The Baker-Polito Administration announced $550,000 in grant awards to spur job creation and small business growth across the Commonwealth by lowering the barriers to capital access.
Seven organizations received the awards through the Community Development Capital and Microlending programs, a procurement of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC):
- North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation – $150,000
- Community Teamwork – $100,000
- Franklin County CDC – $100,000
- Coastal Community Capital – $50,000
- Cooperative Fund of New England – $50,000
- Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation – $50,000
- Quaboag Valley BDC – $50,000
Governor Charlie Baker said, “We have made it a priority to support small businesses and downtowns, which are central to the Commonwealth’s economy and its communities, and today’s awards will empower local organizations to provide entrepreneurs from underserved communities with access to capital. From low-interest loans to technical assistance, these awardees are giving local small businesses, especially women- and minority-owned enterprises the support they need to be successful.”
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) President & CEO Larry Andrews joined state and local officials in Lowell to announce the grants on February 6, 2020 at Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI) in Lowell, the Community Action Agency of Greater Lowell that mobilizes resources for low-income people, providing opportunities for them to achieve stability, self-sufficiency and have an active voice and participation in the decisions that affect their lives.
Lt. Governor Polito said, “Supporting business competitiveness and equitable opportunity are two central tenants of the Commonwealth’s new economic development plan, and today’s capital and microlending awards support entities that are on the ground supporting small businesses in their communities. Our administration will continue to enhance access to capital, space and networks for women- and minority-owned businesses to help to unlock economic growth in all regions of the Commonwealth.”
The Community Development Capital and Microlending programs provide awardee organizations with funding to lend to small businesses that are outside of the scope of regular banks, or hard to reach because they are underserved communities. The awardees have shown the ability to garner significant matching funds from non-state entities such as the US Treasury CDFI, private foundations, USDA and SBA. Some of the awards include Technical Assistance to help the small businesses overcome deficiencies in accounting, marketing, licensing and other key aspects of business. Since FY2017, over 200 businesses have been served through the Community Development Capital and Microlending programs, with state investments of $1.5 million leveraging more than $17.2 million in matching funds from non-state entities.
EOHED Secretary Mike Kennealy said, “Expanding opportunity and growth to people and places that have not benefitted fully will have significant positive effects on families and communities, and today’s awards will go directly towards achieving this goal of Partnerships for Growth. In order to expand on progress made over the last few years, the administration will continue to increase outreach to small businesses and entrepreneurs in order to understand their needs and address their challenges.”
MGCC President and CEO Larry Andrews said, “Many of Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp.’s most effective partners are CDFIs located across the Commonwealth in which we share a common purpose of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment and assistance. Supporting CDFIs through these matching grants bolsters the ability to reach the under-resourced and under-served with trusted and local leadership.”
In December 2019, following nine public engagements sessions and 17 deep-dive listening sessions, the Baker-Polito Administration officially released the economic development plan for the Commonwealth entitled Partnerships for Growth: A plan to enable the Commonwealth’s regions to build, connect and lead. This plan aligns the administration’s economic development programs, funding, and legislative efforts within four central pillars—Respond to the Housing Crisis, Build Vibrant Communities, Support Business Competitiveness, and Train a Skilled Workforce—to address challenges and foster opportunities over the next four years. By focusing on business competitiveness, Partnerships for Growth seeks to enable robust economic growth across communities, businesses, and sectors. Over the next four years, the Administration will increase outreach to small businesses and entrepreneurs, with a focus on helping businesses access the capital, space, technical assistance, and diverse workforce needed to grow.