New Bedford EDC Offers Grant Money to Start-Up Businesses [TOWNSQUARE SUNDAY]
Have New Bedford businesses recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Derek Santos, Executive Director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council, said the business community is still struggling with the after effects of COVID, which he called "a nagging concern."
"The after effects are still with us, supply chain issues are hindering development along with the cost of materials," Santos said. "With interest rates going from one percent to six to seven percent in such a short period of time, that creates a real difficulty."
Speaking this week on Townsquare Sunday, Santos said the situation is not all bad.
"Even with all of those hurdles and frustration, over the past five years we have gained more than 150 new businesses in New Bedford," he said. "Over the past 10 years, we've added over 4,000 new jobs to the labor force."
Santos hopes to continue adding jobs with a new grant program called NB100. It's part of six grant or loan programs available through the EDC.
The NB100 funding, approved by the city council and the mayor, designates ARPA funds to support start-up businesses and new businesses that have opened within the last two years.
As part of NB100, the EDC and its partners will provide those businesses with technical support and a $10,000 "kick-starter" grant.
Santos said the response to the six programs so far has been "overwhelming and immediate over the last year, with more than 600 applications submitted."
For NB100, Santos said there are 66 new proposals that have been funded or are about to be funded.
You can learn more about NB 100 and other programs being offered at the New Bedford Economic Development Council website.
Townsquare Sunday is a weekly community affairs program airing Sundays on WBSM.
The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.
If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at email@example.com.
Behind the Scenes at Edaville in Carver, Massachusetts
Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg