BBJ: New Mass Growth Capital Matching Grant Program Prioritizes Minority-Owned Businesses

Jun 20 2022
Theresa Ng
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A new crowdfunding matching grant program is prioritizing minority-owned businesses. Biz-M-Power is a program developed by Mass Growth Capital Corp., a state-funded agency that offers tools for businesses to succeed by matching funds they've raised with state funds.

Eligible Massachusetts businesses may apply to the program, and crowdfund a minimum amount of $5,000. Mass Growth Capital Corp. (MGCC) will then match these crowdfunding campaigns on every dollar raised up to $20,000. MGCC has partnered with Patronicity, a crowdfunding platform, to help businesses achieve their fundraising goals. 

Through the crowdfunding matching grant program, businesses are able to gain financial assistance in acquiring, expanding, improving, or leasing a facility, purchasing or leasing of equipment, or with meeting other capital needs for the business.

“Biz-M-Power was designed to help companies create equity within in their business,” said Theresa Ng, Biz-M-Power's community project manager.

The program started last June and began with $7.5 million budget. The allocated funds now stand at around $6 million, after matching funds with 69 companies, according to Ng. 

To apply, minority-owned businesses must fit this criteria:

  • Have a brick-and-mortar location operating within Massachusetts
  • Employ I-20 full-time employees (including one of whom owns the business)
  • Have an annual revenue less than $2.5 million
  • Has been legally established/in the early-stages of business operations for at least three months
  • Be a non-home base businesses
  • Not be nonprofit organization
  • Not have more than two locations
  • Not a real estate rental/sales business
  • Not a lobbyist
  • Not a cannabis-related business
  • Owned by an individual older than 18 years at the time of application
  • Owned by U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Applicants must also submit required documents, including tax returns, and a grant application stating their crowdfunding goal. If a business is unable to meet their crowdfunding goal by the campaign deadline but has been able to raise a minimum of $5,000, the business will be eligible to receive a match from MGCC. 

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, reviewed by the MGCC monthly. Applicants can expect to hear back within six to eight weeks of completed submission of their grant application, including all necessary supplementary documents and information.

Once approved, applicants will work closely with a crowdfunding coach provided by Patronicity to prepare a public-facing crowdfunding page, develop reward incentives, and come up with a strategy for a 30-60 day campaign, according to the Biz-M-Power website. Campaigns must launch within 30 days of MGCC approval. 

Patronicity, a hands-on coaching crowdfunding platform that started in Detroit, helps businesses connect with local residents and stakeholders to reach their financial goal. Patronicity has fee with using their platform, set at 5% of the crowdfunding funds raised. Additionally, there is a 2.6% plus $0.30/transaction credit card fee collected by Stripe, the payment processor used by Patronicity.

The next review deadline is June 27, 2022. The program closes on June 30, 2023, or when the funds are exhausted. 

The MGCC and Patroncity Review Teams evaluate applications based on eligibility criteria and preference prioritization. 

“We prioritize BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-owned businesses,” Ng said. She added that she wants to bridge the gap for businesses that don’t always get “traditional financing,” such as minority-owned businesses.