A $500,000 Small Business Fund has been established to provide additional funding for small businesses, which are the backbone of Pittsfield's economy. The Pittsfield Small Business Fund stands to increase opportunity for 10 to 15 existing Pittsfield employers, who will continue contributing to the city's overall economic viability and growth. There are incentives for job growth built into the program.
The Pittsfield Small Business Fund provides loans to existing Pittsfield based small businesses. The grants and loans are designed to provide funding to businesses unable to obtain funding from commercial sources or in situation where commercial funding is not sufficient to meet needs. The source of funding for this program is the Pittsfield Economic Development Fund. Funding can be combined with other business assistance provided directly by the City of Pittsfield or through the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC).
Funding is available in three strategic areas: Technical Assistance includes funds for professional consulting - an invaluable tool for small businesses which require the advice of experts to prosper. In particular, accounting, financial, legal, engineering and architectural consulting services are necessary for growth. Point-of-Sales systems, which include inventory control and financial reporting, are also essential requirements. The Pittsfield Small Business Fund will help employers overcome these critical barriers.
Working Capital is the most prevalent need for small businesses. This resource will help ensure that cash flow needs are met while businesses expand or relocate; purchase needed inventory to meet the demand for product from a major customer, cover employee payroll costs during a training period while a company prepares to launch a new product, and more. By obtaining a loan or grant from the Pittsfield Small Business Fund, companies will be better positioned to leverage more traditional banks loans.
Capital Investments enable small business owners to fill the gap between the limits of conventional financing - which is often capped at less than what is needed - and the amount of money that small business owners actually need to make improvements that drive greater productivity. Examples of capital investment loans include real estate acquisition, equipment, computer hardware or the purchase of other business assets.
Included in the Pittsfield Small Business Fund is access to a variety of experts through the City's Department of Community Development and the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation, which have longstanding experience guiding many small businesses, and helping them to reach their goals.