Education Calendar l August 2018

Massachusetts District Office  - August 2018

u s small business administration

Education Calendar l August 2018

Attend educational events that are happening throughout the state hosted by SBA Massachusetts and our network of partners and friends. 

In this email you will discover a partial listing of upcoming events and online resources. For complete listings, please visit each organization's website to explore more in depth. This is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any entity.

8/23: SBIR Road Tour in Manchester, NH


The SBIR Road Tour is coming to Manchester, NH on Thursday, August 23, 2018, to convey the non-dilutive technology funding opportunity provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 

On August 23, individual program managers from as many as 11 participating agencies representing $2.5 billion in early stage funding will participate in a one day event alongside technology entrepreneurs and state innovation ecosystem members. If you’re an innovator, entrepreneur, researcher, or small technology firm, don’t miss this opportunity.


8/28 Exploring Business Ownership with the SBA and Microfinance Experts

Participants will receive the Annual SBA Massachusetts Resource Guide and other materials to encourage the completion of a business plan draft. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2018 / 1:00pm - 3:00pm  
Boston Public Library, (Basement) 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 
Learn how the SBA and other resource partners can assist you in starting and growing your business. General information will be provided on the following programs and services:

  • Counseling/Technical Assistance through SBA and various resource partners: Small Business Development Centers / SCORE / Center for Women & Enterprise / City & State Economic Development Offices;  
  • Access to Capital: SBA 7(A) Advantage Loan Guaranty Program / SBA 504 Grow Loan / Microlending / Disaster Loans;  
  • Government Contract Opportunities: 8(A) Business Development Program / HUB Zone Program / Disadvantaged Business, Woman-owned, Service-disabled Veteran Self-Certifications / Subcontracting

Speakers Include: 


John FitzGerald is Director of Capital and Finance, Mayor's Office of Economic Development, Office of Small Business Development. 

Neighborhood Business Access Loan Program
The Office of Economic Development’s Business Capital and Finance Unit provides loans through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block money (CDBG). The key components of this unit are to support economic development through job creation and to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts and properties. This unit will focus on supporting those demographics who historically have more difficulty accessing capital, ideally minority/women/immigrant/veteran owned businesses, as well as supporting the growing sectors of business that have the most potential for job creation to low and moderate income households. These loans are meant to prevent displacement among existing businesses, subsidize economic development in new identified growth areas, and concentrate on businesses with social cause profitability potential. The loans dispersed from this Unit will assist businesses with equipment, startup costs, expansion, and working capital. Learn more about the Neighborhood Business Access Loan Program


Andrea Ierace is Director of Lending – NorthEast for Accion.  

Accion East empowers low- to moderate-income business owners through access to capital and financial education. Since 1991, we have provided over $162 million in capital to small business owners, creating and sustaining over 100,000 jobs within local communities. Our work fosters job creation, grows family incomes and creates lasting economic vibrancy for small business owners and their communities in cities across the country. 

The SBA Microloan Program gives small business borrowers greater access to loans, providing small businesses with loans up to $50,000, as well as business-based training and technical assistance. 

The average SBA microloan is about $13,000 and underwriting criteria are dictated by each Intermediary Lender.   However, location can be a factor as intermediaries are not located everywhere and may only provide loans to small businesses in their approved operational area.

Additionally, in most cases the business owner must be able to provide collateral and a personal guarantee to secure a loan. SBA makes funds available through specially designated intermediary lenders, all of them nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance.  Microloans must be repaid in six years and can be used for:

  • Working capital
  • Buying inventory or supplies
  • Buying furniture or fixtures
  • Buying machinery or equipment

Success Story: Microloan from EDIC of Lynn, Part of a Financing Strategy that Launched Luna Sweets


Over the past 5 years (FY13-FY18) Massachusetts has continually ranked as a top office out of 68 SBA district offices across the United States for small loans under $50,000.  This key indicator, along with other lending data tells us that women, low-income, veteran, and minority entrepreneurs are actively launching small businesses in the Commonwealth – borrowing on average, about $13K to get started.   

Entrepreneurs like Patty Francis, Owner of Luna Sweets are ditching the corporate world for a chance to go after their dream of business ownership.  As a retail banker for years, Francis saved up the seed capital she needed while starting the business on the side. 

When she felt ready, she sought out assistance and uncovered a wealth of resources that helped guide her every step of the way.  Francis found out about her local economic development agency and small business development center which connected her with the capital and counseling she needed to confidently launch on her entrepreneurial journey.

CAPITAL: Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn
While working as a banker, her manager and mentor kept encouraging her to take the next step.  One day, he forwarded Francis an email about EDIC Lynn small business loan programs and she started gathering information by scheduling a visit to find out more.

Patty met with EDIC Lynn Project Manager, Mary Jane Smalley – who assessed her plan and helped her understand what it took to get a loan.  “We meet with each applicant, explain the process and put them in touch with SCORE if necessary,” said Smalley.

Established in 1977, EDIC Lynn supports the local economy by helping existing and new businesses located in the City of Lynn to expand and launch.   “The majority of our applicants are not able to secure a loan through a traditional lender…” said Smalley. “We meet and work with many potential loan applicants… Once the paperwork is submitted, it is reviewed by staff and a loan board meeting is scheduled.  The turnaround time could be up to 30 days.”

>>Read more

9/26 SMALL BIZ TRADE DAY SEMINAR: Import/Export Basics for Small/Medium Sized Businesses


SBA will be attending and sharing info on SBA programs and services to help exporters.

CLICK HERE to learn more, REGISTER by September 21, 2018.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Hampton Inn Conference Center
319 Speen Street, Natick, MA

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT) invites you to attend the U.S. Customs andBorder Protection’s (CBP) Office of Trade Relations' Seminar: Import/Export Basics Seminar

Valarie M. Neuhart 
Deputy Executive Director Office of Trade Relations, Office of the Commissioner 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection  

In an effort to increase awareness of its programs and policies, Deputy Executive Director Valarie Neuhart, will lead discussions on CBP’s trade facilitation and enforcement related to imports, exports and the global supply chain as it directly impacts the small business community. 

Discussions include: 

  • CBP’s role in trade imports, automation and partnership
  • What to know and what to avoid when importing into the U.S.
  • What is a Customs Broker's role in imports and how can they help
  • Resources available to Small Businesses



9/21 STEP Grant Application Process WEBINAR

Date: Friday, September 21, 2018
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Contact: Massachusetts Export Center at 617-973-8664

Join us to learn about the Massachusetts State Trade Expansion Program ("STEP"), which is available to eligible Massachusetts small businesses for the purpose of increasing export sales of their goods and services. 

The Massachusetts STEP program is administered by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Export Center, through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  

This webinar will discuss the parameters of the Massachusetts STEP program and walk participants through the STEP application process. The webinar will provide guidance on completing the application and discuss specific elements that are critical for successful applicants. The webinar will also provide tips on assessing export readiness and planning international marketing activities in support of the STEP application. 

Those applicants who have demonstrated a strong commitment to exporting with a well-planned export strategy will have the best likelihood of success!

Grants under the STEP program will be capped at $12,000 per business to reimburse for costs associated with pre-approved projects, activities or services undertaken during the period October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. Each grant recipient will be required to provide a match to cover at least a portion of the total approved cost for any project, activity or service (the "Match"). New-to-export firms have a 25% match requirement and all other firms have a 40% match requirement.

The STEP Program is intended to help offset international business development and related marketing costs for small businesses. Grant proceeds may be used for specific international business development and marketing costs, including:

  • Overseas trade show or conference exhibition and directly related expenses (e.g., booth space, shipping charges, carnets, attendance in conjunction with exhibiting, space to deliver technical sales seminars, etc.) (shipping costs capped at $2,000 per company);
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Key and other in-country services;
  • Government-organized foreign trade missions with a business matchmaking element;
  • Cost of compliance testing an existing product for entry into an export market ($3,000 cap per company);
  • Design of export market-specific marketing media (including design and translation of brochures, targeted advertising in industry-appropriate media, etc. — does not include printing) ($3,000 cap per company);
  • Localization of websites for target export markets (including translation of websites, technical localization, and search engine optimization for export markets) ($3,000 cap per company).

Grant proceeds will not cover certain activities, including but not limited to: routine business operation and infrastructure-related expenses, domestic trade shows and conferences, travel expenses, staffing related costs, and more. Applications for vague or ineligible activities will be automatically disqualified. Click here for details on eligible and ineligible activities.   >>Learn more

SBA Massachusetts

Starting & Growing Your Business
Thu, August 23, 2018 / 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM  
Merrimac Public Library, 86 West Main Street, Merrimac, MA 01860
This workshop will provide information on the various Small Business Administration (SBA) programs/services available for start-up and existing businesses. Learn how the SBA can assist you in starting and growing your business. General information will be provided on the following programs and services:

  • Counseling/Technical Assistance through SBA resource partners
    SCORE (For the Life of Your Business)
    Small Business Development Centers
    Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE)
  • Access to Capital
    SBA Advantage Loan Guaranty Program
  • Government Contract Opportunities


Opening Doors to Federal Government Contracting
Friday, August 24, 2018 / 10:00am - 11:30pm  
10 Causeway Street, Suite 265, 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. Unlike permits and licenses, you do not need to obtain certifications to legally operate. However, in order to take advantage of business opportunities, such as government contracts, you may need to obtain some certifications.  

8(a) Business Development Eligibility Briefing
Thursday, August 23, 2018 / 10:00am - 11:30pm
10 Causeway Street, Suite 265, Boston MA 02222
The 8(a) Business Development Program is intended to help socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners gain federal contracts, grow your businesses and gain access to sole source contracts.  Join us and learn about certification requirements, program benefits, the application process and technical assistance.

9/20 SAVE THE DATE: SBA Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

hispanic heritage

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month 
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

For more information, contact:

9/27 SAVE THE DATE: Boots to Business REBOOT is Returning


The Introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners, who are skilled business advisers.  For more information, contact:

SBA Resource Partners


SCORE Boston Chapter
SCORE Worcester Chapter
SCORE Northeast MA Chapter
SCORE Southeast MA Chapter
SCORE Western MA Chapter
SCORE Cape Cod Chapter

Creating A Winning Business Model
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM 
Roxbury Innovation Center, 2300 Washington St, Boston, MA 02119  
In this workshop, you will learn a fast approach to develop a business model. It is called the Business Model Canvas and it will allow you to make tremendous progress toward getting the details of your business model written. The process includes testing your assumptions and refining your business idea.

Pricing, Costing and Breakeven - Palmer
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM 
Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce, 3 Converse Street, Palmer, MA 01069  

  • Understanding the true profitability of customers and products over time, identifying root causes for margin leakage and deciding on corrective actions will help you boost margins and grow your bottom line.
  • All businesses face the same critically important challenge: How to price products or services and make a profit.
  • Before establishing prices you should understand your marketing goals, the factors that influence pricing strategy and the possible pricing strategies you might employ.
  • But pricing is only half the picture. You also need a basic understanding of costs and how they behave as sales increase or decrease. 


Starting YOUR Business Bootcamp
Thursday, August 16, 2018 / 8:45am - 3:00pm
O'Neill Federal Building, 10 Causeway Street, RM265, Boston, MA 02222
A workshop presenting advice and suggestions to persons who are planning to open a new business. The Workshop starts at 8:45 AM and ends about 3:00 PM, and consists of two sessions. The Morning Session is a 3 hour interactive presentation, given by counselors experienced in each of the area discussed and will give you a clearer understanding of what is necessary to run a business.  The Afternoon Sessions are small round table discussions lead by SCORE counselors. 

Start Your Own Business 
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Bldg 101, Springfield, MA 01105 
Starting a small business requires more knowledge, skills, perseverance and planning than meets the eye.  Save valuable time and money starting here!  This 3-hour workshop will help you clearly understand the details, challenges, opportunities and rewards of owning and operation your own business. 
This 3-hour workshop will help you clearly understand the details, challenges, opportunities and rewards of owning and operation your own business, through the real-life experiences of several highly successful entrepreneurs.  It’s a must for new business owners.   You can build upon this worshop by following up with our free one-on-one counseling.  The step-by-step practical workshop covers:

  • Foundations for Starting Your Own Business 
  • Developing the proper “Mind Sets” For entrepreneurial success 
  • Components of Business Ownership
  • Which legal structure is right for you?
  • Insuring your business
  • Introduction to Business Planning 
  • Resources For Getting Started In Your Own Business

Jump Start Success:  This workshop is suggested prerequisite for the SCORE Business Planning and Cash Flow Workshop Series.  The #1 secret to success in starting and growing a business is having a clearly thought out business plan.  If you are considering starting a business or have recently started a business and require additional guidance and support, this is a perfect opportunity for you!($25) REGISTER

Increase the Odds of Success By Validating Your Business Idea
Thursday, August 23, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM 
Venture Cafe, 1 Broadway, 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142  
Having a great idea is simply not enough. This workshop is designed to help you get through the necessary step of idea validation. We walk you through a step-by-step approach that leverages qualitative feedback which helps to determine if your idea translates into a good business.
This workshop is presented by SCORE mentor Ethan Anthony Wade, a highly experienced technologist, startup founder and three times published author.

Client Networking Event 
Thursday, August 23, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM 
Shaker Farms Country Club, 866 Shaker Road, Westfield, MA 01085
Increase your network and display your product or service.  Break bread with that mentor you haven't seen for awhile.
This is an excellent opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs who are facing or who have successfully navigated the challenges of starting their own businesses. 
Meet bankers and other funding organizations, as well as resources that can assist your business. 
Resources for Women, Veterans, disabled, as well as first time and experienced entrepreneurs.  
Bring lots of business cards!!! 
Display your products or services.  We'll give you table space!  Just indicate on your registration form that you will display.
We'll have more information as we get closer to the date.  Follow us on Facebook to watch the development of this event and to get some tips on how to network in a large group.

Basic Entrepreneurial Workshops
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 10:00am - 4:30pm
The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, 171 Falmouth Road, Hyannis, MA, 02601
SESSION I - 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
SESSION II - 1:30 – 4:30 p.m
Presentations are FREE + Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, September 5th
For Registration/Information, contact SEED Corporation @ 508-822-1020, ext 318  REGISTRATION PAGE

Branding Roundtable for Women Business Owners 
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM 
Peabody Institute Library, 15 Sylvan St, Danvers MA 
For Women Business Owners who want to establish strong brand recognition for their businesses. Talking through strengths and benefits with your peers can help. We'll suggest new approaches and give you new ideas. There are no bad ideas at this meeting. We'll be positive and respectful. This is for Women Business Owners who wish to discuss common issues and concerns amongst themselves, not the least of which are marketing and branding.
Registration and networking begin at 5:30pm. Our meeting begins at 6:00pm. If you are a woman and you own a small business, you owe it to yourself to attend this meeting. Please bring pen and paper to jot down key ideas and capture points of interest. 

Center For Women & Enterprise .. Explained!
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Westborough Public Library, 55 West Main St · Westborough, MA
Come and meet Michelle Miller, the Director of the Central Ma Center for Women & Enterprise, and learn about this nationally known nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people start and grow their businesses. You do not have to be a woman to receiver help from them so come and find out about all the great resources they offer. As always .. networking time before the event.



Understanding Your Business' Financial Statements (2 Part) 
Tuesdays, August 14 & 21, 2:00pm to 4:00pm 
CWE Eastern MA, 24 School St, Floor 7, Boston MA, 02108 
You have financial statements for your business--what knowledge can you gain from them? This 2-part workshop will provide you with the tools necessary to understand your income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flow; all essential skills for operating a successful business.
($40) Must register to attend. Partial Scholarships may be available to those who qualify.

Explore Small Business Administration Resources 
Thursday, August 16 / 11:00am to 1:00pm
CWE Eastern MA, 24 School Street 7th Floor, 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. Topics covered include:
Technical Assistance Program
SBA Loan Guarantee Program
8(a) Business Development Program
HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones) Program
Government Contracting Opportunities

Crowdfunding: Alternative Financing for your Small Business 
Wednesday, August 15 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
CWE Central MA, 69 Milk St., Suite 217, Westborough, MA 01581
Are you looking for an alternative way to finance your startup? Come to this informative session on Crowdfunding- how to utilize your personal and professional networks to gain capital to start your business!
Walk away from this session understanding:

  • What Crowdfunding is, and its advantages and limitations
  • The different online crowdsourcing platforms available for business ventures
  • How to best plan a crowdfunding campaign
  • Keys to a successful and popular crowdfunding campaign

($20. Must register to attend. Partial scholarships may be available to those that qualify.) REGISTER

Legal Considerations for New Business Owners Basics 
Monday, August 27 / 5:00pm - 7:00pm
CWE Central MA, 69 Milk St., Suite 217, Westborough, MA 01581
This workshop provides a high-level overview of a range of legal matters that entrepreneurs need to be aware of when starting a new company. Attending this workshop will help you avoid common mistakes and employ preventative measures that can protect and ensure the success of your new business.  Workshop topics will include:

  • Different types of entity formations
  • Contract basics
  • Intellectual property considerations
  • Licenses and regulations

After the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one consultation regarding their specific business through the CWE consulting program. 

Pricing for Your Market
Wednesday, August 29 from 2:00PM to 4:00PM
CWE Eastern MA, 24 School Street 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Often business owners price their products simply by marking up their cost. Although margin is an important consideration, it is not the only factor when determining the price of a product or service. Understanding your customers’ perceived value and establishing a pricing strategy that is right for your market is as important to your success as understanding your costs and breakeven point.

In this workshop, we will cover:

  • Pricing strategies
  • Prospective customers’ value points
  • Maximizing profits using various pricing strategies and tactics

($20) Must register to attend. Partial scholarships may be available to those who qualify.  REGISTER


Central Regional Office
Northeast Regional Office
Southeast Regional Office
Western Regional Office
Berkshire Regional Office
Massachusetts Export Center
Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Introduction to Government Contracting
Friday, August 10, 2018 / Registration 10:25 a.m.; Program 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. 
Scibelli Enterprise Ctr, One Federal Street, Building 101, 1st Floor, Springfield
This workshop is primarily for small businesses located in the Springfield and Western Massachusetts area and will focus on how to potentially do business with the federal, state and local governments. Learn about free and confidential Massachusetts Procurement Technical Assistance Center services — including electronic bidmatching service. It will also provide a brief overview of government procurement/contracting and basic steps on marketing products and/or services to the government. The session will conclude with a brief Q&A session.
Presented by Grace Otta of Massachusetts Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Western Massachusetts region.
(Free) Contact: Grace Otta at or 413-545-6303

How to Become a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Holder and Government Contracting 101
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 / Reg 9:45 a.m.; Program 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building, 10 Causeway Street, 1st Floor, Boston
This free one-day workshop is held monthly in Boston. This workshop, designed to encourage and support small businesses interested in obtaining a GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract; learn more about contracting opportunities, the procurement process and resources available. Not sure which solicitation applies to your product or service? Refer to GSA's Schedules e-Library website in order to view or download solicitations. You can also view and download solicitations by visiting the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website.  Before attending the workshop, please review the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program and the GSA Vendor Tool Box. Please direct any questions regarding the GSA MAS Program to the GSA MAS Helpdesk (National Customer Service Center) by phone at  800-488-3111 or by email at Space is limited, so register early!  Contact: Questions about GSA Multiple Award Schedules Program, contact the GSA MAS Helpdesk at 800-488-3111 or by email at For difficulties with seminar registration, please contact Stephen Edmonds at or 781-801-3036. 

Basics of Starting a Business 
Monday, September 17, 2017 / 12:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Learn the whole nine yards of starting a business. This free workshop, presented by Allen Kronick, senior business advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network Western Regional Office, will focus on business fundamentals, from start-up considerations to business plan development and funding sources. It is designed for owners of existing businesses as well as those who are planning to start one.  The workshop will help entrepreneurs write a business plan and provide structure to starting/managing their venture.  Topics will include: 

  • Introduction and need for planning
  • Basic business plan format
  • Choosing your legal form of organization 
  • Marketing, market planning and research
  • Cash flow projections
  • Financial statements
  • Financing 

(FREE)  Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at or 413-577-1761. 


U.S. Small Business Administration offers the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program for eligible Small Businesses. Training is provided by Stover & Associates, Inc. For more information and to register, please visit: Stover & Associates

7J Cybersecurity Training


Eligible 7(j) participants for this free training will learn critical cybersecurity concepts, approaches to protecting their resources and intellectual property, and mandatory federal contracting requirements for both prime and sub-tier subcontractors. Each course is approximately 1 hour.

Interactive web-based training at:

You Will Learn: 
Courses assist 7(j) government contractors understand NIST 800-171 and DFARS 252.204-7012 requirements and provide information on good cyber hygiene and how to protect your assets, reputation and customers for commercial firms. Participants must register in LMS prior to signing up for course.

Contact Synergy at for User ID assignment and course registration access. 

Online Education

SBA Online Learning Center
SBA Blogs
SBA MA Resource Guide
Create a Business Plan
Find SBA Events
Analyze Your Company
SBA Office of Advocacy Research and Statistics

Center for Women & Enterprise Online Learning 
SCORE Online Workshops
America's SBDC Blog
BusinessUSA Training 
Massachusetts Export Center Podcasts