SBA Massachusetts Newsletter | February 2018

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February 2018

SBA Celebrates Black History Month

U.S. Small Business Administration - Massachusetts District Office


According to the latest data from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, African Americans own 2.6 million small businesses. They employ 975,000 people and generate more than $150 billion in annual receipts. These successes not only help individuals secure a brighter future for themselves and their families, they make their neighborhoods vibrant places to live and work and help our economy prosper.  >>Read more

JOIN US! SBA Massachusetts Black History Month Celebration

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

8:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST


The Tip O'Neill Federal Building - 1st FLOOR AUDITORIUM, 10 Causeway Street, Boston, MA 02222


Keynote Speaker:
Shawn Quigley has been a park guide for the National Park Service at Boston African American National Historic Site since 2012. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Suffolk University and his Masters in American Studies at UMASS Boston.


8:30 a.m.
Registration & Networking

9:00 a.m. National Anthem 

SBA Welcome

9:20 Greater Boston Blacks in Government Chapter

9:30 a.m.  Small Business Lending Panel: 
Santander Bank, Berkshire Bank, Eastern Bank and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corp

10:25  “Still, I Rise” 

10:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Shawn P. Quigley, National Park Service at Boston African American National Historic Site

11:00 a.m.  Contracting Panel (TBD)

12:00 p.m. “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

12:05 p.m. Networking 

If there are any questions, please contact:

Follows, RTs & Likes Appreciated!


Questions about the new HUBZone map? SBA office hours can help.

SBA Presents Six-Part Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Navigate the HUBZone Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to government contracting opportunities. If your business is located in an area where business development and growth has been fairly limited, you may qualify.

To learn more about the HUBZone Program, check out SBA’s free six-part webinar series for information on:

  • how to obtain and maintain the HUBZone certification;
  • how HUBZone areas are designated;
  • how to file HUBZone appeals and protest;
  • the regulatory requirements for joint ventures;
  • how affiliated businesses are evaluated; and
  • the various HUBZone contracting requirements. 

The webinars are designed to help small businesses get and maintain their HUBZone certification, survive HUBZone status protests to contracts, maintain good recordkeeping to ensure compliance in the program, locate HUBZones, and compete for HUBZone contracts.

>>Read more


Commonwealth of MA Grant Opportunities for Small Businesses

MassVentures START Program

Key Points:

  • Must be Massachusetts based company that has won an SBIR or STTR within past 5 years.
  • NIH grant recipient excluded as they fall under the Massachusetts Life Science Center purview.
  • 12 companies will win $100,000 grants and be eligible for larger grants in subsequent years.
  • Simple (3 page) application process
  • Judging based on potential for commercialization.

Up to $3 million in funding is available for Massachusetts SBIR Phase II companies.

  • Join the growing ranks of successful Massachusetts companies who are a part of the START program. Past winners include Ginkgo Bioworks, Clear Motion (Levant Power), Boston Engineering, and Artaic. 
  • The RFP will be posted February 1 on the MassVentures website and applications are due March 1.
  • The START Program Phase I application is only a few pages long and is designed to be user-friendly.

>>Learn more

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

MassRamp leverages federal resources by providing supplemental funding for companies who have been awarded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I Federal Grants / Contracts to:

  • support activities that cannot be covered by a federal grant (such as IP protection);
  • provide additional resources when federal funds are insufficient to complete an approved federal project;
  • expand the scope of the federal grant provided that the proposal to MLSC is based on the same technology approved in the federal award.

A typical project will last up to 2 years.

>>Learn more

MassTech Collaborative


The Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) provides capital cost shares for projects and discovery centers located within the Commonwealth’s borders, as part of the state’s on-going commitment to the Manufacturing USA program put forth by the federal government.

Grant Program:
Entities may apply for a cost share grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for projects related to the federal Manufacturing USA program. M2I2 will be evaluating these project proposals based on its economic impact potential. 

>>Learn more



Do I qualify to participate?

This training is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives that:

  • Have annual revenues of at least $400,000
  • Have been in business for at least 3 years
  • Have at least one employee, other than self

What are the key program highlights? 

  • Customized training for “C” (CEO, COO, etc.) level executives with demonstrated business sustainability of at least 3 years in business and annual revenue of at least $400K 
  • Participant recruitment begins in February through SBA’s local district offices and classes typically begin in April
  • A three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets to help the participant emerge as self-sustaining businesses that creates jobs and build communities
  • Includes 100 + hours of professional specialized training and peer-to-peer counseling delivered over the course of seven months
  • Specialized areas of training include:
  • Growth Strategies Plans
  • Financing and Access to Capital
  • Government Contracting
  • CEO Mentoring

>>Register your interest / Learn more


SBA Events

Wednesday, February 7 - the Massachusetts District Office hosted SBA Administrator Linda McMahon for a visit as part of the national SBA Ignite Tour.  The visit consisted of media appearances, small business visits, a roundtable discussion with local owners, and a visit with the district office staff. 


Administrator McMahon visited Fireking Baking Company in Braintree and met with Owner Greg Acerra - who gave a tour of the business.  (SBA 504 loan recipient; 2016 SBA Massachusetts Manufacturer of the Year)


Administrator McMahon took part in a Small Business Roundtable Discussion with 14 local Business Owners and CEOs.  The meeting was moderated by District Director, Bob Nelson and also participating were: Wendell Davis, Regional Administrator; Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development; and Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade.


Administrator McMahon visited Atlas Devices in Charlestown where she chatted with CEO, Nate Ball - who gave a tour of the business and provided demonstrations of some of the devices manufactured including this repelling device used by the military.  (2012 Massachusetts Small Business Exporter of the Year; Mass Export Center Client; STEP Grant Recipient; SBIC Funding)


A little friendly arm wrestling with Atlas Devices' CEO. Who do you think won? #SBAIgniteTour


Administrator McMahon visited Roxy's Grilled Cheese in Central Square Cambridge where she chatted with owner James Di Sabatino. (SBA Emerging Leaders and SBA loan recipient) 


Administrator McMahon was interviewed on the NECN Business Report with Brian Burnell on a segment "The State of Small Business"


Monday, February 12 - Oreste Varela, Springfield Branch Manager and Veteran Business Development Officer leads a group of Veterans through the Boots to Business Workshop at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts.


Friday, February 2nd – Ili Spahiu, Lead Lender Relations along with Bob Nelson, District Director delivered lender training “Decoding SOP(J) & Builder's CAPLine” as part of a SBA Connection series specifically to educate Western Massachusetts lenders in Springfield. 


Friday, January 26th –  SBA Massachusetts presented the Lender of the Quarter Award for the 1st quarter of FY 2018 to TD Bank.    In the picture from left to right: Carlos Hernandez, Lender Relations Specialist;  Jeffrey Pierce, SVP and Regional Sales Manager, SBA Lending, TD Bank; Anne Marie Cerami, VP and Small Business Market Manager, TD Bank; and Daniel Griggs, Market President; along with Bob Nelson, District Director and Ili Spahiu, Lead Lender Relations Specialist.  For the 1st quarter, TD had 88 7(a) approvals in Massachusetts for $7.1 million making them the 2nd most active lender in the Commonwealth.


Tuesday, January 16th - Massachusetts District Office presented Enterprise Bank with the Massachusetts Lender of the Quarter Award for the 4th Q of 2017.    In the picture are: Carlos Hernandez, Lender Relations; Bob Nelson, District Director; Theresa Espinola, David Brown and Ryan Dunn of the Enterprise Bank Commercial Lending team.   Enterprise Bank doubled up on their loan activity in the fourth quarter over their previous 3 quarters combined.   



SBA Business Smart Workshops

Thurs, February 15
Jones Library 
43 Amity Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Gain a better understanding of what it takes to start and grow a business. Learn about SBA programs and services that are available to prospective or current entrepreneurs who need assistance in starting or expanding their businesses. (FREE) Register

HUBZone Joint Ventures: How to Partner with Other Companies for HUBZone Contracts

Weds, February 14 2:00-3:00 p.m.
During this webinar, you will learn how to enter into a HUBZone joint venture and the importance of having a well-defined joint venture agreement whether or not the agreement falls under the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program. Click on this LINK 10 minutes before the webinar begins. 

Explore SBA Resources

Thursday, February 15
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
CWE Eastern MA
24 School St., 7th Fl.
Boston, MA  02108
This workshop is presented by a member of the local SBA team and is designed to help entrepreneurs understand the various SBA programs and services available to help them start or expand a business.
(FREE) Register

Google's "Open for Business" - Livestream 

Weds, February 21
12:00 PM to 2:00 
Scibelli Enterprise Center - Springfield 
1 Federal St, Bldg 101
3rd fl, Teleclassroom
Springfield, MA
We’re excited to be partnering with Google, Facebook, Square, and Constant Contact to host a free livestream workshop
Find out how email can help you reach customers in their inbox and beyond to build relationships and grow your business.
Reach your customers anytime, anywhere
Facebook is giving you the tips to go global
We'll introduce best practices for creating a frictionless shopping experience to help turn shoppers into customers.
(FREE) Register

Continued HUBZone Compliance:  How to Maintain Your HUBZone Certification

Weds, February 21 2:00-3:00 p.m.
During this webinar, you will learn how to remain compliant to reap the benefits of your investment. Click on this LINK 10 minutes before the webinar begins.  

Get READY to start your business

Thurs, February 22
10:00AM – 12:00PM
300 Main Street
Falmouth, MA 02540
Get READY to begin your business. Learn the basic steps of starting a business, from what product you are going to sell to who's out there to help. This workshop is designed to help you understand the basic needs of starting a business provided from a Small Business Administration representative.
(FREE) Register

Entrepreneurship Event at Burlington Microsoft Store

Thurs, February 22, 11:30am
Burlington Mall Microsoft Store
Burlington, MA
Join Nadine Boone, for "Do’s and Don’ts to Obtaining a Small Business Loan with SBA and Salem Five Bank
(FREE) Register

How Does HUBZone Consider Employees and Affiliation?

Weds, February 28 2:00-3:00 p.m.
During this webinar, you will learn who to count as an employee for the purpose of the HUBZone Program.  The webinar will also help you understand when to combine the employees from your other businesses to evaluate the principal and employee residency compliance of the HUBZone firm.  Click on this LINK 10 minutes before the webinar begins.  

Grow Your Business via 8(a) Business Development

Thursday, February 22
10 Causeway Street, Rm. 265, Boston
The 8(a) Business Development Program is intended to help socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners: Gain federal contracts;Grow your businesses; Gain access to sole source contracts and get technical assistance. (FREE) Register 

Opening Doors to Federal Government Contracting

Friday, February 23, 10:00am - 12:00pm  
O'Neill Federal Building, Suite 265,
10 Causeway St, Boston, MA 02222
Small business certifications are like professional certifications; they document a special capability or status that will help you compete in the marketplace. Learn more about certifications at this workshop.  
(FREE) Register