Shelburne Falls/West County Initiative: Grant Application for Businesses, Nonprofits, Artists, & Farmers

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on many businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Shelburne Falls/West County area. To provide some relief, the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (GSFABA) has successfully raised funds to provide a one-time grant of $2,500 up to $15,000 to small businesses, nonprofits groups, artists and farmers who need financial assistance to pay for losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grant funds can be used to pay for operating expenses (such as payroll, rent, inventory, equipment and working capital) and to assist with restoring revenue streams and cash flow at this time. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, starting on March 15, 2021. Each application will be reviewed for eligibility and completeness (i.e. all requested documents received) on a weekly basis as they are received. Once accepted, the application will be evaluated based on criteria and funds available at that time.

Minimum eligibility requirements:
1. The applicant's business or nonprofit must be located in one of the following towns: Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Monroe, Rowe or Shelburne, Massachusetts.
2. The applicant's business or nonprofit must have had financial losses in 2020 due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. The applicant must be 18 years or older.
4. The applicant's business or nonprofit is current with all town, state and federal taxes through March 1, 2020 or have a documented workout plan.
5. The applicant's business or nonprofit has an active valid state license/registration and/or town registration.
6. The applicant's business or nonprofit is not a party to litigation involving the state or town.

The goal of this initiative is to help the businesses and nonprofits that are in the most need to hang on, so that as the crisis lessens, the Village of Shelburne Falls and the greater area can recover more quickly, serve area residents, and open again to visitors near and far.

Preferred criteria used to evaluate applications include: brick-and-mortar, farm or art/culture operations; financial losses of business or nonprofit; primary owner with low-to-moderate family income; among other factors. Please note that applicants do not have to be members of GSFABA to apply.

The source of these funds are from: MassDevelopment's Commonwealth Places program with community crowdfunding support through Patronicity and contributions to GSFABA via the Franklin County Community Development Corporation; a FY2021 state budget request by Sen. Adam Hinds through the Mass. Office of Business Development; and the Community Foundation of Western Mass. The Franklin County Community Development Corporation and Hilltown Community Development Corporation have been engaged to administer these grants on behalf of GSFABA.
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