Breaking News: SBA and Treasury Announce Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less



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The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, today released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less.
SBA began approving PPP forgiveness applications and remitting forgiveness payments to PPP lenders for PPP borrowers on October 2, 2020. SBA will continue to process all PPP forgiveness applications in an expeditious manner.
Click here to view the simpler loan forgiveness application.
Click here to view the instructions for completing the simpler loan forgiveness application.
Click here to view the Interim Final Rule on the simpler forgiveness process for loans of $50,000 or less.
Click here to read the full press release.

MSBDC Presents: Fast Track Series – Practical tips for getting more sales through employees, partners, and customers



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Many small businesses have been struggling due to the economic shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, in the midst of this uncertainty, there is a silver lining. COVID-19 is providing many small business owners the opportunity to build a better business if they move quickly and strategically.

Beginning next week, the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) invites you to join in their “Fast Track” series, developed for business owners and entrepreneurs looking to build a better business during these challenging times.

The series will offer a weekly combination of a Tuesday webinar, on practical and tactical business topics, combined with a Thursday virtual networking meeting, using Blitzr, a brand new platform designed to create high-energy collaboration and idea sharing.

Next Tuesday, October 13 at 11:00am, join Meghan Lynch and Andy Sherman to explore practical and tactical tips for getting more sales through employees, partners, and customers. Please click here to register.

On Thursday, October 15 at 11:00am, join Beth Bridges on Blitzr as she moderates a fun, fast-paced series of one-on-one idea sharing sessions about how to meet new customers in a virtual environment. Please click here to register.

Meghan Lynch is the president and CEO of Six-Point Creative, a brand development agency that specializes in helping growth-oriented business owners scale their brand and marketing.

Andy Sherman is the President of Apex Growth Advisors, a firm focused on helping companies achieve breakthrough Sales Growth, Discipline, and Accountability.

Beth Bridges is the Chief Networking Officer at Blitzr and the author of the best-selling book “Networking on Purpose: A Five-Part Success Plan to Build a Powerful & Profitable Business Network.”

The Fast Track series will provide you the most value when you participate in both the Tuesday and Thursday sessions.

Please contact Manassah Bradley at with any questions.

New Bedford Transit Oriented Development (NBTOD) South Coast Rail Public Meetings



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The NBTOD Study Project Team is excited to announce two upcoming virtual public meetings in October! These events will include the team summarizing future build-out analyses, market data, and draft zoning scenarios for each South Coast Rail platform area and taking your comments.

Please note, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the required social distancing measures, the meetings will be held online only. The two opportunities to participate are:
Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:00 AM
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 6:00 PM
Both meetings will have identical content and options for participation. All supporting content for these virtual meetings, including links to register, will be posted on the NBTOD Study project webpage very soon.

Lastly, because public input is such an important part of this study and with so many different ways to submit comments, questions, or concerns, the project team put together this short video to clarify the options.

The informative video also highlights the contents of the project web page, ways to provide comment and stay connected, and summarizes the study’s purposes and previous work.

SEED: Grant Funds Available to Women-Owned Restaurants



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We recently received notification from our partners at SEED about new grant opportunities available for women-owned restaurants and are excited to share with you!
The Massachusetts Conference for Women, in partnership with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and Chef Joanne Chang, has created a $250,000 fund to assist women-owned restaurants across Massachusetts. Fifty $5,000 grants will be presented to women-owned restaurants.
Business owners can apply for grant funds here by October 22nd.
For information on business loans, contact SEED at (508) 822-1020 or visit

SCORE RI Presents: Women’s Small Business Summit



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We’re excited to announce the return of the Women’s Small Business Summit, hosted by SCORE RI. This year’s event has gone virtual—and it’s packed with inspiration, insights, and resources for current and aspiring female small business owners.
With three focused events over four weeks, the Summit is purpose-built for busy female entrepreneurs. You can see the full schedule here.
The new virtual format includes:
Keynote speech by Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea
Keynote speech and a group exercise by bnourished CEO Katie McDonald
Panel discussion with local female movers and shakers
Breakout sessions for starting, funding, and growing a business
Facilitated, small-group networking sessions
Along with the virtual Summit, SCORE is introducing a new Women’s Small Business Exchange Program, a private community to help female entrepreneurs strengthen their networks throughout the year.
A full-access Summit pass costs $30; full access plus a 1-year membership in the Exchange Program is $42. All proceeds from the event go to support SCORE’s mentoring program, workshops, and other initiatives.
Click here to learn more and register for the event. We hope to see you there!

MassHire NB Presents: “Sales in the New Normal” Free Interactive Virtual Workshop & Upcoming Consortium Program



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As we carefully reopen, adjust to working remotely, and protect the health of our employees, maintaining revenue is essential to keeping their jobs.
By now, you probably have a handle on the impact of the pandemic on your business. What should you be doing to ensure you maintain and increase revenue in a predictable and consistent way?
Join in on Tuesday October 6 from 10:00-11:30am for a 90 minute workshop that will cover corporate strategy, marketing and sales, sales/account management, and tracking systems.
For more information, please click here.
To register, please click here.
Want to dive deeper? MassHire NB is also hosting a week-long program where four to six companies will be selected to receive support and work 1:1 to discuss fiscal management, develop a marketing and sales strategy, and a plan for execution. The program is being funded by a consortium grant to help businesses in the region transform their sales revenue!
For more information about the consortium program:
MassHire Greater New Bedford 508-979-1504
Donna Ramos,
Deborah Meggison,
Ken Cheo, 781-930-3220 or

Governor Baker Announces Phase 3 Updates for Restaurants & Bars



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Governor Baker has announced that beginning today, Monday, September 28, restaurants will have updated sector-specific safety standards. The new measures allow restaurants to accept parties of 10 diners per table (an increase from the previous number of six diners per table) and allow restaurants to utilize bar seating for dining, as long as social distancing guidelines remain in place.
Unlike Boston, who will remain limited to a maximum of six diners per table due to the City’s recent uptick in cases, New Bedford will be complying with the update in protocol without any changes.
We recognize how hard small businesses and restaurants throughout the City have been hit by COVID-19 and encourage you to consider buying and dining local in order to help support our community, culture, and economy.
To view additional sector-specific updates and details of the Governor’s reopening plan, click here.
For more information on the status of reopening in New Bedford and other important news, visit New Bedford’s COVID-19 page.

AHA! New Bedford announces campaign for A Community Thrives, part of the USA Today Network: Crowdfunding campaign needs to raise $6,000 in local support to be eligible for over $2 million in additional grants by The Gannett Foundation


Contact: Candace Lee Heald, Director of AHA!
Phone: 508-965-4816
Website: AHA! New Bedford and A Community Thrives Campaign

New Bedford, MA — In 1997, the local newspaper, The Standard Times, convened a planning process to identify the SouthCoast as a regional hub. An Arts and Culture subcommittee had the idea to create a program that would celebrate the uniqueness of the region’s past, present and future: Art, History and Architecture, or AHA! Two years later, free AHA! Cultural Nights began every second Thursday of the month, and is now a long-standing tradition in New Bedford.

AHA! has a 20+ year history of offering free programs to the community, mostly located downtown, and collaborates with over 60 artists, cultural institutions and small businesses. When the pandemic hit in March, AHA! quickly pivoted to an online format and #VAHA! (virtual AHA!) brought the city’s rich arts and culture to an online audience and became a statewide model recognized by the Mass Cultural Council.

AHA!’s latest project, “Reimagining Resilience”, has been accepted to participate in the nationwide crowdfunding campaign by USA Today Network called A Community Thrives. A Community Thrives allows neighbors, friends, family and peers to show their excitement and support for community building ideas such as Reimagining Resilience. In turn, this support unlocks access to +$2,000,000 in grants to bring the project to fruition in 2021.

In partnership with the New Bedford Economic Development Council and New Bedford Creative, “Reimagining Resilience” will use AHA!’s existing framework of monthly virtual and in-person free cultural nights to connect community members to the resilience of New Bedford.

The plan for the project is to enlarge the current in-person footprint of monthly events with outreach to community neighborhoods, carrying the message that New Bedford is ready to create, regenerate and re-engage at all levels.

“Working together is what we do — that’s what makes us New Bedford. It’s how we got here and it’s how we will get through this pandemic stronger, with everyone supporting one another — residents, artists, galleries, cultural venues, neighborhood associations, and commercial enterprises,” says Lee Heald, Director of AHA!

From September 21 to October 16, AHA! needs to raise $6,000 in order to be eligible for over $2 million in additional grants by The Gannett Foundation. Visit the campaign page today to show your support.


Round 6 LISC Small Business Relief Grants



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The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the country’s largest social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents, is providing grants to small businesses to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies at this difficult time.
These grants are designed to support small businesses and enterprises across the country that have been affected by COVID-19, especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital.
Applications will be reviewed based on criteria designed to prioritize particularly challenged businesses, and the final grantees will be randomly selected from the top scoring applicants.
The deadline for submissions is this Monday, September 7 at 11:59pm ET.
For more information and to apply, please click here.

MassDevelopment Brownfields Redevelopment Funding Now Open



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MassDevelopment’s Brownfields Redevelopment Fund finances the environmental assessment and remediation of brownfield sites in Economically Distressed Areas (EDAs) of the Commonwealth. The 2016 Economic Development Bill authorized $45 million over ten years from the Commonwealth’s capital budget for the Fund, a portion of which is being made available through this solicitation.
This solicitation does not replace MassDevelopment’s traditional process of evaluating proposals and awarding loans and recoverable grants on a rolling basis when the timing is urgent due to a clearly identified development opportunity.
This opportunity has been created to help municipalities and other municipal entities advance the redevelopment of sites where the development potential has been identified but an end-user has not yet committed to redeveloping the site.
Under this solicitation, eligible applicants may apply for up to $100,000 in site assessment funding, or up to $250,000 in remediation funding.
The deadline for application submissions for this solicitation is September 18, 2020.
Awards will be announced in November 2020.
For more information, visit, email, or contact your regional MassDevelopment Community Development representative.