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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 Repair Shop at Assabet Valley Technical High School of Marlboro replaced toxics that are currently used to clean vehicle parts. The project team purchased bio-based part washing systems that will reduce chemical exposures for high school students and their instructors and teach them environmentally friendly practices. The project team estimates that they will reduce the use of perchloroethylene and other solvents by 92 gallons per year and will save over $3,000 annually.

Dory Cleaners of Swampscott converted their dry cleaning shops from using perchloroethylene (perc), a known human carcinogen listed as a Higher Hazard Substance in Massachusetts, to professional wet cleaning technology. This safer alternative allows the small businesses to clean “dry-clean-only” clothes with water and detergents in computer-controlled machines. Workers then use tensioning and pressing equipment to achieve high-quality results.


Learn more about our Small Business Grant program.

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