|ASK THE EDC|
Let us connect you to everything you need to know about doing business in Western Massachusetts. We are ready to help you and your business challenges with expert advice, referrals, meetings and more.
Contact us by email, calling the EDC Helpline at (413) 755-1327, browsing our website, or click the logo at the right to ASK a question.
Q: I am expanding my business and hiring new workers. Are there any programs or funds available to support that?
A: The state has a workforce-training fund that provides money to advance the skills of both new and existing employees. Specific hiring grants are also available. The Regional Employment Board of Hampden County and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development are great sources for more information about these resources.
Q: I am a sole practice attorney looking for a shared office space, or similar opportunity in downtown Springfield, with shared amenities, such as a conference room. What is the best available resource for finding these spaces?
A: The EDC maintains a comprehensive database of available commercial real estate for every need, and works with a large community of the region's brokers. Another helpful resource is available through the Springfield Business Improvement District, who focuses specifically on available space in downtown Springfield.
Q: I recently purchased a 260,000 square foot property in a local industrial park, and I want to market the property to potential tenants. I am trying to do this on my own. What is the best way to proceed?
A: We strongly suggest that you engage a knowledgeable, local commercial broker to assist you in marketing a property of this size. You should also list your property on LoopNet, an online site-listing service hosted on the websites of many business development organizations including the EDC.
Q: Our organization is a local athletic league looking for a venue to lease for practice and exhibition space. We have very specific square-footage and structural requirements. We have identified a potential property in Holyoke. How do we proceed and contact the owner?
A: Contact the City of Holyoke Office of Planning and Development. They can introduce you to the owner and help you to evaluate the property. For such specific real estate requirements, the EDC and the City of Holyoke can work with you throughout the process to access the space, as well as to determine the financial feasibility of the proposed project.
Q: Our Westfield-based manufacturing company is on a few bid lists for U.S. Department of Defense procurement. How can we look into other procurement opportunities?
A: The EDC can introduce you to the economic development staffs of U.S. Congressmen John Olver and Richard Neal, both locally and in Washington. They have the ability to contact the appropriate officials and departments to facilitate your request.
Q: I am an entrepreneur and was told that before I begin spending money on marketing, I need a business plan. Where can I get help writing one?
A: The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center is available to help businesses write these plans. Another local organization, SCORE, is a mentoring and business-counseling resource comprised of both working and retired executives, as well as business owners, who provide guidance and insight for specific issues like marketing.
Q: I am interested in opening an entertainment venue in Hadley, how do I find out if their current zoning will permit that?
A: The EDC can help by contacting the appropriate town officials who will analyze your project's zoning requirements.
Q: A European Company that wants to get into the U.S. market via an acquisition strategy has contacted my business; can the EDC help with this?
A: The EDC will work with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment, and MassDevelopment to locate programs and services to assist you both. Our goal is to maintain jobs in our region.
Q: Our Company is in the final stages of a move to a new location, but we have run into some difficulty with the "last mile" of utility installation. Can the EDC help?
A: The EDC will work with the appropriate personnel of the utility company to facilitate a timely solution and installation.
Q: Our Company is engaged in cutting-edge research. How can we obtain more information on the Small Business Innovation Research program administered by the U.S. Department of Education?
A: The EDC can forward you a simple online application, and put your firm in touch with Congressman Richard Neal's office for advice in perusing federal funds.
Q: I am a CT foreign trade official, is there a Western Massachusetts company available that has capacity to partner with a German Plastics company that has contacted me?
A: The EDC researched our region's companies and found an excellent match that has created a business opportunity for both companies.
Q: My company is growing. What is the easiest way for me to find a new 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Hampshire County that meets my specific needs?
A: The EDC network of brokers and economic development staff will work with you to identify a list of sites and buildings that meet your requirements. Our website, westernmassedc.com also contains searchable property listings that you may browse, or you can call us, and we'll start the search for you.
Q: Our company is interested in getting ISO Certification. Are there any training funds available to educate our staff and achieve this certification?
A: Your company may be eligible for Work Force Training Grants that will pay for your staff training. We'll work with the Regional Employment Board of Hamden County and our training partners to help you apply for this grant and later, to implement the training program.
Q: How can I find out what tax credits might be available to my company from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?
A: We work with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and local town and city officials to locate and secure tax credits for businesses in Western Mass. We can meet with you, evaluate your situation and work with you in applying for these credits. If you're a green energy company, or in the life sciences industry, we can also introduce you to new programs being offered by the state through the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
Q: Does the EDC just make referrals to other organizations?
A: No. Regardless of the organizations that offer the specific services and aid you are looking for, we are your partners from start to finish and guide you to your solution, whatever that may be.
© 2008 Western Massachusetts Economic Development 1441 Main Street Springfield MA 01103