The Town of Middleborough’s New Year’s resolution is to bring more business to town.
The southeastern Massachusetts community has launched a public-private partnership designed to support existing or start-up businesses in the town, as well as offering significant incentives to individuals thinking of relocating their businesses to Middleborough.
The initiative, Middleborough Business Resource Center (http://mbresourcecenter.org), is a division of the Middleborough Office of Economic and Community Development, partnering with private businesses, who will provide advisory services through the MBRC to businesses which are already here in town or which may be thinking of opening or relocating to Middleborough.
To incentivize and support businesses, the MBRC is developing and expanding a list of professional business advisors and service providers across a wide range of industries, who will each support every qualifying business by providing up to three hours of expertise at no cost to the business owner – and with no commitment required beyond that three hour period required.
This public-private partnership, which carries a value to each business owner of more than $1,000, is seen by community and business leaders as an innovative approach to boosting the community’s business base. which partnered in establishing the center.
“Many business owners, in an attempt to watch or reduce expenses, refrain from seeking the professional advice needed to help them sustain and grow their businesses, and doing so can lead to costly and sometimes irreversible errors,” said Itamar Chalif, a Middleborough resident and member of the town’s Downtown Improvement Committee, which partnered with the MBRC. “As we discussed ways in which we could encourage business owners to start a business here (or relocate one), we believe that having professional advisors to guide these owners through the first steps is a very valuable tool. We have been very impressed with the quality of advisors who have stepped up to be part of this program – and we’re looking to add more quality people to the list.”
The MBRC will pair successful applicants to the program with advisors who will offer up to three hours of professional advice at no cost. As an example, a business in need of tax advice would be paired with a CPA who would guide the business owner in setting up the business structure. Other areas include advertising and public relations, marketing, web development, coaching, IT, human resources and more.
In addition to this specific program which pairs businesses with advisors, the Middleborough Business Resource Center offers access to and information about current national, state, regional and local business programs to improve local economies by helping small businesses locate grants, special financing programs, training and business support. Since many businesses are not aware of these programs, the MBRC can serve as a one-stop-shop for business owners to learn about the different options valuable to them.
Any business meeting the criteria – that is, operating in Middleborough or planning to establish a business in town, and is interested in the program can visit www.mbresourcecenter.org to learn more details.
MBRC has established a list of advisors, and is interested in hearing from other business owners who would be willing to serve as an advisor to a business. The commitment required is to be willing to assist businesses who go through the application process with up to three hours of service at no cost.
“We see this as an extremely strong incentive to support Middleborough businesses,” said Janis Akerstrom, director of the Office of Economic and Community Development. “A business owner could avail themselves of the services of several advisors and get a real head start in getting a business on the right track, particularly during these challenging times of COVID-19.”
The MBRC is currently inviting additional sponsors to join with Rockland Trust Company and other sponsors in supporting the business center. For businesses and organizations who may wish to help support this innovative program, please visit www.mbresourcecenter.org.
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