Six Central Mass. Nonprofits Awarded Business Assistance Grants

November 20, 2019 Worcester Business Journal - Thomas Grillo

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday the state has provided $3 million in small business technical assistance grants to four dozen nonprofits, including six in Central Massachusetts.

Baker and the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp., whose mission is to create jobs at small businesses, women- and minority-owned companies, and promote economic development in underserved communities, provided the cash through the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program. Its goal is to expand economic and entrepreneurial opportunities in underserved communities.

Among the local recipients include Ascentria Community Services in Worcester, Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce in Whitinsville, the Center for Women and Enterprise in Westborough, NewVue Communities in Fitchburg, North Central Massachusetts Development Corp. in Fitchburg, and the South Middlesex Opportunity Council in Framingham.

The grants range from $20,000 to $175,000 to assist charities to provide individualized business management assistance, financial training, access to capital and loans to under-resourced small businesses.

Selected through a competitive process, the grant recipients are as diverse as the businesses they serve, the governor said. They include community development corporations, micro lenders and chambers of commerce promising to help small businesses and improve local economies.  

“These local investments create a big impact in communities across the commonwealth,” said Baker in a statement. “Nonprofits strengthen their region’s small businesses, which drive local jobs and the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program is critical to the economic and entrepreneurial growth throughout our state.”

The governor said since 2015, more than 14,000 jobs across 10,000 small businesses have been created or preserved as a result of the program.

Since inception, Baker said MGCC has assisted more than 7,400 companies with more than 19,200 employees with customized working capital financing commitments totaling more than $122 million