Needham Small Business Recovery Grant Program

In November 2021, the Needham Select Board approved $300,000 of the Town’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding to help create the Needham Small Business Recovery Grant Program.  This new program will provide limited financial assistance to eligible small businesses in Needham to help mitigate the negative financial impacts resulting from the pandemic such as declines in revenues or impacts of periods of business closure and will provide business owners with grants up to a maximum of $10,000. 

In March 2022, the Select Board approved an additional $200,000 in ARPA funds for a second round of grants. The application submission period for the second round of funding began on Friday, April 15, 2022 and will end on Friday, May 13, 2022.  Grants will be announced in early June 2022.    

The confidential application and grant process is designed to be simple.  The process requires an application, explanation of how the funds will be used, copies of required documents including Federal tax returns or Audited Financial Statements from both 2019 and 2020, and a signed affadavit.  

These grants are provided on a reimbursement basis for approved expenses incurred during the period of June 15, 2022 through January 31, 2023*.   Reimbursement requests must be submitted by no later than February 28, 2023.  Reimbursements will be distributed within 15 business days of the request for pre-approved expenses. 

Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible:

To qualify, a Needham business must:

1.    Have been established prior to January 1, 2020 and still be operational 

2.    Have fewer than thirty-five (35) employees

3.    Have less than $1,500,000 in annual net revenue

4.    Have a physical location in Needham at an address separate from the owner’s residence.  Business owner must provide proof of Needham business address (as indicated by a signed lease or utility bill)

5.    Be registered with, in good standing with, and operating in, the Town of Needham and must be current on all local taxes and licenses 

6.    Be independently owned and operated (franchises, defined as a business whereby the owner licenses its operations—along with its products, branding, and knowledge—in exchange for a franchise fee, are eligible)

7.    Provide copies of tax returns from 2019 and 2020

8.    Have not been approved for a grant in the first round of the Needham Small Business Recovery Grant Program in February 2022. 

To qualify, a Needham non-profit must:

1.    Have been established prior to January 1, 2020 and still be operational 

2.    Show proof of its tax-exempt 501 C3 status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service

3.    Be registered and in good standing with the Division of Public Charities with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

4.    Verify that a minimum of 50% of the organization’s service area and program expenditures are within the Town of Needham

5.    Be registered with, in good standing with, and operating in, the Town of Needham 

6.    Provide copies of audited financial statements from 2019 and 2020 

$2,500 Relief Grant Criteria:

  • 1-5 Employees (incl. owner)
  • Less than $250,000 in Annual Net Revenue

$5,000 Relief Grant Criteria:

  • 1-15 Employees (incl. owner)
  • Less than $750,000 in Annual Net Revenue

$10,000 Relief Grant Criteria:

  • 1-35 employees (incl. owner)
  • Less than $1,500,000 in Annual Net Revenue

Priority will be given to businesses and non-profit organizations that applied for CARES Act funding last year and didn’t receive it due to lack of available funding (PPP, EIDL, Restaurant Revitalization Fund).

*Grant Payments:  Reimbursement requests for pre-approved expenses must be submitted by February 28, 2023 ,with copies of paid receipts and sent to Economic Development Manager Amy Haelsen at  Reimbursement checks will be distributed to grant recipients within 15 business days of reimbursement requests.  

Grant Applications:   The application to apply for funding for a Small Business Recovery Grant must be completed online.  Click here for the application. 

Eligible Projects:

  • Job Incentive Program-  Address ongoing staffing challenges by allowing businesses and non-profits to offer financial incentives to recruit new employees  or retain existing ones.   
    • Unemployed and underemployed individuals who take a job (20 or more hours weekly) with a Needham employer will qualify for a $500 cash hiring bonus after 12 weeks  on the job.  Once the new employee remains employed with the same business or nonprofit for an additional 12 weeks, they'll qualify for a second $500 cash bonus.     
    • Individuals who have been employed by a Needham business or non-profit for a minimum of 6 months and work 20 or more hours a week are eligible for a “pandemic bonus” of up to $500 cash for their loyalty to the business and may qualify for a second $500 cash bonus if they remain employed for an additional 12 weeks. Employees do not need to be Needham residents. 
  • COVID Prevention-  Purchase PPE and/or adopt safer operating procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including:   
    • Outdoor Dining – Restaurants can utilize the funding to create outdoor dining spaces or enhance/improve their existing outdoor dining spaces to make them ADA compliant, or to purchase furniture, decking, heat lamps, umbrellas, tents, awnings, or lighting.
    • Ventilation – Install or improve ventilation systems to increase air circulation and air quality. 
  • Digital Adaptation – Create or improve your digital presence through online sales or ordering, create QR codes for in-person ordering, encourage touchless transactions at point-of-sale, improve or develop a website or smartphone app, or place online ads 
  • Operating Costs – Offset payroll and benefits costs or  expenses related to retaining or hiring/training employees, as well as for mortgage, rent, utilities, and inventory 

Ineligible Projects: 

Funds may not be used to reimburse a business for expenditures that incurred prior to the date of the grant approved.  

The following must be included with your application:

  • Tax returns from your business from both 2019 and 2020 – OR -  audited financial statements for both 2019 and 2020. 
  • A signed copy of the Needham Small Business Recover Grant Program Affadavit.  Digital signatures will not be accepted. You may either print out the affidavit, sign it and scan a copy to include with your online submission or you may either mail or drop off the original signed copy to:     

Amy Haelsen

Economic Development Manager

Needham Town Hall

1471 Highland Avenue

Needham, MA 02492