Small Business Assistance Program for COVID-19

On behalf of the City of Malden, the Malden Redevelopment Authority is administering an emergency small business assistance program. The first round of assistance is geared toward businesses with five or fewer full-time employees, but future rounds may have different criteria. This program will primarily serve businesses with a low- and moderate-income owner, though businesses with a majority of employees who are low- and moderate-income may also be considered dependent on availability of funds. Priority will be given to minority-, woman-, veteran-, and LGBTQ-owned businesses.

Small business assistance will be provided to eligible Malden businesses affected by COVID-19 who meet certain eligibility criteria and are selected in a lottery. Eligible businesses who are selected in the lottery will be required to provide additional documentation before receiving a grant of up to $10,000. You can apply for assistance here.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • For-profit business in operation for at least one year
  • Physical brick-and-mortar location in Malden
  • Five or fewer full time employees including the owner (full time means 40 hours per week; hours worked by multiple part time employees can add up to full time equivalents)
  • Owner (or majority of employees) must be low- or moderate-income (see below)
  • Documented business income losses of 50% of more caused by COVID-19 since March 10th
  • Annual gross revenue in 2019 below $1.5 million
  • No tax liens, unpaid city fines, or unresolved city compliance citations.
  • Have not received U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance since March 10, 2020.

Low- and moderate-income households are those earning no more than 80% of the Area Median Income. The income limit is based on the number of people in your household (including roommates and children).

Income Limits

Small business owners whose households earn less than the following amount will be eligible. If the business owner is not eligible, a majority of the total employees must be eligible. Low- and moderate-income households are those earning no more than 80% of the Area Median Income. The income limit is based on the number of people in your household (including roommates and children).

  • $62,450 for a household of 1 person.
  • $71,400 for a household of 2 people.
  • $80,300 for a household of 3 people.
  • $89,200 for a household of 4 people.
  • $96,350 for a household of 5 people.
  • $103,500 for a household of 6 people.
  • $110,650 for a household of 7 people.
  • $117,750 for a household of 8 people. 

This application form will determine your eligibility for entry into the lottery. If you are selected, we will invite you to provide backup documentation. Failure to provide accurate information in the application may result in your removal from the program. Applicants must meet other criteria as well. Eligibility does not guarantee that your application will be accepted or that funding will be available.

To be considered for the lottery, complete the application form by 11:59pm on June 10, 2020. You can view the form here: https://maldenredevelopment.formstack.com/forms/malden_small_business_application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you need help completing the form, you may contact bizgrant@maldenredevelopment.com. Please include your name, address, and phone number. If you do not speak English, please indicate the language you speak, and we will provide translation services.

1. Who is eligible?

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • For-profit business in operation for at least one year
  • Physical brick-and-mortar location in Malden
  • Five or fewer full time employees including the owner (full time means 40 hours per week; hours worked by multiple part time employees can add up to full time equivalents)
  • Owner (or majority of employees) must be low- or moderate-income
  • Documented business income losses of 50% of more caused by COVID-19 since March 10th
  • Annual gross revenue in 2019 below $1.5 million
  • No tax liens, unpaid city fines, or unresolved city compliance citations.
  • Have not received U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance since March 10, 2020.

Ineligible businesses include, but are not necessarily limited to the following: check cashing agencies, gun shops, pawn shops, liquor stores, cannabis industry, real estate, adult entertainment, tattoo parlors, and franchisees of national or regional chain businesses. Independent contractors will be deemed ineligible if they would benefit from another business receiving funds through this program. For example, a barber who rents a chair in a barber shop would be ineligible for assistance if the barber shop was also receiving funds.

2. What are the income limits?

Small business owners whose households earn less than the following amount will be eligible. If the business owner is not eligible, a majority of the total employees must be eligible. Low- and moderate-income households are those earning no more than 80% of the Area Median Income. The income limit is based on the number of people in your household (including roommates and children).

  • $62,450 for a household of 1 person.
  • $71,400 for a household of 2 people.
  • $80,300 for a household of 3 people.
  • $89,200 for a household of 4 people.
  • $96,350 for a household of 5 people.
  • $103,500 for a household of 6 people.
  • $110,650 for a household of 7 people.
  • $117,750 for a household of 8 people.

3. How do I calculate my 2019 gross household income?

Your 2019 gross household income is the total amount of income earned, before taxes, of every adult in your household between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Income earned by members of your household who are under the age of 18 should not be counted.

You can check your 2019 taxes, W-2s, or other forms to find your total income. You can also estimate your income based on paystubs or similar documents. Include in your calculation all sources of income, such as tips, unemployment, Social Security, pension, or investments.

4. How do I calculate my household size?

Your household size is the number of people who live in your home with you. Include any roommates, parents, siblings, children, cousins, or other family members, any friends, and anyone else who lives with you. If someone in your household lives in multiple locations, you should count them if they live in your household more than 50% of the time.

5. How does the lottery work?

The MRA will use the application to determine which businesses are eligible for this program. Eligible businesses will be assigned a number and entered into a lottery. The MRA will conduct the lottery after the application window has closed to determine the order in which people are invited to apply. The MRA will publish the results (with no personal information included, to protect privacy) and will reach out via email to the applicants who have been selected and ask for backup documentation.

6. What do I need to do if I am selected? What documents do I need to provide?

If you are selected, you will be required to submit documents to the MRA to verify your eligibility. While your exact situation may vary, you will need to provide a Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, your business’s DUNS number, the Owner’s 2019 personal income tax return and other income information for members of household, the business’s 2019 corporate tax return (additional financial statements may be requested if necessary), evidence of business income loss as a result of COVID-19, February 2020 payroll and current payroll, lease or mortgage statement, signed statement of how the grant funds will be used, and a W-9 form.

7. How soon will I get the assistance if I am selected?

We estimate that grants will begin to be awarded mid- to late-June. If you have the above documentation readily available, it will help us process your application quickly if you are selected in the lottery. 

8. What do I do if I can’t fill out the form online because of a disability, lack of Internet access, a language barrier, or some other reason? 

Contact the Malden Redevelopment Authority at bizgrant@maldenredevelopment.com or, if you cannot use email, call 781-324-5720 ext. 0 and leave a message with your full name, address, phone number, and the challenge you are having.

9. Am I eligible if I am an immigrant?

We do not collect information about immigration status. Immigration status does not affect eligibility for this program.

10. Can sole proprietors apply, even if they file a personal income tax return instead of a corporate tax return?

Yes, so long as the business can provide documentation supporting statements made in the application regarding the owner’s household income and the business income.

11. What do you mean by part-time equivalent or full-time equivalent? 

An employee is full-time if they work at least 40 hours a week. Each part-time employee counts as a portion of a full-time employee. When you add together multiple part-time employees, you can create full-time equivalent employees. For example: two part time employees working 20 hours per week is equivalent to one full time employee. Remember that the owner can be included as an employee. Do not count someone working more than 40 hours a week as more than one person.

12. What can the funding be spent on?

The grant of up to $10,000 can go toward rent payments, payroll costs, inventory costs, physical space upgrades, or other expenses. The MRA may require evidence that the funds were spent on the cost for which they were awarded.

13. Will there be more funding available later? Will I be eligible for future programs?

The MRA anticipates launching future programs to support small businesses during COVID-19. The MRA reserves the right to change the eligibility criteria, amount of assistance, and other aspects of the program.

14. Do businesses need to be in operation for at least one year since the date of the application?

Businesses must have been in operation since at least June 10, 2019.

15. If a business had more than five full-time employees before March 10, but downsized to 5 or fewer due to COVID-19, would they be eligible?

No. Businesses must have had five or fewer full-time equivalent employees, including owners, on payroll immediately prior to March 10, 2020.

16. What if there are multiple owners?

When completing the application, the primary (majority) owner should be listed as the business owner. Each business should only submit one application, regardless of the number of business owners. Any business owner should count as a full time or part time employee, depending on the number of hours that they work at the business. A majority of the owners must live in low- or moderate-income households to qualify. Race and ethnicity data should be reported based on the primary (majority) owner.

17. What about seasonal businesses that did not open until after March 10, 2020?

Seasonal businesses should compare their post-COVID-19 monthly income with that of the most recent month for which their business was operational. Businesses may also compare their sales against the same month in 2019.

18. What if I haven’t filed my 2019 income tax return?

The MRA may be able to use other documentation, including your 2018 tax return, bank statements, payroll, paystubs, or other information to verify your household income.

19. Is there a credit check required?

No.