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The Urban Agenda Grant

Information to help you understand and apply for the ABBP: Urban Agenda Grants (UAG) is below. This page is intended for informative purposes with references to outside links and information. The Association does not manage the information contained in those links.

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What is the UAG? 

Launched by the Baker-Polito Administration in 2015, the Urban Agenda Grant Program promotes economic vitality in urban neighborhoods by fostering partnerships that capitalize on unique local assets and community-driven responses to specific challenges. Urban Agenda grants are competitive one-year awards that offer these partnerships flexible funding to implement programming and projects based on creative, collaborative work models to support economic progress in urban communities.

Springfield – McKnight – Association of Black Business and Professionals: $100,000 to support Pathways to Economic Resilience in the Black Community, a partnership with Springfield and MassHire to provide workshops to business professionals, competitive grants to small businesses, and a $2,000 internship stipend to Black and Latino students.


Information above is sourced from Governor Baker's March 9, 2021. For more information on the Grant itself and other administrators of the grant in other Springfield neighborhoods, please see the full Press Release from Governor Baker. 

Click Here For Full Press Release 

ABBP Urban Agenda Grants


This year, with the unprecedented and far-reaching impact of the global pandemic, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made available $2.5 Million through the Urban Agenda Grant to provide support to organizations that intend to develop and/or implement Covid-19 economic recovery strategies. The Association of Black Business
and Professionals (ABBP) has been awarded $100,000 to implement programs to directly address disparities in pandemic recovery assistance in Black communities. We will do so by strengthening and continuing our mission to provide financial literacy workshops and opportunities for Black business owners and professionals to network and build social capital. Furthermore, we will target a portion of these funds to provide 14 awards of $5,000 in direct financial assistance to Black businesses, and 10 internship awards of $2,000 to black/brown students.

This pandemic recovery program targets the Mcknight, Upper Hill, Pine Point, Old Hill, and Boston Road neighborhoods of Springfield which have some of the highest populations of Black residents in the City of Springfield. Additionally, these neighborhoods have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, while also receiving disproportionately less in terms of recovery assistance when compared to other more affluent communities.

Who Should Apply:

While many have been negatively affected by the pandemic, to ensure that these limited funds get to the most severely impacted businesses, preference will be given to the following priority categories:

  1. Black-owned small businesses, especially those who have experienced significant operating revenue loss due to the coronavirus pandemic and/or have not received significant financial assistance through other pandemic assistance programs. Your business must be at least 51% Black-owned, operated, and controlled.

  2. Non-profit 501 (c)(3) organizations whose primary mission is serving the Black community.

Application Submission Instructions:
Please note, there are two separate applications for the Small Business Grant and the Internship Stipend. Your application must be filled out and submitted along with attachments as stated in “Required Documentation” electronically through ABBP’s online application portal. Only complete, accurate and legible applications will be

Please be advised, applications must include all required documentation by the program deadline in order to be considered. Please see the full list of “Required Documentation” details below. Common omissions that would exclude your application from consideration:

Small Business

  • Business Certificate (State or City)

  • 1 pg Narrative (Questions included below)

  • Proposed Budget


  • Letter of verification from your employer.

  • Letter of Recommendation

  • Resume

  • 1 pg Narrative (Questions included below)

Award Process/Timeline:
The Association of Black Business and Professionals (ABBP) will review all applications to determine eligibility. ABBP will award and disburse grants competitively based upon the eligibility criteria and your level of need.

Please review the following important deadlines:

Application opens – Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Application close for Round 1 – Friday, April 9, 2021
Awards Announced for Round 1 – Monday, May 3, 2021
Application close for Round 2 –Monday, June 14, 2021

Awards Announced for Round 2 – Friday, July 2, 2021

*All dates are subject to change based on the disbursement of funds received from Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED)

Compliance with Federal Funds, Laws and Regulations:
Applicants must comply with all applicable laws.


14 Businesses/Nonprofits can receive up to $5,000.
5 Black and Latino/a/x can receive an internship stipend for $2,000.


Approved Use of Funds:
Operating Expenses, adapting to COVID-19 restrictions (e.g. expanding delivery, online service etc.), programmatic services.

Business will collect and retain sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the expenses delineated in this application were incurred within the eligibility limits and established for the Pathways to Economic Resilience Grant Program. Documentation includes, but is not limited to, receipts, invoices, purchase orders, contracts, contemporaneous memoranda, or other relevant materials. These materials must be stored in an easily accessible and searchable format, in business control, and in compliance with document retention best practices. This documentation will be maintained in compliance with applicable federal, state, and municipal law to support internal and external audits of these obligations and expenditures. As the prime awarding agency of the Urban Agenda Grant Program, the Commonwealth reserves the right to request this documentation or other audit evidence at a future date.

Grantor reserves the right to require Business to report on incurred expenses and/or outcomes in a form prescribed by the Grantor.

Non-Approved Use of Funds:
Personal expenses, lobbying. Also, grantees must prevent the duplication of benefits, which means these grant funds may not be used to pay expenses if another source of financial aid has paid that same expense.


If a person owns multiple businesses and submits an application for each business, ABBP may reserve the right to limit proceeds to a business owner.


Requirements for Businesses and Nonprofits:

  • Business must be based in Mcknight, Upper Hill, Pine Point, Bay, and Boston Road neighborhoods, 

  • Business can be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, cooperative or LLC) or nonprofit.

  • Business must be currently in operation or if not in operation must have an intent to reopen.

Requirements for Students:

  • Must be currently enrolled in high school, 2 yr or 4 yr College/University.

  • Recent graduates must provide proof that they graduated within the past 2 years.

  • Must live and/or attend school in Mcknight, Upper Hill, Pine Point, Bay, and Boston Road neighborhoods of Springfield, MA.

  •  Must be in good academic standing with your school.

  • Internship should be an opportunity to build relevant career experience 

  • Students are expected to apply for and secure their own internship. You will be required to provide a letter of verification indicating your start date, role, and general responsibilities.

    • ABBP will collaborate with community partners to provide some additional support to connect students with suitable internships.

    • Employers/Internship Coordinators, especially those who typically offer unpaid internships, can share internship openings and/or nominate potential candidates by contacting the Association at


  1. Completed and signed IRS W-9 Form for your business


If your business is a Sole Proprietorship:

  • A copy of your Business Certificate (DBA) from the city/town in which your business operates.

  • A copy of the business owner's valid photo identification (ID). This ID must match the business owner who is an authorized signer that signs this application. Please submit a photocopy of the front and back of the ID.

Examples include (submit one): State-issued driver's license/ID card, U.S. Passport book or card, or other valid, state or federal issued photo ID 

Internship Stipend Required Documents:

  1. Resume

  2. Internship Verification Letter from employer. Should include start date/end date, role, and general responsibilities.

  3. At least one letter of recommendation from someone well acquainted with the applicant.

    • They should address the student’s involvement in campus/community activities and potential in their field. This recommendation may also affirm the student’s ethnic minority status and financial need.

  4. Please also attach a 1-page document answering the following questions:

    • What are your professional development objectives? How will the internship you’ve chosen help to further  those goals

    • What are your past, current and future plans for involvement in campus/community activities (e.g. community service, campus clubs, affiliations etc.)

Links to Applications:

Black business grant application

Internship Stipend Application

Additional Questions? 

Still have more questions? Email us at

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