United States Small Business Administration Award 2022 winner Kathleen Kelly

The BLDC celebrates National Small Business Week 2022

The first week of May is National Small Business Week and the Boston Local Development Corporation Board and staff have a couple of special reasons to celebrate.

Kathleen Kelly receives the Small Business Association Financial Services Champion of the Year award


First, Kathleen Kelly, Webster Bank Senior Vice-President and most recent addition to the BLDC Board of Trustees, has received the Small Business Association Financial Services Champion of the Year award. This prestigious award is given, in the words of SBA District Director Bob Nelson, “annually to an economic development practitioner who goes above and beyond to serve the small business community.”

In describing Kathleen’s contributions, Bob goes on to say that “Kathleen Kelly has been a passionate and tireless mentor for small businesses, contributing both her SBA lending and financial expertise along with critical business acumen to ensure capital is accessible to all, including our most underserved entrepreneurs. Recognition as both the MA and New England Financial Services Champion is a significant testament to her commitment to supporting small businesses region-wide.”

Kathleen earned this recognition as a passionate small business advocate for over two decades. As evidence of this commitment, in 2021, Kathleen closed $20 million in SBA financing at Webster Bank, while maintaining a focus on businesses owned by women, veterans, minorities, and the members of the LGBTQ community.

In response to receiving this well-deserved award, Kathleen said, “I am truly honored to be nominated and to receive this award for the state and region. There is a long list of people who help me be successful including the devoted SBA District office staff, who respond to all my calls despite the volume of calls coming at them and my MSBDC partners, my CDC partners, my SBA closing attorneys, and the team at Webster bank - thank you.” Kathleen has previously been honored as the Coleman’s SBA Business Development Officer Winner for 2019 and as the SBA MA Breakout 7(a) Lender of the Year, also in 2019.

Kathleen will be honored at the annual SBA Massachusetts Small Business Week Awards Breakfast event on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at the Newton Marriott.

BLDC business borrower She is Sofie James is a testament to the resiliency of Boston’s small business community

In this week of celebrating small business owners and those who support them, the BLDC has also received an extremely gratifying testimonial from a BLDC business borrower that illustrates our Board and Staff commitment to small business success. Sarah Shaughnessy, owner, and operator of She is Sofie James, a boutique style hair salon located in South Boston, recently paid off the BLDC loan that she had received just before the onset of COVID-19. Shaughnessy is a testament to the resiliency of Boston’s small business community, as she was able to pay the loan off early.

"I came across the BLDC while googling how to start a small business in Boston. I was impressed with how quickly someone responded after I reached out via the website. Bill was my point of contact and he and Gisella guided me through what turned out to be a seamless loan process,” explained Shaughnessy. “I felt supported and encouraged right away, like this organization was genuinely happy to see me succeed and wholeheartedly believed I could. When Covid hit a few months after my loan closed I, like most every small business owner, was scared and had no idea what was ahead. Bill was in contact with the BLDC community immediately to let us know what financial help we might be eligible for, as well as when and how to apply. Applying for financial aid during this process was incredibly complicated as this was the first time these programs were implemented. Bill kept us abreast of each change and modification. This communication was not only a comfort in a time when nothing was certain, but it also allowed me to acquire aid for business quickly. With this help I was able to build my business and retain all 10 of my employees. Today my business is growing!"


Unlocking Business Opportunities with the BPDA virtual event returns on May 19


On May 19, 2022, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and the BLDC are hosting an Unlocking Business and Job Opportunities with the BPDA event, and you are invited!

This event will introduce Boston-based businesses, architects, engineers, planners, IT professionals, property managers, and general contractors to opportunities with the BPDA and the BLDC, a lender that seeks to promote job creation in the city of Boston.

The event will showcase the BPDA's 24-month buying plan for goods and services, and processes to pursue real estate development opportunities with the agency.

Also, City of Boston residents are encouraged to attend and learn more about career opportunities within the BPDA. The Human Resources team will be on hand to provide information and answer questions on career opportunities with the agency. To view current opportunities at the BPDA, please visit bostonplans.org/careers.

The BPDA plans and guides inclusive growth in Boston—creating opportunities for everyone to live, work and connect. Through their future-focused, city-wide lens, they engage communities, implement new solutions, partner for greater impact, and track progress.

The BLDC works in tandem with the BPDA to increase employment opportunities for Boston residents, providing small business loans with a focus on commercial, industrial, and service companies.

Learn more and register

View the 'Legal Basics of Running Your Business' webinar recording and presentation

https://youtu.be/q23o6l_yBv4
Fill out a brief survey about the webinar

As a new business owner, or as someone looking to start a business in the near future, a clear understanding of the legal and financing issues you face is key to your future success.

On Wednesday, March 30, the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) and the Transactional Law Clinics (TLC) of Harvard Law School presented Legal Basics of Running Your Business: Navigating Corporate Structure and Finance. The topics covered at this webinar included:

  • Types of Business Structures.
  • Obtaining Financing Through Debt and Equity.
  • Compliance with Securities Law for Your Business Investors.
  • Financing Options Through the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC).
View the presentation

Register now for the 'Legal Basics of Running Your Business' virtual event

Join us for a free online webinar on Wednesday, March 30! Presented by the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) and the Transactional Law Clinics (TLC) of Harvard Law School, Legal Basics of Running Your Business: Navigating Corporate Structure and Finance will cover the following topics:

  • Types of Business Structures.
  • Obtaining Financing Through Debt and Equity.
  • Compliance with Securities Law for Your Business Investors.
  • Financing Options Through the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC).
Learn more and register

BLDC Board Member Marvin Gilmore featured in WCVB-TV segment

As we recognize and celebrate Black History Month, we meet Marvin Gilmore – the grandson of a woman born into slavery and a man with a legacy of battling discrimination and building jobs.

Gilmore’s history includes fighting on the World War II battlefields of France and Germany before fighting for change at home.

Read more at wcvb.com

Register now for 'Unlocking Business Opportunities with the BPDA' virtual event

On February 11, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts ​​(BECMA) will partner with the Boston Planning & Development Agency​​ (BPDA) and the Boston Local Development Corporation​​ (BLDC) to co-host our first virtual event of the year. You are invited!

This event will introduce Boston-based businesses, architects, engineers, planners, IT professionals, property managers, and general contractors to opportunities with the BPDA and the BLDC, a lender that seeks to promote job creation in the city of Boston. The event will also showcase the BDPA's 24 month buying plan for goods and services, and processes to pursue real estate development opportunities with the agency.

The BPDA plans and guides inclusive growth in Boston—­creating opportunities for everyone to live, work and connect. Through their future-focused, city-wide lens, they engage communities, implement new solutions, partner for greater impact and track progress. The BLDC works in tandem with the BPDA to increase employment opportunities for Boston residents, providing small business loans with a focus on commercial, industrial and service companies.

BECMA's mission is to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations, and residents in Massachusetts through advocacy, business and leadership development, and strategic partnerships. Join the movement to further our mission by registering to attend this free, informative and impactful event.

Learn more and register

Gingko Bioworks featured in Boston Globe life sciences industry spotlight

 

Photo courtesy of Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

BLDC-funded Ginkgo Bioworks is planning to go public this year, with a valuation of $15 billion. The company was founded in 2008 by a group of MIT alumni and a professor, Tom Knight. They were interested in building tools to more effectively manipulate DNA. The goal was to insert custom-crafted DNA into living organisms such as yeast or bacteria, to effectively hot-wire them to produce fragrances, chemicals, or key ingredients for animal feed. More recently, biopharma companies, including Moderna, Roche, and Bayer, have come to Ginkgo for its DNA engineering expertise and advanced facilities. Ginkgo added 150 jobs last year — its workforce is now about 500 people — and the company will eventually trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DNA. Ginkgo also will be one of the largest SPAC offerings — the acronym stands for “special purpose acquisition company” — that the life sciences sector has seen.

Read more at bostonglobe.com

BIDFA welcomes Alisa R. Drayton to Board of Directors

The Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority (BIDFA) today announced the appointment of Alisa R. Drayton, JD, MBA, MS, to its Board of Directors. Drayton is a financial services professional with a dynamic background that includes Capital Markets compliance and risk management, middle-market leveraged finance, municipal procurement, and community economic development.

“I would like to congratulate Alisa R. Drayton on her appointment to the BIDFA Board of Directors,” said Bill Nickerson, Executive Director of BIDFA. “We are excited to have Alisa join our Board. Adding her knowledge and experience will help to ensure that the leadership provided by the BIDFA Board of Directors is well informed of the issues and challenges facing Boston's diverse communities.”

BIDFA promotes economic growth and employment in the City of Boston by issuing bonds that finance the capital needs of Boston’s businesses and institutions. The Board of Directors is made up of Boston residents with professional expertise in real estate, finance, and government.

“As the City of Boston evolves with a commitment to equity and inclusion, I enthusiastically welcome this opportunity to leverage my diverse knowledge and skills, and perspective as a second generation native of Roxbury,” said Drayton. “I look forward to supporting capital solutions that aim to stabilize institutions that promote economic development and create employment opportunities throughout the City my sizable family has called home since the 1930s.”


BIDFA announces Mayra Negrón-Roche as new Board Member

The Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority (BIDFA) today announced the appointment of Mayra I. Negrón-Roche, Chief Operating Officer of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) to its Board of Directors. BIDFA promotes economic growth and employment in the City of Boston by issuing bonds that finance the capital needs of Boston’s businesses and institutions. The Board of Directors is made up of Boston residents with professional expertise in real estate development, finance and more.

“I would like to congratulate Mayra Negrón-Roche on her appointment to the BIDFA Board of Directors,” said Bill Nickerson, Executive Director of BIDFA. “We are excited to have Mayra join our Board. Adding her knowledge and experience will help to ensure that the leadership provided by the BIDFA Board of Directors is well informed of the issues and challenges facing Boston's diverse communities.”

IBA is a non-profit community development corporation that was established to prevent displacement by building affordable housing and offering programming to increase economic and social mobility among low-income urban families. Mayra, a resident of Roslindale, became IBA’s Chief Financial Officer in 2004. In the ensuing years, Mayra’s work at IBA has expanded. For the last 8 years, Mayra has served as IBA’s Chief Operating Officer. Through overseeing IBA’s Property Management, Real Estate Development, and Asset Management functions, as well as providing guidance to IBA senior staff and employees, Mayra has established herself as an expert in the fields of real estate development and finance.

"I’m ready and excited to embrace this appointment to the BIDFA Board of Directors and support the capital needs of our businesses and nonprofits, to provide an equitable recovery across each neighborhood in our city," said Mayra I. Negrón-Roche.


Gisella Soriano honored by Amplify Latinx as a Latina Leader

Gisella Soriano, who serves as a Credit Analyst for the Boston Planning & Development Agency and supports both the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) and Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority (BIDFA) has been named a 2021 Latina Leader by Amplify Latinx as part of their Women’s History Month celebration. Ten honorees were celebrated at a virtual ceremony on Thursday, March 18.

Over the past several years, Gisella has worked to support Boston’s small businesses and expand the agency’s outreach to diverse communities. Congratulations, Gisella!