The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network provides free and confidential, one-to-one business advising, technical assistance and low-cost educational training programs to prospective and existing small businesses. The Northeast Regional Office provides advice to businesses located in the North Shore and Merrimack Valley areas of the state, including all of Essex County.
In addition to office hours at our main office at the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University, advisors also meet with clients virtually and at outreach sites locations in the area. The MSBDC is designed to effectively service small businesses throughout Massachusetts. Therefore, there is a advising, satellite or outreach office within 30 minutes of any potential client in the state. See towns served by our office.
A full-time staff of business advisors provide free and confidential assistance to small businesses. We provide assistance to individuals contemplating a business venture, along with new, existing, expanding and troubled businesses. Areas of assistance include, but are not limited to: start-up business assistance; business plan development; financial plan development; marketing and sales strategies; organizational and personnel issues; and cash flow analysis. We also provide training on a variety of business topics.
Please note that appointments are required and we cannot accommodate walk-ins.
For your appointment with an advisor, please have available any relevant information you may have on your business or new venture. Preparation for your appointment will help you to maximize the use of the counseling session.
Request for Counseling
Prior to your first appointment with a business advisor, please complete our online request for counseling. All clients are required to complete the Request for Counseling prior to receiving advising services. This information will be sent directly to our office. In most cases, a staff member will get back to you to make an appointment within two business days.
The Northeast Regional Office coordinates and refers clients to the two specialty centers of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center. The Massachusetts Export Center helps clients with international endeavors. The Procurement Technical Assistance Center helps procure government contracts for clients. Both specialty centers have advisors located across Massachusetts and work in coordination with business advisors from our office. As with all MSBDC business advisory services, assistance is free and confidential.
Having sufficient financial resources to support your business may make the difference between the success and failure of your business. The Northeast Regional Office can help you negotiate the financial challenges faced by start-up and expanding businesses. The MSBDC does not provide financing. We work with banks and other lending organizations (both conventional and non-conventional sources) to assist in putting together financial projections, but the actual financing comes from outside sources. The MSBDC can assist with assembling financial statements, preparing loan applications and securing the best financing options for your business.
Our advisors work with banks and other lending organizations (both conventional and non-conventional sources) to assist in putting together financial projections, but the actual financing comes from outside sources, such as:
State- or federally-assisted programs
Angel and venture capital
SBA loan guarantee programs
The Northeast Regional Office conducts low-cost seminars and workshops addressing a wide range of concerns for both start-up and existing businesses. Many programs are cosponsored with local chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, community development organizations, banks and trade associations.