Lawrence Venture Fund Makes First Loans To Local Businesses

For Immediate Release


LAWRENCE, MA.  Two Lawrence businesses will expand capacity with loans totaling $95,000 from the Lawrence Venture Loan Fund.  “The immediate impact will result in 10 new employees, with projections to hire 12 more people at the end of the year,” noted Frank Carvalho, the Executive Director of Mill Cities Community Investments, a local Community Development Financial Institution that processes and services the loans for the Venture Loan Fund.  La Cibaena Bakery and Auto Bori Music, LLC were the first two businesses to receive loans from the $1M Venture Loan Fund, which was established by the Lawrence Partnership in the fall of 2015.  The Lawrence Venture Fund is capitalized by 4 local banks—TD, Enterprise, Eastern and the Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union—with additional resources provided by the City of Lawrence.  “Today we are here to celebrate the entrepreneurism that is so robust throughout Lawrence and the great things that can be accomplished when people work together,” noted Derek Mitchell, the Lawrence Partnership’s Executive Director.

“We are really excited to see this kind of investment in these kinds of businesses”, claimed Mayor Dan Rivera.  “These are businesses that are part of the neighborhood that people can walk to, and they are creating jobs that will generate more opportunities down the road.”  La Cibaena bakery will be leveraging its loan to add to other investments by its owner, Ramon Alberto, to replace a 100 year old mixer and purchase two new ovens.  The increased capacity will allow him to expand his contracts with grocery giant, Market Basket.  Auto Bori Music, LLC, a local auto accessory retail outlet, will be expanding its inventory to meet increased demand for its products.

In addition to access to capital, Lawrence businesses will also benefit from additional technical assistance through a $55,000 grant from Mass Growth Capital Corporation to Mill Cities Community Investments (MGCC).  Lawrence Andrews, President of MGCC was on hand to make the announcement, claiming “really, these are the communities that we want to invest in because there is so much opportunity here.  We are excited to be partnering again with MCCI and Frank because we know the investment will realize incredible impact for Lawrence businesses”.  The grant, which will allow MCCI to add two more staff to its organization, was made through Mass Growth Capital’s Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program, which is designed to complement and enhance the traditional public and private small business assistance network by providing technical assistance or training programs for underserved and disadvantaged businesses with 20 employees or fewer.

The Venture Loan Fund is designed to assist those ventures that add value and diversity to the Lawrence business community by making available low-cost financing, with priority given to the commercial and mill districts in and around the downtown area.  More information, including details on how to apply for loans through the Venture Loan Fund, are available at

For more information, contact:
Derek Mitchell

Lawrence Partnership, Executive Director, or 978 804.6989

About Lawrence Partnership

Founded in 2014, the Lawrence Partnership is a Private/Public partnership dedicated to promoting economic development and quality of life in Lawrence, MA.  Bringing together presidents, CEOs and executive directors of banks, mills, businesses, schools, and community organizations in Lawrence, along with elected officials, the Lawrence Partnership created the Venture Loan fund as one of its first initiatives in 2015.  Its areas of priority include initiatives that create jobs and opportunities in the city.

About Mass Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC)

MGCC works to create and preserve jobs at Massachusetts small businesses, women and minority owned businesses, and promotes economic development in underserved, Gateway Cities and low and moderate income communities. MGCC is a central state resource that offers working capital, loan guarantees, and targeted technical assistance to solve specific financial and operational problems for local businesses. MGCC works with traditional financial institutions to make challenging loans bankable, working with community development corporations and other non-profits to provide financing for job-producing projects, and assisting a wide range of small businesses find the growth capital they require. MGCC specifically targets manufacturers that are expanding, other growth sectors, and small businesses in our older Gateway Cities.  Since 2010, MGCC has assisted more than 263 companies with over 9,100 employees with customized working capital financing commitments totaling over $83,800,000.

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