Small Business Relief Partnership

Berkshire County Small Business Recovery Fund will provide grants to small for-profit businesses in Berkshire County.

Please read the following information carefully before applying:

The Berkshire County Small Business Recovery Fund will provide small for-profit businesses in Berkshire County with emergency assistance in adherence with the parameters set forth by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office: addressing fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities, and other working capital expenses that could have been recognized had the COVID-19 pandemic not occurred. The focus of this fund will be on fixed costs that cannot be avoided despite the applicant’s inability to operate as they did prior to regulations pertaining to non-essential business functions.

Grants will be awarded on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis to small businesses meeting the following criteria:

  • Applicants must have employed an equivalency of 10 or fewer full-time or FTE employees on/prior to March 23rd, 2020.
  • Applicants must be for-profit businesses physically located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
  • Applicants must have been in proven operation for a minimum of 1-year prior to applying.
  • Applicants must have been deemed ineligible for or have been turned down due to lack of available funding by US Small Business Administration COVID-19 funding including the Paycheck Protection Program or the EIDL Loan Advance Program.

In order to provide financial relief to those small businesses most impacted by closures, policies, or general loss of revenue due to COVID-19, applicants must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Businesses NOT among the “Essential Services List” issued and maintained by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as of April 14th, 2020.
  • Businesses among the “Essential Services List” which have not been able to operate at full pre-COVID levels due to partial restrictions or inability to retain staff.
  • Businesses that have incurred additional expenses in order to pivot their operational approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. (i.e. a food business needing to begin paying drivers for delivery, a retail business paying for an e-commerce platform).

Quality applicants should be able to identify how their business and/or business activity aligns with either or both of the regional economic development strategy documents, the 2017-2022 Berkshire County CEDS or the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0.

Grants will be provided for reimbursement of qualified expenses. Applicants will be required to submit proof of a qualifying expense, along with proof of payment, for reimbursement up to $3,000.

Qualifying expenses include:

  • Fixed debt payments
  • Direct payroll expenses
  • Unavoidable accounts payable
  • Working capital expenses
  • Documented lost sales
  • One time purchases to support business continuity
  • Marketing expenses to improve/expand market reach

Eligible expenses must have occurred on or after the March 23, 2020 Emergency Order regarding “COVID-19 Essential Services”, up to the May 4th Order expiration (or a later date should the emergency order be extended).