North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing to MK Dance Center

Funding to support expansion of dance studio in Leominster

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $100,000 loan to MK Dance Center, Inc., located at Gateway Center, 435 Lancaster Street in Leominster.

The loan will be utilized to finance the build out and renovation costs at the dance studio’s new location to offer classes for dancers aged two through adult. The center employs two full-time employees and six part-time dance instructors.

Owners Kelly (Charpentier) Pelkey and Moriah Kelly-Hildreth opened MK Dance Center in 2013 and recently relocated to Gateway Center. The dance center offers Ballet, Tap, Jazz Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Break Dancing and more.

Pelkey and Kelly-Hildreth are childhood friends who met while dancing at a local studio. Pelkey studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary, and has received national recognition as a soloist and group member. She began assisting with classes as a teenager and went on to lead ballet, top and jazz classes. Pelkey attended Fitchburg State University and graduated with a degree in Human Services. Prior to owning MK Dance Center, she worked as a Licensed Social Worker.  Kelly-Hildreth has been teaching dance for 20 years, focusing on ballet, tap and jazz. After leading the Dance Department at Riverside Theatre Works in Hyde Park, she choreographed for vocal groups and children’s theater, and taught musical theater classes during summers at The Boston Ballet School. A graduate of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston’s Teachers Training School, she completed four years of Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School and is currently an Associate of the program.

“We have both loved to dance from an early age, and this funding affords us the opportunity to bring our passion of dance to more youth and the young at heart in our community,” said Pelkey. Added Kelly-Hildreth, “With the support of the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, we can build out our new space and create the dance studio of our dreams.”

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing for Salt and Light Café

Funding to purchase real estate for business operations in Groton

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $206,000 loan to Salt and Light Café to provide funding toward the purchase of property at 159 Main Street in Groton, where the business operates. This loan was in partnership with Main Street Bank and ensures employment of 3 full-time and 3 part-time jobs in the community.

The cafe was opened in 2015 by owners Josiah and Linda Coleman, who also operate Coleman Catering. Josiah serves as Executive Chef, and Linda oversees the operations for both the catering company and the café.

Located in downtown Groton, the café uses only fresh ingredients and provides a relaxing environment for guests to relax and linger while enjoying bold, eclectic dishes that fuels and inspires those served. “When we opened Salt and Light, we wanted to create an environment where customers feel welcomed as our friends,” said Josiah Coleman. “Through the support of the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, in partnership with Main Street Bank, we can cement our roots in downtown Groton as a place to enjoy savory cuisine with family and friends.”

In addition to providing food, the café also boasts a small retail boutique area with items for sale from local makers, artists, farms and businesses.

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.

NCMDC Provides Funding for Pop-up Shops Initiative in Fitchburg

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation provides $10,000 grant to City of Fitchburg

Grant supports pop-up shop approach for artisans, crafters, entrepreneurs to share their work with the community

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, today announced it provided a grant of $10,000 to the City of Fitchburg for the development of pop-up shops to provide temporary space for local artisans, crafters and entrepreneurs to sell their products to the community.

InTown Fitchburg has been working in collaboration with the City of Fitchburg to identify multiple areas feasible for pop-up businesses, which are planned to begin in December 2022. Identified locations for the pop-up shops include vacant storefronts in the downtown area which have the potential to generate much needed economic activity for the properties and interest in the storefront.

Over the next few months, two pop-up shops will be coming to Fitchburg. InTown Fitchburg is partnering with Bonfire Books to lead a Retail Pop-Up Market from December 1 to December 23, 2022, and a post-holiday week event with additional discounts from January 2 to January 6, 2023. The shop will be located at 37 Boulder Drive in Fitchburg. Bonfire Books will be selling used, new and unusual books as well as hosting vendors who will be featured throughout the pop-up shop schedule. Participating vendors include local paper artists, woolens and winter accessories, custom cards and calendars, stationary and stickers, locally made soaps and candles, and other art, gift and craft items.

“A pop-up shop provides a tremendous benefit to the business owner while also helping to develop vibrant downtown areas,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President and CEO, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “This funding will help support the ongoing revitalization efforts of the downtown Fitchburg area by bringing together local small business owners to share their work with the community.”

In addition to highlighting vendors featured in the pop-ups, placing pop-up shops in an existing business has the potential to attract a new customer base and could lead to future collaborations with featured vendors.

“As we continue our work to revitalize the downtown area, we are excited to open up our vacant storefronts for our local small business owners to share their products with the community through this program,” said Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale, City of Fitchburg. “It’s always wonderful when organizations come together to create unique opportunities for our business owners, and through this collaboration with the city, InTown Fitchburg, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, and the property owners willing to participate in the program, we are able to provide spaces for local artists and entrepreneurs to grow their business while we grow our downtown.”

Additional details, including opening times and updates for these pop-up shops, can be found by visiting www.intownfitchburg.com or following Bonfire Books on social media.

MEM Dance Theatre

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing toward purchase of popular dance and performing arts studio

Paula Meola Dance and Performing Arts now known as MEM Dance Theatre

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $100,000 loan to Paula Meola Dance and Performing Arts as new leadership takes over the popular studio following the retirement of Paula Meola, founder of the studio. This loan retained two full-time employees and 13 part-time employees.

Now known as MEM Dance Theatre, the studio is located at 50 Leominster Road in Sterling and was purchased by Matthew Kooyomjian and Mary Elizabeth Tinervin in early 2022. In addition to ownership, Kooyomjian coaches and manages the elite competitive dance team, and will continue his role as Administrative Manager and Director of Competitive Teams. Tinervin has served as an instructor at the studio for the past two years and has an extensive dance background, including dancing professionally in Europe, Boston and New York City, which will serve her well as a new owner.

“With a proud heritage dating back more than 20 years, the primary mission of MEM Dance Theatre is to provide a safe, fun, skilled experience for families and their children who desire to study dance and theatre arts,” said Kooyomjian. “With the funding provided by the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, we are able to continue Paula’s legacy of offering our community access to unique performance opportunities, and our students with dance techniques provided by talented faculty and guest artists.”

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.

Press Release - NCMDC Provides Financing to Birchtree Bread Company

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing toward purchase of Birchtree Bread Company

Funding to support business growth for popular Crust Bake Shop

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $125,000 loan as part of a funding package with TD Bank, for owners of Crust Bake Shop to purchase Birchtree Bread Company, located on Green Street in Worcester.

The restaurant was purchased by Alexis Kelleher and Nate Rossi, owners of the popular Crust Bake Shop in Worcester, to expand Crust Bake Shop with a larger commercial kitchen facility while enabling Birchtree Bread Company to continue servicing the booming canal district.

In 2016, Kelleher opened Crust focusing on artisan breads, pastries, baked goods, and breakfast and lunch sandwiches. In August 2020, Crust expanded to a second location on West Boylston Street in Worcester. This loan helped to retain 22 full-time and 35 part-time jobs and was referred by NCMDC by the Small Business Development Center.

“We have experienced tremendous growth over the past six years and after looking for a large, commercial kitchen we learned Birchtree Bread Company was for sale,” said Kelleher. “This was the perfect opportunity for us to expand our business and continue providing the dedicated customers at Birchtree the food and beverages they’ve come to love over the years. We are grateful to the Small Business Development Corporation, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation and to TD Bank for helping us achieve our goals.”

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.

NCMDC Provides Financing to Delicious Dips

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing for Delicious Dips

Funding to support start-up costs for new Fitchburg business

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $30,000 loan to Delicious Dips to provide funding toward start-up costs with establishing the business in Fitchburg. Funding created one full-time job in the community.

Delicious Dips, located in Parkhill Plaza on Franklin Road, is a bakery with walk-in retail service featuring smoothies with offers of custom orders of cakes and dipped fruits, among other items.

Owner Paige McNamara worked with the City of Fitchburg and the NCMDC to secure the loan funding and was also provided technical assistance from NewVue Communities Small Business Assistance Program to establish the business.

“The opening of my business is a testament to our community coming together to help someone achieve their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur,” said McNamara. “With this funding from the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, I was able to build out the business of my dreams, and order supplies and inventory as I opened the business this past summer.”

The business held a grand opening ceremony in July with local dignitaries, community, civic and business leaders in attendance. For more info, visit https://deliciousdipsbypaige.com.

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.

NCMDC Provides Financing to Magic Treasures

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing to Magic Treasures

Funding to support business in Fitchburg

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $10,000 loan to Magic Treasures, located at 914 Main Street in Fitchburg.

The loan will be utilized toward working capital and creates one full-time and one part-time job at the business. The funding follows a matching loan of $10,000 from the City of Fitchburg, and a small grant for façade improvements as part of Fitchburg’s North of Main program.

Following a career as a dental assistant, Keila Jardim, owner of Magic Treasures, decided to pursue her passion in mystical arts and open a business focusing on the health benefits of crystals. With this in mind, Magic Treasures sells specialty gift items with a focus on crystal sales and other novelty gift items for the alternative health care, and the mystical and spiritual niche market. The company was established September 2020, and recently relocated from Leominster to Main Street in Fitchburg. Keila received assistance with her business plan from NewVue Communities.

Jardim emigrated to America from Brazil when she was 16 years old. In Brazil, she resided in an area known for significant mining. “It was through this association that I developed a life-long passion and knowledge of crystals and their uses for health and mindful well-being,” she said.

“Many thanks to the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation for their support of helping me achieve my dream of being a business owner,” said Jardim. “With this support, I am able to hire staff and continue to grow my business in downtown Fitchburg.”

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.

JC Ferreira Construction

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing for JC Ferreira Construction, Inc.

Funding to support purchase of equipment for family-owned company

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $112,500 loan to JC Ferreira Construction, Inc., toward the purchase of construction equipment. This loan helped retain four jobs in Leominster.

JC Ferreira Construction was founded by Pablo (Paul) and Luis Ferreira in March 2020 as a family-run business specializing in utility and road construction for underground utilities. The company focuses on sanitary sewer, water, and drainage installations, as well as site, highway and civic construction. In addition to being certified as a Minority Business Enterprise by the Supplier Diversity Office of the Operational Services Division in Massachusetts, the company is also a Disadvantage Business Enterprise certified by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Their crew has more than 30 years of experience working with cities, towns and government contracts.

“The opportunity to purchase additional equipment through this loan will enable us to expand our dedication to strong loyalty, trust and satisfaction with our customer projects,” said Paul Ferreira. “As a small business just two years young, we are grateful the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation was able to help us move forward with growing our business.”

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com

intown fitchburg facade check

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation provides $25,000 grant to ReImagine North of Main

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, today announced it has provided $25,000 in funding to ReImagine North of Main to support their Façade Improvement Program in the City of Fitchburg.

The program, which provides an opportunity for downtown property owners and businesses to upgrade their building’s exterior, aims to help the city retain and attract businesses, strengthen the downtown area, increase utilization of existing business, and enhance property values.

“Part of our Urban Revitalization Plan focuses on supporting a diverse mix of downtown businesses and the facilitation of the redevelopment for significant vacant or underutilized properties,” said Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale, City of Fitchburg. “This façade program is instrumental to the plan and also provides ReImagine North of Main, now known as InTown Fitchburg, the opportunity to take the lead on larger, more meaningful impact projects as they work with the city towards its goal of revitalizing the downtown corridor.”

“With the momentum we’re building in downtown Fitchburg, these funds could not have come at a better time,” said Joe Ferguson, Director, InTown Fitchburg, which is housed in the Fitchburg State University Theater Block on Main Street. One of the businesses benefiting from the program will be located in a storefront adjacent to the theater. “Our storefront improvement grant program is designed to incentivize commercial occupancy in redeveloped storefronts, many of which have been vacant for a long time. These funds will support a locally owned, woman-owned business that has adamantly sought a physical, brick-and-mortar business offering on Main Street.”
Formerly known as ReImagine North of Main, InTown Fitchburg is a partnership of local anchor institutions, businesses, government, nonprofits and residents focused on making a collective impact to improve the quality of life in the downtown neighborhood and commercial district.

“Our recent Economic Regional Development Plan identified one of the critical factors for our region’s growth is focusing on our downtown areas,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President and CEO, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “With this grant, the city will be able to improve and enhance the exterior of its many historic buildings while positively impacting the downtown’s revitalization.”

The funding came from a competitive regional economic development grant secured by the NCMDC from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

Property or business owners interested in applying for improvement grants should contact InTown Fitcchburg to discuss the potential project prior to applying.

Wonder Products

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing to Wonder Products

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $50,000 loan to Wonder Products, a Sterling-based company focused on innovating everyday household products.

Funding will be utilized to support marketing efforts, and increased inventory and capital to grow the business surrounding the company’s newest product, the Wonder Plunger.

Founded in 2016 by Michelle Salas out of her desire to keep her home, and especially her bathroom, clean, Salas invented the Wonder Plunger. Wonder Plunger is a unique toilet plunger designed to shrink down for storage or expand for use with its patented one hand design and a ventilated base to prevent water build up following use.

“With the support of the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, we will be able to expand our product reach through creative marketing efforts while also increasing our inventory and capital to bring consumers a unique plunger that provides a collapsible concept, aesthetically pleasing colors and a one-handed operational format to make our bathrooms cleaner.”

While the business has grown via word of mouth, the Wonder Plunger is sold at www.wonderplunger.com and via various online retail outlets. Small Business Development Center at Clark University assisted Michelle with her business plan and projections.

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.