Planning Home Page
Quality of Life
City Hall - 25 West Street
Leominster, Ma 01453
Phone - 978-534-7525
Fax - 978-537-8112
(Plan & Dev)
Fax - 978-534-7575 (CDBG)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday:
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Staff & Email:
Ellen Racine, Secretary for Planning and Development
Joseph P. Cataldo, Housing Rehab.
Dee Curran, CDBG Administration
Sandie Chacon, Small Bus. Coordinator
If you are interested in starting a business, we are here to help
you. The Business Development Office was created to assist
start-ups, existing businesses, and businesses looking to move
into Leominster in the process.
Starting a business can be overwhelming. This brochure is
designed to make the process easier and includes many links and
resources to help you along the way. We’ve also included several
low cost or free resources. Please feel free to contact me
anytime or call for an appointment. Contact Sandie Chacon in the
Business Development Office at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-534-7525 x 260.
Starting a Business
Zoning plays a key role when determining where to open a
business. The first step is to contact the Business Development
Office or the Building Department, 978-534-7517, to confirm the
zoning. The first thing you should do is find a properly zoned
location for your business. If you are planning to open a home
based business, you must either be the home owner or have
written permission from the property owner allowing you to run a
business there. Bring written permission or lease to the
Building Department at City Hall where you will fill out a
business form. The Building Department can also assist with any
necessary permits. Once the form is complete, you will then
bring to the City Clerk’s Office where you will receive your
Business Certificate. You are now ready to open your new
If you have not done so yet, it is strongly recommended that you
create a business plan. A business plan is like a road map to
your success. The process of writing a business plan helps you
to define your business concept, understand your market, make
good decisions and reach your goal. The number one reason
businesses fail is lack of planning! A good business plan serves
as a guide to operations but also communicates the company's
purpose and vision. A business plan is also used to create the
foundation of a financing proposal for investors, lenders, etc.
This should be your next step after deciding what type of
business you plan to start. There are several free resources
available to you when developing a business plan.
Business Advice and Consulting
The Massachusetts Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) offer business
counseling services and have hours at the Chamber of Commerce at
860 South St. in Fitchburg. This service is free of charge and
it is not necessary to be a Chamber member. Both agencies
provide one to one management and technical assistance
counseling for prospective and existing small businesses. Both
agencies are also available to discuss ideas, plans, and
challenges and to assist with your business plan. Call (978)
353-7600 to book an appointment with the SBDC or a SCORE rep.
For more information, visit
North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce - Business
Counseling or go directly to
www.SBA.gov the SBDC.
The Twin Cities CDC Small Business Development office, 470 Main
St. in Fitchburg, offers free assistance with business plan,
workshops, training and support
The Leominster Library is another great resource for
entrepreneurs. The Library has designed a section specifically
dedicated to entrepreneurs with a large inventory of books, CD
and computer access. Visit
www.leominsterlibrary.org for more info.
Prior to meeting with a business counselor you may want to ask
yourself the following questions:
• Has your idea been thoroughly thought out?
• Is your product or service needed in the marketplace?
• Where are you going to locate your business?
• Do you know who your customers will be?
• How much money will you need to get started?
• Do you have money to put in to start up this business?
• Have you begun to develop a business plan?
If you are purchasing an existing business you may want to ask
• Have you asked why the business is selling?
• Have you seen the financial statements (3 years) on this
• Have you inspected the inventory and/or real estate?
Revolving Loan Program: The Chamber of Commerce offers, through
the Development Corporation, a revolving loan program designed
to be an alternative loan source for both start-up and existing
businesses. With this loan program, the Development Corporation
makes loans to businesses who may not qualify through
traditional sources. For information visit
or contact the loan officer at (978) 353-7600 ext. 232.
Microloan Program: The Mircoloan Program, administered by the
Small Business Administration (SBA) provides microloans to
start-up, newly established, or growing small businesses.
Eligible borrowers can borrow up to a maximum of $35,000. For
more info visit
SEED Corp.: SEED is a non-profit corporation certified by the
United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and focuses on
job creation by financing small businesses start-ups. SEED
serves small businesses in all of MA and RI, making an average
of 125 loans and providing technical assistance to over 750
existing and prospective entrepreneurs, annually. For more info
Promoting your Business
The Business Development Office is always looking for
inexpensive or free ways to help promote your business. Please
consider the following alternative low-cost/no-cost programs and
resources as you look for ways to promote your business:
Leominster Small Business Association (LSBA)
Mayor's TV show “Inside Leominster”
Ribbon Cutting ceremonies
Business to business support events
Community Events specifically designed to promote Leominster
Participating in fundraisers with schools, churches, and other
Additional Resources and Helpful Links:
• Small Business Association:
• Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) and Office
of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) ;
• Workforce Training fund: State awarded grant money for small
businesses to hire and train their employees.
• Click here for Comparing Business Entities (Partnership, Sole
• Better Business Bureau of Central New England;
• Attorney General,
www.mass.gov ~ Central MA (508) 792-7600
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