Resource center in the business of helping entrepreneurs

Jan 23, 2023

MIDDLEBORO — New businesses can lose a lot financially by not spending money.

Staff and volunteers with the Middleboro Resource Center are working to spread that message to would-be entrepreneurs by offering support and advice. 

Consider the case of a new business owner who sought financing for the project from a local bank. The banker asked to see the financial status of the firm from the previous owner, only to discover that taxes had not been paid and the expense might fall on the new owner.

The customer had not spent the money to talk to an attorney before starting up the venture and soon learned “how devastating those mistakes can be,’’ said Itamar Chalif, vice president and business banking officer at Rockland Trust.

Chalif hopes to help future business owners avoid those mistakes by connecting them to free help through the Middleboro Business Resource Center, a division of the Middleborough Office of Economic and Community Development.

Chalif is a volunteer with the center. 

Prospective entrepreneurs can reach out to the center to be connected with members of the business community who are willing to donate three hours of their time to offer advice on specific topics of interest, such as human resources, marketing or payroll.

The free three hours, which Chalif described as “a good amount of time,’’ are offered with no strings attached. 

Center volunteers hope the business owner will “see the value of pursuing that kind of service’’ and make an ongoing connection.

Center staff can also help businesses gain access to general information about programs such as grants or training. The center can also help a new business maneuver through the process of working with municipalities, obtaining permits and otherwise “navigating the red tape’’ that can entangle new entrepreneurs. 

“They don’t have to learn it on their own,’’ he said. “Someone will connect them with the right person.’’ 

The overall goal is to “help local businesses run better businesses,’’ he said.

These services are provided, he pointed out, to show that Middleboro is a “business-friendly environment.’’

A recent study showed that “most small businesses do not seek technical or financial assistance because they do not know these resources exist or where to look,’’ said Paul DiGiuseppe, Director, Office of Economic and Community Development

That shouldn’t be an issue in Middleboro, he said. 

“The Middleboro Business Resource Center is the first place Middleboro businesses should look if they are seeking technical or financial assistance,’’ he said. 

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