SourceLink Brings the New Bedford Business Community Together

New Bedford has an incredible sense of community. It can feel like a small town where everybody knows your name, and more importantly, that everybody is pulling for you. I’ve come to know this community intimately in the 5+ years since I started Groundwork. At that time I was new to the area, and yet I was never treated like an outsider. New Bedford welcomed me and Groundwork with open arms. 

Sarah Athanas, Groundwork
Sarah Athanas, Co-founder of Groundwork

Today, I’m thrilled to participate as a founding partner in New Bedford SourceLink. New Bedford SourceLink is an online platform and a network of real people and providers. It is designed to connect people like you to critical information, funding, education, and support, so that you can build the business, project, or nonprofit of your dreams. Here are just a few ways that SourceLink will take you, and our city, to the next level.

You can skip the research and find what you need in one place.

When my business partner and I started Groundwork, we invested hundreds of hours making phone calls, sending emails, and sitting down for in-person meetings. It took a long time to uncover the information we needed to start a business, and what organizations and people were available to help. While this process was incredibly valuable and informative, it would have been great to skip the research and start building relationships sooner. What’s great about the SourceLink platform is that the research is already done for you. All you have to do is search the database, and start making your connections.

You can trust the SourceLink network.

When you are starting a business, everyone wants to give advice… and you’ll quickly learn that much of it is garbage. It can be challenging when you start out to find the right support team– for example, what should you pay your bookkeeper? Who can give you advice on compliance with employment laws? What is a reasonable interest rate to pay for a loan? I’ve made some unfortunate (and expensive) mistakes along the way at Groundwork, and my hope is that the SourceLink network will save you from that. All of the network partners listed on SourceLink are known and trusted organizations. They were invited by our founding partners because we know they do good work. So you can trust that we won’t point you in the wrong direction.

You’ll see more collaboration happening in New Bedford.

New Bedford’s community has evolved organically over the years. We’ve had a strong creative economy for years with artists contributing to a vibrant downtown. We have long enjoyed an active, working waterfront with America’s #1 fishing port, and now we are seeing exciting new developments in offshore wind. There is a new entrepreneurial community emerging, and a growing number of remote workers are choosing to settle in New Bedford. 

As I mentioned before, the charm of New Bedford is the friendships and personal connections among these different sectors. And yet, we’ve never had a clear map or structure to visualize everything that is happening. My prediction is that with the SourceLink network in place, we will start to see even more communication across the city. This will lead to heightened awareness of what others are doing and clarity how we can work together. All of this will create a truly sustainable local economy– and that benefits us all.