The awards will allow regional non-profits to help local small businesses to stabilize and grow.

At the Franklin County Community Development Corporation, businesses like Artisan Beverage Cooperative, a worker-owned gluten-free beverage boutique, has utilized management counseling and financial training offered by the CDC.

Sandy Pearson, co-owner of Artisan Beverage Cooperative, told 22News, “Just one example, they built a massive refrigeration unit and we needed that desperately. So, the center has helped us a lot.”

“And now they have about 20 employees now and that’s what we love because then they’re here, their business is in western Mass, they stay here, they grow here and they help our economy,” added John Waite, the executive director of the Franklin County CDC.

Along with Franklin County, Valley and Hilltown CDC’s collaborated to receive the grant and are now known as “WMMB,” western Mass Means Business.

The collaboration will be receiving $120,000, which will serve 80 businesses in Franklin County.

“This opportunity provides ongoing business assistance to small businesses to help them start, to help them stabilize and grow. And that’s the focus of this money,” said Amy Shapiro, business development director of the Franklin County CDC.

The Franklin County CDC told 22News, the kinds of businesses that will benefit are restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, and some service providers.