Returns as submitted to the IRS for each business owner with 20% or greater ownership 
    • Completed and signed IRS W-9 Form for your business 
  • Other supporting documentation  
    • Copy of business lease statement, tenant at will agreement, or mortgage statement for verification of brick-and-mortar, public-facing physical business location 
    • If your business is a LLC, Partnership or Corporation: A copy of your Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office 
    • If your business is a Sole Proprietorship: A copy of your Business Certificate (DBA) from your city/town 
    • Projected allocation of approved funds 
    • If approved for crowdfunding, contract with Patronicity, MGCC and Small Business Owner for Crowdfunding Platform. 

FULL GRANT PROCESS

Download the PDF of the FULL Grant Process Explanation


TIMELINE

  • Grant Program Opens: June 15, 2021
    • This will be a rolling application. Existing applications will be reviewed by MGCC on a monthly basis. Applicants can expect to hear back within six weeks of completed submission of their grant application, including all necessary supplementary documents and information.
    • The next review deadline: October 4, 2021 (Monday)
  • Patronicity Review: If approved by MGCC, application will move forward to be reviewed by Patronicity on a rolling basis
  • Crowdfunding Campaign: If approved by MGCC & Patronicity, applicants will have 30-60 days to run their crowdfunding campaign

TERMS: 

  • Funds must be used for acquisition, expansion, improvement or lease of a facility, purchase or lease of equipment, or with meeting other capital needs of the business 
  • Final approval by MGCC of the proposal of allocation of funds 
  • Applicant will submit only one application during the given fiscal year 
  • Applicant, with the assistance of their SBTA Sponsor, also agrees to complete reporting requirements after the first six months and then on a quarterly basis thereafter 
  • If a person owns multiple businesses and submits an application for each business, MGCC reserves the right to limit grant to one business per owner 
  • MGCC will match up to $20,000 less a $250 fee per project per client 
  • Above referenced $250 fee will be paid to the SBTA Sponsor 
  • SBTA Sponsor may choose to waive $250 fee  

AMOUNT OF FUNDING:  

  • Businesses can receive minimum of $2,500 and a maximum of $20,000 
  • Dependent upon application acceptance, business must obtain a one-to-one match through the crowdfunding platform in order to receive grant award 
  • Upon application approval, the small business applicant must be able to hit target fundraising goal to receive one-to-one matching grant award 
  • If you are unable to hit target fundraising goal through crowdsourcing by the [deadline], MGCC will not be able to award any matching grant funds 
    • E.G., If you commit to fundraising $10,000 on your application by the [deadline], but are only able to raise $7,000 by the [deadline], MGCC will not offer the one-to-one matching 
    • E.G., If you commit to fundraising $10,000 on your application by the [deadline] and are able to raise $10,000 by the [deadline], MGCC will provide the one-to-one matching grant award for $10,000 - bringing the total amount received by the small business to $20,000.  
  • For grant funded applicants, SBTA Sponsors will receive $250 out of total grant match  
    • E.G. Applicants grant match is $5,000 less a $250 fee per business owner   
      • Above reference $250 fee will be paid to the SBTA sponsor 
      • SBTA Sponsor may choose to waive $250 fee   

APPROVED USE OF FUNDS: 

  • Acquire, expand, improve or lease a facility; or 
  • Purchase or lease equipment; or  
  • Meet other capital needs of a business 

NON-APROVED USE OF FUNDS: 

  • Funds CANNOT be used for ongoing business operations such as payroll, benefits, buying of inventory, and general working capital. 

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION:  

  • A complete copy (all schedules) of your filed 2019 (or 2020 if available) Federal Business Tax Return as submitted to the IRS. If you file Schedule C income, please upload that document in place of a Business Tax Return 
  • A complete copy (all schedules) of your filed 2019 or 2020 Federal Personal Tax Returns as submitted to the IRS for each business owner with 20% or greater ownership 
  • Completed and signed IRS W-9 Form for your business 
  • Copy of business lease statement, tenant at will agreement, or mortgage statement for verification of brick-and-mortar, public-facing physical business location 
  • A copy of the business owner's valid photo identification (ID). This ID must match the business owner who is an authorized signer that signs this application. Please submit a photocopy of the front and back of the ID. Examples include (submit one): State-issued driver's license/ID card, U.S. Passport book or card, other valid, state or federal issued photo ID 
  • If your business is a LLC, Partnership or Corporation: A copy of your Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office. If you need to request a Certificate of Good Standing, click here:https://corp.sec.state.ma.us/CorpWeb/Certificates/CertificateOrderForm.aspx. Note: If you do not have a Certificate of Good Standing prior to submission of your application, it will be required prior to funding. Note: All entities organized in other states that operate in Massachusetts must be registered and in good standing in Massachusetts. Note: A Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is not required and will not be accepted as a substitute of the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Certificate of Good Standing. 
  • If your business is a Sole Proprietorship: A copy of your Business Certificate (DBA) from your city/town 

AWARD PROCESS:  

  • Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will review all applications to determine eligibility. MGCC will select grantees based upon eligibility criteria and preference prioritization. 

COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL FUNDS, LAWS AND REGULATIONS: 

  • Applicants must comply with all applicable laws. 

DISCLAIMER * * *

Please be aware that even if your application is "conditionally approved by MGCC," your application must also be approved by Patronicity before moving forward to the next step in crowdfunding. Note that there are certain industries or business types that are suitable for crowdfunding. 

TECHNICAL SUPPORT ON SUBMITTABLE: 

OTHER QUESTIONS: CONTACT MGCC 

LANGUAGE TRANSLATION: Program overview information will be made available in multiple languages. (Application remains in English.) 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please refer to this section for the answers to the most frequently asked questions.