Gallery Sitka Bolsters Creative Economy in Downtown Fitchburg
Gallery Sitka is the latest addition to the arts and culture economy in Downtown Fitchburg, after receiving support with a North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation micro-loan. Obtained through the Express Loan program, Gallery Sitka – located at 454 Main Street – was able to receive a small loan to help with start-up costs at their Main Street Gallery that features local artists.
“A downtown business in the creative economy, that received financing through our micro-loan program epitomizes smart, coordinated economic development,” said Roy Nascimento, president and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation.
Gallery Sitka was welcomed to Downtown Fitchburg at a ribbon cutting event by a large crowd of community leaders, elected officials, and downtown business owners. Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale, Senator Jennifer Flanagan and Representative Stephen Hay were on hand to welcome Gallery Sitka and owner Tamar Russell Brown to Fitchburg.
“This is so important to our creative economy – and that is a focal point that we have in the city of Fitchburg,” said DiNatale to the crowd at Gallery Sitka. Mayor DiNatale noted how important it is for businesses and the city to work together to improve the economy. The creative economy has a particularly important role in Fitchburg’s downtown area. The Fitchburg Art Museum, Boulder Art Gallery, and proposed artist housing in the former B.F. Brown building positions Fitchburg as a leader in the arts and culture arenas.
Sitka Gallery was referred to the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation by NewVue Communities and Hometown Bank, providing a great example of organizations working together to provide assistance to a local business.
The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation is the region’s leading resource for economic development and job creation. The micro-loan program provides financing to small businesses that cannot access traditional bank capital. Recently, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation established an Express Loan program that allows borrowers to access loans valued at $5,000 or less in just a few days.
Over the last year, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation has lent nearly $400,000 to 21 start-up and existing businesses, which resulted in the creation or retention of 36 jobs in North Central Massachusetts. Micro-loans over the last year were leveraged with over $1.4 million in bank capital.
For more information about Gallery Sitka, visit their website at www.gallerysitka.com
The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts. NCMDC is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. The NCMDC works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects with loans and business assistance. Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $4,200,000 in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in 26 communities in the North Central Massachusetts region.
For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978-353-7607.