PERC Offers Assistance to Berkshire County Businesses

The Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC) is seeking applicants for matching grants of up to $5,000 that it can award to businesses in Pittsfield and Berkshire County for technical assistance services, such as financial, architectural, legal, engineering, or specialized business planning services.  The funding was awarded to PERC by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.

“PERC has participated in the state technical assistance program for nearly a decade and it has been of true benefit to the businesses that have strengthened their businesses, added employees, and invested in the expansion of their businesses.  The impact on the local economy has been very positive,” said Jay Anderson, president of PERC.

The purpose of the technical assistance grant program is to help small businesses with 20 or fewer employees expand, grow, improve their operations and create jobs.  All individuals, especially women, minorities, immigrants, under-resourced, previously unemployed and military veterans are encouraged to apply for these funds.  Applications will be accepted through mid-May and grants will be committed by June.

Applications are reviewed by a PERC committee, prior to being committed by the Board of Directors.  Decisions are based on the merit of each project and the eligibility of the applicant for the program.

PERC also has available business loan and technical assistance programs supplied by the City of Pittsfield that support businesses within the city.  These programs run the gamut from microloans for low-income entrepreneurs up to small business loans that can aid in the expansion of larger, existing businesses.  These programs are available on a continuing basis, thanks to funding from the city’s Community Development Block Grant.

Additional business counseling assistance is being provided in the northern Berkshire area this year through PERC’s collaboration with the Franklin County Community Development Corporation.  Guidance is offered to business owners that are seeking to stabilize or grow their business.  Please contact Amy Shapiro at 413.774.7204, ext. 107 or by email at amys@fccdc.org.

Program information and eligibility guidelines are located on www.PERCloans.com and may also be obtained by contacting Ann W. Dobrowolski at PERC, 413.499.9371, in the Department of Community Development, 70 Allen St., Room 205, Pittsfield.