Sen. Adams Hinds

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, in partnership with the office of state Sen. Adam Hinds, has announced a grant program to help local businesses pay for COVID-19-related expenses. 

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has created a grant program to help businesses pay for COVID-19-related expenses. 

The Berkshire County COVID-19 Adaptation Fund will assist businesses and organizations with up to 25 employees. Applicants can use the funds to cover the purchase of personal protection equipment and other COVID-related supplies, along with general businesses expenses, which include rent, utilities, payroll and insurance.

The planning commission, which is working in partnership with the office of state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will begin accepting applications online on Dec. 1.

The program will be available to both for-profit and nonprofit small businesses throughout the county. Maximum grant awards range from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the number of employees. Preference will also be given to applicants from Black, Indigenous and People of Color-owned businesses.  

“We understand that this current public health and economic crisis has had an outsized impact on communities of color,” Thomas Matuszko, executive director of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, said in a release. “We urge minority-owned businesses to apply for these funds and will look to issue awards as quickly as possible.”

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The planning commission is also working to help administer two regional Community Development Block Grant programs specific to for-profit businesses with five or fewer employees with low-to-moderate income owners.  

The fund will consider applications of up to $15,000 from established nonprofit organizations to support programs that help individuals and groups impacted economically by COVID-19. 

Those seeking to apply for support should email Senior Planner Laura Brennan at lbrennan@berkshireplanning.org.

For more information, visit berkshireplanning.org.