The Pioneer Valley is rich in resources to help you plan, develop, and market your business locally and globally. The Mayor's Office of Economic Development can help you target the resources most appropriate to your business.
The Western Massachusetts Regional SBDC, a counseling center of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, provides free and confidential one-to-one counseling to prospective and existing small businesses in Western Massachusetts. Areas of assistance include business plan development, preventure feasibility, conventional and non-conventional financing, cash flow analysis, organizational and personnel issues and marketing. The SBDC also offers low-cost seminars, workshops, courses and conferences addressing a wide range of concerns for both start-up and existing businesses.
Scibelli Enterprise Center
One Federal Street, Building 101R
Springfield, MA 01105-1160
Fax (413) 737-2312
The SBDC has an outreach site at the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce at 99 Pleasant Street in Northampton. Appointments in the Chamber offices are available on Wednesdays each week. Call the Chamber to make an appointment 413-584-1900.
To learn more about the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center statewide contact: www.msbdc.org/
The City of Northampton contracts with the Valley CDC Small Business Development Program to provide small business counseling to low and moderate income individuals including business plan development, cash flow analysis, and marketing as well as access to community loan funds.
Valley Community Development Corporation
30 Market Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Gene Talsky, Director
Small Business Development
The Ask the EDC and Homefield Advantage Program at the EDC provides real estate, financial access, regional data, marketing, workforce development, and peer networking support to businesses in the region.
The UMass Family Business Center assists family-owned companies to recognize common problems and find solutions to their unique challenges. Services include: Dinner speaker forums, roundtable discussion groups, business networking, educational newsletter.
UMass Family Business Center
Division of Continuing Education
358 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-1650
The New England Office of NFF provides advisory and financial services to nonprofits of all types in Massachusetts. Services include: nonprofit business analysis, planning for managing assets, workshops and planning guides on facility and financial planning. NFF also offers facilities loans.
Nonprofit Finance Fund
89 South Street
Boston, MA 02111
The Massachusetts Office of Small Business & Entrepreneurship works with the Commonwealth's many service providers to provide technical assistance and financing. The website offers information on starting a business, taxes, financing, etc.
Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE)
1 Ashburton Place, Room 2101
Boston, MA 021008
Andre Porter, Executive Director
Nadine Boakye, Assistant Program Manager
The Massachusetts Export Center offers a range of targeted, customized services to Massachusetts businesses at any stage in the export process. Services include: Export Counseling and Technical Assistance, International Market Research and Assessment, International Business Development Assistance, Export Training Programs, Export Publications. A new Export Growth Initiative, is a program designed for new and existing exporters seeking to expand their international market base. The Initiative focuses on four export-oriented industry clusters: Life Sciences, Software, Renewable Energy, and Specialty Foods and Seafood. The Export Growth Initiative is designed to help companies at any stage of the export process and is offered at NO CHARGE to qualifying participants.
Ann Pieroway, Western Massachusetts Program Director
Massachusetts Export Center
Donahue Building, Room 163
303 Homestead Avenue
Holyoke, MA 01040
The Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI) works to expand the Massachusetts economy by marketing the state’s business internationally, through focused export promotion, attracting foreign companies to invest in Massachusetts and handling protocol as it relates to trade and investment.
Boston Fish Pier
212 Northern Avenue
East Building I, Suite 300
Boston, MA 02210
NETAAC provides grants (from the U.S. Department of Commerce) to companies experiencing import competition. NETAAC helps companies become certified as eligible (100% success rate). NETAAC prepares an in-depth diagnostic analysis and an adjustment plan. Approved companies are then eligible to receive a mini-grant ($30,000) or a full grant ($100,000) to hire private consultants to provide customized assistance with a wide range of business adjustment needs. Manufacturers (including software companies that create a product) are potentially eligible.
The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) offers business assistance - counseling, training, and financing for small and medium sized businesses. The Western MA regional office can be reached at:
Springfield Branch Office
STCC Technology Park
One Federal Street, Building 101-R
Springfield, MA 01105
The Massachusetts SBA office has set up a special Economic Recovery Hot Line to assist businesses in distress.
The Western Mass chapter of this national organization offers free business counseling for businesses in Western Massachusetts from retired business executives and former business owners who volunteer their time to counsel prospective entrepreneurs and small businesses.
SCORE Western Mass
One Federal Square
Springfield, Ma 01103
SPACE offers Pioneer Valley organizations a variety of continuous improvement learning events, workshops, and on-site training on actual business projects.
1441 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01103
The Western New England College Law and Business Center offers a free small business legal assistance clinic and individual consulting and a speakers series on topics related to law and entrepreneurship.
The Farm Viability Enhancement Program is designed to assist farmers in improving the economic bottom line and environmental integrity of their operations through the development and implementation of business plans tailored to their situations.
The program has three phases: In Phase I, a farmer will work with a planning team to develop a plan to increase on- farm income and preserve the farm’s environmental resources. In Phase II, awards of $20,000 up to $60,000 may be available to a farmer to implement his or her plan in exchange for completing selected elements of the plan and agreeing to restrict the use of the farm to agricultural uses only by signing a five or ten year Agricultural Covenant. Phase III is a reporting phase after completion of the changes recommended in the plan.
Craig Richov, Coordinator
Farm Viability Enhancement Program
Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114
A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women start and grow their own businesses with offices in Boston and Worcester, MA. Offers business development trainings, one-on-one consulting, and loan packaging.
Center for Women & Enterprise
50 Elm Street, Second Floor
Worcester, MA 01609
The Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the Northeast’s nonprofit center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance. CDI's mission is to increase economic opportunities and benefits for people in the Northeast by fostering the growth and success of all types of cooperative enterprises.
CDI is committed to building sustainable rural and urban communities where people work together to meet their needs, have access to quality jobs, affordable products and services, and share ownership of essential resources. The organization provides education, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up cooperatively-structured enterprises in all business sectors: food, housing, energy, agriculture, arts, health, forestry, fisheries, retail, service and more.
The International Franchise Association, founded in 1960, is a membership organization of franchisors, franchisees and suppliers. IFA is dedicated to providing a one-stop shopping experience for franchise information.
The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) fosters invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in higher education as a way of creating innovative, commercially viable, and socially beneficial businesses and employment opportunities in the United States. The NCIIA works with colleges and collegiate innovators and entrepreneurs offering business planning, grants, and educational programming.
UMEI offers entrepreneurial training and assistance to under-graduate and graduate innovators and entrepreneurs including competitions and grants.
Valley Venture Mentors is a mentorship accelerator program that brings a handful of carefully selected companies in close contact with dozens of mentors through structured monthly events. Companies receive a fire-hose of advice over the course of six months. Mentors get an exciting, engaging monthly event where they can meet fellow veteran business executives and young ventures worthy of assistance. Mentors and entrepreneurs also gain something else: a venue where they can quickly and efficiently “speed date” to find the right mentor/entrepreneur match.
President Obama has created Select USA to provide information about business investment in the United States. This website provides information about business and educational achievement levels in the USA, financial incentives, and industry clusters.
The Startup America Partnership is a private organization working to help young companies succeed by bringing together some of the country’s most successful organizations to provide valuable resources to young companies with high growth potential.
Partnership resources and assistance include: Talent, Services, Expertise, Customers and Capital. The Partnership has created regional networks to identify and help accelerate entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country.