Published: 3/4/2021 2:39:20 PM

Businesses can
apply for PPP loans through March 9

GREENFIELD — The Franklin County Community Development Corporation (CDC) encourages all small businesses to apply quickly to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program.

According to a notice from Amy Shapiro, business development director with the Franklin County CDC, the SBA is trying to reach out to small business owners with fewer than 20 employees, as well as self-employed business owners. The notice advises that business owners who were previously ineligible due to low net income may now be eligible under the program’s new guidelines. The new form (PPP Form 2583C) can be submitted through your bank before 5 p.m. on March 9.

A series of upcoming webinars can provide business owners with more information, the notice states.

■“PPP in One Day” on Saturday, morning and afternoon sessions available — bit.ly/30jgV65

■A SBA workshop for African-American small business owners on Friday at 1 p.m. — bit.ly/385BWWr

■An SBA workshop for Hispanic small business owners on Friday at 3 p.m. — bit.ly/2MSwIpG

■An SBA workshop for veterans and self-employed business owners on Saturday at 2 p.m. — bit.ly/3kHGh7i

■An SBA workshop for LGTBQ business owners, youth entrepreneurs and restaurant owners on Monday at 3 p.m. — bit.ly/3qgjm49

The Franklin County CDC can also help businesses with five or fewer employees receive up to $10,000 in forgivable loans while funds are available. Learn more at bit.ly/3c5zMXM.

Bacon Wilson announces new executive director

SPRINGFIELD — The Bacon Wilson law firm has named Lisa Carpenter as its new executive director.

According to a Bacon Wilson press release, Carpenter has more than 20 years of experience in legal administration and management in the Kansas City area, with specialized skills and expertise in law firm management and operations. She works directly with Bacon Wilson’s managing shareholder, Kenneth Albano, on all aspects of directing the firm’s five offices.

“Joining Bacon Wilson at this particular time — in the middle of a pandemic and during an important phase of the firm’s growth — is an exciting challenge,” Carpenter said in the release. “I received a very warm welcome from the attorneys and staff, and I’m gratified to say that my prior experience in operations management has allowed me to hit the ground running on Bacon Wilson’s many projects.”

Carpenter holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Friends University in Wichita, Kan., and is a member of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA). The release states she is originally from New England, and decided to return to Connecticut to be closer to family.

From its five locations in Springfield, Northampton, Amherst, Hadley and Westfield, Bacon Wilson represents clients throughout Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut. For more information, visit baconwilson.com.

MassMutual starts $50 million fund for businesses

SPRINGFIELD — Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) has launched MassMutual Catalyst Fund LLC, a $50 million investment commitment earmarked for businesses across Massachusetts.

According to a MassMutual press release, the fund is divided evenly between two sleeves of capital: a $25 million community growth sleeve to target equity and debt investments in Black-owned, founded or managed businesses across Massachusetts; and a $25 million technology sleeve to target equity investments in Massachusetts technology companies that are based outside of Boston.

The MassMutual Catalyst Fund will build a portfolio of early and mid-stage companies with investment sizes of $250,000 to $2.5 million each, according to the release. Investment decisions will also take strong leadership teams into account and place an emphasis on racial diversity to increase access to capital for the Black community.

This initiative will serve as a catalyst to strengthen Massachusetts in less economically developed areas of the state through employment and business growth, the release explains. Strong and sustainable investment outcomes for entrepreneurs in addition to social and community goals will be a focus.

“Impact investing at MassMutual seeks to create a positive social and environmental impact that is measurable while also making market rate financial returns,” Rilwan Meeran, impact investment portfolio manager at MassMutual who runs the Catalyst Fund, said in the release. “Philanthropy alone cannot solve our society’s problems; institutional capital investment should also play a role.”

To apply for funding through the MassMutual Catalyst Fund, massmutual.com/lp/catalyst.