For Immediate Release - August 12, 2013

DHCD Announces $500,000 Economic Development Fund Grant Award to Palmer

Funds will increase local business activity and employment opportunities for residents

Today, Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein announced the award of over $500,000 to Palmer and 12 towns in the Quaboag region. The funds will be used to re-capitalize an established business revolving loan fund and to fund a technical assistance program creating 8 full time jobs. The program will increase local business activity and employment opportunities for residents who are unemployed, underemployed or lacking transportation.

“I’m pleased to announce these funds to Palmer and the twelve partnering communities,” said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development. “The funds will not only help to spur economic activity but they will also create jobs and business opportunities for the towns.”

The funds awarded today will provide business technical assistance for 50 low and moderate-income owned area micro enterprises, provide 4 loans to small businesses and 8 loans to low and moderate income owners of commercial enterprises that have five or fewer employees, benefiting the owners and families of at least 8 low and moderate income businesses.

“This funding will provide critical support for the Palmer and the Quaboag region.  The new jobs it will create will provide a great benefit to the area and the investment is essential to the economic sustainability of this part of the state as we all continue to recover from the recession,” said Stephen M. Brewer (D-Barre).

The Economic Development Fund is a component of the Massachusetts Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.  It provides funding for projects that create and/or retain jobs, improve the local and/or regional tax base, or otherwise enhance the quality of life in the community.  The Economic Development Fund has funded a range of economic and community development projects.

Currently, program funding is limited to physical improvements that support commercial center economic development, planning in support of economic development and micro enterprise assistance.
CDBG-eligible cities and towns may apply to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for Economic Development Fund grants.  EDF funds are awarded on a rolling basis depending on the availability of funds.