SECTION 1. Chapter 40J of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding, after section 6I, the following section:-
“Section 6J. (a) The Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation, established in section 3 of chapter 40J of the General Laws and doing business as the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, shall establish and administer a Massachusetts Entrepreneur Learner's Permit Program. The purpose of the program shall be to encourage and assist first-time entrepreneurs and business owners in starting new advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, information services, and green technology businesses by providing reimbursements to such entrepreneurs for any state filing, permitting or licensing fees associated with the formation of such a business in the commonwealth.
(b) The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative shall establish an application process and accept applications for participation. Applicants for participation shall apply prior to the formation of the business for which said applicant seeks reimbursement of such fees. The collaborative shall establish criteria for the review and approval of applications, provided that the collaborative shall give priority to female and minority applicants and shall not approve any applicants who are not first-time entrepreneurs and business owners. All reimbursements provided under this section shall be distributed in a manner prescribed by the collaborative.
(c) In awarding reimbursements each year beginning in 2019, the collaborative shall award no more than a total of $100,000 each to first-time entrepreneurs in the western, central, and eastern geographic regions of the commonwealth. Any funds used by the collaborative for reimbursements shall be awarded equally to said geographic regions.
(d) On or before March 1 of each year beginning in 2020, the collaborative shall conduct a study and review of the cumulative effectiveness of the Massachusetts Entrepreneur Learner's Permit program. Said study shall include, but not be limited to (i) the number and type of Massachusetts businesses that were formed using the program; (ii) the current status of each business formed in connection with the program; (iii) the number of employees employed by each such business; (iv) the economic impact to the commonwealth from the program; (v) the geographic location of each business formed in connection with the program; (vi) the utility of the program in relation to start-up costs related to forming a business; and (vii) a recommendation as to whether the program should be continued beyond June 30, 2021. Said study shall be submitted annually to the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies and the clerks of the house and senate.
SECTION 2. Section 6J of said chapter 40J, added by section 1, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 3. Section 2 shall take effect on March 1, 2022.
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