New North Central Massachusetts Economic Recovery Fund Launched to Support Small Businesses

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and its economic development arm, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), have launched an Economic Recovery Fund to provide loans to eligible small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the disruption. The idea for this new fund came from several financial institutions in the region that approached the Chamber with this concept of a recovery fund supported by financial institutions and other prominent businesses in the region.

This new recovery fund will help supplement the NCMDC’s existing efforts to provide emergency support to local businesses. This fund will fill gaps in the existing framework of SBA and other loan resources and provide access to financing to vulnerable and underserved small businesses. Once the immediate crisis has passed, then the remaining funds will be used to support long term efforts that will be needed to help the local economy recover.

Berkshire Bank, Fidelity Bank and Digital Federal Credit Union were the founding sponsors of this fund and have each contributed $100,000 to help capitalize the recovery effort. In addition, the NCMDC contributed $100,000 of its own money to the new fund. Workers’ Credit Union and BankHometown have also signed on to support the initiative with contributions of $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

“Berkshire Bank believes it is very important to support Central Massachusetts and its smaller businesses. We are so pleased to assist the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce with its efforts to support small businesses with critical financing and technical assistance during this unprecedented crisis,” said Paul Kelly, Regional President of Berkshire Bank. “We applaud them for always supporting our small business community, especially underserved populations, as they are the economic lifeblood of our community.”

“Small businesses are the backbones of our local cities and towns. DCU is honored to contribute to the NCMDC’s economic recovery fund and help put working capital in the hands of community business owners in need of our support during this unprecedented and challenging time,” said Paul Carey, DCU’s Vice President of Commercial Lending. “DCU is committed to helping impacted local businesses find their financial footing, so that they can continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of their customers and communities.”

“We are inspired by the way the Chamber and other community organizations are helping our North Central Massachusetts neighbors in need get through this crisis.” said Edward F. Manzi, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Fidelity Bank. “During times like this it is more important than ever for Fidelity Bank to live up to our Caring LifeDesign promise and provide critical support to our community, clients, and colleagues.”

Small businesses and non-profits in the NCMDC’s lending area are eligible for loans of up to $50,000 through the Economic Recovery Fund. To qualify under this program, they must be an existing organization and be able to provide two years of tax returns, as well as demonstrate a direct financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations. The loan terms are flexible to fit the situation of the business.

For more information on the Economic Recovery Fund or to inquire about a loan, please contact Sandie Cataldo, Economic Development Manager at 978.353.7600 or email Businesses or organizations interested in supporting the new Economic Recovery Fund should contact Roy Nascimento, President & CEO at


The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is the non-profit economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy. 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 in 76 communities in Worcester, Middlesex and Franklin Counties with loans and business assistance.  Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $7,000,000 in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in the region.