Daily News

State Awards 638 Business Grants, Extends Capacity Limits, Lifts Early-closing Mandate

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced $37.4 million in awards to 638 additional small businesses in a fourth round of grants through the COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp. Restaurants, bars, and retail stores, which have been especially impacted during the pandemic, are among the key industries to lead this round.

To date, the state has awarded more than $232 million in direct financial support to 4,757 small businesses. This funding has been made available through a $668 million business  relief fund  set up in December, as well as $50.8 million for small and diverse businesses included in the  economic-recovery package  announced in October.

Additional grants will be announced in the coming weeks for thousands of additional businesses.

The administration also announced an extension of the existing, across-the-board, 25% capacity limits for most businesses and current limitations on gatherings through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 8.

However, the administration also announced that, effective Monday, Jan. 25 at 5 a.m., it would rescind an existing early-closing order requiring many businesses to close at 9:30 p.m. each evening, and that at the same time it would also withdraw its related stay-at-home advisory urging residents to remain at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

All other orders and safety guidance remain in place throughout the Commonwealth as the state continues to fight COVID-19 and vaccines ramp up in all regions.

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