Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program

FY23 Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program Overview

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

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting grant applications for participation in the Fiscal Year 2023 (July 2022-June 2023). MGCC is seeking proposals for technical assistance to assist underserved small businesses in Massachusetts.

The purpose of the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program is to ensure that start-ups and existing businesses continue their path towards recovery and growth in order to ensure future economic and entrepreneurial opportunity throughout the Commonwealth.  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, including ability to secure private and public financing, business grants, and micro-loans.  

Underserved small businesses include businesses that are minority-owned, women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, Cooperatives, or owned by low-moderate-income owners, US Military Veterans, Cooperatives, non-native English speakers, or disabled individuals.  

MGCC will accept applications from not-for-profit organizations that are intentional about building relationships in the communities where their small business services are provided, and whose programming culturally represents their target market.   

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.  

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

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

RFP Release Date: Friday, May 27, 2022
Deadline for Proposals: Friday, July 1, 2022
Grants Will Be Awarded: October (subject to change) 

GRANT AMOUNTS AND DISTRIBUTION   

Funds available for this grant program in FY23 will be up to $4,000,000 based on legislative allocation. MGCC will endeavor to assure broad geographic diversity among grantees but will not limit the number of grants awarded per region. Organizations can apply once (1) either as an individual applicant OR as joint application. 

REQUEST AMOUNT  

Individual Organization Request   
An organization (1 non-profit) submitting a work plan to provide small business services to underserved populations within their target region can request up to $100,000.  

Joint Collaborative Request
Organizations (2+ non-profits) submitting a joint work plan demonstrating a collaborative effort to provide small business services to underserved populations within their target area can request up to $175,000.  

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 WORK PLANS  

MGCC aims to fund organizations focused on providing technical assistance on a one-on-one basis. Cohort-based technical assistance will also be considered provided that the program also includes follow up one-on-one technical assistance as a core program feature.     

Technical assistance 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, performance benchmarks, and metrics. Multilingual program offerings are highly desirable, especially proposals offering in-house services in Spanish. Organizations noting multilingual programming must include a separate outreach plan and work plan demonstrating strategic alignment with the non-English speaking target population.  

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

  1. Secure new or increased financing for growth;  
  2. Secure Empower Digital Grants (MGCC Program);  
  3. Kick-off crowdfunding campaigns on Biz-M-Power platform (MGCC Program);  
  4. Achieve stability and viability;  
  5. Create/retain jobs and/or
  6. Increase the economic vitality of the neighborhood, community, or region.  

Considerations will be given to:   

  1. Proposals designed to support businesses that are minority-owned, women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, low-moderate-income individuals, US Military Veterans, Cooperatives, and businesses owned by disabled individuals.   
     
  2. Proposed programs that demonstrate technical assistance designed to advance:  
     
    • New business startups
    • Business expansion  
    • Business stabilization  
    • Other measurable economic growth

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. 

 

INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES  

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

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

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

 

USE OF FUNDS – LIMITATIONS 

  1. Administrative costs associated with the Small Business Resiliency Technical Assistance Grant Program may not exceed 10% of the proposed budget.   
  2. Costs associated with the workshop training may not exceed 20% of the proposed budget.   
  3. Funds may not be used to purchase equipment.   

REVIEW COMMITTEE  

Small Business Assistance Grants will be awarded by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. A Review Committee will review and recommend proposals for approval.  
   

GRANT AGREEMENT 

Grants will be awarded on or before October 2022. Dates are subject to change. Upon receipt by MGCC, all proposals become public documents, to the extent required under the public records law. If a proposal is approved for funding, the proposal and the attached work plan and budget shall become the basis for MGCC’s grant award negotiations with the applicant organization to determine the precise project scope, budget and use of funds. All documents ultimately negotiated and incorporated into the Grant Agreement will be added as attachments, and references to all attachments will be written into the agreement form prior to the execution by the partner.  
   
Grant Agreements will contain a requirement that grantee agencies release names and contact information of clients served under the grant to MGCC for the purposes of outcomes verification and other legitimate uses as defined by MGCC.  Grantees also agree to cooperate with any third-party evaluation that MGCC may decide to undertake of this program.    
   
Reporting requirements, including deadlines for submission, will also be contained in the Grant Agreement. Please use this reporting template
 

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:  

  1. Provide a strategy for addressing the needs of small businesses.  
  2. Provide a minimum of 5 hours of direct services to small business clients from target populations.   
  3. Implement coordinated services that magnify the delivery of services in efficient, economical, and effective ways. Preference will be given to agencies whose services demonstrate cultural alignment with their target population.  
  4. Preference will be given to agencies that can demonstrate strong collaborations with micro-lenders or whose funding will support micro-loan fund clients.  
  5.  Enhance and complement government service providers, such as the Small Business Development Centers.  
  6. Collect and report on specific outcomes achieved that can be attributed to services provided in terms of business starts, financing 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.  


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Any materials submitted will become the property of MGCC and must be made available for reproduction and may not be copyrighted. Application submissions will 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 mid-night by July 1st, 2022.  
  2. Completed all application components  
  3. Narrative questions (1-8)   
  4. Upload all documents identified (1-8)

Click Here To Apply