HOLYOKE – As the City of Holyoke’s Office of Planning and Economic Development (OPED) continues to find ways to support small businesses and local entrepreneurs, the need for creative capital solutions was imperative.
Through the state’s Urban Agenda Grant, OPED staff was able to work with Third Eye Network, who had also been the consultant on the Local Rapid Recovery Planning program, to gather and explain the issues facing small businesses and startups while also providing a number of opportunities and summaries of the funds potentially available to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“Business ownership has always been an essential avenue for wealth creation in the U.S. However, access to capital remains a persistent challenge to growing successful ventures, especially those owned by women and People of Color.” said Dr. Lomax R. Campbell, President and CEO, Third Eye Network. He also shared, “with our examination of its financial ecosystem, we hope the city and its resource partners are better positioned to raise awareness of available financial resources and clarify support pathways for Holyoke’s diverse small business community.”
Working with partners like HG&E, the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, EForAll and others, the final report highlights the opportunities and needs to address funding gaps in starting a business in Holyoke.
This tool, Assessing the Field of Capital for Businesses in the Paper City, is available on the OPED website – https://www.holyoke.org/studies-and-working-plans/ – and provides information on a number of grant and loan options.
“Our efforts to revive High and Main street are intertwined with our efforts to support small business development.” Aaron Vega, Director of OPED said, adding “the obstacle to capital is far too often the obstacle that stops small business growth. This report provides a roadmap for startups and small businesses to find the capital and ultimately make their dream a reality.”
We look forward to using this tool and others as we continue to grow and support our small business sector in the city.
For more information, please contact the Office of Planning and Economic Development