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    Business Resources

              

    Business Incentives

     

  • Mentorship


    SCORE
    is a non-profit organization dedicated to entrepreneurial education through face-to-face and email counseling.

    The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Western Regional Office provides free and one-to-one business advising to prospective and existing small businesses.

    The Western New England College Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship offers legal and business consultation to entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as informational Seminars and Conferences. 

    Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) provides key support to the entrepreneurial ecosystem by uniting carefully selected startups together with high quality business mentors at a structured monthly pitch and planning sessions. 


  • Incubators


    The Business Incubator at the Scibelli Enterprise Center (SEC) is a mixed use small business facility located adjacent to the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) campus. The SEC contains a variety of developed office spaces in a professional office environment, as well as a shared reception area, conference rooms, videoconferencing center, and computer resource room. Support services include a customized mentor team for Incubator clients assembled from the SEC Advisory Board members; training opportunities through in-house small business support agencies, SEC programming, and STCC's Center for Business and Technology; and access to local lenders interested in working with small business clients.

    Gasoline Alley is a business incubator for socially responsible, sustainable start-up businesses. The incubator currently houses existing businesses, meeting rooms, and warehouse and storage space. Professional business support services include assistance with business plan development, financing resources, and marketing plans.

    The New England Business Associates (NEBA) Business Consulting Center provides entrepreneurial training and support to individuals with disabilities, from the development of a business concept and the writing of a SCORE-approved business plan, to the implementation of the business. Business support services also include individualized consultations and sales assistance.

    The Franklin County Community Development Corporation Venture Center has six light industrial and seven offices, with leases available at below market rate for start-up and growing businesses. The CDC provides services to its tenants as well as to its members, including business planning, business counseling, a wide range of training programs, and financing.

    The Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center contains a fully equipped modern food production facility that meets federal, state, and local standards and is used by small food enterprises to develop value-added farm products; specialty, organic, natural, and retail products; retail operations such as catering; and contract manufacturing.

    The Orange Innovation Center is a mixed-use business incubator with a variety of spaces available, including offices, studio lofts, and industrial space, as well as an organic and specialty food processing facility. Innovation Center services include assistance with business planning, product development, and distribution resources. 


  • Private Capital


    Common Capital
    is a community loan fund serving Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties in Western Massachusetts.  We provide financing (up to $300,000) and business advisory services to small and medium sized businesses, startups, and to non-profits for community based projects.  We are committed to investing our resources to promote a thriving local economy and to improve the lives of people who live and work in Western Massachusetts. Every dollar that Common Capital deploys is an investment in job creation, opportunity for low-income people, essential community services, neighborhood rejuvenation and environmental sustainability.  We focus on businesses that are locally owned and that recirculate local dollars.

    Long River Ventures invests in seed and early stage companies in technology, healthcare and related sectors with a typical initial investment of $500,000 to $1MM,; a partner fund of The Berkshires Capital Investors.

    Longmeadow Capital Partners typically invests between $2 and 20 million, sponsors financial transactions that include management buy-outs and provides post-transaction operational assistance.

    Pioneer Valley Capital invests in profitable and growth companies with revenues in excess of $5MM.

    River Valley Investors is a group of individual investors who's contact is Paul Silva of Angel Catalyst.

    Meadowbrook Lane Capital is an advisory and investment firm formed by serial entrepreneurs and professionals.


  • Government Resources


    The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund grants funds for training current employees and new hires.

    Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation provides a centralized resource at the state level that offers working capital, loan guarantees, and targeted technical assistance to solve specific financial and operational problems.  MGCC will provide 50 % of the cost of such assistance while the company being assisted will invest the other 50%.

    MassDevelopment offers Tax-Exempt Bonds which provide a very low interest rate financing for capital projects. Projects financed must be eligible for tax-exempt financing under the federal tax code. Tax-Exempt Equipment Lease/Purchase Program provides manufacturers, nonprofit institutions, and environmental enterprises with a low-cost alternative for financing $300,000 or more in new equipment needs. This organization was formerly known as the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency before merging with the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Authority and Massachusetts Land Bank.

    The Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) of Massachusetts, is a public/private partnership that provides financing to small companies. SBICs are privately organized and managed venture capital firms that are licensed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA website is now available in over 50 languages. More information on SBICs is available at sbia.org

     


  • Facade Improvement Programs


    The City of Holyoke Facade Improvement Program (FIP) has been designed to strengthen and enhance the City of Holyoke’s business districts by restoring and improving existing facades. The FIP is administered by the Greater Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation with funding from the City of Holyoke Office for Community Development. FIP offers rebates to eligible property owners for up to 50% of the façade improvement project cost. The minimum rebate is $2500 for at least a $5000 project to a maximum rebate of $25,000 for at least a $50,000 project. 

    The enduring element of a city is its architecture. While recognizing that buildings change over time, the Facade Improvement Program has a primary interest in the preservation and, where appropriate, the restoration of the original architecture of Holyoke to support economic development initiatives. Projects that destroy or unnecessarily modify original architecture will not be funded.

    This program is funded by a grant to the Greater Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation through the City of Holyoke's Office for Community Development. The Community Development Block Grant funds are provided to the City of Holyoke from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

    Applicants apply through the Greater Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation. Potential applicants should contact Kathleen Anderson at 413-534 3376 to determine FIP eligibility and to request an application package. FIP rebates are issued only after successful completion of the qualified project and submittal of evidence of payment to contractors. Projects must be approved prior to the beginning or work. Any expenses incurred prior to the issuance of the written rebate award notice will not be FIP eligible.

    Holyoke Program Documents

     

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    The Easthampton Savings Bank (ESB) Revitalization Program features loans with exceptional interest rates for commercial improvements in targeted communities. The types of loans include facade and signage improvement, commercial improvements, lead paint & asbestoes removal, and access improvements. 

    ESB Program Documents

     

  • Loans


    HEDIC Industrial Loan Program
     - For industrial businesses that are weighing their options to finance a projects, HEDIC offers a low-interest loan that works in partnership with your bank.