Grants + Technical Assistance

The BBEC publicizes grants that we believe will be of benefit to Black entrepreneurs and Black businesses. Grants marked with the BBEC logo have been reviewed by our organization.

BBEC Equipment & Infrastructure Grant

Funding will be available to support Black businesses and entrepreneurs with equipment and infrastructure costs. St. John’s Episcopal Church is pleased to partner with BBEC in making our local economy more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We hope that grants from this fund become a form of blessing for all recipients that can ripple out through our community. Grants up to $4,500 available.

First come, first served. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

BBEC Professional Expertise Grant

Funding will be available to cover the cost of professional expenses for Black businesses. This grant is made possible by the generous contribution of Mike and Rebecca Thompson. Grants up to $1,500 available.

First come, first served. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Black Arts Council Grant

The Black Arts Council Grant program will award funds to finance the purchase of art supplies and equipment for Black youth ages 7 – 22 years old. All forms of art are welcome and celebrated including but not limited to music, visual arts, photography, textiles, theatre/performing arts, graphic design, mixed media, and more. Younger applicants (ages 7-14) may complete the application in person with a parent/guardian at the BBEC office on select Sundays between the hours of 10 am – 12 pm. Advanced scheduling is required for in-person applications. Contact Erica Barreto (assistant@berkshirebec.org)

Apply now! Rolling deadline.

BBEC & Roots Rising’s BIPOC Vendor Fund

Roots Rising is committed to fostering inclusive participation in the movement towards a just and sustainable food system. To that end we are excited to announce this fund to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) farmers and entrepreneurs.

Apply now! Rolling deadline.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

NRCS works one-on-one with producers to develop a conservation plan that outlines conservation practices and activities to help solve on-farm resource issues. Producers implement practices and activities in their conservation plan that can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving their agricultural operations. EQIP helps producers make conservation work for them. Financial assistance for practices may be available through EQIP.  Some producers may also qualify for advance payment.(ongoing program).

Benefits include

  • Reduced contamination from agricultural sources, such as animal feeding operations.
  • Efficient use of nutrients, reducing input costs and reduction in nonpoint source pollution.
  • Improved soil health, which mitigates against increasing weather volatility, improves drought resiliency and can positively affect climate change.
  • Implementation of climate-smart practices that improve carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while building resilient landscapes. 

 

Arts Build Community: Incubation Grants

The grantmaking component of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Arts Build Community initiative supports the testing of new ideas to increase community engagement through the arts and creative process, especially among communities of color, youth, immigrants and residents who would like to participate in arts and culture programming but face challenges such as cost, transportation and disconnection from the arts in the Berkshires. BTCF seeks to aid innovation among Berkshire County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and community organizations that present significant arts and cultural programming as they launch new projects, expand existing programs and collaborate with other organizations..

Who can apply? Applicants must:

  • Be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Have operated with active arts and/or community engagement programming.
  • Be based in and serve residents of Berkshire County. Fiscal sponsors may be located outside of the county.
  • Not include in its by-laws or practice discrimination against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.
  • Have as its mission a focus on arts and creativity or is an organization for which an arts and creativity program can further its core mission

Grants up to $7500 per project

Deadline: March 15, 2024

Applications can be obtained by email request to njoyner@cityofpittsfield.org.

City of Pittsfield, Strategic Planning Grants for ARPA Community Partners

The City of Pittsfield awarded $8.8M in ARPA funds to thirty-seven (37) nonprofit grantees (“community partners”) in support of programs and capital projects that respond to the impact of the COVID pandemic and will have a positive community impact. Recognizing that ARPA funding is a one-time investment, the City is working with community partners to strengthen their individual and collective impact and to help build sustainable programmatic and organizational capacity. Through a collaborative and interactive ongoing process, including an online survey conducted in November 2022 with the community partners, the city has identified the level of need and interest in a comprehensive variety of collaborative activities and capacity-building support areas.

Who can apply? Nonprofit organizations serving one or more communities of the Berkshire Taconic region

Grants up to $10,000

Deadline: February 15, 2024

Applications can be obtained by email request to njoyner@cityofpittsfield.org.

Crane Family Fund

The Crane Family Fund was established at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in 2008. The fund’s mission is to support projects that demonstrate innovation in the intersection of environmental quality and community health and well-being.

Who can apply? Nonprofit organizations serving one or more communities of the Berkshire Taconic region.

Grants will range from $1,000 to $4,000

Deadline: February 15, 2024

Applications can be obtained by email request to njoyner@cityofpittsfield.org.

Green Pastures Fund

The Green Pastures Fund was established at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in 1999 by an anonymous donor. The fund’s mission is to preserve and encourage small, community-based agricultural ventures which might include, but are not limited to: community-supported agriculture; local farmers’ markets; urban garden programs; agricultural scholarships; cooperative programming; internships; grantwriting; and marketing.

Who can apply? Nonprofit organizations or public entities within the Berkshire Taconic region that encourage or preserve small, community-based agricultural ventures.

Grants will range from $1,000 to $3,000.(Total of $10,000)

Deadline: February 15, 2024

Applications can be obtained by email request to njoyner@cityofpittsfield.org.

Equity workforce planning and capacity grants

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

$894,422 available for organizations to expand workforce training and minority-and-women owned business support programs.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis until May 20, 2024

-Up to $50,000 for planning projects.

-Up to $150,000 for capacity grant projects.

-Plan and build capacity for your organizations to develop programs that expands access to career and business opportunities in climate-critical fields

-Form partnerships and build clean energy expertise through MassCEC office hours and networking resources.

Deadline: May 20, 2024

We award $1,000 grants every month.

The Awesome Foundation

The Awesome Foundation is an ever-growing worldwide community devoted to forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe. Created in the long hot summer days of 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes $1,000 grants, no strings attached, to projects and their creators. At each fully autonomous chapter, the money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given up front in cash, check, or gold doubloons.

We award $1,000 grants every month.

Black Farmer Fund Rapid Response fund

The Black Farmer Fund Rapid Response Fund exists to support Black farmers & food actors across the Northeast in emergency situations including but not limited to equipment breakdown, weather damage, loss of crops or animals, medical expenses, stolen or damaged supplies, etc.

This fund intends to provide direct financial support more quickly than traditional funding options. The main goal of this fund is to address acute emergencies to provide immediate restoration of your operation. Decisions for the RRF are made by a community-led committee.

We will reach out with a response between 10-14 weekdays after the application is submitted.

Nursing Assistant training programs

The MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board is excited to continue recruitment for future cohorts of our Nursing Assistant Programs! We are accepting applications on a rolling basis for future programs. You will be contacted when dates are announced to confirm that you are available and interested.

Possible programs include:
– A Blended Online training, provided by our partners at Integritus Healthcare, pairs online learning with hands-on clinical experience. Locations vary throughout the county.
– A modified nursing assistant training program, provided by our partners at Berkshire Health Systems, taking place in Pittsfield.

Limited spots available.

North Adams Office Hours

Starting April 4, 2023, MassHire Berkshire Career Center will be at the North Adams Public Library 9am-3pm every Tuesday to assist with job search! No registration needed, walk ins welcome!

Visit MassHire Berkshire Career Center staff every Tuesday from 9am-3pm at the North Adams Public Library, 74 Church St, 3rd Floor Community Room, North Adams, MA.

BridgeSong Fund: Emergency Relief for Western MA Women, Nonbinary, and Genderqueer Artists of Color

This trans- and queer- affirming emergency fund will support Western MA BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) women, nonbinary, and genderqueer musicians* who already face economic, medical, equity barriers and systemic oppression in their line of independent, gig-based work. The COVID-19 outbreak has rendered many musicians unemployed for the foreseeable future. This relief fund is set up to offer financial relief for housing, medical expenses, and sustenance during this challenging time.

Our goal is to get funds to recipients ASAP. We are a small team, so please be patient as we work to respond to applications and distribute funds as they become available.

Mass Mutual Catalyst Fund (MMCF)

$25 million to target investments in Black-owned, founded, or managed businesses across Massachusetts.

What we look for
Geography: Companies must have headquarters and/or significant operations in Massachusetts.

Ownership/Founding Teams: Companies must be Black-owned and remain majority Black-owned after investment.

Impact: MMCF portfolio companies will create positive economic impact in MA. In addition, MMCF prefers companies where environmental, social or governance impact are an intrinsic part of the company’s product or service. 

Currently accepting applications.

Massachusetts Small Business Growth Fund

Entrepreneurs of color in Massachusetts have an unmet capital demand estimated at $574 million annually.

LISC’s entrepreneur-friendly Massachusetts Small Business Growth Fund is critically needed to fill gaps in capital access. 

Currently accepting inquiries.

small business technical assistance

Whether you want to launch, pivot, or expand your small business, the goal of our free Small Business Technical Assistance (SBTA) program is to equip you with foundational business operations knowledge and practical guidance on business development issues, tasks, and initiatives.

Currently accepting applications for the next round of SBTA clients.

Operating Grants for Organizations

Who can apply: Organizations NEW in FY24! Unrestricted general operating grants for Massachusetts-based, nonprofit cultural organizations with year-round operations offering public programming in the arts, humanities, or sciences. Grant amounts range from $6,000 to $60,000.

OPENS: March 14, 2024/ DEADLINE: June 13, 2024

Festivals & Projects

Who can apply: Organizations

Grants of $2,500 for organizations to fund public activities that incorporate the arts, humanities, or sciences.

OPENS: March 28, 2024/ DEADLINE: May 23, 2024

Gaming Mitigation Fund

Who can apply: Organizations Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit and municipal performing arts centers to spend on touring shows or touring artist fees.

OPENS: December 5, 2023/DEADLINE: February 1, 2024

Business to Business

For economic justice, try our business to business matchmaking to contact our directory of Black businesses.

Internships

If you are interested in pursuing an internship, don’t be shy, just apply!

Once you have completed our matchmaking form once, it is yours to redecorate or not. Thus, making it easier to apply again for other internships.

For Supervisor:
For intern:

Stay current with BBEC news & events by subscribing to our List Serve here.