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SVOG Spotlight: Scamps Comedy Productions, Inc.

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specalist

 

ScampsDave Rattigan started Scamps Comedy Productions, Inc. over 15 years ago as a small business he could run out of his home.

He produced shows and contracted talent for events; the business also provided lights, sound, staging, and marketing services for partners.   Over the course of a year, Scamps Comedy would contract with roughly 80 freelancers, mostly comedians to put on shows at theaters and for charity events – with the goal to make you laugh!

As March was always a busy time of year, Rattigan remembered the pre-pandemic weekend of 2020 when he worked two great shows on Friday and Saturday.  

“The crowd for the first show was more than 300 and the crowd for the second 170, both sellouts,” recalls Dave.  “The next weekend, four of my five shows were cancelled and the one that wasn’t only drew 35 patrons.”

 

Entertainment industry hit hard
When the world shut down, the entertainment industry was deeply impacted.  Comedians and entertainers of all forms could no longer perform; live event stakeholders, including tech crews, servers, managers and other staff that ran shows all went unemployed.

As the pandemic ran its course, Rattigan tried to adapt his company to the changing environment.  Scamps Comedy pivoted by staging outside “parking lot” shows as a way to keep going.  Comedians rotated multiple mics in with their shows and used mic covers for safety measures with their set – the beeping of car horns replaced applause.  Some venues opened for reduced-seating shows, where 50 people sat in a 300-seat room for a “sellout” performance.  A virtual show, “Zoom Comedy” was created where comedians could perform from their home.  

Scamps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding a way to make it through Covid
Rattigan also worked during the academic year as a college professor, where he managed to earn an income teaching online classes.  This allowed him to get by without totally losing his entire income, but it also prevented him from qualifying for unemployment.  Without assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Rattigan admits he would have had to tap into his retirement savings in order to pay rent and monthly expenses.

Rattigan had never applied for any loan outside of a home mortgage before Covid, so the assistance from Rosa Taormina, an advisor with the Small Business Development Center at Salem State University – along with many others in the resource provider community – was crucial.  Taormina provided free guidance and counseling services leading to both the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan being approved.
 

Laugh it off
As a result of the new funding, the business was able to keep going – Rattigan used the capital to secure a series of events that kept his people employed including: an annual comedy festival in New Hampshire that had taken the year off because of Covid; a comedy show at a new venue in Boston; theater shows in Mansfield and Cape Cod; an event for New Year’s Eve; and upcoming shows at theaters in September and October. 

Some theaters and other entertainment venues are still having staffing issues however – volunteers not coming back to previous roles as ushers and committee members.  Patrons are still reluctant to attend indoor events, and with the variant spreading, there is a lot of uncertainty moving forward.  

Unfortunately, the entertainment industry is not out of the woods yet – but one thing we can all try and do is laugh it off!  

 

 

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MSBDC Network

 

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
  • International Trade Assistance
     

A full-time staff of business advisors, supported by the resources of their host academic institutions, provides free business assistance to small businesses. Services are delivered statewide through a network of five regional offices located in Fall River, Pittsfield, Salem, Springfield and Worcester, as well as two statewide specialty resources—the Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Massachusetts Export Center. Please note that business advisors are not available in the State Office.

 

State Office
Tillson House
University of Massachusetts
23 Tillson Farm Road
Amherst, MA 01003-9346
413-545-6301 |  Fax: 413-545-1273
www.msbdc.org

The State Office is headquarters for the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network and provides overall management for the program. The state director is Georgianna Parkin.

 

Berkshire Regional Office
33 Dunham Mall, Suite 103
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-499-0933 | Fax: 413-499-3005
www.msbdc.org/berkshire

The Berkshire Regional Office provides business owners with information that better enables them to meet the challenges that entrepreneurs face. The office provides assistance to businesses located in Berkshire County. In addition to the headquarters in Pittsfield, staff hold office hours in Great Barrington and North Adams. The regional director is Keith Girouard.

 

Central Regional Office
Clark University
The Carriage House
125 Woodland Street
Worcester, MA 01610
508-793-7615 | Fax: 508-793-8890
www.clarku.edu/sbdc

The Central Regional Office advises businesses located in Central Massachusetts, including Worcester County. Typically, business advisors assist clients in developing business plans, marketing plans, financials, cash flows and other areas critical to ensure a successful venture. In addition to office hours in Worcester, staff also hold office hours at multiple outreach sites throughout Central Massachusetts. The regional director is Richard Cheney.

 

Government Sales Advisory Program / SBIR
Central Massachusetts: 508-870-3193
www.msbdc.org/gs

Southeastern Massachusetts: 774-203-9972
www.msbdc.org/sbir

Created in 2014, the Government Sales Advisory Program provides technical assistance in bid matching for federal, state and municipal procurement opportunities for Central and Southeastern Massachusetts. Much of the business services are performed at the client's firm location, making the technical support delivery available in a timely and cost-effective manner. E-commerce, including registering, bidding and performing online, in a paperless environment is a vital part of federal contracting.

The Government Sales Advisory Program also assists Massachusetts advanced technology and life sciences companies with making successful application(s) for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding. Through a competitive awards-based program, the SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

 

Massachusetts Export Center
Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst
Campus Center, Suite 207​
100 Carlson Avenue
Newton, MA 02459-3326
617-973-6610
www.mass.gov/export

Since its inception in May 1994, the Massachusetts Export Center has assisted thousands of companies and individuals. Recognizing the need to make export services easily accessible to companies of all sizes, the Massachusetts Export Center was established to serve as the state's one-stop resource for export assistance. The Massachusetts Export Center offers a full range of targeted, customized services to Massachusetts businesses at any stage in the export process. Whether you are a small business just thinking about exporting or an experienced exporter, the Massachusetts Export Center stands ready to help with services suited to your needs! The Massachusetts Export Center, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The director is Paula Murphy.

 

Northeast Regional Office (Spanish-speaking advisor)
Salem State University
Bertolon School of Business
71 Loring Avenue, Room CC156
Salem, MA 01970
978-542-6343 | Fax: 978-542-6345
www.salemstate.edu/sbdc

The Northeast Regional Office provides assistance to businesses located in the North Shore and Merrimack Valley, along with the Greater Boston area. Since the office's inception in 1992, staff has worked with over 15,000 entrepreneurs. During that time, the SBDC has assisted entrepreneurs to raise over $140 million in financing. In addition to office hours at its Salem headquarters, staff also meet clients at various outreach locations in the area. The regional director is Nancy Gerardi.

 

Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Scibelli Enterprise Center
1 Federal Street, Building 101
Springfield, MA 01105
413-545-6303 | Fax: 413-737-2312
www.massptac.org

The statewide Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides technical assistance in bid matching for federal, state and municipal procurement opportunities. Much of the business services are performed at the client's firm location, making the technical support delivery available in a timely and cost effective manner. E-commerce, including registering, bidding and performing on-line, in a paperless environment is a vital part of federal contracting. The PTAC staff supports vendors in those efforts. Technical data, such as military specifications, standards, pricing histories and technical information by part number will be supplied. Resources are concentrated on assistance to small, minority- and women-owned firms statewide with an emphasis on high areas of unemployment including HubZones. The program manager is Peter Cokotis.

  

Southeast Regional Office
200 Pocasset Street
Fall River, MA 02721
508-673-9783 | Fax: 508-674-1929
www.msbdc.org/semass

The Southeast Regional Office advises businesses located in Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, along with the Greater Boston area. The service delivery area includes the counties of Plymouth, Norfolk, Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket. In addition to office hours in Fall River, staff also meet clients at various outreach locations in the area.

 

Western Regional Office (Spanish-speaking advisor)
Scibelli Enterprise Center
One Federal Street, Building 101
Springfield, MA 01105-1160
413-577-1768 | Fax: 413-737-2312
www.msbdc.org/wmass

The Western Regional Office provides advice to businesses located the Western Massachusetts counties of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin. In addition to office hours at the Springfield office, staff also hold office hours at outreach sites in Western Massachusetts. Services are delivered by a skilled professional staff with extensive business experience and excellent educational backgrounds. Their work is augmented by college and university faculty, qualified students and private consultants. The regional director is Samalid Hogan.

 

 

 

Company Name: 
Scamps Comedy Productions, Inc.