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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

Auto Collision Shop at Assabet Valley Technical High School of Marlboro will purchase new equipment and water-based gun washing solution that will eliminate the use of hazardous solvents. Other auto body shops have proven that a water-based alternative is effective and less expensive. Instead of disposing used solvent as hazardous waste, the school can filter and reuse the water-based solution for many years. Students will benefit from a healthier work environment while learning about environmentally-friendly practices to take with them into their work places after they graduate.

Joseph Cleaners of Brockton will use the grant to offset costs to purchase and install professional wet cleaning technology, a safer alternative that will replace the use of n-propyl bromide (nPB) and perchlorethylene (perc). Both solvents, listed as Higher Hazard Substances in Massachusetts, have adverse effects on human health and the environment. Professional wet cleaning, a safer alternative, uses water and detergents in computer-controlled machines to clean the clothes and tensioning and pressing equipment to achieve exceptional quality results.

Walker’s Gymnastics and Dance of Lowell will purchase new foam cubes that do not contain flame retardants for two landing pits used in the gym. While the landing pits provide safe cushioned landing spots as gymnasts train on the equipment, standard foam cubes contain hazardous flame retardant chemicals that can cause health effects such as endocrine disruption, which is of significant concern to young children.

Learn more about our Small Business Grant program.

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