Policy Advocacy: American Rescue Plan Act Support for Local Businesses

A unique opportunity to support local businesses in a transformative way.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a huge impact on locally-owned independent businesses in and around Cambridge. It quickly transformed the environment in which businesses operate while intensifying existing challenges.

Cities and states across the nation have received aid by way of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Given this substantial infusion of funds, we have a unique opportunity to not only support independents and local businesses recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, but also to rebuild towards a future in which diverse local businesses are able to thrive. This page will be periodically updated with:

  • Information about how ARPA funds will be used, including local and statewide grant opportunities for locally-owned, independent businesses.
  • Our recommendations for initiatives, submitted through the city’s project submittal form.

CLF's broader advocacy efforts around ARPA include:

We are identifying priority areas for targeting funding and monitoring how funds have been allocated to support locally-owned, independent businesses.

We are researching best practices and submitting recommendations for funding that can best create a supportive and equitable environment for local businesses to succeed in.

We are actively advocating for the use of funds in ways that benefit local businesses and  engaging with local policymakers to make it happen.


Monday February 28, 2022 / 8:00 PM

Wednesday March 2, 2022 / 5:30 PM

Monday April 4, 2022
New Applicant and Inclusive Grant Program applications due ($10 – $75k)
  • New Applicant Program: for businesses that have not previously received support from MGCC grant programs.
  • Inclusive Grant Program: for businesses with the target market of socially and economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented groups.

Are you a local business or non-profit interested in submitting a project idea?

Have general questions for CLF, need support developing your idea, or just want a second set of eyes on the proposal you're planning to submit?

We can help. Just fill out the form below!


Cambridge Local First