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Amherst Area Chamber Winter Microgrant Program deadline extended to February 22nd
The Amherst Area Chamber will administer $12,500 in micro-grants for small businesses in the Amherst Area to pivot or adapt for winter, with the intention of offering 25 $500 micro-grants. To be eligible, your main brick-and-mortar store or business is in the Towns of Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Pelham, Leverett, Shutesbury, or Sunderland (at least 50% of your receipts come from that location).
American Farmland Trust’s New England Farmer Microgrants Program
This new program, launched in 2020, assists farmers in New England with financial barriers to land access, expanding onto new land, and farm succession planning. Grant awards ranging from $500-$5,000 may be provided for professional services to support farmland access, farmland expansion, or farm transfer; for capital costs associated with direct expansion of farm production; or for equipment purchase that would allow the farmer to open up new land for production. Grants are intended to leverage other resources (either in-kind from the farmer, or other private and public funds) and make a real difference for farmers to access land, improve land security, or expand production. A project may involve an individual farmer, a farm family, a group of farmers with a cooperative business, or a non-profit entity. Applications that prioritize community-driven food security efforts are strongly encouraged. Look for the next application deadline in late winter.
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) Fund-A-Farmer Grants
This program offers grants of up to $2,500 to livestock farms nationwide for projects that improve farm animal welfare together with increasing the environmental and financial sustainability of farm operations. In 2018, FACT awarded grants to 28 farms in 19 states across the country. FACT currently offers three types of grants: 1) grants of to help farmers get animal welfare certifications; 2) grants to help farms transition to or improve pasture-based systems, and 3) grants to build animal welfare-certified farms’ capacity and/or markets (note that awards for capacity-building applications are available up to $2,500 for an individual farm applicant, or up to $5,000 for joint applicants). Applications are typically accepted during the months of October and November.
Harold Grinspoon Foundation Local Farmer Awards
Launched in 2015 in partnership with Big Y – funders include the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation in partnership with Big Y along with Ann & Steve Davis, Friendly’s, HP Hood LLC, Farm Credit East, PeoplesBank, Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, Baystate Health and, new in 2019, Eastern States Exposition – the Local Farmer Awards provide grants of up to $2,500 to fund physical infrastructure improvements on farms located in western Massachusetts. A farmer appreciation event is held yearly for all applicants and awardees to honor and recognize farmers and promote the importance of local farming. In 2019, awards were given to 62 local farmers. Applications are typically accepted during the month of January.
Massachusetts Farm Energy Program
Provides technical assistance and monetary support for farmers in conducting energy audits and completing the prerequisites and applications for grants focused on energy conservation and renewable energy (including REAP, EQIP, and state grants). The program also offers farmers up to $5,000 toward energy efficiency upgrades, based on the amount of energy to be saved by the upgrades.