Just received from the MV Small Business Center and thought it would be a useful resource for our Network!
Something just happened to the Center!As the New Year unfolds, the Center is looking forward to a bright 2012 as we have had much success to build on from last year. 2011 meant results that made a difference in the communities of the Merrimack Valley! … And we look forward to continuing that success, but with a new name. As of today, the Lowell Small Business Assistance Center will officially be known as the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center.
We are very excited about our results and the new opportunities created. In 2011, the Center provided services to 235 clients. We provided:
- One-on-one counseling sessions to 127 entrepreneurs;
- Gave 25 workshops to 148 participants;
- Gave the Right Start Entrepreneurship Training to 68 budding entrepreneurs;
- Assisted 11 new business starts, creating 15 jobs.
View our 2011 Annual Report on our website. And speaking of websites….. We have more exciting news! We have a new website to go with our new name – Merrimack Valley Small Business Center. Please go to: www.merrimackvalleysmallbusiness.com or click here – Let us know what you think. Have any ideas on what additional resources we should have listed? Have some thoughts on what blog postings we should do? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Let us know, we love sharing ideas and would be honored to have a client writing stories too.
This name change reflects the Center’s growing impact in the Merrimack Valley. In addition to providing small business technical assistance, the Center has built the infrastructure for a microloan fund and as of July 2011, officially launched the Merrimack Valley Microloan Fund (MVMF) program. This exciting program provides microloans to entrepreneurs in the Merrimack Valley who lack access to conventional credit but have the capacity for success. This fund bridges the credit gap, helping businesses expand and grow, and get on a path to conventional bankability. So far the MVMF has made two loans that have helped sustain two businesses in Lowell. The Center expects to start making more loans throughout the Merrimack Valley as more partnerships emerge.
One such significant partnership started this last December with a grant from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. Thorough this opportunity, the Center is working in partnership with Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (GLCAC), to provide technical assistance to small businesses at GLCAC. This partnership makes it more convenient for Lawrence and Greater Lawrence business owners to receive assistance from the Center. Because of this partnership, we’ve also been able to grow our staff. We are pleased to introduce our new Business Advisor, Kristin Wallace. Kristin hails from Maryland but spent many years in the Merrimack Valley before heading down to New Orleans for graduate study in business and Latin American studies. She brings years of experience working in microfinance and business to the Center. Kristin will be working 2 days a week out of GLCAC, where we will be providing technical assistance to Lawrence small businesses at 305 Essex St. on the 2nd Floor, Lawrence, MA 01840; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am – 6 pm.
Lastly, we couldn’t do what we do without the support of stakeholders in our community and current and past clients. Please consider making a donation to the Center so that we can continue to provide technical assistance to small businesses, helping them strengthen, expand and grow in the Merrimack Valley. Click here for our donation page.