January 07 2016


Massachusetts Growth
Capital Corporation
529 Main Street
Schrafft Center, Suite 201
Charlestown, MA 02129

Tel: +1 617-523-6262
Fax: +1 617-523-7676



Press Release: MGCC Announces $90,000 in Small Business Grants

Event coverage:
Holyoke organizations awarded $90,000 in grant money
(WWLP Channel 22)

State and City elected officials joined MGCC to celebrate the awarding of $90,000 in small business grants to Nuestras Raices and the Greater Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation's SPARK program. The grants were awarded through the State's Small Business Technical Assistance Grant program administered by MGCC. "Nuestras Raices will receive $34,000 and the Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation's SPARK program will receive $56,000. Both groups will use the money to fund technical assistance programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business," said Lawrence D. Andrews, President and CEO of MGCC.

The event also highlighted the work of small businesses that have been helped through the program. "SPARK has graduated 28 people from its program that started in March. Of these 28, 12 were already in business and have grown and improved their skills, 11 have started a business and 5 have decided to wait in order to refine their plans." Farid Khelfaoui, Executive Director, SPARK

MGCC's Small Business Technical Assistance Grant program is designed to complement and enhance the traditional public and private small business assistance network by providing technical assistance or training programs for underserved and disadvantaged businesses with 20 employees or fewer.  "Funds from the Small Business Technical Assistance program will allow Nuestras Raices to continue to help the Holyoke small businesses emerging from the community's environmental programs, economic development and agriculture." Hilda Roque, Executive Director, Nuestras Raices

The grant recipients, which are selected in a competitive process, include community development corporations, micro-lenders and chambers of commerce. MGCC awarded grants to 30 organizations across the Commonwealth in Fiscal Year 2016. These organizations are committed to helping small business flourish and improving their regional economy with locally driven solutions. 

About Nuestras Raices:

Nuestras Raíces is a grassroots urban agriculture organization based in Holyoke MA. The organization's mission is to create healthy environments, celebrate "agri-culture," harness collective energy, and to advance their vision of a just and sustainable future.

About the Greater Holyoke Chamber Centennial Foundation's SPARK Program:

The goal of the SPARK program is to strengthen and grow the Holyoke's economy from within its own residents, which are often under-represented and have untapped potential to increase business and social ventures in the City and region.  SPARK also works to strengthen the role of Holyoke and the Holyoke Innovation District in the larger entrepreneur ecosystem of Western Mass

About MGCC:

MGCC works to create and preserve jobs at Massachusetts small businesses, women and minority owned businesses, and promotes economic development in underserved, Gateway Cities and low and moderate income communities. MGCC is a central state resource that offers working capital, loan guarantees, and targeted technical assistance to solve specific financial and operational problems for local businesses. MGCC works with traditional financial institutions to make challenging loans bankable, working with community development corporations and other non-profits to provide financing for job-producing projects, and assisting a wide range of small businesses find the growth capital they require. MGCC specifically targets manufacturers that are expanding, other growth sectors, and small businesses in our older Gateway Cities.  Since inception, MGCC has assisted more than 263 companies with over 9,100 employees with customized working capital financing commitments totaling over $83,800,000.

Photo: Left to Right: Mark Tajima (Energia), Kathleen Anderson (Holyoke Chamber),  Ivelice Lefevbre (Energia), John Lebeaux, (MA Department of Agricultural Resources), Alison Moronta (MGCC), Sheila Coon (Hot Oven Cookies), Larry Andrews (MGCC), Hilda Roque (Nuestras Raices), Farid Khelfaoui (Holyoke Chamber SPARK Program), Jose Luis Rojas Villarreal (MGCC), Eric Taub (Axxion), Alejandra Sugrue (Bubu Company),  Neftali Duran (Nuestras Raices)

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