BLDC receives $693,000 CARES grant to support loans for Boston small businesses impacted by COVID-19

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the Boston Local Development Corporation has received a $693,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to capitalize and administer a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Boston.

“Since the impacts of COVID-19 first touched Boston, we have remained committed to providing every possible resource to help our small businesses,” said Mayor Walsh. “This additional funding for the Boston Local Development Corporation will allow Boston to continue its efforts to provide and leverage additional resources to support the small businesses that fuel our neighborhoods and our economy during this challenging time.”

The Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) works to increase employment opportunities for Boston residents by providing small business loans with a focus on commercial, industrial, and service companies. Over the last twenty years, the BLDC has provided over $20 million in small business loans. These loans have successfully leveraged over $95 million through collaborations with Boston’s banking community. The loan funds have helped to create or retain over 3,500 Boston jobs. There are two types of loans available:

  • The Standard BLDC Loan Fund is available for existing businesses, new ventures, and businesses relocating to the City of Boston. These loans range from $25,000 to $150,000.
  • The Backstreets Boston Back-up Loan Program provides financing for Boston companies in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. These loans differ from our standard program in that loan amounts can reach up to $250,000.

BLDC loans can be used to support the working capital needs of a growing small business, assist in the purchase of a new business property, fund construction of leasehold improvements, purchase new equipment and machinery, construct an addition to an existing plant, and provide for expanded inventories. The BLDC coordinates with Boston’s banking community to provide gap financing through subordinated debt.

“On behalf of the BLDC Board of Trustees, I would like to express our excitement that this additional funding will give us the opportunity to have an immediate impact on the recovery of Boston’s small business community,” said Bill Nickerson, General Manager of the BLDC.

The BLDC is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation governed by an independent board of trustees. The day to day operation of the program is provided by the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s Financial Services department.

Small businesses interested in learning more about BLDC and applying for a loan should visit

The funding announcement builds on the Walsh Administration’s ongoing efforts to address the needs of Boston’s workforce and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Walsh and the Office of Economic Development launched the Small Business Relief Fund and the Boston Reopen Fund, two strategic initiatives to support small businesses and employees. Over $13 million in debt-free grants has been allocated to help small businesses across the City of Boston pay rent, fulfill payroll, or cover any operating expenses, as well as cover costs of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and temporary structures required for reopening and to keep employees and customers safe.