In our last blog, we discuss briefly the programs and services that we offer small and medium-sized business owners across the North Shore. One of those services is a Small Business Technical Assistance Program meant to help small businesses that have been forced to adapt to an ever-changing and uncertain technical environment during the covid pandemic.
What are those changes and how can we assist? Let’s dive a little deeper into this program series offered at the Enterprise Center and examine how the pandemic changed the technical landscape of doing business.
The Pandemic’s Impact
Envision March of 2020 when the world came to an abrupt halt. Businesses closed temporarily. Some switched to online ordering and curbside pick up. Still, others had to create websites to handle online ordering and online requests for service.
In a matter of a few days, the future became very uncertain for businesses of all sizes that needed to quickly adjust their business model and how they connected with their customers.
Technology became the answer to so many of the issues of contactless pickups and online ordering during the first few months of the pandemic. While technical solutions were needed for all businesses, they were especially acute for small businesses without the resources needed to make those technical adjustments.
The Small Business Technical Assistance Program was created to help provide individual solutions and peer support to address the economic needs of small businesses that have been made vulnerable as a result of COVID-19.
Technical Assistance Programs
There are three main programs that you may be able to utilize for your business as we continue to navigate our way through the remnants of the covid-19 pandemic.
Latino Business Resilience Program
This program is geared toward helping Latino-owned small businesses stabilize, capitalize, and grow. With nearly 4.4 million Latino-owned businesses in the United States fueling small-business growth, it is important to help these companies continue to thrive.
Sadly, the pandemic disproportionately affected Latino small businesses in a variety of ways including loss of business, employees, income, and an uncertain future. Latino businesses are looking for ways to adapt to an ever-changing and uncertain environment.
In response to this, Amplify Latinx, in collaboration with the Enterprise Center at Salem State University as program administrator, and Surfside Capital Advisors, as technical assistance provider, launched the Latino Business Resilience Program.
To find out more about the Latino Business Resilience Program check out the site and how you can apply as well as what the eligibility requirements include.
The City of Salem SBTASP
The Small Business Technical Assistance Services (SBTAS) Program is designed to help small businesses navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19. It is funded by the City of Salem Department of Planning & Community Development and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
If you are a Salem business with its primary location in Salem, MA and you meet HUD eligibility requirements you may be eligible for our SBTAS program.
Merrimack Valley SBTASP
Similar to the Latino Business and Salem Programs, the Merrimack Valley Small Business Technical Assistance Program provides 20 small businesses with up to 20 hours of immediate, self-selected, personalized consulting services and extended peer group advisory support.
Eligible businesses can be in any industry sector and must have fewer than 15 employees, and revenues of $40,000 and above. Business owner participation can run from three to six months starting in November 2020. For more information check out the eligibility requirements on our site.