Growth Advisory Programs


Stronger Businesses ProgramTM

Every business needs skilled leaders to ensure enduring prosperity.  The Stronger Businesses ProgramTM teaches practical tools and techniques to help business owners build long-term success.  Each participating business also receives personal assistance in developing one specific growth initiative focused on strengthening internal capabilities, increasing sales, and/or improving profitability.

The Stronger Businesses ProgramTM is a five-session program.  In addition to the classroom time, the program includes two individual sessions with one of the facilitators to apply the learnings from the workshop directly to your business.  To further enhance the “stick” power of the program, the workshop is priced per company, so that the tools and techniques can be discussed and used on a daily basis.

Information and registration for the Spring 2015 Stronger Businesses ProgramTM are available HERE.  This program is made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.



WomenUpFront, a facilitated monthly roundtable for women business owners, offers a curriculum designed for the small business owner including guest speakers who impart knowledge, support and inspiration.  WomenUpFront helps accelerate women entrepreneurs to transition their businesses to the next level.  Roundtable meets the 3rd Wednesday morning of each month and includes lunch.  Interested business owners must satisfy membership criteria after talking with the facilitator.

More information is at


Growth Advisory Program

While many of our region’s business owners do a great job getting started in business and generating an income stream, they often get stuck on an economic plateau. They find themselves working tirelessly in their businesses and find it difficult to make the time to work on their businesses. It is for these business owners, for whom continued growth seems just out of reach, that we have specially designed our Growth Advisory Program.

Director Marla Michel will listen to your needs and concerns, assess your stage of business and then pull together a team of advisors – all volunteers from relevant industries – to address the items on your growth agenda. This team will meet with you every six to eight weeks for a year, offering advice on topics that include financing, staffing, intellectual property, accounting, marketing, strategy, sales and funding.

Other benefits of the Growth Advisory Program include providing minutes of your team meetings so you can keep track of action items and access to the Business Growth Center’s shared facilities, including conference rooms and work rooms.

Contact us to get started in your growth agenda.

We are grateful to the following growth advisers for mentoring small business owners at the Business Growth Center:
Laurie Breitner, Breitner & Associates
Michael Buckmaster, Nuvo Bank
Walter Crawford
Larry Grenier
Leona Ittleman, Springfield Technical Community College
Allen Kronick, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center – Western Regional Office
Jay Moore
John Peterson, Morgan Stanley
Diane Sabato, Springfield Technical Community College
Gregory Schmidt, Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury, Murphy, PC
James Stewart, Chase, Clarke, Stewart and Fontana Insurance Co.
Thomas Toman
William Trudeau, Insurance Center of New England, Inc
Karen Utgoff, KLU Consulting

Growth Advisory Program Staff:
Marla Michel, Director
Sarah Crouse, Assistant Property Manager