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.

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.

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.

BCC Presents State Workforce Training Fund Program Webinar Thursday, Dec 10 at 10:00AM

11.25.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Before we break for the Thanksgiving holiday and reflect on what we are thankful for, we’d like to share details about an upcoming informational webinar on the state’s Workforce Training Fund Program.
 
We know you are looking for ways to increase your company’s ROI–Bristol Business Solutions & Partnerships has the answer!
 

Bristol can help you participate in workplace training and professional development that can boost employee efficiency and profitability, expanding into new markets while increasing engagement with your employees.
 
In the virtual session, you’ll learn how your organization can participate in the state’s Workforce Training Fund Programs, and how Bristol can support you through the application and implementation process. As a Massachusetts company, you are eligible to take advantage of this exciting and powerful opportunity.
 
To register, please click here.
 
We hope you have a happy, healthy, and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Breaking News: City of New Bedford COVID-19 Small Business Grant & Loan Program Now Available

11.3.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

We are excited to announce a new City grant program that is aimed at assisting small businesses with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We encourage all eligible businesses to apply and highlights of the program are available here.
 
To get started with a full program description and application forms please click here.
 
For technical questions about the program, please contact us at lending@nbedc.org and a member of the NBEDC team will be in touch.

Main Street Small Business Grants Available — Apply Today!

10.22.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

In addition to the state’s small business grants coming online today, the second round of the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program is also rolling out to assist small businesses.  

 

The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program was created to support brick-and-mortar businesses in commercial districts as they enter the next phases of reopening across the country.  

 

The program will fund solutions that help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and also help to revitalize and strengthen older and historic downtown commercial districts. 

 

Grants of $5,000 to $15,000 will be awarded on a competitive and first-come, first-served basis. 

A minimum of 50 percent of grants will benefit diverse-owned businesses, as defined by the Small Business Administration as minority, woman, veteran, disabled, and/or LGBTQ-owned.

 

Applications will be accepted beginning today at noon. The deadline to apply is October 29, 2020 at 7:59 PM.  

 

To learn more and apply, please click here.

State Announces COVID-19 Small Business Grants — Apply Today!

10.22.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has made $50.8 million in grants available to support small businesses, microenterprises, and their employees, families, and communities.
 

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will be administering these funds to businesses experiencing economic hardship and a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Grant funding is intended to help businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic.

 
 Preference will be given to small businesses whose owners are women, minorities, veterans, members of other underrepresented groups, who are focused on serving the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts, and those most negatively impacted by COVID-19 . Preference will also be given to applicants that have not been able to receive aid from other federal programs related to COVID-19.
 
Applications will be accepted beginning today at noon. The deadline to apply is November 12, 2020 at 12:00 PM.
 
To learn more and apply, please click here.

Upcoming Entrepreneurial Workshop Opportunities — Business Fundamentals & Understanding Business Financials

10.21.2020

 

Staff Contribution

 

Our friends at the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC)and South Eastern Economic Development Corporation (SEED) are hosting a series of virtual workshops to help new or existing entrepreneurs learn the basics:

Business Fundamentals
Participants will learn the fundamentals of planning, preparing for and financing a small business.

 
Understanding Business Financials

Thursday, November 12, 10:00am

Participants will learn how to read a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, and keep on top of their business finances. The workshop also explains how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate the business more efficiently through a deeper understanding of their financial picture.

The workshops are open to anyone currently in business, starting a business, or thinking about someday owning a business, as well as business assistance professionals who would like to learn more about SEED’s technical assistance programming. 
 

Attendees will be provided with a free business plan guide that includes financial templates and will be introduced to free and confidential business assistance resources available to them locally and regionally.
 

To learn more or to register for a session, please select one of the dates above.
 

Please contact Jessica Mello at jmello@seedcorp.com with questions.