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Reopen Boston Fund to Provide $6 Million to Support Small Businesses

The Reopen Boston Fund will provide $6 million in new debt-free grants to help qualified small businesses implement the necessary public health measures required to reopen safely as the City continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new funding is aimed at supporting small businesses with under 15 employees and with a majority of employees who are required to work in close proximity to each other and may need to physically engage with clients and customers. This includes, but is not limited to, personal care businesses including salons, barber shops, retail, and food services.

The new grants will be released in three rounds, coinciding with the phases laid out in the state’s reopening guidance.

Each of the three rounds will provide grants up to $2,000 for small businesses to install the required materials to implement public health measures and procure personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to reopen. The targeted businesses will be as follows:

  • First round: personal services including barber shops and hair salons.
  • Second round: retail, restaurants, including outdoor dining materials, and remaining personal services including nail salons, day spas, waxing, and laser services.
  • Third round: bars, arts and entertainment venues, and fitness businesses. 

Applications will open on Thursday, May 28 at 5 p.m., and will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. Be prepared to provide proof of your commercial address, vendor ID from the City of Boston, and a complete budget. Apply here: boston.gov/departments/small-business-development/reopen-boston-fund.

All applicants must have a brick and mortar location within the City of Boston. Professional services and businesses whose employees can work from home will not be eligible for the funding.

While some businesses were allowed to reopen beginning on Monday, May 25 as part of the state’s phased reopening plan, the City of Boston is urging businesses to only reopen with caution if they feel it is safe to do so. For additional questions about opening small businesses in Boston, contact smallbiz@boston.gov.

“When our small businesses are ready and able to open, we want our business owners and workers to have access to the appropriate resources to stay safe. These additional grants will help level the playing field for Boston’s small businesses and support both our public health and economic equity priorities.” – Mayor Walsh

The City has also created a new platform to help businesses source the personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies they will be required to have available to ensure the safety of employees and customers as industries begin to reopen. Along with industry-specific reopening requirements, the page includes a list of self-identified, local suppliers of PPE and cleaning supplies, information on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ vendor database, and partner organizations, including BECMA, to connect businesses with vendors.

The Reopen Boston Fund builds on the nearly $4 million in debt-free grants that, the City announced last week, has been distributed to over 1,100 small businesses in every neighborhood through the Small Business Relief Fund, including the $2 million distributed to businesses earlier this month.

A full list of businesses that have received funding is available here.

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