Small Business Assistance Program

The flyer used to promote the Malden Small Business Assistance Program. Photo from Representative Steve Ultrino's Twitter account.

From last year to the present day, many small business owners have either suffered from closing down their business permanently or temporarily, laying off full-time workers, or d not being able to pay their bills and provide for their families. With the help of the Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and the City of Malden, small businesses have the opportunity to win $10,000.

The small business assistance program was also held in 2020 with eight businesses winning where seven of those businesses are currently running and one had to temporarily close due to COVID-19. The City of Malden teamed up with the MRA, the Malden Chamber of Commerce, and has also received input from the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, in order to create the Small Business Assistance Program. It is a program that was made by the MRA to assist small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. 

What is the MRA and what do they do? The MRA is an agency that “provides planning, economic and community development services to the City of Malden.” Small businesses in Malden who were affected by COVID-19 could be eligible to participate in the lottery if all requirements are met. According to the ““the business was in operation since at least January 1st, 2021, the business has five or fewer full-time employees including the owner, the Annual gross revenue in 2020 was below $1.5 million and more.” 

When asked why this lottery was made, Mayor Gary Christenson said “using a lottery for assistance programs helps increase equity and reduces barriers for people who are lower-income.” Christenson stated that “small businesses have struggled during the pandemic much more than larger businesses” and they would be able to “receive grants of 10,000 for eligible business expenses.”

 Christenson added that “many programs have supported businesses during the pandemic” but “[they] often leave out small businesses, so we felt it was important to meet this community need.”

Some ineligible businesses would be gun shops, pawnshops, liquor stores, tattoo parlors, and “independent contractors will be deemed ineligible if they would benefit from another business receiving funds.” How does the lottery work? According to the website, the MRA “will use the application to determine which businesses are eligible for this program”

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