SBA Region One Review - August 2019

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New England Regional Office  - August 2019

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The Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring Pilot Competition,

Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring Competition: Igniting Workforce Development

image of RA Wendell Davis

By: Wendell G. Davis

New England Regional Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration


I spend a lot of time traveling throughout New England meeting business owners, visiting their businesses, and listening to their challenges and their successes. The good news is that we have gone from an economy where folks were saying, “Where is the work?” to one where folks are now saying, “Where are the workers?” This is the number one issue that I hear in my travels.    

The Trump Administration has made it a priority to help in any way that it can in this area. The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced the launch of the Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition, which looked to provide funding to create or expand programs with job-specific and soft skills training within existing makerspaces.  

Makerspaces are uniquely positioned to help increase workforce development across the country. These spaces are open to people focused on obtaining new skills, including current and aspiring entrepreneurs. Many of these spaces offer a variety of tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, woodworking machines, soldering irons and sewing machines. There are many of these spaces open and operating across the region.

I am happy to report that two New England Makerspaces have been selected as winners of this competition. These organizations will be able to directly support vocational education, job placement and provide and economic boost in their communities.

The SBA’s MaTCH Pilot Competition awarded grants according to the following tiers:

  • Seed: up to $25,000 will be awarded to seed small workforce development programs.
  • Proof of Principle: up to $100,000 will be awarded to grow programs with a proven history of training and/or workforce development.
  • Scale: up to $200,000 will be awarded for capacity building of successful existing programs with a strong history of training and/or workforce development. This winner would also have graduated participants in at least two training cycles.

Monadnock Art X Tech (MAxT) in Peterbrough, New Hampshire is a “Proof of Pinciple” winner that received a $100,000 award. MAxT Makerspace developed a partnership with a local steel contractor, Guillou Construction in Milford, NH, with the objective of helping to address the growing need for qualified welders in construction and industry. MAxT will use the award from SBA’s MaTCH competition to invest in capacity building improvements and to graduate more certified participants who will be trained to immediately enter into employment opportunities.

The Clubhouse Network in Roxbury, MA is a “Scale” winner that received a $100,000 award. The Clubhouse is a makerspace that promotes community, peer-to-peer support, and inclusion. It was once an artist studio, inventor’s workshop, design house, film sound stage and backlot, hackerspace, music studio, and video game development lab. With the award from the SBA MaTCH pilot competition, The Clubhouse Network will expand and extend its Clubhouse-to-Career (C2C) Pathways to Success program. Participants will each be awarded a stipend upon completion of the program, as an incentive, to recognize the work accomplished, and as compensation for time spent in addition the goal of immediate placement into a meaningful paid job.

To find out about the complete list of awardees across the country visit:

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8 Ways to Find Your First Customers

Here are some smart strategies you can use to identify and attract those critical first customers.

No matter what industry you’re in, every startup business owner has the same burning question: “How will I get my first customers?” Here are some smart strategies you can use to identify and attract those critical first customers.

  1. Make a list. As you’ve done the groundwork to launch your business, you’ve undoubtedly met some people who could be potential customers. For instance, these could include people you surveyed in a focus group or connected with on social media. Put them on a list of prospects. B2B startups can put businesses they’ve interacted with on the list. You can also do some homework online to find companies that are likely buyers for what you sell and add them to your list.

To see the complete list, read the complete blog → 8 Ways to Find Your First Customers

Twitter Chat How to Attract and Retain Customers August 27 at 3pm ET #SBAChat

And for more guidance on how to attract and retain customers, join our twitter chat with #SBAChat on August 27th at 3pm ET.

Save the date- National Veterans Small Business Week, November 4-8, 2019

Each year the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates, connects and empowers service members during National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW). This year marks the sixth annual NVSBW.

Join SBA district offices, resource partners and other organizations as we celebrate the veteran and military-owned business community.

For a list of local events held during NVSBW go to → This page will be updated as new events are identified.

SBA Lending Across New England

7(a) Lending

The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s most common loan program, includes financial help for businesses with special requirements. So far in Fiscal Year 2019 (October 1, 2018 - July 31, 2019) SBA approved 2771 loans for $669,873,107 across New England. The top 5 7(a) lenders for this time period by number of loans are:

Eastern Bank - 397 loans for $44,615,600

TD Bank - 334 loans for $27,595,600

Webster Bank - 184 loans for $48,386,800

People's United Bank - 110 loans for $16,625,100

Citizens Bank - 82 loans for $28,410,742

504 Program

This loan program provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment or real estate. For the same time period the Certified Development Companies approved 455 loans for $240,256,000. The top 5 504 lenders are:

Granite State Economic Development Corp - 190 loans for $88,365,000

Bay Colony Development Corp - 93 loans for $53,500,000

New England Certified Development Corp - 86 loans for $59,292,000

Ocean State Business Development Authority - 26 loans for $9,349,000

Community Investment Corporation - 19 loans for $10,913,000

To learn more about SBA funding go to →