The Massachusetts State Legislature appropriated funds to SBANE for the expressed purpose of providing high-powered private consulting expertise to small and medium-sized Massachusetts-based manufacturers undergoing a business transition.
To be eligible, companies must meet the criteria used by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to define a manufacturing corporation. That information is available by clicking here.
Important Dates for the 2017-2018 funding year:
- The application is now closed
- Awards are expected to be made in early November
- All projects must be completed by Friday, June 1, 2018
This is a competitive, one-time, matching grant program, which requires the eligible candidate company to pledge a dollar for dollar cash match. For example, if the project will cost $15,000 to hire a person or agency to institute lean manufacturing in a plant, then you will be required to send a $7,500 certified check to SBANE for 50% of the project cost. SBANE will pay the third party directly so it can track the progress and benchmarks that have been established at the outset by the recipient company. SBANE must submit reports on its expenditures to committees in the Massachusetts State Legislature, so we will monitor performance and accountability to ensure consultant compliance.
Interested companies will be asked to fill out a one page application and submit that along with a detailed statement. The statement should include an executive summary describing the company’s capabilities, as well as how the project will benefit the company and should include these key components: how many jobs the company has (there are no size limits) and the impact the project will have on the company (i.e. projected job growth, improvements in efficiency, higher projected sales).It should also include a scope of services from the consultant, a task statement, projected outcomes and a project timeline. Proposal should be very thorough!
- SBANE cannot pay a third party consultant for work that has already been done; the work must be completed after the date of award.
- The applications will be vetted by a committee of seven and all information will be kept strictly confidential.
Companies can apply for up to $7,500 in matching funds.
SBANE encourages and expects that companies will select their own consultants.
Companies must hire a 3rd party consultant; current employees CANNOT be substituted for a consultant. SBANE will handle all project payments and will ask each consultant to fill out a W-9 form. Along with each invoice, consultants must submit a benchmark report. This report will include what tasks were completed, where in the project that places them based on the submitted timeline and what the next steps in the project will be. At the completion of the project, SBANE requires a final report, detailing any and all results that company will see as a direct result of the project.
(not inclusive list):
- Financial restructuring of bank debt
- Marketing or Branding programs (excluding website development)
- Accounting, Comptroller, Chief Financial Officer staffing services
- Vendor payment plans
- Reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code
- Lean Manufacturing projects
- Government procurement:
- State contracts
- Federal contracts
- 8A certification
- SBIR grants
- A committee of seven vets quality of the proposal and consultant rate structure and either rejects it or accepts proposal
- Company must send 50% of fee to SBANE
- Consultant submits a monthly progress report to SBANE along with an invoice
- SBANE disburses check to consultant until grant funds are completely utilized
- Consultants will submit a final report to SBANE that will be reviewed by the Massachusetts Legislature
Program Success Stories
CNE Direct, which offers green recovery and disposal of used technology, applied to the SBANE program in 2015 to assist them in tying the technology and data output from the processing facility to the front office.
CNE contracted with RSM, a world leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services in Boston, to identify the inefficiencies caused by running non-integrated inventory and financial management systems, and to design an all-encompassing process to capture and account for the differences in the two systems.
“The process improvements have allowed for better revenue recognition practices and more accurate financial results and timely reporting, allowing for increased overall operating efficiency” said Nicole Simmons, VP of Production and Development.
“Gross Margin has increased from 18.19% to 22.3%, while Net Income has remained stable. This is a direct result of streamlined processes producing better reporting, allowing for selectivity in deal making that will ensure more stable and stronger revenue growth for the future.”
In the fiscal year of 2014, SBANE’s Manufacturing Matching Grant Program assisted 41 manufacturing companies, supporting 1,661 jobs throughout the Commonwealth. The consultants working with our applicants ranged from software consultants, to legal consultants, to marketing consultants, and more. The recipients of these grants were pleased with the meaningful impact these grants were able to make.
One participant, Koso America, manufacturer of Hammel Dahl Control Valves and REXA Actuators, finished their project a month ahead of schedule with great success. The company was grateful for the user-friendly grant process and was pleased with the work of the chosen consultant. The company’s recent 12/12 month results comparison include a 35% sales increase, a 10% export increase and 15 full time people added. They also have an LOI to lease a new building under construction for additional manufacturing capacity.
Additionally, recipients reported on how smoothly the program ran. Bixby International shared that the SBANE grant “process was streamlined and easy to navigate.” And NEDC Sealing Solutions (previously known as New England Die Cutting) stated that, “the SBANE grant process has been nothing short of terrific.” Having come out of an overwhelmingly successful round for FY2014, we are looking forward to witnessing the continued growth of SBANE’s Matching Grant recipients.
NEDC Sealing Solutions, Haverhill
NEDC Sealing Solutions, offering EMI Shielding Solutions to both military and commercial sectors applied to SBANE’s grant program in 2014 to help them implement an
RFID System in their facility.
We have saved over $3,000.00 in material costs so far, because of RFID technology. We have thousands of different types of materials, so it’s hard not to lose material within a 20,000 sq ft building” said Kim Abare, President of NEDC Sealing Solutions. ” Now the RFID tells us within 5-10 ft, where the job is. This has saved us 4-5 times so far, that I know of. NEDC appreciates the grant received and hopefully SBANE can revel in the fact that the money has gone to good use”.
Headwall Photonics, Fitchburg
Headwall Photonics, a Massachusetts manufacturer of hyperspectral imaging spectrometers and spectral instrumentation, came to SBANE’s Matching Grant Program looking to maintain a competitive edge by manufacturing the next generation of sensor analysis.
Headwall identified a consultant to write an algorithm that allowed them to successfully create and sell their own software package
“Headwall has achieved a $10,000 return on our $14,000 grant investment from 2013 and hope to generate additional profits of between $50,000 -$75,000 in 2014,” said Peter Clemens, Director of Engineering at Headwall. “In general the grant program allowed Headwall to push its technical boundaries into areas often difficult to fund while meeting day to day manufacturing business expenses. This program is a good example how state funding can directly, quickly and efficiently help jumpstart economic growth within the small business community.”
Saloom Furniture, Winchendon
Since 1982, Saloom Furniture Company, has been specializing in handcrafted dining furniture designed by New England artisans.
In 2012, Saloom came to SBANE looking to hire consultants to increase Internet sales, marketing and distribution as well as protect the company from job loss. Saloom’s current website drives traffic to their brick and mortar stores and Linda and Peter Saloom worried about being left behind as more and more manufacturers moved to on-line retail.
“Sometimes a small investment at a crucial time can make a huge difference to help us modernize our business products, methods and distribution,” said Peter Saloom.
The new Saloom Furniture Company website will be launched in January 2014 and focus on two of their smaller collections, representing about 10% of their sales. “We hope to double our sales in this category” said Linda Saloom. “This is a big deal for us; we’ll be able to do some incredible things. There is a lot of potential for growth now.”