Funding & Financing Options for Boston’s Small Businesses

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Are you a small business owner in Boston looking to expand, update, buy new, hire or improve, but lack the funds to take the next step in your company’s growth? Maybe you’ve got a winning idea for a new business, but, like most entrepreneurs or startups, you don’t have the capital to really get it off the ground.

Luckily, there are several federal and national agencies, as well as venture capitalists, willing to provide funding and financing options for small businesses in Boston and greater Massachusetts.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that works with lenders to provide loans to small businesses with competitive terms, lower down payments, flexible overhead requirements and, in some cases, no collateral needed. SBA-guaranteed loans range from $500 to $5.5 million, and can be used for most business purposes, such as long-term fixed assets and operating capital. Learn more.

MassDevelopment Loan Programs

MassDevelopment is a state economic and finance agency that partners with banks to offer cost-effective and creative financing solutions to Massachusetts businesses. They currently provide specialized loans for manufacturers and growing technology companies, equipment purchases, and facility acquisition, renovation and construction, as well as export financing and mortgage insurance guarantees. Learn more.

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation

The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is an alternative lending source for viable Massachusetts small business in need of financing. They lend to most industries and offer term loans, lines of credit, contract financing and Real Estate Enhancement Financing (REEF) with loan amounts up to $1,000,000. Learn more.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Coordinated by the SBA, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a three-phase Federal program that provides grant funding for small businesses conducting research and development (R&D) with commercial potential. SBIR funds the critical startup and development phases, and encourages small businesses to proceed with commercialization. Learn more.

MassVentures START Program

The MassVentures START program helps Massachusetts-based companies commercialize the technologies, products and services developed in the SBIR program by providing state funded grants and equity-like investments. Any Massachusetts company whose application to the program is not based on life sciences and has received a Phase II SBIR award within the last four years (or meets alternative requirements) is eligible to apply. Learn more.

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) offers tax incentives to companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization and manufacturing in Massachusetts. They also award grant money via the Milestone Achievement Program (MAP), designed to help life sciences companies reach a breakthrough, and the Massachusetts Transition and Growth Program (MassTAG), which encourages life sciences companies to establish operations in the Commonwealth. Learn more.

Massachusetts Energy & Environmental Affairs Office of Grants

The EEA Office of Grants and Technical Assistance provides financial assistance for businesses with a focus on conserving natural resources, developing responsible energy practices, and creating outdoor recreational programs. They offer grants and funding for agriculture, forestry and forest fire control, air quality and energy, emergency planning, recycling and waste, toxics and chemicals, land and recreation, water and more. Learn more.

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Funding

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is a state economic agency, which provides investment funding opportunities for Massachusetts businesses in the clean energy space. MassCEC currently funds more than 40 programs, including incentives for clean energy technology installations and grant funding for start-ups. Learn more.

More Tips for Boston’s Small Business Owners

Financing a business can be a challenge, but there are several funding options available if you take the time to research your options and apply.

For more ways to stretch your hard-earned dollar, check out Additional Support for Boston’s Minority-Owned Small Businesses and these 5 Money-Saving Tips for Startups.

Looking for additional support and guidance when it comes to making responsible financial decision for your organization? Check out these resources for small businesses in the Boston area.

Examining your business’ financial position and curious about your credit score? Be sure to review these 4 steps to establish and improve your business credit score.

Editor’s Note: This content was originally published in May 2019,  but has been updated as of March 2021.