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 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The goal of this program is to provide eligible small businesses, located in Salem, MA with up to 20 hours of expert consulting services over a 3-month period at no cost to the business. In addition, participation in a six-month peer advisory support group also offered.
The program works as follows:
- Interested businesses owners fill out the SBTAS Program Application on the Enterprise Center website (click here for the Application)
- Once the Application is received by the Enterprise Center, its staff will contact the business owner to review the application to ensure eligibility.
- Applicants who have been determined to be eligible will then discuss their challenges and consultant needs.
- Once the consulting needs are determined, the Enterprise Center will introduce the business owner to the consultant (s) selected
- Each business owner and the consultant(s) will create their own schedule on how best to work together and utilize the 20 hours of consulting services allotted to them
- Enterprise Center staff will check in with the business owner during the identified three months and the business owner will be asked to complete an evaluation survey at the end of the program.
Consulting Services: Eligible small businesses will have an initial intake and assessment conducted virtually by Enterprise Center Staff to help them to determine their priority needs from the following service areas.
- Accounting/Financial Planning
- Business Consulting
- Legal Services
- Marketing & Branding
- COVID-19 Relief Program Navigation for Federal and State assistance programs (i.e. PPP, CARES ACT etc.)
- Technology (i.e. working remote/online sales)
- Workforce Management/Human Resources
After the initial intake and assessment of consultant needs, participants will be provided with a listing of consultants in each of the areas listed above. Participants can then call upon their choice of consultants for up to 20 hours of technical assistance in total from all consultants. Participants must use the consultant hours within a three-month period.Participants will choose which consultants to work with within those seven service areas. They can choose one or multiple consultants, as long as the services they request take no more than a total of 20 hours of consulting time.
CEO Group Membership: As part of the Program, participants will be offered a six-month membership in an Enterprise Center CEO Group. Each CEO group is a confidential and professionally facilitated peer advisory group that meets once a month for 3 hours. Business owners come together to discuss their challenges on an on-going basis, receive feedback from other participating businesses, and identify ongoing solutions for their businesses.
Eligibility: In order to be eligible to participate in the SBTAS Program, businesses must:
- Be a Salem business with its primary location in Salem, MA;
- Be owned by one or more individuals that are at least eighteen (18) years of age;
- Meet HUD eligibility requirements by qualifying as either:
- Option 1: A microenterprise business – meaning a business with five or fewer employees including the owner AND the owner has a household annual income of equal to or less than 80% Area Median Income (AMI);OR
- Option 2: A small business having any number of employees where, through the participation in this program, at least one job is either retained by a low- to moderate-income employee or created for one such individual in response to COVID-19
Enterprise Center Staff will review the eligibility requirements with applicants once their application has been submitted.
How to Apply to the Small Business Technical Assistance Services Program
Salem small businesses that are interested in participating are required to submit an online application for consideration into the SBTAS Program. All applicants will receive a response to their submittal within 24 hours when submitted during normal business hours.
The Program will be offered on a first-come first-serve basis until the grant funds are depleted.
The SBTAS Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender or gender identity, familial status, disability, ancestry, age, marital status, public assistance status, sexual orientation, veteran history/military status or genetic information