Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund

The City of Somerville has made $6,750,000 available to Somerville small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first two rounds utilized the City’s allocation of U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Community Development Block Grant program (HUD CDBG), while Round 3 uses City of Somerville funds.

  • $1,000,000 released in Round 1 during the Spring/Summer of 2020 - Closed
  • $750,000 released in Round 2 during the Fall of 2020 - Closed
  • $5,000,000 released in Round 3 - Applications accepted now
  • Round 3 Funding

  • Round 2 Funding

  • Round 1 Funding

Round 3 of the Somerville Covid-19 Small Business Relief Program will support Somerville businesses experiencing a substantial decline in business activity because of Covid-19 and impacted by industry specific closures mandated by the Commonwealth or the City of Somerville (Phase 4, Phase 3 of the Commonwealth’s Reopening Plan as well as restaurants).  The program is designed to bridge the gap between now and when additional Commonwealth or Federal funds are available (anticipated in February 2021). 

The City has created a $5 million fund to support this effort and could award a maximum of $25,000 for each qualified business location.  The actual award amounts will vary and the typical award will be less. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis starting on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm 

Please carefully read the entire program guidelines before you begin the application. 

Ronda 3 Pautas del programa del fondo de ayuda para pequeñas empresas.

Rodada 3 Diretrizes do programa do Small Business Relief Fund.

All questions should be directed by email to [email protected].  Including the subject line “Round 3 Business Application Inquiry” will speed up the staff’s ability to respond. 


  • For-profit businesses in the following sectors are eligible to apply: 
    • Restaurants, bars, caterers 
    • Indoor Recreation or Entertainment Establishments 
      • Indoor entertainment establishments (e.g. movie theaters, comedy clubs, performing arts venues/organizations) 
      • Indoor recreation (e.g. arcades, bowling centers, pool/billiard halls, escape-the-rooms, trampoline parks, roller-skating rinks) 
      • Other indoor recreation or entertainment venues 
    • Gyms or Fitness Centers 
      • Gyms, athletic clubs, exercise centers, health clubs 
      • Sports facilities (e.g. tennis clubs, racquetball clubs, hockey rinks, swimming facilities) 
      • Fitness instruction centers (e.g. aerobics, dance, yoga, karate, etc.)
  • Business must be located in Somerville, Massachusetts 
  • Business must have been established prior to April 1, 2020 
  • Businesses must have remained open as of December 1, 2020, temporarily closed, or would have been open on December 1, 2020 but for a state or city mandated Covid-19 related closure. 
  • Entities must be a for-profit cooperative, sole proprietor, corporation or partnership 
  • Business must be independently-owned, a Somerville location of a small chain (with 10 or fewer locations), or a Somerville location of an independently-owned franchise where the owner owns fewer than 10 units. City staff may consider businesses that do not strictly meet this definition if it is determined that the business unit contributes substantially to the unique characteristics of Somerville’s business ecosystem. 
  • Businesses must have experienced a significant decline in business revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic or the associated government-mandated business closures and restrictions.  If you don’t need help, please don’t apply.  
  • Business must be in good standing with the City of Somerville
    • Business must be current on all taxes due through 3/1/2020; and 
    • Have active and valid state and City licenses/registrations, if applicable 

You must meet all of the applicable eligibility requirements listed above in order to apply.  This program focuses resources on those industry sectors that have been restricted most substantially by government-mandated Covid-19 closures, including sectors that been closed throughout the pandemic. If your business does not qualify, but is still experiencing substantial impacts, please consider applying to Commonwealth of Massachusetts Sector Specific Relief Grant Program, which is accepting applications until the end of January 15, 2021. 

Your application must be filled out and submitted along with attachments electronically through the City of Somerville’s online application portal.   

Click here to access the Somerville Covid-19 Small Business Relief Application Portal 

Hard copies or electronic copies submitted in any other way, such as mailed in or emailed, will not be considered. Additionally, only complete, accurate and legible applications will be considered.  

Please be advised  that applications must include all required documentation in order to be considered.  

  • Applications can be submitted starting 1PM, 12/30/2020    
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. City staff will begin to review applications on January 8th, 2021. 

City of Somerville OSPCD-Economic Development Division staff will review all applications to determine eligibility and the amount of the award.  Staff will contact all applicants by email when an award is made, if more information is needed or if the application is rejected.   

  • Staff will make every effort to review applications within 5-10 business days following submittal.  Due to an expected heavy volume of applications, this time period may be extended. 

Applicants must comply with all applicable laws. 

Program overview information will be available in the following languages shortly: (Application remains in English)  

  • Portuguese 
  • Spanish 
  • Haitian Creole 

Please reach out to [email protected] if you require language-based assistance with the application. 

Businesses may be awarded up to $25,000 and capped at an amount equal to two months of rent/mortgage expenses for a business location.  The final award amount may be adjusted to reflect the  degree to which the business location has been impacted financially from Covid-19 and the ability for the business to document reimbursable expenses.    

Businesses will be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in 2020 during the pandemic.  Only expenses incurred since April 1, 2020 will be considered. 

Awards will be made as forgivable loans.  Loan forgiveness will occur once the awardee completes all required documentation. 

Employee payroll and benefit costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and interest on other debt obligations, subject to review and approval of the City of Somerville. 

Business’s proposed uses of the funds granted in response to this application will be used only to cover those costs that are eligible expenses under section 601 of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136, div. A, Title V (Mar. 27, 2020) (“section 601”). 

Business will not apply the funds granted in response to this application to any expense that has been or will be covered by any other source of federal or state funding including, but not limited to, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Sector Specific Grant Program, Paycheck Protection Program loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, awards from previous rounds of City Covid-19 Small Business Relief Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), or any other source of federal or state aid. 

Business will collect and retain sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the expenses delineated in this application were incurred within the eligibility limits and established for the  Program. Documentation includes, but is not limited to, receipts, invoices, purchase orders, contracts, contemporaneous memoranda, or other relevant materials. These materials must be stored in an easily accessible and searchable format, in business control, and in compliance with document retention best practices. This documentation will be maintained in compliance with applicable federal, state, and municipal law to support internal and external audits of these obligations and expenditures. The City of Somerville reserves the right to request this documentation or other audit evidence at a future date. 

The City of Somerville reserves the right to require Business to report on incurred expenses and/or outcomes in a form prescribed by the City at a later time. 

Major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, lobbying.  Also, grantees must prevent the duplication of benefits, which means these grant funds may not be used to pay expenses if another source of financial aid has paid that same expense. 

Any questions or clarifications about your application or the Program can be submitted by email to [email protected] with a subject line of “Round 3 Business Application Inquiry” 

Here are answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Round 2 of the Somerville Small Business Covid-19 Relief Fund provides general assistance for small businesses impacted by Covid-19 ($7,500) and targeted assistance to restaurants that offered outdoor dining during the Summer and Fall of 2020 ($1,000).  All assistance is in the form of forgivable loans.

General Assistance (approximately $600,000 available)

  • A $7,500 forgivable loan is available to reimburse for working capital expenses, including but not limited to rent or mortgage payments, payroll expenses including healthcare, and utility expenses
  • 156 unique and verified applications were received by Tuesday, December 1 at 3 pm
  • A selection lottery was held on Friday, December 4 at 10 am (see video)
  • Lottery results are found here

The City anticipates that there is enough funding available to provide assistance to approximately 80 businesses.  Economic Development staff will reach out directly by email to the first 80 businesses selected in the lottery to begin the process of confirming program eligibility.  If a business proves to be ineligible, staff will contact the next business on the list and continue in this manner until all funds are exhausted.

Outdoor Dining Reimbursement  Program (approximately $85,000 available)

On April 18th, Mayor Curtatone announced the establishment of the $1,000,000 Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund was designed to provide up to $10,000 forgivable loans for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications and program guidelines were made available online and in multiple languages on April 24th and applications were accepted until May 11th. Substantial outreach took place and included coordination with the Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Communications Team, outreach through the Economic Development e-newsletter, networking through our economic development partners, and targeted outreach to our small businesses utilizing other business assistance programs. Applications were reviewed by staff to ensure they met basic program eligibility guidelines. Next, an 8-person Review Committee was established and consisted of three OSPCD staff, Ward 2 City Councilor J.T. Scott, and four community representatives appointed by Somerville business organizations: East Somerville Main Streets, Union Square Main Streets, Somerville Chamber of Commerce, and The Welcome Project.

Program guidelines are available here.

Download a list of the questions included in the application.

Of the awardees...

  • 46% are minority-owned businesses
  • 56% are women-owned businesses
  • Collectively, these businesses employ over 600 people

Committee Recommendation Memo

Committee recommendations memo preview

List of Round 1 Awardees Names

  • A Curated World
  • Ackerson ACQ, LLC dba The Boston Shaker
  • Alexandra Whisnant dba gâté comme des filles
  • Ana's Hair Salon
  • AnnexTW, Inc dba Bronwyn Restaurant
  • Arow Express INC dba Arow Express Grab and Go
  • Ashley Vick dba Filomena Demarco Jewelry
  • B.EE.F. INC. dba Fasika Restaurant
  • barra.bars,LLC dba BARRA
  • be. in Union Yoga
  • Beacon Street Cafe INC dba R.F. O'Sullivan & Son
  • Beacon Street Pizza Llc dba Beacon Street Pizza
  • Bergamot LLC dba Bergamot Restaurant
  • Biosol beauty salon
  • Boston Mobile iPhone Repairs dba Boston Mobile iPhone Repairs
  • Bow Street Charm Corp dba Yoi Sushi & Chinese Restaurant
  • Bread and Salt Hospitality, LLC dba Juliet
  • Buddy’s Diner
  • Buenas LLC
  • Bull McCabe Corp dba Bull McCabe's Pub
  • Caesar's Pizza & Subs, Inc.
  • Cafe Rustica Inc
  • Callan Hospitality Inc. dba The Dark Horse Public House
  • Carolicious LLC
  • Casa B LLC dba Casa B Tapas and Cocktail & Rum Bar
  • Cercross and sons Inc dba Restaurante Turistico Machu Picchu
  • Chacon restaurant group inc dba Los Paisanos
  • Cordima Chiropractic Center, P.C.
  • Davis Squared Inc dba Davis Squared
  • Demeter Hospitality Group LLC dba Daddy Jones Bar
  • Edson Lino dba International Optical
  • Elliots House LLC dba Elliots House Pet Care & More
  • Emily B. Chang, DDS,LLC dba Smiles Over Somerville
  • EventThem
  • Fadil African Hair Braiding
  • Fat Hen LLC dba La Brasa / Fat Hen
  • Federal Wine & Spirits Belmont dba Backbar
  • Fedwell Pet Foods, Inc dba Petwell Supply
  • Fernanda C. Macedo dba Fernanda’s beauty salon
  • Forestbound
  • G & A Foods Inc dba Falafel Place
  • Gogle Mogle, Inc dba The Biscuit
  • Grace Salon
  • Gracie's Ice Cream, LLC dba Gracie's Ice Cream
  • HAIR by Christine & co
  • High Energy Vintage
  • Highland Cuisine
  • Hua Sheng Inc. dba Mandarin
  • Isabel Bermejo dba April's Hair Cutting
  • Josy Hair Salon
  • KARALLI LLC dba Royal Pizza & Subs
  • Kathmandu kitchen LLC dba Himalayan Kitchen
  • Kaya Beauty Spa and Salon corp dba Kaya Beauty Spa
  • Kayaa llc dba Momo n curry
  • Laundry Huangli inc
  • L& L CORP UNION MARKET dba Union Market
  • Lisa's Nails Inc
  • LKJ Pino Inc dba Amal Niccoli
  • L'Optique Boutique
  • Lumber Cats
  • Machu Chicken INC dba Machu Chicken
  • Make and Mend LLC dba Emily Tirella
  • Mariachi Foods Inc. dba El Potro Mexican Grill
  • Mark Food Enterprises dba Oliviera’s Steak House
  • Maryom Hair Design
  • Mike's Bar Corporation
  • Mineirao One Stop Mart, Inc.
  • Moe Fencing Club LLC
  • Moroccan hospitality
  • Mt. Auburn Healthcare,UnionSquare dba Somerville Primary Care Clinic
  • Narae Holdings dba Buk Kyung
  • Navjot Kaur Corporation dba Masala Square
  • New England Leather dba Swank
  • New Style Beauty Salon
  • Nievesfamilychildcare, Inc.
  • Noel herbal skincare
  • NU Cafe Somerville, LLC dba NU Kitchen
  • O'Connor Awards Unlimited dba Awards Unlimited
  • Olio Culinary Cooperative Corporation dba Tanám
  • Open Space Community Acupuncture LLC
  • Play Union, LLC
  • Pet Spa Inc
  • Portuguese American Lounge dba Union Tavern
  • Prospect Hill Properties, Inc. dba The Independent
  • Rebel Revel LLC Rebel Rebel
  • Recinos corporación dba Recinos Café
  • Rei da Picanha & Events Inc
  • Remnant Brewing, LLC dba Remnant Brewing
  • RENATA & Co., LLC
  • Restaurant la Mexicana Inc. dba Cantina La Mexicana
  • Rincon Mexicano inc.
  • S & H Coffee Company, Inc. dba Nine Bar Espresso
  • Sally O Brien’s LLC dba Sally O Brien’s bar & grille
  • Salon Aya
  • Salon CU, INC.
  • Salonika Hair Design
  • Saus Bow Market Entertainment dba SAUS
  • Shiso Kitchen LLC
  • Sirit LLC dba Veggie Crust & Nice Cream
  • SN4, Inc. dba Shivalic food and spice
  • Some Yoga Studio, LLC
  • Somerville Grooves
  • Sri Shakti Corp. dba Dosa n Curry
  • Studio M Barbershop and Salon dba Studio M
  • Studio S Beauty Salon
  • Sweet Spot Bakery LLC dba Lyndell's Bakery
  • T&C Trust dba T&C Convenience
  • TAQOS LLC dba Taco Loco Mexican Grill
  • Tasty MoMo
  • Thai J&J LLC dba Siam Ginger Thai Cuisine
  • The Jungle Club LLC dba The Jungle Community Music Club
  • Tiny Turns Designs LLC dba Tiny Turns Paperie
  • Tree House Academy Child Care
  • Tufts Market LLC dba Tufts Market
  • TW Productions, Inc dba T&B Pizza
  • Two Little Monkeys
  • Union Square Companies, LLC dba Union Square Donuts
  • Union Square Group dba Brass Union
  • Union Square Tailoring
  • Urban Axes Boston, LLC dba Urban Axes
  • V & Y Corp dba AR Nail Bar
  • Vinal Bakery LLC dba Vinal Bakery
  • Warehouse XI
  • WINTER HILL PUB INC dba Olde Magoun’s Saloon