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Small Businesses

Why Focus on Small Businesses?

Many small manufacturers and businesses use toxic or hazardous materials such as paints, solvents, oils, greases, and inks in their daily operations that can adversely impact human health and the environment.

Small companies often located near residential centers and may lack the resources to hire staff dedicated to environmental and chemical management. TURI helps small businesses adopt safer technologies and practices by offering technical assistance and small business grants.

Check out how small companies in auto and body repair, dry cleaning, floor finishing, janitorial cleaning, breweries and nail and hair salons have made improvements and saved money in the process.

By reducing toxic chemical use, small businesses may be able to:

  • Prevent waste at the source minimizes costs for treatment or disposal.
  • Operate more efficiently.
  • Create a safer environment for employees and neighbors.

Recent Small Business Grantees

Grove Hall Cleaners of Dorchester aims to eliminate the use of perchloroethylene, a solvent classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The dry cleaner will switch to Professional Wet Cleaning, which allows for “dry-clean-only” clothes to be effectively washed with water and detergents in computer-controlled machines and finished with tensioning and pressing equipment.   

Family Martial Arts Center of Leominster and Fitchburg is re-opening their karate studios using safer cleaning and disinfecting products during the pandemic. The small business is purchasing three steam vapor units to clean and disinfect a 6,500 square foot space and electrolyzed water systems to disinfect the front door, bathroom and front desk areas. By using this new equipment, the facility will eliminate the use of bleach and quaternary ammonium compounds-based disinfectants, both of which can cause respiratory and other health issues.   

Wellspring Harvest Corporation of Springfield, an urban hydroponic greenhouse that grows lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, is eliminating the use of pesticides by closely managing humidity levels to control the growth of powdery mildew infestations on crops. The small business is installing a misting system to ensure that relative humidity does not drop below 50 percent. The extremely fine mist evaporates without wetting plants, thus preventing conditions for mildew growth while raising humidity to prevent spores from spreading.

Learn more about our Small Business Grant program.

For information on TURI's work with Small Businesses, contact: