Small Business Information Session Planned in Westside Neighborhood

May 20, 2015

PITTSFIELD – The Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation (PERC) has planned an informational session for people that currently have businesses or are planning to open one located in the Westside Neighborhood of Pittsfield.



The Westside Neighborhood Initiative and the Berkshire County Chapter of the NAACP are offering the “Resources for Small Business” program on Thursday, May 28th at 6:30 p.m.  It will be held in the Community Room at Conte Community School, 200 West Union Street.



The purpose of the session is to give people that are considering starting a business or already own a business in the Westside Neighborhood information about sources of support and guidance in business planning, as well as the process of securing financing.



Small business counselors and resource people will talk about where people can go to find support during the business planning process.  Counselors available at the session will include:


Keith Girouard, Regional Director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network in Pittsfield, will speak on how the center helps entrepreneurs develop business models that work.  In addition to developing specific skills, the center offers assistance with venture feasibility, market research, understanding financing options, cash flow projections and business management.  According to Keith, it’s important to “know where you are going so you don’t end up somewhere else.”


Joe Gelinas, a counselor with SCORE.  Joe and other SCORE counselors have experience in business and they can act as mentors for in-person advice to small business owners.  Joe will talk about how the counselors work with people at various stages of business planning to help businesses start, grow, and be successful.


Steve Fogel, director of Berkshire Enterprises.  Steve will review the many ways he supports people that are already in business or thinking of starting a business, including guidance on business planning and the issues small business owners face.  Berkshire Enterprises also sponsors monthly Breakfast Business Forums where business owners share solutions to common issues they face in their daily operation and decision making.


Mark McKenna, vice president of Lee Bank, has long been active in small business lending.  Mark will speak about necessary steps to prepare for the loan application process, the value of community banks and the lender’s perspective on small business lending.


Ann Dobrowolski, community development specialist with the Pittsfield Department of Community Development and staff to PERC, will give an overview of publicly funded small business programs available to existing or future small business owners.



Additional information may be obtained by contacting Ann W. Dobrowolski at PERC, (413) 499-9371, in the Department of Community Development, 70 Allen Street, Room 205, Pittsfield.