The Merrimack Valley Business Relief (MVBR) Coalition came together in the wake of the Columbia Gas disaster in the Merrimack Valley.  Then, as now, the need for coordinated efforts to support small businesses was vital.  The coalition came to understand that a successful economic recovery lies in a systems approach that actively involves nonprofits, business and community leaders, state and municipal governments, funders and volunteers.  Learn more about work done by this group of stakeholders in the below report, and scroll through the site to access new programs and resources available to business NOW. 

As we move into recovery, more programs are launching to support businesses. They are listed below and will continue to grow over the fall and winter period.


Small Business Technical

Assistance Grant Program

Is your business?

This program is designed to meet businesses where they are, and provide individual Solutions and peer support to address the economic needs a small businesses that have been made vulnerable as a result of COVID-19. The Program offers four service components: 20 hours of self-selected, personalized Consulting Services, participation in a peer advisory CEO group, direct technical assistance on stabilizing a business and getting a capital ready, and state certification as an SDO business.

for more information, click here

  • Non-Profit, Municipal, State Agencies

  • In need of improving and strengthen their business operations

  • Any Size

  • Available Sept-Dec

Beauty and Personal Services

Industry Sector Focus

This offering is being catered to a specific entrepreneur profile: hair salons and barber shops as well as hairstylists, barbers who did not qualify for a PPP loan and need a growth plan and operations support to get their businesses back on track in COVID-19. Additional reopening and general business trainings will be delivered to this sector by Janin; complementing this cohort work.

or more information, click here

  • Hair salons and barber shops as well as hairstylists, barbers who did not qualify for a PPP loan

  • Stabilize their businesses for future growth.

  • Available from September-Febuary

Start Up and Small Business


To accelerate economic and social impact through entrepreneurship in mid-sized cities. We believe that the best way to revitalize communities that face economic challenges, and suffer related high rates of poverty and unemployment, is to fuel the dreams and ambitions of entrepreneurs who live in and near these cities. EforAll and EparaTodos programs are open to all and intentionally serve under-represented and under-connected entrepreneurs. Our main programs offered in both English and Spanish.

or more information, click here

  • NonProfit, Municipal, Academic

  • Interested in Cohort Learning/Training for Business Development

  • They Help Empowering Spanish speaking Business Owners

  • Available from Sept-Feburary

Small Business Reopening and

Resilience Training Program

Provide virtual classroom and 1:1 Business Technical Assistance and capacity building to assist businesses with reopening, accounting stability, and connections to grants and capital.

or more information, click here

  • NonProfit, Municipal, State Agencies

  • Cohort Learning/Training

  • Helps with strengthening community.

  • Available September-February

Business Recovery & Capital

Readiness Program

This Program will serve 10 Latinx main streets businesses, such as restaurants, retailers, bodegas, barber shops and salons that have between $100,000 - $500,000 in annual revenues and need support with pivoting and digital transformation to sustain the business.

or more information, click here

  • Restaurants, retailers, bodegas, barber shops and salons that have between $100,000 - $500,000 in annual revenues. 

  • Cohort Learning/Training

  • Helps create a strategic vision/ implementation plan

  • Available October-February

Business Equity Initiative

Our flagship program—the Business Equity Initiative—provides high-touch, strategic advisory to Black and Latinx small businesses to enable and drive sustainable growth and, most recently, to support these businesses in navigating the impacts of the mounting structural challenges they are currently facing.

or more information, click here

About MV Open for Business

In 2018 during the Columbia Gas crisis, our small business community was tested unlike ever before. Working hand in hand with partners from across the Merrimack Valley, we rallied to provide our small business community with the necessary support to allow them to rebuild, recoup, and recover. Two years later, we are being tested once more. As the effects of the Coronavirus crisis continues to create a severe impact across the small business community, we are building from the lessons of the 2018 crisis and are now collectively more than ever committed to seeing our Merrimack Valley businesses recover and grow.

En 2018, durante la crisis de Columbia Gas, nuestra comunidad de pequeñas empresas fue probada como nunca antes. Trabajando de la mano con socios de todo el Valle de Merrimack, nos unimos para brindar a nuestra comunidad de pequeñas empresas el apoyo necesario para permitirles reconstruir y recuperarse. Dos años después, estamos siendo probados una vez más. A medida que los efectos de la crisis de Coronavirus continúan creando un impacto severo en la comunidad de pequeñas empresas, estamos construyendo a partir de las lecciones de la crisis de 2018 y ahora estamos colectivamente más comprometidos que nunca para ver que nuestros negocios de Merrimack Valley se recuperen y crezcan.

Sobre MV Abierto Para Negocios

  • Black and Latinx Owned

  • Helping Black/Brown SBs reach their full potential

  • Only available through September