Brookline Small Business Relief Grant

(last updated 7/2/2020, 6:00 pm)

Applications Closed

The Town of Brookline began accepting applications for its Small Business Relief Grant Program on June 5th and the first round of applications were reviewed at 5 pm on June 12th. The Town stopped accepting applications on July 2nd. These grants will provide up to $15,000 to eligible Brookline businesses impacted by COVID-19. We have already been in contact with businesses that scored highest in the earliest rounds to gather additional documentation as well as those applicants that did not qualify for the program. All other applicants received a submission confirmed email and have been rolled over into the remaining pool. The $200,000 of funding currently available will clearly not be enough to fund all 50 of the qualified business applications. 

Program Guidelines

 Program Guidelines 

Program Inquiries

  • Email: Contact Meredith L. Mooney, Economic Development Planner, at mmooney@brooklinema.gov or 617-264-6478 for more information, details, or clarifications.

Program Overview

The Brookline Select Board created this $200,000 relief fund using supplemental federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding received through the CARES Act. Select Board Chair Bernard Greene said, “The Select Board is confident that the Small Business Relief Program will provide much-needed short-term working capital assistance to help keep afloat some of Brookline’s most vulnerable and indispensable small businesses during this time of unprecedented hardship. Without this program many of these businesses could fall through the cracks of other aid programs.”

The Small Business Relief Program is overseen by the Community Development and Economic Development Divisions of Brookline’s Planning and Community Development Department. The Town worked with our federal partners to develop a funding program with the least burden and maximum impact for our small businesses.

Funding can be used for working capital expenses, such as rent and utility bills, to reimburse owners for perishable stock and inventory, or to assist businesses with a transition from in-person services to a hybrid e-commerce model. Brookline’s Small Business Relief Program funding cannot be applied to the same expenses already covered by Small Business Administration relief programs, such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). While this is a grant program, all approved grantees will be asked on a voluntarily basis to consider donating funds back to the program in the future, if and when they are able to do so.

Businesses eligible for the Small Business Relief Program must be:

  • for-profit
  • under 50 employees
  • have been in operation in Brookline since November 1, 2019
  • types of business where, prior to March 1, 2020, a majority of the revenue was through in-person transactions or in-person services
  • businesses that show a loss compared to normal business operation periods, due to COVID-related limitations of business operations
  • a business with either five or fewer employees including the owner(s) and a majority of the ownership lives in low- to moderate-income households, or a business with a majority of employees that live in low- to moderate-income households (see definition based on household size below).

Priority will be given to businesses that:

  • demonstrate a higher ratio of  employees that will be retained or hired compared to the grant request
  • were denied Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans
  • businesses that have contacted their landlord, bank, insurance company, and/or utility companies to assist with immediate cash flow issues
  • demonstrate a high likelihood for a resilient future (adding online or delivery systems, changing or adapting business offerings, profitable business prior to March 1st)

Additionally, in accordance with HUD’s guidance on Women-Owned Business Enterprises and Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (WBE/MBEs) outreach and the Select Board’s FY2020 objectives, we will ask applicants to voluntarily report whether a majority of their ownership and/or employees are one or more of the following: women, minorities, and/or members of the LBGTQ community. This voluntarily-reported data will not be used to compare or prioritize applications. We will be monitoring this demographic data to further focus marketing efforts between granting rounds, with the goal of receiving a diverse pool of applicants.

Household Size and Household Income 

(Income Limits for Low- to Moderate-Income households effective April 1, 2020). Based on the Area Median Income (AMI) for the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA-NH Metro Area Household Size.

Individual: $67,400

Household of 2: $77,000

Household of 3: $86,650

Household of 4: $96,250

Household of 5: $103,950

Household of 6: $111,650

Household of 7: $119,350

Household of 8 or more: $127,050


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 (one week in Jan/Feb 2020 & one week in Apr 2020)
  • 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.