BOSTON (State House News Service) — More than 40 percent of grants distributed through a nearly $700 million small business relief program have gone to minority-owned businesses, Baker administration officials said Thursday, touting their success at reaching the hardest-hit communities as the funding winds down.
Since October, the administration has distributed $687 million to more than 15,000 local employers through its COVID-19 small business relief program.
Forty-three percent of the grants went to minority-owned establishments, and 46 percent went to women-owned businesses, Baker said Thursday during a press conference in Lowell.
Those rates drew praise from Amplify Latinx Executive Director Rosario Ubiera-Minaya, who said the intentional focus on communities of color helped those disproportionately affected by the pandemic through dire stretches.
"This doesn't happen by accident," Ubiera-Minaya said. "The success of this program happens when you make a concerted effort and you are intentional about directing these funds specifically to support the needs of our minority communities."
The administration announced another $5 million in grants will flow to 108 businesses in the final round of funding.
Asked about the potential for additional small business relief grants during the summer, Baker said a "trickle" of funding will continue but that "the big bowl of this program has been distributed at this point in time."