Massachusetts small business owners make pitch for state aid

BOSTON — Boasting that he’s a “paperwork guy,” a whiz at filling out and filing forms, Neil Abramson, CEO of ECi Stores in Leominster said even he is confused by the complexity of applying for state workforce training grants.

“And It can take up to six months to get the money back,” Abramson told legislators attending the briefing for Small Business Day Wednesday at the State House. Some grants, Abramson said, require applicants make the initial investments before getting reimbursed.

Leominster business owner Neil Abramson discussed the complexity of applying for state grants and loans at Small Business Day Wednesday in Boston.

His stores, Cutie Patuties, are celebrating their 25th anniversary in Leominster this year, Abramson said. They are crucial to the economic well-being of the city and form the backbone of its downtown.

The challenges presented by paperwork to apply for state programs was just one of the issues mentioned by small business owners, representatives from local chambers of commerce and advocacy organizations such as the National Federation of Independent Business attending the advocacy day.