Coronavirus (COVID-19): Relief options and Additional Resources

Success Stories

How RER Ponies built an indoor arena with the help of the SBA network

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist


Heather Reynolds Dostal is Head Riding Instructor and Owner of RER Ponies in Hatfield, MA.  She has been riding horses since the age of 4, and started teaching horseback riding in her community as a teenager.   

Growing up in rural Hampshire County near the west bank of the Connecticut River, it used to be easy for Dostal to take her horse swimming in the river.  There used to be trails for riding – but now there are blockages, houses and automobile traffic causing obstacles for riders.

Dostal has traveled the world teaching and learning classical horse riding, teaching part-time in four different barns – while working in the healthcare industry at a point in her life. 

In 2001, while Dostal was living abroad in England working in the riding school industry; an outbreak of foot-and-mouth became an epidemic and young riders weren’t... Read More

Expanding and reaching greater efficiencies with the SBA 504

by Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist


Soccer in America is continuing to grow in popularity and becoming big business. 

Outside of the United States, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. As of May 2015, over 24.4 million people play soccer in the United States.[1]  The number of participants in U.S. high school soccer recorded an all-time high in the 2016/17 season, with over 800,000 boys and girls playing the sport across the country.[2]

Over 25 years ago as soccer’s popularity began, Michael O’Connor started working at Gotshalk’s – a 3rd generation department store based in New England.

Gotshalk’s landed the country’s first Nike account and added a sporting goods section, where Michael started working in the soccer department of the store.   As big box stores began establishing its sporting department business and evolving the retail climate – local department stores... Read More

Attaining business continuity with the SBA 504

By Norman Eng

On Martha’s Vineyard where space is at a premium, RISE Vineyard Performing Arts is operating out of a modest 1,933 sq. ft. dance studio and still trying to sustain growth.

Owner and Director, Jil Matrisciano started RISE Vineyard Performing Arts in 2007 – with the goal of providing island youth with a classical dance education in a studio environment.

Matrisciano has been performing and teaching in the Martha’s Vineyard community since arriving in 1996.  Today, she is creating a safe space for dance education – and a place for students to create, express, discover and support each other. 

Attaining Business Continuity: Renting to Purchasing with the SBA 504
Matrisciano had been renting from her landlord for the last 10 years, before he came to her and said it was time for him to sell.  The landlord wanted to give Jil the first option to buy the building, before a new owner... Read More

Grants and Technical Assistance available to help Boston small businesses grow

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist


Small businesses in the City of Boston have a wealth of resources available to help them start and grow.  In addition to support from the SBA resource network – Boston-based business owners can access free trainings, technical assistance and grants from the local government.

As the owner of the building at 1290 Blue Hill Avenue in the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan, Denise O’Marde needed a little assistance and took advantage of available resources to transform her idea into reality.  


Storefront improvement grants available from local government
The big obstacle for O’Marde was updating her building to conform to modern food service standards.  In order to bring the building up to commercial code with the city’s inspectional services department, O’Marde learned that she had to replace all of the plumbing in the... Read More