North Quabbin Briefs

Published: 3/18/2020 7:17:23 PM
Modified: 3/18/2020 7:17:15 PM

■Because of the coronavirus situation, it is best that the April 7 VFW Post 650 in Athol meeting is canceled. Nominations of officers will have to be in lieu of the April election. There were no contests for any positions.

■Due to the current situation in Massachusetts, an Athol Zoning Board of Appeals meeting scheduled March 25 will be postponed until April 22, pending the lift of the state of emergency. The notice of the meeting was sent to 100 abutters.

North Central Mass Development Corp. Launches emergency loan program

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corp. has launched an Emergency Micro-loan Program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist small businesses that need access to funding due to hardship stemming from the outbreak.

Loans of up to $20,000 will be awarded to qualifying local businesses that find themselves in a situation where they need access to capital and want to avoid high-interest credit cards or expensive and un-regulated online lenders. If approved, the business is also eligible to receive business assistance from North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation’s staff and consultants.

“As we work to confront this public health crisis, it is important to remember its effects on our local economy,” said Mayor Stephen DiNatale of Fitchburg. “It is absolutely paramount that we come together to support our small businesses community. I encourage us all to think of the ways we can buy local — ordering takeout, buying gift-cards, doing whatever we can to safely support our neighbors — but at the same time efforts like this emergency loan fund will offer a critical life-line to businesses when they need it most. We are so fortunate to have a partner in the Chamber that works so rapidly to support small businesses in North Central Massachusetts.”

To qualify under this program, you must be an existing small business and be able to provide two years of tax returns, as well as demonstrate a direct financial impact of COVID-19 on your business. The loan amounts and terms are flexible to fit the situation of the business.

“We are pleased to see the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce’s emergency fund be offered so quickly,” said Mayor Dean Mazzarella of the City of Leominster, in a prepared statement. “No business could have ever planned for this pandemic, and local businesses now have a loan opportunity that will take them through this difficult situation”

Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest loans to help businesses recover from COVID-19. For information, visit

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corp. is a nonprofit economic development corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy. It is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institutions Program. The North Central Massachusetts Development Corp. works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects in 76 communities in Worcester, Middlesex and Franklin Counties with loans and business assistance. Since 1996, the organization has granted over $6,900,000 in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in the region.

For more information about emergency micro-loans or the other loan programs available through the North Central Massachusetts Development Corp., contact Sandie Cataldo, Economic Development Manager at 978-353-7600 ext 232 or visit

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