MA COVID-19 Innovation Challenge: Six-Week Business Accelerator — Apply Today!

1.19.2021

 

Staff Contribution
 
The MassTech Collaborative has recently announced its next accelerator program in its series of Innovation Challenges aimed at identifying and growing innovative technologies inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Entrepreneurs developing connective technologies with the potential to spark economic recovery and strengthen resiliency in the flow of goods, services, and information are highly encouraged to apply for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Innovation Challenge.
 
The first place winner will receive $40,000, and the second place winner will receive $10,000. Application deadline is Friday, February 19.
 
Questions regarding the accelerator may be directed to Megan Marszalek (marszalek@masstech.org).
 
As a reminder, if you’re a local entrepreneur or small business with new ideas—additional resources and support to foster your growth are available through our newest initiative, New Bedford SourceLink!
 
New Bedford SourceLink was developed as a supportive platform to connect maritime, arts+culture, and main street entrepreneurs to a network of local, regional, and national resource partners to foster innovation, growth, and prosperity. Get started by tapping into the Resource Navigator to begin making connections, and building your concept here in New Bedford.

Breaking News: Governor Baker Extends Capacity Limits and Other Measures

1.8.2021

 

Staff Contribution
 
In yesterday’s press conference, Governor Baker extended the 25% capacity restriction to businesses initially set in place during the holidays.
 
The restrictions will now be extended until at least January 24, as COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals battle occupancy rates.
 
Indoor and outdoor gathering limits will remain 25 people outside and 10 people inside, including for events.
 
Baker noted that “..over the next two weeks, we’ll continue to look at and evaluate the data to make further decisions.” Baker acknowledged the hardship this brings to small businesses but encouraged those that had not done so already to apply for the new round of COVID-19 specific grants available. For more information and to apply, please click here.
 
To view the updated guidance and press release, please click here.
 
For more information on the status of reopening in New Bedford and other important news, visit New Bedford’s COVID-19 page.

Governor Baker Announces $668 Million Small Business Relief Package

12.28.2020

 

Staff Contribution
 
We’re happy to share that additional financial assistance is coming for our local small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
 
Last week, the Baker-Polito administration announced a $668 million boost to the Small Business Grant Program to help several industries that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, including:
 
-Restaurants, bars, and caterers
-Indoor recreation and entertainment establishments
-Gyms and fitness centers
-Event-support professionals (photographers, videographers, etc.)
-Personal services
-Retail
 
Grants will be offered up to $75,000, but not more than three months’ operating expenses. Funds can be used to pay rent, employee wages and benefits, utilities, and pay down debt, among other expenses.
 
The Small Business Grant Program, which was established in the fall, currently has a pool of eligible applicants awaiting funding. This additional funding will allow the Administration to award more of those pending applicants.
 
Eligible businesses that already applied to the program but were not funded due to limited funds available will be prioritized for funding first and do not need to reapply.
 
New applications for additional funding will be accepted from December 31 through January 15. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will administer the funds and manage applications.
 
For additional details about eligibility and how to apply, click here.
 
To view Governor Baker’s full press release, please click here. As always, as information becomes available, we will be sure to share it with you.

Breaking News: Governor Baker Announces Further Capacity Limits and Other Measures

12.23.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 
Beginning Saturday, December 26, many Massachusetts businesses will be limited to 25% capacity, and hospitals have been directed to postpone nonessential surgeries, in an effort to curb the anticipated increase in new coronavirus cases after the holiday while keeping schools and businesses open.
 
During yesterday’s press conference, Governor Baker also announced that social gatherings would be further limited to 10 people inside and 25 people outside.
 
The new restrictions are currently scheduled to run for two weeks, ending at noon on January 10, 2021, and will act as an additional layer of precaution to the preexisting restrictions.
 
To view the full updated guidance and press release, please click here.
 
For more information on the status of reopening in New Bedford and other important news, visit New Bedford’s COVID-19 page.

Massachusetts Paid Family & Medical Leave Webinar – Thursday, December 17 1:00PM

12.16.2020
 

Staff Contribution
 

We’ve collaborated with the MA Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) to provide you an informational webinar on the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave law beginning January 1, 2021.
 
Wendy Hansen, Atty., Foley & Foley, PC will lead the presentation and review the following:
 
-Types of leave
-Employee eligibility
-Definitions of a serious health condition and family member
-Application process
-Role of the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML)
-Employer, job protections, wage calculations, and exempt plan requirements
 
Time will be saved at the end of the presentation for discussion and Q&A.
 
To register, please click here.

SBA’s PPP Loan Forgiveness Tips & Hints Webinar – Tuesday, December 15 1:00PM

12.14.2020
 

Staff Contribution
 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce, and the MA Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) would like to invite you to join Daniel Martiniello, Lender Relations Specialist, MA District Office, SBA for a discussion about available loan forgiveness application forms (3508, 3508EZ, & 3508S) and the submission process and timelines.

Join in for the informational webinar to learn about:
– FTE/Wage/Salary Reductions
– Safe Harbors/Exceptions
– When borrowers should use each form and helpful hints to avoid pitfalls

Time will be saved at the end of the presentation for discussion and Q&A.

To register, please click here.

New Bedford Light Needs Your Input! 5-Minute Survey

12.11.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

We’ve always believed that excellent coverage of local communities, government, and events makes a community healthier and more connected.
 
A new, free community-oriented online newsource for New Bedford and neighboring communities called New Bedford Light is exploring early development.
 
New Bedford Light, led by an all-volunteer committee, would like you to share your opinion (i.e. topics of importance, preferred news sources, etc.) as they begin to shape their publication.
 
We encourage you to complete the brief survey linked below:
 
English Survey
Espanol Survey
Cabo Verdean Creole Survey
Portugues Survey
 
Thank you for your interest and participation.

Press release: Mayor Mitchell Announces New Bedford SourceLink as New Resource for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

12.9.2020

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

New Bedford, MA–Mayor Jon Mitchell and the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) announce the launch of New Bedford SourceLink, a supportive platform that connects maritime, arts and culture, and main street entrepreneurs to a network of local, regional, and national resource partners to foster innovation, growth, and prosperity.
 
Beginning in the late spring of last year, the NBEDC committed to developing a “game plan” to better understand the ecosystem of entrepreneurs in the city and the assets available to help them. Through a successful application to the National League of Cities to help fund this work through their Cities Innovation Ecosystem program, the New Bedford Port Authority, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, New Bedford Creative Consortium, Co-Creative Center, E for All, and Groundwork joined as founding partners to help fund the initiative and better support the individual communities of entrepreneurs they serve.
 
“It’s no secret that New Bedford is home to some of the most hard-working and innovative business owners in the nation. It’s a part of our history and identity,” said Mayor Mitchell. “This initiative provides another tool for business owners to build, grow, and scale their businesses, which will be especially valuable as we emerge on the other side of the pandemic.”
 
New Bedford SourceLink will be a one-stop, collaborative platform to help new and existing New Bedford businesses accelerate their growth by utilizing a network of existing expert service providers called resource partners. Resource partners, which are vetted through New Bedford SourceLink administrators, are organized in the platform in one central search engine, which can be filtered by the user’s needs.
 
With nearly 30 resource partners already signed up to help New Bedford businesses, New Bedford SourceLink will be able to assist businesses at a variety of stages to access a wide array of services, including business planning, legal counsel, accessing capital, and navigating the licensing and permitting process.
 
“The NBEDC is always on the cutting edge in support of growing our local economy. EforAll South Coast is delighted to be a founding partner of New Bedford Sourcelink, which will help entrepreneurs to access all of the resources available in one website. I look forward to the referrals to our Accelerator programs coming from this partnership as well as the ongoing support entrepreneurs will be able to access,” said Donna Criscuolo, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship For All South Coast.
 
The platform is powered by SourceLink, a national leader in entrepreneurial ecosystems.
“We are excited to be supporting the launch of New Bedford SourceLink. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the collaborative leadership team and have no doubt that New Bedford SourceLink will quickly become a leader among our national network,” said Rob Williams, Director of SourceLink.
 
To date, SourceLink has helped more than 100 communities nationwide, from Seattle to San Juan, build an infrastructure that sparks, supports, and sustains entrepreneurship and innovation. In every community, the first step is to define the available resources and make them visible. That mapping then allows service organizations to address their entrepreneurs’ specific needs, make and track referrals to resources, and identify and fill gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
 
“Our small and medium-sized businesses are really the heartbeat and soul of New Bedford,” said Tony Sapienza, President of NBEDC. “We’re excited to be able to offer New Bedford SourceLink as a most excellent resource to accelerate growth, build partnerships, and bring new ideas and businesses to the table as we eagerly look to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than ever.”
 
In addition to its targeted matchmaking between providers and businesses, New Bedford SourceLink will provide guidance for licensing and management of a start-up enterprise, catalog business-focused events across the city, and host a running blog series featuring entrepreneurs across the city. Once it is safe to gather again in larger numbers, in-person networking and idea-sharing events will be added to the roster. The tool is entirely free to use by business owners and free for resource partners to join and be featured in the platform.
 
Not-for-profit, government, or educational organizations that serve entrepreneurs and established businesses can join the network by visiting https://www.joinsourcelink.com/rn/new-bedford/signup. Businesses looking to learn more may visit www.newbedfordsourcelink.com.
 
 
About SourceLink®

SourceLink provides research and development to help communities strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems. As the nation’s premier resource for powering entrepreneurs, SourceLink helps build vibrant communities and promotes economic growth by stimulating small business success. SourceLink has successfully engaged with more than 100 communities nationwide, and that number continues to grow. Affiliated networks include Baltimore SourceLink, Colmena66 in Puerto Rico, IASourceLink in Iowa, KCSourceLink in Kansas City, NetWork Kansas, Dallas B.R.A.I.N., and more. SourceLink founders include the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, University of Missouri–Kansas City and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Find out more at www.joinsourcelink.com.

Breaking News: Massachusetts Moving Back a Step in Phase 3

12.9.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Governor Baker has announced that beginning Sunday, December 13, the state will take a step back in hopes of stemming the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
 

In his press conference Tuesday, Baker said the move back to Step 1 of Phase 3 of his reopening plan is designed to get us back on track.
 

“We’ve let down our guard and we have work to do,” he said. “If we do nothing and stay on the track we are on now, we will create capacity problems for our health care system by the end of the calendar year,” Baker noted.
 

As such, indoor performance venues and high-contact recreational businesses will once again have to close, while businesses permitted to stay open will be reduced to 40% capacity.
 

According to Baker, the decision was made to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, promote more social distancing, and reduce mobility. “Everybody has the ability to stop the spread,” he said.
 
To view the full updated guidance and press release, please click here.
 
For more information on the status of reopening in New Bedford and other important news, visit New Bedford’s COVID-19 page.

SoCoECo Presents: How to Get Funding in a Pandemic Webinar, 5:30PM Today

12.8.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

We hope you’re beginning to get in the holiday spirit! If you’re an entrepreneur or small business, we’d like to let you know that South Coast Entrepreneurs Collaborative (SoCoECo) will be hosting an informational webinar this evening about gaining funding.
 
It’s no secret that securing early-stage investment capital is difficult even during the best of times. Without much of the normal face-to-face interaction that precedes a formal pitch, developing the trust necessary to both make the ask (for founders) and make the investment (for funders), has been challenging.
 
In the program, two early-stage tech companies will share their best practices and insight into how they overcame these hurdles to get funded during the pandemic.
 
To register, please click here.