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.

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.  The application submission period begins on January 3, 2022 and ends on January 31, 2022.  Grants will be announced on February 15, 2022.    

These grants are provided on a reimbursement basis for approved expenses incurred during the period of February 15, 2022 through September 30, 2022*.  

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

  1. Be a Needham business with a brick-and-mortar (physical) location 
  2. Fewer than thirty-five (35) employees
  3. Less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue, and
  4. Registered with, in good standing with, and operating in, the Town of Needham (excluding chains but franchises allowed;  franchise being defined as a business whereby the owner licenses its operations—along with its products, branding, and knowledge—in exchange for a franchise fee).

$2,500 Relief Grant Criteria:

  • 1-5 Employees (incl. owner)
  • Less than $250,000 in Annual revenue
  • Business owner must provide proof of Needham business address (as indicated by a signed lease or home office documentation)
  • Business and business owner must be in good standing with the Town of Needham
  • Business must provide a copy of its most recent fiscal year tax return
  • Business must provide proof of payroll (if applicable)

$5,000 Relief Grant Criteria:

  • 1-15 Employees (incl. owner)
  • Less than $750,000 in Annual Revenue
  • Business owner must provide proof of Needham business address (as indicated by a signed lease or home office documentation)
  • Business and business owner must be in good standing with the Town of Needham
  • Business must provide a copy of its most recent fiscal year tax return
  • Business must provide proof of payroll

$10,000 Relief Grant Criteria:

  • 1-35 employees (incl. owner)
  • Less than $1,500,000 in Annual Revenue
  • Business owner must provide proof of Needham business address (as indicated by a signed lease or home office documentation)
  • Business and business owner must be in good standing with the Town of Needham
  • Business must provide a copy of its most recent fiscal year tax return
  • Business must provide proof of payroll

Priority will be given to businesses 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 October 312022 with copies of paid receipts and sent to Economic Development Manager Amy Haelsen at ahaelsen@needhamma.gov.  Reimbursement checks will be distributed to grant recipients within 15 business days of reimbursement requests.  

Grant Applications:   Submit applications and attachments by January 31, 2022 via the Town of Needham’s website at https://www.needhamma.gov/forms.aspx?FID=423.

Eligible Projects:

  • Job Incentive Program-  Address ongoing staffing challenges by allowing businesses 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 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

Town of Needham

1471 Highland Avenue

Needham, MA 02492