Boston – MassDevelopment has awarded $1,520,000 in grants to 13 organizations for small-business support programs in gateway cities that will fund projects such as storefront improvement efforts, technical assistance, equipment upgrades, district-wide branding and marketing plans, placemaking and public events, and more. The grants were awarded through MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Local program, which funds locally developed and run small-business support programs tailored to the specific needs of individual communities.
The Downtown Attleboro Business Association will use a $100,000 grant for “Open to the Public,” a two-pronged approach that will offer existing businesses in the Attleboro TDI district direct grants for general improvements, marketing, equipment upgrades, and other business needs, and will support event programming aimed at activating public spaces and drawing visitors downtown.
A $125,000 grant will support the Downtown Hyannis Community Development Corporation for the continuation of the existing “Local Business Boost Grant Program” and the establishment of a facade improvement program, both of which aim to meet the direct needs of businesses in the Barnstable TDI district by providing funding for operational and capital needs.
The Bristol County Chamber Foundation, Inc. in Fall River will use a $125,000 grant to support the continued growth of Viva Fall River as an independent organization by funding a consultant to assist with the development of a board of directors and strategic plan, legal assistance for establishment of a 501(c)3, and ongoing administration and accounting functions.
The Holyoke Chamber of Commerce will use a $106,500 grant to advance small businesses and improve walkability in the Holyoke TDI district by offering technical assistance and grant funding for storefront improvement projects.
Lawrence Partnership will use a $125,000 grant to support the “Essex Broadway Storefront Improvement Program,” which will provide financial assistance – including application assistance, architectural design services, and construction funding – for facade improvement projects in the Lawrence TDI district that will help businesses improve their curb appeal, attract more customers, and connect storefront characteristics into a more appealing district image.
The Lowell Plan, Inc. will use a $125,000 grant to create an “Acre Business Equipment Fund” that will subsidize the cost of equipment upgrades undertaken by businesses in the Lowell TDI district.
Lynn Main Streets, Inc. will use a $125,000 grant to create a fund providing direct support for restaurants in the Lynn TDI district. The fund will be enhanced by the services of a business consultant, provided through the TDI Technical Assistance program, who will work with restaurant owners to develop an action plan identifying strategies for growth and stability.
The Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts, Inc. will use a $125,000 grant to support a program aimed at improving the physical and digital presence of small businesses in the New Bedford TDI district to help them cultivate a broader customer base.
The Berkshire Black Economic Council, Inc. will use $111,000 in funding to develop a grant program to help experienced entrepreneurs fill vacant storefronts in the Pittsfield TDI district. Businesses can use funding for costs related to rent, move-in, marketing, visibility, and upskilling.
Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc. in Revere will use the $112,500 grant to establish shared commercial space pilots or pop-ups to encourage collaboration between existing brick-and-mortar businesses and emerging entrepreneurs and alleviate the rental burden of any individual business.
Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. will use a $125,000 grant for its “Branding, Storytelling & Placemaking Activation Program for Mason Square Small Businesses & Community,” which will provide grants and consulting services to small businesses, organizations, and groups for branding, marketing, and placemaking efforts.
Heart of Taunton, Inc. will use a $100,000 grant to undertake a two-pronged approach aimed at drawing attention, visibility, and traction to businesses in the Taunton TDI district, including providing grants to businesses to alleviate struggles in paying rent, permit fees, and building upgrades such as visibility and lighting, and buying materials to increase district business visibility.
Worcester Common Ground, Inc. will use a $115,000 grant to provide small business owners and engaged property owners within the neighborhood financial assistance for their costs of doing business (such as rent, payroll, inventory, utilities, etc.) and flexible funding for property improvements that can make an immediate, positive visible impact.