Massachusetts small businesses owned by people of color, women and other marginalized groups will get an early holiday present this year as the state distributes almost $49 million dollars in aid to employers hit hard by the pandemic.

"One-hundred percent of the recipients are minority owned, women, veteran owned, LGBTQ owned or run by individuals with disabilities," Gov. Charlie Baker said at a press conference on COVID-19.

Baker's COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program is part of the state's larger effort to help small businesses recover from coronavirus-related shutdowns. This round of grants will go to 1,158 businesses. Baker said every completed application from qualified minority-owned businesses that have not yet received federal or state recovery aid will receive relief under this grant program.

Baker also hailed the news of positive developments in Washington, D.C., on a new stimulus package. Baker anticipates the new aid will help fund an extension of unemployment assistance beyond the end of the year, virus testing, contact tracing, rental assistance, small business supports and vaccination programs.

"After months of uncertainty and challenging circumstances, this support is a welcome present for so many people here in Massachusetts and around the country who need it to help build the bridge between here and the successful implementation of a widespread, safe and effective vaccine," Baker said.

Baker reiterated his plea for residents to celebrate the holidays with only their household and not to visit family members they don't see on a regular basis, saying the state's hospitals are reaching a critical part of the second virus surge and could not handle a spike in cases similar to what happened after Thanksgiving.

Baker said he is considering "every option" to help hospitals through this phase of the pandemic.

"We're currently reviewing additional steps that we can take to try to minimize the impact of all this," Baker said. "But the tools that we have available at our disposal won't stop the virus alone."