GSFABA has developed an extensive list of organizations, agencies and programs that can provide important information and tools to help your business thrive and the region’s rural towns prosper.  Looking for a specific resource?  Browse the list below to discover where to find the help you want.  Along with each listing is a summary of the services that each institution provides.  Whether you are a shop owner, farmer, artist, manager or CEO, you should be able to find some assistance.  Also, if your business or organization would like to be included as a resource, please contact GSFABA.

The Greater Shelburne Falls region is known far and wide for its artists, performers and crafts people whose work is influenced by this rural place – its mountain landscape, forested hillsides, rushing rivers, quiet valleys, and historic town centers. 

To help them and the many galleries, performing art centers, and creative industries scattered among our towns GSFABA has developed an extensive list that offers important information and tools. Browse the list below to discover organizations, programs, agencies, and more.

Creative Economy Network / Pioneer Valley Creative Network

The Creative Economy Network / Pioneer Valley Creative Network is a state/regional partnership that is working to develop a statewide strategy to enhance, encourage, and grow the creative economy in Massachusetts.

Fostering Arts & Culture Project (FACP)

This is an exciting and unique partnership working to grow the creative economy in Franklin County, MA. The arts are a powerful industry in New England. We influence spending, have employment power, create a regional identity, and generate interest and excitement. Our creative efforts help make "home" more vibrant and interesting, and bring cultural dollars to our towns that support local restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, gas stations, and stores, as well as our own creative work.

Local Cultural Council (LCC)

The Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program from the Massachusetts Cultural Council is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually.

The program promotes the availability of rich cultural experiences for every Massachusetts citizen.

Individuals, schools, and cultural organizations are eligible to apply for project support from their local council. Funding for cultural field trips is also available. Applicants should contact their LCC before completing an application.

Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC)

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grant programs, partnerships, and services for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

Shelburne Falls Cultural District

The Village of Shelburne Falls became a Cultural District in 2012 when the State honored the two-town hamlet (Buckland and Shelburne) with the designation. 

The Commonwealth’s Cultural District Initiative focuses on helping Massachusetts communities to stimulate economic activity, improve the experiences of visitors to communities, and create a better quality of life for area residents.

In earning Cultural District designation, Shelburne Falls is recognized for preserving its historic village center, small town charm and thriving cultural community.

2017 Business Development Resource Guide

Do you know someone interested in starting a new business or expanding an existing one in Franklin County, but they don’t know where to start?  The 2017 Business Development Resource Guide was created by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments to introduce entrepreneurs to various organizations offering technical assistance, financing, training, and other resources to help make their venture a success. The Guide also includes basic information about Franklin County and the greater region that may be of interest to people developing a business plan.   
The Guide was designed to be a quick, useful reference. While there are many organizations, businesses, and private consultants that assist entrepreneurs, we wanted to keep this document a manageable size and an easy first step for people who are not sure where to begin. The Guide is available for download HERE.

Massachusetts Small Business Development Center

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network provides one-to-one free comprehensive and confidential services focusing on, business growth and strategies, financing and loan assistance as well as strategic, marketing and operational analysis. In addition, low cost educational training programs are offered across the state targeted to the needs of small business.

This is achieved through three integrated product lines: Business Advisory Services, Government Contracting, and International Trade Assistance.

The U.S. Small Business Adminastration

An independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA also offers programs designed to meet the needs of underserved communities include Native American Business Development, Veterans Business Development, and Office of Women’s Business Ownership


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for nearly fifty years.

Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to our network of 11,000+ volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at very low cost. Services include mentors, tools/templates, counseling, and workshops.

North East Veterans Business Resource Center

Our mission is to train, mentor, and assist returning military, National Guard and Reserve members, in addition to our nation’s veterans as they start and grow small businesses. The majority of our client base includes minority veterans and our programs specifically address American Wounded Warriors and Disabled Veterans.

Center for Woman & Enterprise

CWE provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial independence.

USDA Rural Development

USDA Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. USDA financial programs support such essential public facilities and services as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities, and electric and telephone service. It promotes economic development by providing loans to businesses through banks, credit unions, and community-managed lending pools. It offers technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations and provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs.

Visit USDA Rural Development's website.

The Franklin Land Trust 

The Franklin Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that assists farmers and other landowners who seek to protect their land from unwanted development. The Land Trust does not seek to own land, but instead encourages private stewardship.

The Franklin Land Trust has helped hundreds of families realize their dream of leaving a legacy for their families; dozens of farmers reach their potential and grow their family farms; and connected thousands of contiguous acres of  woodlands and wildlife corridors.

New England Forestry Foundation

The mission of New England Forestry Foundation is to conserve New England’s working forests through conservation and ecologically sound management of privately owned forestlands in New England, throughout the Americas and beyond.

Department of Agricultural Resources

The Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) works to provide a safe, local supply of high quality foods and to strengthen the economic viability of Massachusetts agriculture. DAR promotes the environmental sustainability of the agricultural industry by preserving significant farmland resources and supporting agriculture as an important part of the Commonwealth's economy.

CISA (Community Involved in Sustainable Agricultural)

CISA  has been working to strengthen the conncetions between farms and the community, by creating and running programs that link farmers, community members, and markets.

CISA has been working to strengthen the connections between farms and the community, by creating and running programs that link farmers, community members, and markets. - See more at:
CISA has been working to strengthen the connections between farms and the community, by creating and running programs that link farmers, community members, and markets. - See more at:
CISA has been working to strengthen the connections between farms and the community, by creating and running programs that link farmers, community members, and markets. - See more at:

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