• Grants

  • Rock Solid Grant Program


    The Rock Solid Fund, administered by the Nantucket Island Center for Entrepreneurship (NICE), provides grants to Nantucket-based small businesses to ensure their contribution toward a strong island economy. Ideally, applicants will use funds to execute an innovative project to ensure the growth and economic stability of their own business while creating a positive role model for others in the entrepreneurial community. 

  • General Qualification Criteria‚Äč

    • The current or proposed business must be for-profit, with primary operations on Nantucket.
      • If the application is for an existing business, it must have generated revenue and profit in the calendar year 2022. 
      • If the application is for a new business, there must be a well-developed business plan for producing revenue in calendar year 2023.   
    • Businesses that have received prior grants are eligible, although priority will be given to those who have not already benefited from this grant program.
    • The project to be funded must begin by May 31, 2023, with all receipts for reimbursement submitted no later than September 29, 2023.

    Application Process and Timeline

    For 2023, the Chamber is utilizing a new online system for the submission of grant applications.  All applications must go through this system - PDF or word document versions will not be accepted as in the past.  Also new for this year, a Spanish-language version of the application is available through this system.
    • Wednesday, January 25: Application process opens.
    • Wednesday, February 22: Grant applications are due by 5:00 p.m.
    • Monday, March 20: Applicants will be notified if they are receiving an award
  • Use of Grant Proceeds

    Grant proceeds must be used for a specific project that will significantly increase the likelihood a new business will launch successfully, or an existing business will grow.  Some examples of projects that would be strong contenders for this program include:

    • Upgrading point of purchase or inventory management technology/systems;
    • Establishment of new points of sale such as e-commerce, or new services such as off-premise consumption;
    • Purchase of equipment that will enable more efficient manufacturing/production;
    • Purchase of equipment or technology, or other innovative ways to offset seasonal staffing challenges;
    • Innovations that reduce the businesses reliance on goods/products that contribute to island waste;
    • Critical startup needs such as legal entity selection and filings, patents/IP protection, accounting setup, corporate website development, or target market research;
    • Market research and prototyping of a new product/service;
    • Tuition assistance for professional development and training programs to enhance business operations;
    • Participation expenses to attend tradeshows or national competitions that will raise visibility for the business’s products/services beyond Nantucket.

    Grants may not be used for:
    1) Paying off existing debt or projects initiated prior to this grant cycle.
    2) Deposits for property lease or purchase.
    3) Standard operating expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities, basic goods/services/supplies.
    4) Standard advertising and marketing initiatives

    Important Information

    Rock Solid grant funds will not be awarded to the grant recipient until an approved project plan, expense reimbursement form and supporting purchase orders or receipts are submitted. Funds are not distributed in advance. Unused grant funds will be retained by the Rock Solid Fund and used for future rounds.

  • Additional Grant Opportunity

    The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) through the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) is committed to helping communities recover from the impact of COVID-19 and contribute to the long-term strength and sustainability of the Commonwealth. Funded at $2 million through the Capital Budget and the Tourism Trust Fund, the competitive FY24 Destination Development Capital (DDC) Grant Program, will award funds to strengthen the economy of Massachusetts through destination development projects that enhance tourism sustainability and have the potential to increase non-resident visitation.
    Any public agency, municipality, or nonprofit organization incorporated in Massachusetts with 501(c)3, 501(c)5, 501(c)6, status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that does one of the following: Produces, promotes, or presents tourism attractions and activities for the public; Provides public access to physical collections and exhibits for tourists and meets other eligibility criteria can apply. 
    Eligible projects will enhance tourism resources and infrastructure and will aid in destination recovery and resiliency. Applications will be accepted for projects that include plans to expand, construct, restore or renovate Massachusetts tourism destinations and attractions. Applicants must demonstrate how the tourism capital project will work to promote the tourism goals of the MA Office of Travel and Tourism and the Regional Tourism Councils. DDC grants are focused on capital improvements with a direct relationship to tourism, and other physical/structural items with a greater than five-year lifespan. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2024DDC guidelines and information is available here.
    The FY24 Destination Development Grant Program opened 
    January 25, 2023, with applications due March 31, 2023. Applications must be submitted through MOTT's Submittable Online Application Portal. Grant awards will be announced in June, 2023.
    Please read the FAQs and attend the Q/A session on Wednesday, March 1, at 10 a.m. To register, please contact Marc Zappulla, cc: Keiko Orrall. If you have a specific question, please include that in your email.

  • Please address all questions to Grants@NantucketChamber.org