Mayor Mitchell announces new funding opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today that $3.3 million will be made available to support local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Earlier this year, the city launched a small business assistance program to redistribute portions of the federal funds New Bedford received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). On May 13, Mayor Mitchell and local arts leaders celebrated the funding awarded to local artists and arts groups through the small business program.

The same program is now providing another portion of its funding to support local businesses and entrepreneurs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate their financial recovery. The funds will be distributed through two separate initiatives: NBForward!, which funds companies negatively affected by the pandemic, and NB100!, which focuses on supporting young entrepreneurs who are affected because of their industry or location.

The New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) will be tasked with administering the respective grant processes as an extension of its long-standing small business support activities.

NBEDC’s two award-winning programs focus on small businesses and domestic start-ups through new, streamlined processes designed to be accessible, flexible, efficient and measurable in outcome, aiming to position New Bedford as one of the strongest and most diverse small business economies per capita in the post-pandemic Commonwealth.

“Entrepreneurs drive opportunity and growth in our economy. Positioning them for success will accelerate New Bedford’s recovery from the pandemic,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The New Bedford Economic Development Council has a proven track record of supporting small businesses and these two new programs will leverage their experience and expertise.”

“Connectivity is critical to helping small businesses thrive throughout the business lifecycle,” said Anthony Sapienza, President of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “From start to finish, both NB100! and NBForward! are designed to provide not only the much-needed financial support to businesses in New Bedford to get through the pandemic, but also the technical expertise needed to remain viable and dynamic for years to come. No matter where someone is in their entrepreneurial journey – whether they are just starting out or an established operation – we have a path for them in New Bedford.”

The new NBForward of the NBEDC! The program offers a minimum of 100 grants of up to $20,000 — coupled with matching loan financing from other sources outside of ARPA and with a three-month payment deferral — along with technical support, including business planning, resource advice and best practices.

NBForward! is designed to provide working capital to existing local businesses to position themselves for future growth. Permissible uses of the capital are:

  • Improvements, construction, renovations of commercial rental properties (with documented building owner approval and city approval review)
  • Lease or mortgage payments for businesses
  • Payments for company benefits
  • Monthly insurance costs for companies
  • Business Payroll
  • Storage costs for companies
  • Other approved business fixed and operating expenses

The new NB100! The program aims to encourage entrepreneurship, increase local prosperity and strengthen community bonds by helping 100 new businesses fill the ground. In the first phase of support, NBEDC will lead technical support provided by New Bedford SourceLink resource partners including: EforAll, Groundwork, Co-Creative Center, New Bedford Ocean Cluster, UMass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College and Junior Achievement.

In a separate and subsequent phase, NBEDC is offering $10,000 in grants to eligible small businesses that successfully complete the technical assistance program. Eligible uses of these grant funds include:

  • Lease or mortgage payments for businesses
  • Payments for company benefits
  • Monthly insurance costs for companies
  • Business Payroll
  • Storage costs for companies
  • Acquisition of new equipment/real estate
  • Construction/repair of existing properties
  • Reimbursement of business expenses incurred on or after March 3, 2021
  • Working capital for other operating expenses

NBEDC staff will be involved in the administration of both programs to ensure an efficient review and approval process for eligible applicants. The formal application process is accessed via the NBEDC home page at https://nbedc.org.

Learn more on the city’s ARPA website: www.newbedford-ma.gov/arpa.

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