Small Business Counseling

The Massachusetts Small Business DevelopmentCenter offers free and confidential assistance to small businesses at the Cape Ann Chamber office with Senior Business Advisor and Financial Specialist, Walter Manninen. Walter provides assistance to individuals contemplating a business venture, along with new, existing, expanding and troubled businesses. Please note that appointments are required and we cannot accommodate walk-ins.

Advisory Services include, but are not limited to:


· Start-up Business Assistance       

· Business Plan Development        

· Financial Plan Development         

· Marketing and Sales Strategies        

· SBIR Assistance   

· Cash Flow Analysis        

· Organizational and Personnel Issues

To schedule an appointment with Walter, call the Chamber Office at 978-283-1601.

Walter Manninen

Walter Manninen

Senior Business Advisor & Financial Specialist

Walter Manninen joined the staff of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center's Northeast Regional Office in November 2005. 

A former entrepreneur, Walter served as president and chief executive officer of CXO Media Inc. which published Chief Information Officer, Chief Security Officer and Chief Marketing Officer magazines for senior managers bridging technology and businesses along with associated professional conferences. 

Walter also brings to the MSBDC ten years of experience in banking as a treasurer, controller, vice president and loan officer. His outstanding performance was noted in 2004, when he was nominated for an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was later given the IDG Chairman’s Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership. 

In 2005, Walter partnered with the director of the Secret Service and the director of CERT Coordination Center to conduct a comprehensive research study on cyber security.

Walter holds a BS from Salem State College and an MBA from Suffolk University. His interest in art, demonstrated through his philanthropy, has resulted in an endowed chair and a building named in his honor at Endicott College, the Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts. Walter’s art collection has been highlighted in several feature articles both in U.S. News and World Report and CFO Magazine.