By Mike LaCrosse

BOSTON (CBS) — Some small business owners in Massachusetts are thrilled they’ll soon be benefiting from a state grant relief program. On New Year’s Eve, emails went out to businesses that are being awarded grants because of COVID-19.

Outdoor dining kept Ritcey East in Watertown going this summer and fall. “At this point we’re feeling take-out isn’t enough to have us survive, but with this grant thank god it is,” said owner Michaela Ritcey.

Ritcey East is receiving $75,000 from the state.

“Which is wonderful because that allows me to keep my staff on full time through at least the next three months and feel secure about that,” she said.

Rev’d Indoor Cycling also received a grant.

“It was a big surprise, it was definitely the best way to end the 2020 year,” said owner Meghan St. Marc. She owns several spin studios that have been greatly impacted by the pandemic.

“So it’s definitely going to help out a lot with our payroll,” said St Marc. “No amount is too small at this point in time.”

Women, minority, veteran and LGBTQ-owned businesses are among the first recipients of the state’s grant relief program.

“We are excited to get this money out the door as soon as we can,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.

According to Kennealy, more than 10,000 small businesses applied for the initial round of grants.

“Between the original $50 million and this new $668 million dollars we think we can be of assistance to some of the companies and industries that have been hardest hit,” he said.

The new grant program is accepting applications through January 15.

Mike LaCrosse