June Newsletter l Pride Month Virtual Cafe

Massachusetts District Office - June 2021

u s small business administration

June Newsletter


SBA's network for LGBTQ+ businesses aims to bring focus on economic empowerment in the LGBTQ+ business community by providing access to the SBA's programs and services. More here → http://ow.ly/tOm450zQO9w

Virtual Cafe


Join Caroline Williams and Diane Darling, Outreach and Marketing Specialists with the MA District office of the SBA; Thais De Marco, Engagement and Membership Director of the MA LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and LGBT owned businesses for an event in celebration of Pride Month. Attendees will learn about SBA programs and services designed to help all small businesses start, grow, expand, and recover.

News Release: SBA Launches 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, Debuts SBIR Catalyst to Award over $5 Million in Prizes


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced its 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) with the addition of a new component aimed at spurring investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy at scale. The 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst programs will recognize the nation’s most innovative organizations with inclusive approaches towards supporting entrepreneurs in research and development (R&D). New to this year’s competition, two tracks will run totaling over $5 million in cash prizes.

“The Growth Accelerator and SBIR Catalyst programs are important parts of our efforts to support high-tech, deep-tech startups, by developing a network that targets the unique needs of pre-revenue, R&D-focused businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.  “We are committed to equity and will award prizes to organizations that are finding ways to inclusively support underserved entrepreneurs -- including women, people of color, and individuals living in underrepresented geographic regions -- so that they can participate, contribute, and benefit from the U.S. innovation ecosystem.”

Track 1-The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC): Prizes of $50,000 will be awarded to accelerators, incubators, and related entrepreneur programs proposing impactful assistance to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)/R&D entrepreneurs. This year, the competition will award an estimated 84 prizes to successful applicants who focus their proposed efforts on assisting the following groups: women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs building technologies to address key policy issues such as clean energy and supply chain resilience, or an underserved target group identified by the applicant (i.e., rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.).

Track 2- SBIR Catalyst: For the first time, seven additional prizes of $150,000 will be awarded through SBIR Catalyst to scale collaborative partnerships and build regional collaborations in support of SBIR/STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) applicants and awardees, fulfilling SBA’s mission of addressing gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

For both tracks, applicants must submit a brief 12-slide presentation addressing the relevant elements of their track and a video narrative of no more than 90 seconds. Panels of expert judges from the private and public sector with experience in early stage investment, entrepreneurship, academia, startups and economic development will review proposals.

Competition rules, requirements and additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

Submission period: May 26, 2021 4:00 PM EDT to June 25, 2021 4:00 PM EDT 

Winners to Be Announced: August 2021

About the SBIR and STTR Programs

The SBIR/STTR programs represent the nation’s largest source of early stage research and development funding for small businesses. SBA coordinates the programs, collaborating with 11 federal agencies, who collectively supported more than $4 billion a year in federal research and development funding. www.sbir.gov.

Government Contracting

Government Contracting

The U.S. Government is the world’s largest buyer of all types of products and services; in both large and small quantities. By law, the U.S. Government’s procurement policy requires opportunities for small businesses. Federal statute defines government-wide goals including grants which are a primary tool in assisting to:

• Support small businesses as engines of economic development, growth, and job creation
• Offer opportunities to small businesses or challenged socio-economic groups by limiting competition
• Access and develop innovative technology from small businesses



Thursday  6/17/21 / 8:30am - 10:00am
How to do Business with the Federal Government as a Small Business

Tuesday  6/22/21 / 11:00am - 12:00pm
Become Woman Owned Certified with the SBA 

Thursday  6/24/21 / 8:30am - 10:00am
Federal Government Contracting 8(a) Program Webinar

Wednesday  6/30/21 / 10:00am - 11:00am
Demystify State and Federal Certifications for Small Business Informational Session

Thursday  6/30/21 / 9:00am - 10:30am
Doing Business with the Federal Government

The HOW TO for all small business entrepreneurs to obtain Federal Government business and grow with “set-aside” contracts and grants through SBA.


  • How does the government buy from small businesses?
  • Where do I go to get started?
  • Do I have to start with a big contract?
  • Who can assist me?

Nosotros proveemos el conocimiento a las pequeñas empresas como conseguir contratos con el gobierno federal y impulsar el crecimiento con contratos (set-aside) y subsidios a través del SBA.

Un asesor empresarial y una intérprete (inglés/español) estarán disponible.



On 04/30/2021 SBA updated their FAQ which outlines major changes to the Initial Application & Recertification Process along with recent rule changes surrounding the principal office and legacy employees.  It is very important that all HUBZone businesses take a few moments to review these changes as they may impact your companies eligibility for the program. 

Key Changes to point out: 

Legacy Employees 

  • Clarifies that the legacy employee requirement does not apply to employees  who resided in a Redesignated Area or Qualified Disaster Area during the relevant time periods.
  •  A firm is only eligible for this provision if it has a principal office in a Qualified Census Tract, Qualified Non-Metropolitan County, Qualified Base Closure Area, Indian Reservation, or Governor-Designated Covered Area.

Initial Application Reviews: 

  • Changes the deadline to upload supporting documents from 10 business days to three business days.
  • Requesting submission of employee and principal office information on a pilot eligibility workbook tool available on the website, the eligibility workbook tool designed to help applicants organize, calculate, and present information related to their principal office and employee residency. Filling out the workbook tool and uploading it as part of your application will help expedite SBA’s review of your HUBZone application.
  • Declining an application for lack of response if a firm does not respond or voluntarily withdraws their application within the required timeframe.
  • Removing requirement for application signature page to be notarized and mailed to the HUBZone office.


  • All certified HUBZone small businesses must annually recertify that they continue to meet the HUBZone eligibility requirements as of the anniversary of their original HUBZone certification date. This means that if a firm is certified on March 1, 2021, it will have to recertify within 30 days of March 1, 2022, that it continues to meet the HUBZone eligibility requirements as of that date. 

HUBZone Map Freeze: Extended until June 30, 2023: HUBZone Map (sba.gov)

PRIDE Month Success Story: JOSIANE’S JOURNEY - Certified to Shatter Ceilings as an LGBTBE/WBE/MBE Business Owner


-Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist

Archipelago Strategies Group’s Founder and CEO, Josiane Martinez came to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico in her late 20’s with little money and no family or support network – but she stayed resilient. As a gay woman growing up in Puerto Rico during times when LGBTs weren’t fully accepted, Josiane felt ostracized and wanted to take a chance on moving somewhere she might be able to grow into her own.

After studying communications at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, she moved to Boston to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Josiane started by working at coffee shops and non-profits, while freelancing for ethnic newspapers. She was later brought into public service by former Governor Deval Patrick and quickly rose to the position of executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants. 

In 2013, Josiane took another risk, when she decided to leave state service to start her own business. Archipelago Strategies Group started with one employee, working with small nonprofit clients. Josiane’s vision was to build a firm with multicultural staff that can run full-scale marketing, public relations and community engagement campaigns.  >> Read more

UPCOMING Virtual Events

6/30 Exploring Exporting Coast-to-Coast (Seattle & Boston)


Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 
1pm PST / 2:30pm EST


Did you know that companies that export tend to be more financially stable, grow faster, and are more resilient?

With 95% of the world's consumers located outside the United States, it’s time to think about international trade...and it's easier to expand your market than you think!

Join the SBA Massachusetts and Seattle District Offices on June 30th to discover the latest trade trends and learn about SBA’s International Trade Programs and Services in place to help your business Go Global.


  • Small Business Exporter Panel
  • Trade Experts and Exporter Resource Panel
  • Learn from the experts ”How to manage export risk in the coming recovery”
  • International Trade Opportunities & Best Practices


Wednesday 6/16/21 / 10:00am - 11:00am
Starting and Growing a Business: The SBA Advantage

Wednesday 6/16/21 / 11:00am - 12:00pm
Your Business Plan: Soup to Nuts

Wednesday 6/16/21 / 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Basics of Business Contracts

Wednesdays starting 6/16/21 / 6:30pm - 8:30pm
What is the Business Worth?

Wednesday 6/16/21 / 12:00pm - 2:30pm
Business Planning - The Simpler Way

Thursday  6/17/21 / 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Center for Women & Enterprise: Virtual Fundraiser and Celebration: Celebrating Women Who Lift Up the World


Thursday 6/17/21 / 11:00am - 12:00pm
Plan de negocios: de la A a la Z

Thursday 6/17/21 / 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Digital Skills for Everyday Tasks

Thursday 6/17/21 / 12:00pm - 1:30pm
How to Boss Up and Stand out with Confidence

Thursday 6/17/21 / 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Your Path to Growth in Life Sciences: Leveraging Resources & Avoiding Pitfalls

Monday 6/21/21 / 2:00pm - 3:30pm
The Effective Elevator Pitch

Monday 6/21/21 / 3:00pm - 4:00pm
The Secret Sauce: Content Development for Restaurants and Caterers

Tuesday 6/22/21 / 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Asian Real Estate Association Boston: Commercial Real Estate / SBA 504 Event


Tuesday 6/22/21 / 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Legal Considerations for New Business Owners

Wednesday 6/23/21 / 12:00pm - 2:30pm
Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses

Thursday 6/24/21 / 12:00pm - 1:30pm
The Secret to Being Powerfully Productive

Thursday 6/24/21 / 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Start Your Own Business

Monday 6/28/21 / 11:00am - 1:00pm
Business Plan Basics

Monday 6/28/21 / 3:00pm - 4:00pm
The Secret Sauce: Graphic Design and Video Creation for Restaurants and Caterers

Tuesday 6/29/21 / 11:00am - 1:00pm
Explore Small Business Administration Resources

Tuesday 6/29/21 / 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Sustaining Entrepreneurial Success with Optimism, Resilience, and Grit

Tuesday 6/29/21 / 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Your Story is Your Voice: A Storytelling Workshop for Professionals and Entrepreneurs

Wednesday 6/30/21 / 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Recursos para inventores y empresarios de la oficina del U.S. Patent & Trademark

Wednesday 6/30/21 / 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Developing your Business Plan
To Register Email: renee.durning@TD.com
Presenters: Renee Durning, Business Banking TD, Co-Host: Nerimane Berisha, Waltham Store Manager Additional Guest Speakers: Lisa Gonzalez Welch, Economic Development Specialist with the MA Small Business Administration (SBA) Michelle Miller, Director for Center for Women & Enterprise.

Veterans Business Outreach Center

Veterans Business Outreach Centers are your one-stop shop for small business resources. Visit SBA dot gov slash VBOC.



Be Your Own Boss

7 Session Business Start Up Series!  Wednesdays 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

5/5/2021 - 6/16/2021


  • General Session  5/5/21     6:00 PM- 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Session #2   5/12/21           6:00 PM- 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Session #3   5/19/21           6:00 PM- 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Session #4   5/26/21           6:00 PM- 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Session #5   6/2/21             6:00 PM- 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Session #6   6/9/21             6:00 PM- 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Session #7   6/16/21           6:00 PM- 8:00 PM (EDT)​

If there are any Veteran entrepreneur inquiries, please reach out to VBOC:


Jenniefer Murphy, “Jennie” (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers) Director – Veterans Business Outreach Center of NE (VBOC) Center for Women & Enterprise 132 George M. Cohan Blvd. | Providence, RI  02903

D:  844-404-2171 l JMurphy@CWEonline.org | www.VBOCNewEngland.org

Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Rhode Island l Vermont

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News Release: SBA Announces Funding Competition to Organizations Providing Federal Procurement Training to Veteran Entrepreneurs

Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced that non-profit organizations and private sector firms are now eligible to compete for funding of up to $500,000 to deliver federal procurement training to veteran and service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. The application period begins today through July 12, 2021.

Up to two awardees will use the $500,000 in total funding to participate in the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (SB-OVVT-21-001) with grants from SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. Awards will be made for a base project period of 12 months, with three option periods of 12 months each. These funds will be used to cover the costs of educating veterans and service-disabled veterans who intend to pursue, or are already engaged in, federal procurement.

"With the U.S. Government being the single largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, there is a tremendous opportunity for our veteran small business community to tap into government contracting,” said Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator for the SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development. "Through our Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program, we will continue to provide grants that train and empower veterans and service-disabled veterans as they enter and expand in the federal marketplace.”

Eligible organizations must submit applications for the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (SB-OVVT-21-001) funding opportunity by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 12, 2021, through Grants.gov. Search for opportunity number SB-OVVT-21-001. Applications not submitted via Grants.gov will not be evaluated. 

SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development will host a conference call on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 2 p.m. EDT to answer questions related to the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program grant announcement. Please submit any questions to Jerry Godwin at jerry.godwin@sba.gov no later than Thursday, June 17, 2021. To join the call, please use the following information:

Information, including a transcript of the conference call once it is available, will be posted on grants.gov and sba.gov.


SBA Deadline Approaching for Working Capital Loans in Massachusetts for Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration for Drought

ATLANTA - The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations located in Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties in Massachusetts of the June 16 filing deadline for federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) due to drought that began Aug. 18, 2020.

“These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in New Hampshire. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.

Apart from aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working
capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov and should apply under SBA declaration # 16746, not for the COVID-19 incident.

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email toDisasterCustomerService@sba.gov DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster.

Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Submit completed loan applications to SBA no later than June 16, 2021.


The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering free webinars brought to you by SBA’s Office of Business Development through the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program’s 7(j) provider, Catalyst Center for Business and Entrepreneurship; and also Stover & Associates.

Please view the table of training offerings below by Catalyst Center and note that registration is required.  The registration links for each course are listed next to each workshop offered.  Participants can join from a variety of devices, including desktop or laptop (PC, Mac and Linux), smartphone and tablet (iOS and Android).  This makes it easy for busy small business executives to join the training from virtually anywhere without installing additional software.   The training is free for all eligible small businesses Nationwide.

Please contact Leigh Christian at 256-428-8190 or leigh.christian@catalystcenter.org if you need further assistance with registration or specific questions about a course. 

The training curriculum for June 2021 consists of the following webinars:

                JUNE 2021 Workshops         

             The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship

             7(j) Technical and Management Assistance Provider 

             SBA Cooperative Agreement contract # SBAGC7J200005-01-00

Workshop Name

Date - All times are 3:00 to 5:00 pm CENTRAL unless noted

Workshop Leader

Registration Link

CATALYST EVENT – June 17 Doing Business with NASA  

Doing Business with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (ecenterdirect.com)

GOVCON Accounting Basics/DCAA  


Anglin Reichmann CPAs – Meg Hampton  

GovCon Accounting Basics (ecenterdirect.com)

Capabilities Statement Boot Camp- Hands-On Workshop 


  Catalyst - Kevin Hoey & Leigh Christian  

Capabilities Statement Bootcamp (ecenterdirect.com)

GOVCON Market Research – Doing Your Homework  


Department of State - Anna Urman, Sr. Procurement Analyst,   

GOVCON Market Research - Doing Your Homework (ecenterdirect.com)



Catalyst staff 

NO WORKSHOP – Catalyst leading Nonprofit 101 workshop

For questions:  Email Leigh Christian at leigh.christian@catalystcenter.org or Tracy Junkins at tracy.junkins@catalystcenter.org

7J Training schedule below is provided by Stover & Associates, Inc.
For more information and to register, please visit:  http://sbaworkshops.stoverteam.com/cgi-bin/app.cgi

To view all current offerings, please visit: Stover & Associates

Any questions, please reach out to Nadine.Boone@sba.gov

7J June

Small Business Resource Guide Massachusetts Edition 2020

Check out our latest Massachusetts Edition 2020 - Small Business Resource Guide now available online!

2020 Resource Guide


Please direct all other inquiries and questions to our District Office email at:


FREE and confidential counseling services are available across the Commonwealth. 


Virtual education, training and networking sessions are happening daily.


Please schedule a virtual session with any of our Resource Partners below...

Resource Partner Network



Staff are working remotely and can be reached via email or telephone. MSBDC is committed to supporting entrepreneurs during these very challenging times.

Request for Counseling

MSBDC advisors can assist businesses with disaster loan applications.

If you are not currently a client and would like to speak with a counselor, please find your region and reach out to the REGIONAL OFFICE SERVING YOU.

Berkshire Regional Office
33 Dunham Mall, Suite 103
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-499-0933 | Fax: 413-499-3005

Central Regional Office
Clark University
The Carriage House, 125 Woodland Street
Worcester, MA 01610
508-793-7615 | Fax: 508-793-8890

Northeast Regional Office  (SPANISH-SPEAKING COUNSELOR)
Salem State University
121 Loring Avenue, Suite 310
Salem, MA 01970
978-542-6343 | Fax: 978-542-6345

Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Scibelli Enterprise Center
1 Federal Street, Building 1
Springfield, MA 01105
413-545-6303 | Fax: 413-737-2312

Southeast Regional Office
200 Pocasset Street
Fall River, MA 02721
508-673-9783 | Fax: 508-674-1929

Western Regional Office
Scibelli Enterprise Center
One Federal Street, Building 101
Springfield, MA 01105-1160
413-577-1768 | Fax: 413-737-2312



Request for Counseling

Counseling Sessions with BOSTON SCORE CHAPTER:
If you want to speak with a counselor, SCORE is doing tele-consults. Just pick a date and time to schedule a session and enter your contact info, mentors are doing sessions by phone and Zoom video app. 

Reach out to other SCORE CHAPTERS throughout the state below.

SCORE Boston Chapter

SCORE Worcester Chapter

SCORE Northeastern Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Southeastern Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Western Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Cape Cod Chapter

SCORE Rhode Island (Serving Fall River, New Bedford)


CWEWomen's Business Centers


Eastern Massachusetts Center - Boston
44 School St., Suite 200
Boston, MA 02108

Central Massachusetts Center - Westborough
69 Milk St., Ste. 217
Westborough, MA 01581

Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England (VBOC of NE)
132 George M. Cohan Blvd.
Providence, RI 02903


Disclaimer: The SBA does not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites, and does not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  All programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.