Senator Brown Joins Guard Support In Backing National Guard Entrepreneurs

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July 08, 2010
BOSTON, July 8, 2010 In a ceremony at the office of United States Senator Scott Brown, Guard Support of Massachusetts presented its first low-interest business loan to a Worcester company founded by a member of the Massachusetts National Guard.

Machado Consulting, an IT services company operated by National Guard member Major Helder Machado, received a $40,000 low-interest loan from the non-profit Guard Support's Entrepreneurs' Funding Program for an expansion plan that includes hiring a service-disabled Guard veteran.

"The men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard make great sacrifices to protect and defend our nation, and I congratulate Guard Support of Massachusetts for assisting these brave warriors and their families through programs offering financial support for both the individuals and their small businesses," said Senator Brown, a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard.

      Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. James C. LallySenator Brown Joins Guard Support of Massachusetts in Backing National Guard Entrepreneurs

      From left to right: Thomas Kelley, Secretary, Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services;
      Michael Finer, Board member, Guard Support of Massachusetts; Sherry Handel, Executive Director,
     Guard Support of Massachusetts; U.S. Sen. Scott Brown;  Maj. Helder Machado, CEO and President,           Machado Consulting; Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard;
      and John Kingston, Board member, Guard Support of Massachusetts

"Our nation asks for more of our National Guard members and families than we could ever repay, and our ability to help support their families and businesses is one way to thank them for their sacrifices,” said Nathaniel Dalton, founder of Guard Support.  "Guard Support’s mission is to assist families of Massachusetts National Guard members, and we are excited to launch a low-interest loan program to help Guard members grow their businesses and employ fellow service members."

Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, stated, "On behalf of the men and women in the Massachusetts National Guard, I personally commend Guard Support of Massachusetts for their continued dedication to our Nation's Citizen Soldiers and Airmen. It is through the success of Guard Support and organizations like it that the continued strength and fidelity of our troops is achieved. Congratulations to Major Machado on the selection of this first business loan award. I wish him the best as he continues to expand his business while honoring his service by hiring fellow veterans."

Secretary Thomas Kelley, Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services said, “Guard Support of Massachusetts has been extremely generous and forward thinking in meeting the needs of members of the Guard and their families. This entrepreneurs’ initiative is meeting a need that is often overlooked –
helping veterans get started in business and additionally employing other veterans in their businesses.”

Guard Support (www.guardsupport.org) created the Entrepreneurs' Funding Program this year to provide capital to new and growing businesses owned by Guard members.  Machado Consulting was selected to receive the maximum $40,000, low-interest, long-term funding loan.  Machado plans to use the funding to double the size of his business and add a new employee, with a specific goal of hiring a disabled Guard veteran to perform help desk services.

Machado Consulting provides IT services for small and growing businesses, providing network reliability and high-quality, responsive service for a flat fee.  Helder Machado founded his business in 2001 in the basement of his home. Machado, a Major with the 151 Regional Support Group based in Framingham, has doubled the size of his business annually.

"We plan to again double in size this year, but we could not do that without the help of Guard Support.  Aside from the low-interest loan, Guard Support has provided access to business experts and advice that has been priceless," said Machado.

Guard Support announced in February the creation of the Entrepreneurs’ Funding Program to help members of the Massachusetts National Guard and their spouses start and grow businesses. The Entrepreneurs’ Funding Program (EFP) provides business training, capital and expertise. The program was created to improve the likelihood that National Guard entrepreneurs will be successful in their business ventures.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently awarded Guard Support's founder, Nate Dalton with the 2010 Massachusetts Veteran Small Business Champion Award in recognition of the ongoing work of the Entrepreneurs' Funding Program.

Entrepreneurs approved for funding will receive expert advice from advisors and other business experts over the course of the funding relationship. With experts drawn from the local business, legal and accounting communities, Guard Support will provide a team to serve as an Advisory Committee to each company that the EFP fund invests in.

Sponsors of the Entrepreneurs Funding Program to date include, Alder Foods, Ascent Venture Partners, the AMG Foundation, The I.E.E.E. Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network, Goodwin Procter, Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, and several individuals.
   
About Guard Support of Massachusetts (www.guardsupport.org)
Guard Support of Massachusetts was founded in 2007 to help the families of the men and women serving in the Massachusetts National Guard.  Since September 11, 2001 more than 9,600 Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been mobilized into federal service, and more than 7,100 of those served overseas.  Families frequently need emergency financial assistance after one spouse deploys overseas, and Guard Support was originally founded to help meet this need.

To date, approximately 60% of Guard Support grants have been for direct emergency assistance to the families of the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard.  Examples include rent payments, electric bills, car payments, gas and heating bills.  The remainder of Guard Support grants awarded support unit Family Readiness Group meetings, programs and family events, including send-off ceremonies and homecoming events, as well as links between the men and women of the Guard and their families, including subsidized transportation on leave and subsidized internet connections for units in Iraq.

About Machado Consulting (www.machadoconsulting.com)
Machado Consulting is a Veteran-Owned Small Business founded on the idea that great, quality IT support should be available not just for the Fortune 500 companies, but for all companies.  While nearly all other IT support firms are "break-fix" companies that get paid when things break, Machado Consulting brings a different approach based on three basic ideas: you get great IT support; you pay one flat price and your systems stay up or we don't make money. We believe in forming a lasting relationship, much like you would have with your doctor.  All of this allows you to manage your business while we manage your technology.

To view the news release in its original form, click here

Senator Scott Brown is a featured Guest of Honor for Guard Support's First Annual Gala Dinner Fundraiser on September 17, 2010.


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