Southern Berkshire CDBG-CV Regional Microenterprise Assistance Program

 

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, the Town of Lenox and their municipal partners are pleased to announce the FY19 Community Development Block Grant CDBG CV emergency grant assistance for microbusinesses in Lenox and neighboring northern Berkshire communities.

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is assisting the Town of Lenox and other southern Berkshire towns in the implementation of this $765,000 regional grant.  The CDBG-CV program administered by the MA Department of Housing & Community Development.  The purpose of these grants is to provide funds to low- and moderate-income businesses to assist them in remaining open, as well as stimulating and pivoting their businesses during this time of COVID-19 and in the future.  Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to eligible microenterprises.  Under the CDBG-CV program, the term “microenterprise” is defined as a commercial enterprise that has 5 or fewer employees, 1 or more of whom owns the enterprise.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

This grant has specific eligibility requirements.

  • The business must be a microenterprise, as defined by CDBG-CV program requirements.
  • The business must be located in one of the following Berkshire County municipalities: Alford, Becket, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lenox, Lee, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington and West Stockbridge.
  • The business must provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers.
  • The business must employ five (5) or fewer people including the owner, part-time and full-time employees on the business payroll at the time of the application.
  • The business must be a for-profit entity and operating since January 1, 2019 (Non-profit entities are not eligible).
  • The business must be in good standing with the state and the town:
    • Be current on all US, state and local taxes,
    • Active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable; and
    • Not a party to litigation involving the state or municipality.
  • The business must be able to document a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance due to COVID-19.
  • The business owner(s)’s family must be low to moderate income (LMI).  Total family income is to be calculated/projected for the coming 12 months effective the date of application.

Business owners may self-identify income eligibility using the HUD Income Guidelines below.  In the case of a partnership, each co-owner holding more than 20% ownership may be required to submit separate documentation.

For businesses located in the Towns of Lenox, Lee, Richmond, and Stockbridge, the maximum family income levels by family size:

1 Person2 Person3 Person4 Person5 Person6 Person7 Person8 Person
$50,900$58,200$65,450$72,700$78,550$84,350$90,150$96,000

For businesses located in the Town of Alford, Becket, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Tyringham, Washington, and West Stockbridge maximum family income levels by family size:

1 Person2 Person3 Person4 Person5 Person6 Person7 Person8 Person
$47,850$54,650$61,500$68,300$73,800$79,250$84,700$90,200

APPLICATION PROCESS

Business owners who are interested in this Program should follow the steps below.  Applications are being accepted on a first come, first served rolling basis, based on completion of Steps 1 through 4, below (see links in right-hand column):

Step 1: Complete and Submit the Initial Application 

Step 2: Provide Business and Family Income and Documentation                                

Step 3: Provide a List of Eligible Business Expenses Included in the Request

Step 4: Submit Non-Duplication of Benefits Certification

Step 5: Execute Agreement with the Program and Receive Funding               

Step 6: Provide documentation the funds have been utilized according the Agreement

 

ALLOWABLE USES OF GRANT FUNDING

A major purpose of the grant is to assist businesses in remaining open and assist businesses in stimulating and changing their businesses during this time of COVID-19, the following uses of requested grant funds are allowable:

  • Rent
  • Staffing
  • Utilities
  • Inventory
  • Materials or Supplies
  • Other business costs such as COVID-19 supplies or Technical Assistance Services

Program funds may not be used for:

  • Major equipment purchases
  • Purchase of real property
  • Construction activities
  • Business expansion
  • Lobbying

FUNDING DETAILS

  • Funds for the CDBG CV grants are provided by the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through an FY19 allocation to the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and awarded to the Town of Lenox in partnership with Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC).
  • Applications will be received by Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) and will be accepted and reviewed on a first come, first eligible, first completed, rolling basis, subject to availability of funding.
  • Maximum grant amount is $10,000.
  • The Program anticipates having the capacity to distribute between 65-90 grants in amounts up to $10,000.
  • Grants to business owners will require repayment only if the terms of grant agreement are not met. Terms of the grant include documentation of the product or service that was purchased with the funds and usage of the grant within a specific amount of time, no more than three months from the time of acceptance.
  • BRPC will determine the eligibility of the business to participate in the Program, and will work with each business owner to determine family income eligibility, execute grant agreements and the dispersal of funds.