Small Business Resources
Boston Small Businesses. Huge Impact.
Small businesses are the backbone of the Greater Boston economy. In fact, the city of Boston alone is home to more than 40,000 small businesses that generate more than $15 billion in annual revenue and employ 170,000 people. And at the Chamber, more than 50% of our members are small businesses.
We don't take these statistics lightly. We're here for small businesses through our public policy initiatives, through programs and events designed to connect small businesses in Boston to their peers and established business leaders, to our educational and professional development offerings for small business owners and their employees. We're working to advocate for and help small businesses connect and grow.
Boston Small Business Financial Relief Fund
The City of Boston established the Small Business Financial Relief Fund to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. Grant amounts will range from $2,500 to $10,000. Eligible small businesses include for-profit entities with:
- Fewer than 35 employees
- Less than $1.5 million in annual revenue
- Registered with, in good standing with, and operating in, the City of Boston (excluding chain or corporate franchises)
The City will begin accepting applications on Monday, April 6th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; however, due to high expected demand, the number of grants will be limited. The City recommends applying as soon as possible.
Contact the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development with any questions:
For additional funding assistance and programs, view the City’s Financial Relief Handbook.
COVID-19 Small Business Resources – Applying for Federal Assistance
Small businesses are navigating how, where, and when to seek assistance. This section covers resources to answer those questions.
As of April 1, there are two main sources of federal aid for small businesses: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Generally, the Small Business Administration (SBA) considers a small business one with up to 500 employees but for some industries it’s as many as 1,500 employees. Use this tool to find out if you qualify as a small business.
Before you Apply for Federal Assistance – Eligibility, Amounts, Documents, and Local Help
The Committee on Small Business has a chart summarizing eligibility, amounts, and how to apply to the two programs.
The U.S. Chamber offers an excellent guide and checklist on the PPP that provides clear information on eligibility, required documents, and loan structures In the EIDL program.
For a complete overview of the SBA’s support for small businesses, view their guidance and loan resources.
Local organizations can provide additional assistance. Use this search tool to find one in your neighborhood.
When you are Ready to Apply for Federal Assistance
Paycheck Protection Program:
The program is available through June 30, 2020 and incentivizes small businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The loan will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and loans are used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Timing for applications depends on the type of business: small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply through existing SBA lenders starting Friday, April 3, 2020. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan:
Apply to the EIDL program through this link. Applications are due on or before December 18, 2020 and can be submitted online or on paper.
Small Businesses - Beware of Fraud!
The SBA is warning businesses to be on alert for lending frauds and scams. Review their guidance.
- Google has resources to help your small business manage through uncertainty.
- Bowditch stands ready to fully support businesses in a collective effort to confront and overcome the COVID-19 crisis. Their most recent post is a checklist for small businesses who are ordered to shut down or are minimizing operations.
Small Business of the Year Awards
Our Small Business of the Year Awards recognize the region's leading small businesses who display strong financial performance, achievement in management, workplace excellence, product innovation and community and social responsibility.
Questions? Contact Luz Arregoces, Director of Programs.
Advertising Support During COVID-19 Pandemic
Soofa makes digital outdoor Signs that serve as the neighborhood news feed across communities in and around Boston. Anyone in the neighborhood can post to Soofa Signs for free, and local businesses can sign up to advertise on the Signs! Because of all the hardship and uncertainty we know this public health crisis is causing local businesses, we are offering free accounts right now for local businesses to advertise gift cards, delivery services, or other promotions.
Take full advantage of your Chamber membership from the convenience of your desk with our 30-minute webinars. Through our webinar series, you'll hear from other members, meet the Chamber team, and learn more about all the Chamber has to offer you and your organization. Participants are invited to join the dialogue, and will be challenged to learn new skills and grow their networks with fellow mentors.
Small Business Advisory Board
Jeff Freedman, Founder & CEO, Small Army
Jeff Freedman is the founder and CEO of Small Army, one of the top advertising agencies in Boston. He is also the founder and CEO of Small Army for a Cause, the nonprofit organization behind the national Be Bold, Be Bald! cancer fundraiser that he founded after losing his business partner to cancer. And, he is the author of The Moral of the Story: A Storyteller's Guide to Helping Brands Build Relationships With People. Jeff is a regular speaker, panelist, and blogger, sharing his experiences with brand storytelling and relationship-building, business leadership and corporate social responsibility.
Advisory Board Members
- Hilary Allard, The Castle Group
- Kevin Bynoe, UHM Properties, LLC
- Richard Champagne, Champagne Law Group
- Carole Copeland Thomas, C. Thomas & Associates
- Maria Flynn, Jobs for the Future
- Anna Foster, A Maven's World Brand
- Donna Gittens, MORE Advertising
- Bethany Grazio Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C.
- Tommy Kelly, Spaceworks Architectural Interiors, LLC
- Pamela McDermott, McDermott Ventures, LLC
- Jerry Rubin, Jewish Vocational Service, Inc.
- Anthony Samuels, DRB Facility Services
- Michael Tamasi, AccuRounds
- Joe Varraso, The Provident Bank
- Heather White, TRILLFIT, Inc
- Lyndsay Whitehurst, Interise
- Kelley Yelle, Entertainment Cruises
Small Business Insurance Resources
Working to empower Boston small businesses to access affordable health insurance for employees, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce partners with the Health Connector for Business that delivers cost-saving opportunities to employers and health care insurance choice to employees.
Through the partnership, GBCC small-business members (employers with less than 50 employees) will be able to create and manage accounts online and have direct access to support through customer service. In addition, health insurance brokers who are GBCC members will be connected to those small-business members to maximize the benefits of the platform.
Members can go to this Massachusetts Health Connector link for GBCC and directly access the platform to sign up for coverage. For members calling customer service, they will be provided a direct route to support from a representative.
Small Business Training Resources
Providing Massachusetts businesses with the resources needed to invest in workforce development, improve employee skills, and maintain the economic strength and viability of the Commonwealth’s businesses.
Summary of Available Grants is a helpful tool to view the several workforce training fund programs that are available. Use the summary to see which best suits the needs of your business.
FY18 Impact Highlights shows the success achieved for employers that completed Workforce Training Fund Program grants in 2018. More than 15,000 on-the-job workers were trained and these businesses grew jobs at more than three times the average state and national job growth rate.
Visit the WorkForce Training Fund website to learn more and apply.
The WindWalker Group consults with customers to design and develop custom, effective training solutions. They specialize in the creation of experiences that ensure a learner retains information and recalls it when they need it.
They apply a systems-design process to integrate emerging learning theory with state-of-the-art technology and graphic arts. They create engaging systems and materials that effectively address their clients’ unique learning, performance, and communications needs. Training and communications products have earned numerous national and international awards for innovation and quality.
If interested, contact the WindWalker Group today for more information.
US Chamber of Commerce Resources
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is continuously looking for ways to provide our members with additional services and resources. We have a special partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that welcomes you, through your existing membership with our local chamber, as a new member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at no additional cost.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation and 96% of their members are small businesses. Through your membership with the U.S. Chamber, you will have access to the many valuable benefits designed specifically for small businesses, including the toolkits available on Small Business Nation, news and advocacy updates, and other products, services, and publications.
To learn more about your complimentary membership to the U.S. Chamber, please contact contact Luz Arregoces, Director of Programs