MASS. - In an effort to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic, the state awarded a final round of grants as part of their COVID-19 Business Relief Program. 

In total, more than 15,000 businesses were awarded nearly $700 million in direct cash payments. 

Gov. Charlie Baker says more than 40% of the grants went to minority-owned businesses and 46% to women-owned businesses. 

"These relief grants were designed to help the hardest hit businesses. Specifically targeted to certain groups and sectors that were disproportionately affected by the covid-19 pandemic and, in many cases, couldn't access some of the federally available business support programs,” Gov. Baker said. “Throughout the application and awarding process, we kept the priorities top of mind, which was to support minority and women-owned businesses as they were being hit harder than most."

The state launched the program in October. Grants totaling $5 million will go to more than 100 businesses in this final round of funding.