Success Stories

rtr technologies

Rosie the Riveter, an American icon made famous by Norman Rockwell hung for years in the Norman Rockwell Museum, in Stockbridge, MA. Today, the former museum is where Rosalie Berger is getting her inspiration and building her business as CEO of RTR Technologies. 

Rosalie didn’t set out to be a business woman. She was an early childhood reading teacher in Coney Island, NY, for eight years but always had a fascination with manufacturing. After teaching she got into real estate and was very successful with her expertise in evaluating buildings for developers -- which led to her becoming a broker. In 1989 she was showing an apartment to a client that happened to be an engineer with an idea for a “third rail” heating system for train tracks. This gentleman was Craig Berger, who later became her husband. Was it a fortuitous meeting or fate? Either way, her love of manufacturing led to the founding of RTR. The company had received a lot of success in the early years until the... Read More

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Who's the first African American Woman to receive a master plumber's license from Boston's Local 12?
Ronnette Taylor is that pioneer in the Boston construction trades who has reinvented herself over and over throughout her life -- always striving to achieve what her mind is set on.

A single mother from Medford, MA, she had her first of three sons at the age of 16.  She went from public assistance - to starting in the trades from the bottom - to today building a family business with her three sons.
In 1990, she became the first woman of color to receive her plumber's license from the Plumbers & Gasfitters Local 12 Boston - one of America's storied labor unions at the forefront of the fight for worker's rights.  Ronnette started as a warehouse laborer in 1983 and then got into plumbing after the state created a program called Opportunities for Women in Construction.  

In the African American community, she followed the Rainbow Coalition/PUSH movement -- an... Read More

Economic Injury Loans from Last Year’s Extreme Winter Weather Still Available until February 15th 

The 2014-2015 winter season shattered snow total records all throughout New England, reaching an all-time total of 108.6 inches in Boston.  A polar vortex blanketed the region, coupling the snowfall with extreme cold temperatures – that all but crippled Commonwealth small businesses.  The weight of the snow accumulating on top of buildings destroyed businesses beyond recovery – some businesses survived, some did not.   

Leominster-based Shancakes is one of the resilient businesses that turned to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for a lifeline to get through these historically tough times.  Owner Shannon Sylvia recalled, “My staff and I still needed to work – I was still expected to make payroll, even though our walk-in business was greatly affected.” 

In the retail bakery business – shelves must be stocked with fresh baked goods every day, in case of... Read More

Federal grants for starting a business do not exist -- but there are certain grants for growing a business and other initiatives that help achieve specific agency agendas. For example, in order for America to be competitive globally -- the SBA administers grants for small businesses conducting scientific research & development and innovation in high-tech (SBIR/STTR). Government grants are very competitive and have strict rules for what the funds can be used for.  The STEP (State Trade and Export Promotion) grant originated because of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.  Part of this law builds on the President’s National Export Initiative, supporting and promoting American companies to grow sales outside the United States and create jobs – which is why we have the STEP program.

Westborough, Massachusetts-based EMSEAL took full advantage of SBA’s STEP program in 2013 -- using a 10K grant to fund a trade mission to the United Kingdom and a targeted print media campaign to... Read More