Brookline Small Business Relief Grant

(last updated 8/2/2021, 1:30pm)

Applications Closed

Applications for its 2nd round of Small Business Relief Grant funding closed on July 30, 2021.

Program Guidelines

Apply now Brookline Small Business Relief Grant Program Applications open July 2 - July 30, 2021

2021 Brookline Small Business Relief Grant Program Guidelines

Program Inquiries

Contact Meredith L. Mooney, Economic Development Planner, at [email protected] or 617-264-6478 for more information.

Program Overview

In 2020, the Town of Brookline utilized federal relief funding to establish a Small Business Relief Grant Program to aid in the stabilization of small brick-and-mortar Brookline businesses that suffered significant business disruption due to COVID-19. As authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Town of Brookline disbursed $200,000 in supplemental funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to 14 Brookline businesses for various working capital expenses.

In July 2021, with $100,000 in additional grant funding (i.e. $100,000 in remaining CARES Act supplemental funds) available the Town of Brookline will reopen applications for its Small Business Relief Grant Program. Grantees will receive up to $10,000 to cover eligible working capital expenses, including but not limited to payroll expenses, loss of inventory, rent or commercial mortgage payments, and utilities. An additional $20,000 in Small Business Relief Grant funding is also anticipated through the Town’s FY2022 CDBG funding.

It is anticipated that there will be substantial interest in this program and that available resources will not be sufficient to meet the needs of all applicants. The Town will need to make difficult choices among many worthy and needy businesses and has designed a selection process to prioritize businesses that most align with the requirements set forth by the funder (i.e. HUD) and the Town’s goals for the program. Applications that meet minimum eligibility requirements will be graded according to a list of comparative criteria (outlined on pages 4-5). Applications that receive the highest grades based on the eligibility criteria will receive priority.

This program will be overseen by the Community Development and Economic Development Divisions of Brookline’s Planning & Community Development Department. Applications will become available on Friday, July 2, 2021, remaining open for four weeks before closing on Friday, July 30, 2021.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants who received grant funding through the first round of the Small Business Relief Grant Program in 2020 are not eligible to receive additional funding through this program.

Applicants must meet basic program eligibility requirements that are a combination of federal CDBG requirements (i.e. a federal program designed to primarily assist low- and moderate-income people) and additional Town requirements.

  • Federal CDBG Program Requirements: Applicants must be either a qualified microenterprise or a low-moderate income job creation project:
    1. Microenterprise applicants must:
      • Have five (5) or fewer full-time equivalent employees, AND
      • Meet the household average median income requirements. Total household income for the business owner must be at or below 80% of the average median income to qualify for funding.
      • See Income Limits for Low-to-Moderate Income Households below for reference.
  1. Job Creation and Retention applicants must:
    • Applicants must create or retain at least one (1) job. The job must be filled by an individual who meets the household average median income requirement. Total household income for the individual must be at or below 80% of the average median income to qualify. Rehiring at least one position recently laid off due to COVDI-19 related impacts or retaining a furloughed employee who meets income eligibility standards likely would allow an applicant to meet this requirement.
  2. All applicants must be for-profit entities.
  • Additional Town Requirements:
    1. Eligible businesses must:
      • Operate out of a brick-and-mortar location in the Town of Brookline,
      • Have been in operation in Brookline since November 1, 2019,
      • Be a type of business where, prior to March 1, 2020, a majority of business revenue was through in-person transactions or in-person services,
      • Show a loss compared to normal business operation periods due to COVID-related limitations of business operations,
      • Have no more than 50 employees.
  • Ineligible Applicants:
    1. Applicants that do not meet minimum eligibility requirements,
    2. Sole proprietors without a brick-and-mortar location in Brookline,
    3. Businesses with past-due tax liabilities, tax liens, or who have filed for bankruptcy,
    4. Liquor and tobacco stores, cannabis stores, pawn shops, adult entertainment, and real estate businesses are ineligible to receive federal funding as this is prohibited by the program funder (i.e. HUD)

The Town of Brookline reserves the right to reject any application that is incomplete or does not meet federal eligibility requirements. As there will likely be more applicants than funding availability, the Town reserves the right to use its judgement to select grantees that best meet and advance the goals of this program.

Household Size and Household Income 

Income Limits for Low- to Moderate-Income households effective April 6, 2021. Based on the Area Median Income (AMI) for the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA-NH Metro Area Household Size.



$ 28,200 

$ 47,000

$ 70.750


$ 32,200

$ 53,700

$ 80,850


$ 36,250

$ 60,400

$ 90,950


$ 40,250

$ 67,100

$ 101,050


$ 43,500

$ 72,500




$ 77,850

$ 117,250



$ 83,250

$ 125,350


$ 53,150

$ 88,600

$ 133,400

Income limits for low-to-moderate income households

Supporting Documentation

If your application meets the initial program requirements, Town staff will contact you to request the following supporting documentation:

  • A copy of the last state and federal business tax returns you filed.
  • If you have been in business for less than a year, additional business documentation listing your revenues and expenses to date (we will call you to discuss this first).
  • Completed IRS W-9 form for your business
  • If a Microenterprise applicant, a Microenterprise self-verification form
  • If a Microenterprise applicant, a copy of the last state and federal household tax returns for the majority of the ownership of your business
  • MA-WR1 Form for periods ending 12/31/19 and 3/31/20
  • For Job Creation or Retention applicants, a completed Job Creation or Job Retention Form
  • Payroll Records to document current number of employees
  • Additional documentation or agreements that we will discuss with you and then email you, based on the details of your application, which may include: documentation of your revenues and expenses if you have been in business for less than a year; Conflict of Interest statement or disclosures; and an agreement to provide additional documentation upon future request by the Town’s Community Development Block Grant Administrator.
  • Note: Applicants that are not Microenterprise applicants will be required to have any new hires submit to the Town for twelve months following receipt of the grant one-time documentation of whether they live in a low- or moderated-income household at the time of hire as well as demographic data.