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March 16, 2020

North County chamber offering emergency $20K loans over coronavirus

Photo | Courtesy of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Roy Nascimento, president and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, and Timothy Murray, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, sign an agreement for the North Central chamber to offer small business loans to the Worcester chamber's members.

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce announced Monday evening it would provide emergency loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

The loans, through its financing arm the North Central Massachusetts Development Corp. are meant to be in lieu of high-interest credit cards or expensive and unregulated online lenders. The NCMDC still offers its regular loans of up to $150,000, although those take longer to approve.

To qualify for the emergency loan, businesses must be able to provide two years of tax returns and demostrate a direct financial impact of coronavirus on the business.

The loans are available to businesses throughout Central Massachusetts, as the North Central chamber has agreements with multiple chambers including the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to provide financial services to their members.

The emergency loan announcement came about an hour after the Gov. Charlie Baker Administration announced $10 million in available loans of up to $75,000 for businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

Businesses qualifying for the NCMDC loan are eligible to receive additional assistance from chamber staff and consultants.

To inquire about a loan, contact Sandie Cataldo at or Brendan Hannen at

The chamber is conducting a survey to gauge the impact of the coronavirus on Central Massachusetts businesses.

In an effort to prevent the spread of the disease, Baker has instituted a number of measures designed to keep people from interacting with each other, including banning all gatherings of more than 25 people and closing the dining rooms of all restaurants, although they can still offer takeout and delivery.

As these social distancing measures were ramping up at the end of last week, retailers around Greater Worcester were reporting significantly less foot traffic and revenue. Over the weekend and on Monday, restaurants and outdoor venues announced temporary closures.

Massachusetts now has 197 presumed or confirmed cases of coronavirus, including six in Worcester County, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In the U.S., the total number of cases is 3,487, with 68 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Globally, there are 153,517 cases with 5,735 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

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