Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program

***PLEASE NOTE THIS PROGRAM IS ONLY OPEN TO NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS***

FY22 Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program Overview

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for participation in the Fiscal Year 2022 (July 2021-June 2022) grant program. MGCC is seeking proposals for technical assistance for underserved small businesses in Massachusetts. MGCC will accept applications from not-for-profit organizations that currently provide technical assistance and training programs to small businesses and start-ups. These grants are intended to supplement the organization’s current and anticipated funding and not to be the primary funding support. If applying organization(s) currently receives, or will receive, funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for its small business assistance program, articulate how those funds are being used and how funding from the Small Business Assistance Grant Program will not be duplicative. 

Grant proposals shall identify specific counseling and training programs that assist these small businesses to: 

  • Secure new or increased financing for growth. 
  • Secure Empower Digital Grants (MGCC Program). 
  • Kick-off crowdfunding campaigns through the Biz-M-Power grant (MGCC Program). 
  • Achieve stability and viability. 
  • Create/retain jobs. 
  • Increase the economic vitality of the neighborhood, community, or region. 

Considerations will be given to proposals designed to support businesses located in Gateway cities, and other under-resourced and low-to-moderate-income communities in Massachusetts. The Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program will aim to support businesses that are minority-owned, women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, low-moderate-income individuals, U.S. Military Veterans, Cooperatives, and disable individuals. Multilingual Program offering are highly desirable. 

The program is designed to complement and enhance traditional public and private small business assistance networks by providing technical assistance or training programs for under-resourced and disadvantaged businesses with 20 or fewer employees. The program seeks to facilitate economic stability and viability for small businesses by helping to improve their ability to navigate business operations in a post COVID-19 era, including ability to secure private and public financing, business grants, and micro-loans. 

Grant funds are not intended to provide services geared toward prospective ventures. Therefore, at least 85% of the clients served by the grantee organization with these funds shall be for clients who are already operating an existing business or who are within twelve months of opening a new business.  

Click here to download a PDF of the full RFP here.

Proposed Budget Template, please click "File" and "Save As" from the top left corner to save your own copy of this template to work from 

Click here to apply

ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES 

The purpose of the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program is to ensure that small businesses continue their path towards recovery in order to ensure future economic and entrepreneurial opportunity throughout the Commonwealth in a post COVID-19 era.  

Proposed program counseling and training programs should be designed to aid small business owners in stabilizing and growing their businesses in measurable ways through intensive individual counseling/coaching, selective group training, loan packaging, and direct lending or loan guarantees. Proposals offering multilingual programming and targeting immigrant-owned businesses are highly desirable. 

Grant proposals should define the communities they serve, the strategy and marketing plan to reach these communities, current and planned programs, and performance benchmarks and metrics. As these grant proceeds can only supplement budgets, the requesting organization must have additional funding sources. Organizations are encouraged to list existing partners and other public and/or private funding sources. If the proposed program currently receives public funding, please define how this additional funding will be differentiated from the current public funding and describe the incremental results this grant will produce.  

Proposed programs shall include individual and/or group counseling, training programs, loan packaging services, or direct technical assistance that advance: 

  • New business startups; 
  • Business expansion; 
  • Business stabilization; 
  • Other measurable economic growth. 

INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES 

Ineligible for funding under the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program are projects or activities which: 

  • Are for the private profit or benefit of an individual or a select group of individuals. 
  • Involve the replication of services already provided under the auspices of a federal or state agency. 
  • Are primarily intended to serve prospective business ventures, defined as individuals who are more than twelve months from beginning to operate a business. 
  • Do not have the capacity to measure status outcomes relating to business stabilization and growth. 

MGCC reserves the right to reject any and all submitted proposals and any or all parts of a proposed activity. 


APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY     

For purposes of the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program and this Request for Proposal (RFP), only Massachusetts-based, not-for-profit corporations are eligible for program participation. For the purposes of this program, the entity shall: 

  1. Be duly organized under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 180 and incorporated as such by the Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, whose mission includes facilitating a community driven economic development process for small businesses. 
     
  2. Hold a tax-exempt status under the United States Internal Revenue Code. 
     
  3. If the applicant cannot meet the first two criteria, then it must have an established fiduciary relationship with an organization that is both incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and maintains a tax-exempt status under the United States Internal Revenue Code. Under those circumstances where a fiduciary relationship is in force, a memorandum of agreement signed and dated by the authorized representatives of the two cooperating agencies attesting to the fiduciary relationship, along with copies of the sponsoring organization’s tax-exempt certificate and Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State must be submitted with the applicant’s proposal. 
     
  4. Demonstrate an ability to develop and manage programs as reflected in the effective functioning of the Board of Directors, operations managed by a fulltime and experienced management team, involvement of and responsiveness to community residents and constituents. 
     
  5. Provide evidence of fiscal stability, as documented in prepared financial statements. 

APPLICATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS   

***PLEASE NOTE THIS PROGRAM IS ONLY OPEN TO NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS***

Any materials submitted will become the property of MGCC and must be made available for reproduction and may not be copyrighted. Application submissions will only be accepted via Submittable.

An application will not be considered if it fails to meet the minimum requirements. The requirements are as follows: 

  1. Must be submitted via Submittable 11:59pm on July 30, 2021. 
  2. Completed all application components 
  3. Narrative questions (1-6) 
  4. Upload all documents identified (7-14) 

AMOUNT OF FUNDING:    

MGCC will endeavor to assure broad geographic diversity among grantees but will not limit the number of grants awarded per region. 

  • Funds available for this grant program in FY 2022 is $7 Million
  • Organization proposals will not exceed $85,000. 
  • Collaborative joint proposals will not exceed $175,000. 
  • A collaborative is defined as two or more eligible non-profit organizations sharing costs and providing complementary services in coordination with each other. 
  • Collaborative joint proposals must demonstrate that the organizations propose a cohesive work plan and will work together to implement and achieve their proposed objectives. 
  • Collaborative joint proposals must have one lead organization and one person responsible for the application and administration of grant monies, as well as all reporting and communication. 

SELECTION CRITERIA:     

MGCC has established a competitive review process known as the Small Business Technical Assistance Review Committee. All awards are subject to the Small Business Technical Assistance Committee of the MGCC Board of Directors and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED). A Review Committee will evaluate proposals, seeking those that most completely meet the established criteria accompanied by credible, historic outcome metrics. 

Proposals must demonstrate the ability to meet the following small business assistance priorities in order to receive funding: 

  • Provide a strategy for addressing the small business needs as they continue to recover from the circumstances related to COVID-19. 
  • Provide a minimum of 5 hours of direct services to small business clients from target populations. 
  • Implement coordinated services that magnify the delivery of services in efficient, economical, and effective ways. Preference will be given to agencies that can demonstrate strong collaborations with micro-lenders or whose funding will support micro-loan fund clients. 
  • Enhance and complement government service providers, such as the Small Business Development Centers. 
  • Collect and report on specific outcomes achieved that can be attributed to services provided in terms of business starts, financings made or facilitated, businesses stabilized, jobs created or retained, and/or revenue growth. 

A Review Committee will evaluate proposals, seeking those that most completely meet the established criteria accompanied by credible, historic outcome metrics. 


TIMELINE:  

  • Submittable Application opens: July 1, 2021
  • Due Date: July 30, 2021
  • Noticed of Awards: August (Subject to change)  

RESOURCES

  • Proposed Budget Template, please click "File" and "Save As" from the top left corner to save your own copy of this template to work from 

TECHNICAL SUPPORT ON SUBMITTABLE:   

Visit the Help Center: https://www.submittable.com/help/submitter/   

OTHER QUESTIONS: CONTACT MGCC