Resources & Links

Business Organizations:

Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce - The mission of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce is to create, maintain and promote a vital, thriving business climate throughout the Amherst area and to initiate and support the civic, educational, recreational and economic well being of the Amherst Area.

Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) - A nonprofit economic development organization comprised of local property owners dedicated to providing programs and services that serve the town’s residents and businesses. The BID’s mission is to improve the Amherst downtown through events, beautification, marketing, and special projects.

Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts - A private, not-for-profit corporation that provides resources and information to businesses operating in or entering the region by aiding in expansion, relocation and networking. Its mission is to deliver the services and business resources that will enable companies to thrive in Western Massachusetts while improving the region's economy and lifestyle through the creation of quality jobs and enhanced public and private investment.

Business Resources:

NEW: UMass Core Facilities Voucher Program - Up to 75% subsidy for private businesses to use the more than 30 core facilities at UMass Amherst, including 3D printing, advanced manufacturing, and x-ray scattering.

Doing Business In Massachusetts - The Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development's one-stop business portal with information, tools, and more to help your business succeed in the Commonwealth.

Valley CDC Small Business Development Program - Provides comprehensive pro-active support for entrepreneurs planning to launch their own businesses and for owners of existing small businesses. Services include one-on-one counseling, workshops and seminars, and credit counseling for both entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Western Mass SCORE - provides free, confidential counseling and mentoring to small business entrepreneurs. SCORE, the nation’s largest volunteer business counseling service, is a nonprofit association dedicated to help those in business, about to start one, or just thinking about it. 

Western Regional Office of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) - Provides free and confidential one-to-one business advising to prospective and existing small businesses. Areas of assistance include business plan development, preventure feasibility, conventional and non-conventional financing, cash flow analysis, organizational and personnel issues and marketing.

Financing Resources:

Common Capital - A community development financing institution with loans of up to $300,000. Common Capital also provides business advisory services and can assist with identifying your businesses’ strengths and weaknesses.

Long River Ventures - Based in Amherst and Boston, Long River Ventures invests in seed and early stage companies in healthcare, IT, and other technology-driven sectors. Typical initial investments range from $500,000 to $1,000,000.

MassDevelopment - The state’s economic development and finance agency works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. It offers tax-exempt and taxable industrial and commercial bonds to purchase equipment and/or real estate. Support for businesses include working capital, export guaranties and loans, predevelopment loans and grants, as well as brownfields assessment and cleanup assistance. Special initiatives include manufacturing, defense sector, cultural facilities, collaborative workspaces, and gateway cities. 

PVGrows - A collaborative network dedicated to enhancing the ecological and economic sustainability and vitality of the Pioneer Valley food system. PVGrows makes several different types of investments in the local food system between $1,000 and $250,000.

River Valley Investors - Based in Springfield, this angel investor group that focuses on providing capital to startups in Western Massachusetts.

Business Competitions:

Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative - Focused on student entrepreneurship, the “Elevator Pitch” competition provides up to $1,000.

Kayon Accelerator - Located at AmherstWorks on Amity Street in downtown Amherst, the Kayon Accelerator provides participants with an intensive four-month program with the goals of helping early-stage companies progress rapidly into exciting, viable, venture-scalable businesses. 

Valley Venture Mentors - In addition to mentorship, Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) offers an accelerator program and competitions in which businesses can win up to $50,000, equity-free. VVM also has accelerator programs specifically for college students and manufacturers.

Other Links:

University-Town of Amherst Collaborative (UTAC) - A joint initiative of the Town of Amherst and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, UTAC is made up of Amherst residents, UMass Amherst town and university officials, and UMass Amherst students. UTAC is an advisory council to the town manager and chancellor which provides leadership and ideas, while building support for future joint endeavors. These include, but are not limited to, identifying sites for undergraduate mixed-use development, jointly pursuing public-private partnerships, and helping to create an anchor strategy for the university that embraces the town and fosters economic success.

Want your organization listed here? Send an email detailing what business/economic activities your organization supports to and we will determine whether it is appropriate to list it on the website. 

The Town of Amherst does not control, monitor or guarantee the information contained in the links to other external web sites, and does not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered therein.