Business Growth Center Expands Programming for Existing Entrepreneurs


SPRINGFIELD ─ The Business Growth Center at Springfield Technology Park has received a grant from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) to help underserved or disadvantaged business owners in the Pioneer Valley grow, or stabilize, their enterprises. The funds will enable the Center to continue its Stronger Businesses Program™, starting Oct. 7, and supplement funding for its staff.

This is the second time the Business Growth Center has received this MGCC grant for the Stronger Businesses Program™, which focuses on businesses with fewer than 20 employees. An assistant program manager will also be added to its staff who will support the Center’s Growth Advisory Program and seminars.

The grant is part of the MGCC’s 2015 Small Business Assistance Grants Program, which is designed to complement and enhance the traditional public and private small business assistance network. The Business Growth Center is one of 30 organizations statewide to receive 25 grants, and the only one in Hampden and Hampshire counties, to receive funding from the MGCC.

“Businesses with less than 20 employees dominate the Pioneer Valley,” said Marla Michel, the Business Growth Center’s director. “They will benefit from this support as it allows us to re-offer a proven business growth workshop and build our capacity for other growth programs.”

Registration is Open for Existing Entrepreneurs

The Stronger Businesses Program™ is an eight-session, in-depth offering for motivated leaders of for-profit and non-profit businesses aiming to strengthen their organizations and accelerate growth through better decision making, new product introductions, and more efficient operations. The program starts on Oct. 7 and, after a five-week “homework” period, runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 23. Business owners can bring an associate at no additional charge to help absorb the learnings more effectively. Discounts are available to members of all the regional chambers of commerce and the Western Massachusetts chapter of the National Machine and Tooling Association, as well as clients of the Business Growth Center’s service providers: Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, New England Business Associates Business Development Center, and SCORE.

Participants of last year’s program reported increased business stabilization or growth as a result of the program. “If I hadn’t taken this class, my company wouldn’t have been in as upward position as it is,” said Kristin Maier, program participant and president of Peerless Precision, Inc., in Westfield.

Leslie Belay, senior program manager at MGCC said,“ We are pleased to have the Business Growth Center as one of our grantees in Western Mass. Their Stronger Businesses program is compelling and will assist small business owners in expanding their products and services to meet new growth opportunities in the Pioneer Valley.”

Registration is open for the Stronger Businesses Program™ and available from the Center’s website.

About the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation

MGCC provides a centralized resource at the state level that offers working capital, loan guarantees, and targeted technical assistance to solve specific financial and operational problems by supplementing the capital available from private financial institutions (including non-bank lenders), with the goal of promoting the creation and maintenance of good jobs. See and

About the Business Growth Center at Springfield Technology Park

Since 1999, the Business Growth Center at Springfield Technology Park has provided office space in the Scibelli Enterprise Center, access to free business resources, and growth advisory and mentoring programs and workshops to small businesses, particularly those whose owners are under-represented and poised for growth in the Pioneer Valley. The Center also supports the growth of the regional clean energy cluster, a burgeoning industry in the Pioneer Valley and the Commonwealth. Businesses interested in growing can get more information at or follow on Twiitter @BusGrowthCenter.