Grant Awards range from $1,000.00 - $25,000.00
The Mason Square TDI Small Business Activation Grant Program was created to support and elevate local small businesses and promote the economic success of the local businesses within the Mason Square TDI district by providing grants and consulting services for branding, marketing, and placemaking efforts.
The program has received $200,000 in funding from MassDevelopment and the MassMutual Foundation . Businesses will have the ability to self-select how much money they want to apply for. The self-selected amount is not guaranteed. Applicants should carefully consider their proposals.
The goal is to increase the visibility of local business within Mason Square as well as customer traffic; ultimately contributing to economic growth while kickstarting a more walkable commercial corridor between the Mason Square neighborhoods Old Hill, Upper Hill, Bay, McKnight, and Six Corners.
The grant program offers assistance to aid businesses with their application process. Advisors fluent in both English and Spanish will be available to provide support. If your business requires translation in a different language, please contact our team for assistance. Stone Soul, Inc. and the Mason Square TDI Grant program committee share responsibility for overseeing the program.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply:
The applicant must operate as a sole proprietor, DBA (Doing Business As), LLC (Limited Liability Company), or Corporation.
The applicant's business must operate within the TDI District Map boundaries and/or serve the residents or businesses within the Mason Square TDI District.
Physical property (Rent or Own) in Mason Square
Operate a home-based business in Mason Square.
This requirement means that the applicant must have a physical presence in the Mason Square TDI District either through owning or renting a property or operating a product or service-based business out of their home.
Number of employees:
The applicant must have no more than 15 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including 1099 contractors.
Sole proprietors operating as a D/B/A are eligible to apply for the grant.
1. Owner's social security number will be required.
Note: Clarification the FTE (Full-Time Employee) requirements
Please note that FTE requirements do not affect single-member, sole proprietor individuals, etc. operating their own company. This means that as a sole proprietor, you are not required to meet the FTE criteria requirements.
As a an individual business owner, you are able to apply for Mason Square TDI Activation Grant. However, please ensure that you meet all other eligibility criteria outlined in the application guidelines. These may include factors such as residency or business location and services area.
Business owners who have a primary source of income other than their business are still eligible to apply. However, their primary income cannot exceed $85,000 annually.
The applicant must have been in business for a minimum of 30 days at the time of application.
Preference: While all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply, preference will be given to those who have retail operations such as restaurants, cafes, and shops, street-level storefronts, and community-accessible spaces.
1. Nonprofit organizations, including religious organizations, are ineligible for this funding.
- This requirement makes it so that nonprofit organizations, including religious organizations, cannot apply for this grant funding
2. This funding is not available to chains and big box stores.
NOTE: It is important to note that the program aims to reach as many low to moderate-income, entrepreneurs, and struggling minority business owners in the TDI district as possible. Therefore, the eligibility requirements are designed to prioritize small businesses and organizations that are likely to benefit most from the grant program. Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years old at the time of application. Committee reserves the right to limit grant to one business per owner.
How the application process works
Grant Status: CLOSED
Opens June 26, 2023 12:00 AM
Information sessions will be held online and in-person, both in English and Spanish. This is an opportunity to learn more about the grant and answer your questions.
The Mason Square TDI District Grant Committee reads and scores all applications based on the description of the business’ need for support.
Notifications will be made via email or telephone (September 1, 2023).
Application portal opens June 26, 2023.
Fill out and submit attachments as stated in “Required Documentation” electronically through Springfield NHS online application portal.
No applications will be accepted after the August 22, 2023 deadline.
Company Branding & Storytelling Support: This includes redesigning logos and affiliate brand materials, enhancing brand materials, creating photos and videos for products, patrons, and support for podcasting and other media, etc.
Digital Media & Web Presence: This includes support for Google and other web listings, social media strategy, tools training, and content support.
Place-based Brand Design & Implementation: This includes improving storefronts with signage, painting, lighting, etc., providing interior design support to elevate desirability and brand alignment, and preparing space for retail and vendor popups.
Placemaking Design & Activation: This includes identifying, conceptualizing, designing, and building shared public spaces in the Mason Square TDI District through a community-engaged process that promotes equitable development, resident and visitor activation, safe and accessible communities, and small business growth. This may include murals and public art, public community spaces, events and activities, and wayfinding resources.
This program is ideal for small businesses, organizations, and groups in the Mason Square TDI District who are looking to improve their branding and marketing efforts, enhance their digital presence, and make improvements to their storefronts and public spaces. The program is designed to support the economic growth of local businesses while also creating a more vibrant and welcoming community for residents and visitors alike.
Small business technical assistance: Experts help small businesses apply for grants by providing assistance with tasks such as identifying grant opportunities, creating a compelling narrative, preparing documentation, and developing a realistic budget. Their goal is to help small businesses secure the funding they need to grow and thrive.
Apply for the Mason Square TDI Activation Grant today! Our grant program supports community-driven initiatives that promote economic development, cultural vitality, and social well-being. Let us help you turn your vision into reality and build a stronger community.
FAQ: If you are an SBTA provider email us for a copy or QUESTIONS? Please Contact: David Failey, Small Business Technical Assistance Advisor at email@example.com or 413-739-4737
Review the information: You will be require to provide the following information and documentation based on your business. Assistance is available for those who need help preparing and completing application. Applicants my share access to their application portal for assistance. However, all applicants must submit their own application once complete from their login.
1. Business Information:
Business name, address, phone number, and email address
Business type (e.g., LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership)
Business registration, license, and tax ID numbers
Business owner(s) names and contact information
2. Description of Business:
Description of the business including products or services offered
Business history and background information
Target market and customer demographics
Current marketing, branding, and placemaking efforts
3. Project Plan:
Detailed project plan outlining specific branding, marketing, and placemaking efforts that the grant funding will be used for
Timeline for the project and expected outcomes
Marketing: A small retail store might apply for a grant to fund a digital marketing campaign to attract more customers. This could include creating social media accounts, running targeted online ads, and producing engaging content to promote their products.
Branding: A small food truck business might apply for a grant to fund a rebranding effort. This could include redesigning their logo, creating new menus and signage, and developing unique brand voice that sets them apart from other food trucks.
Placemaking: A small community bookstore might apply for a grant to fund a project to create an outdoor reading garden. This could include adding benches, landscaping, and public art installations to create a welcoming and comfortable outdoor space where people can read and relax.
Another example might be a small restaurant applying for a grant to fund a project to create a more inviting and unique atmosphere for their customers.
This could include creating a mural or other visual installations, purchasing new furniture, or adding greenery to the space to make it more inviting.
Detailed budget outlining all costs associated with the project, including estimates for materials, labor, and any other expenses
Explanation of how the grant funding will be used and how it will impact the project's overall budget
5. Supporting Documentation:
Proof of physical property ownership or rental agreement in Mason Square TDI District
Financial statements, including balance sheets and income statements
Resumes or biographies of key personnel involved in the project
Applicants should review the program guidelines and application instructions carefully to ensure that they provide all the necessary documentation and information.
To provide proof that the applicant's business is currently open and operating within the Mason Square district or serving residents/businesses in the district, there are several ways to do so. Here are a few examples:
Business license: The applicant can provide a copy of their business license, which should indicate the business address.
Tax return: The applicant can provide a copy of their most recent tax return, which should include the business address.
Utility bill: The applicant can provide a recent utility bill that shows the business location and/or service area.
Lease agreement: The applicant can provide a copy of their lease agreement, which should show the business address.
Website or social media: The applicant can provide a link to their business website or social media page, which should indicate the business address and/or service area.
Business registration: The applicant can provide proof of business registration with the state or local government, which should include the business address.
Sales tax certificate: The applicant can provide a copy of their sales tax certificate, which should indicate the business address.
Chamber of Commerce membership: The applicant can provide proof of membership in the local Chamber of Commerce, which should indicate the business address and/or service area.
These additional options can help provide further evidence of the applicant's eligibility for the grant program. It's important to note that the specific documentation required may vary depending on the grant program guidelines and the preferences of the grant administrators.