- Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
- Jay Ash, EOHED Secretary
- Marty Jones, MassDevelopment President and CEO
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $330,000 to Accelerate Small Business Growth in Eight Communities
Haverhill — Today, during Massachusetts Small Business Month, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $330,000 to eight Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) districts to support downtown improvements for business growth and job creation.
Lieutenant Governor Polito joined Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini, MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones and local business leaders to announce the awards at Battle Grounds Coffee in Haverhill, following a tour of small businesses operating in Haverhill’s TDI District.
“The Commonwealth is home to more than 600,000 small businesses that create jobs and support our local economies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to providing innovative tools through these grants to bolster economic growth in every zip code.”
“Small businesses create a strong economic foundation by generating new products and solutions, and attracting a talented and skilled workforce to the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I’m proud of our administration’s dedication to small businesses to support our downtowns.”
The TDI Small Business Accelerator Grant Program is a joint initiative from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment.
“Successful small businesses help our cities and towns thrive, which is why we support efforts like the Transformative Development Initiative and the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “These programs give us the tools to effectively deploy resources throughout the state, targeting the individual needs of our communities.”
“TDI has proven time and again to be a testing ground for the Commonwealth to pilot programs aimed at growing businesses and creating jobs,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature for their ongoing support of small business development throughout the Commonwealth, and thrilled to help spur increased commercial activity in our TDI Districts through this new program.”
The program requires awardees to demonstrate a competitive match and makes grants through four categories: Local Lift, to enhance storefront improvement programs; Lease it Local, to provide financing to businesses intending to fill vacant storefronts; Find it Local, to increase businesses’ visibility, marketing, lighting, and wayfinding; and a unique program category designed by the applicant to support small businesses within their district.
"Haverhill will make great use of these state grants aimed at supporting existing small businesses and local start-ups through MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative underway in the city,” said State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives. “This funding will strengthen Haverhill's façade improvement program and provide seed funding for creative start-up businesses to lease in vacant spaces located in the Transformative Development District."
“I am pleased to partner with the Baker-Polito administration to provide these state resources to support the continued progress and development in downtown Haverhill,” said Representative Brian S. Dempsey. “This funding will further bolster the ongoing revitalization of downtown by helping both existing business owners invest in improvements and assisting efforts to attract new and innovative economic development ideas to Haverhill.”
“I want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Representative Brian Dempsey, our Legislative Delegation and Marty Jones at Mass Development for their support of the Merrimack Street Transformative District,” said Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. “These grants will help expand our storefront improvement efforts and expand retail opportunities for entrepreneurs and shoppers alike.”
About the Transformative Development Initiative:
MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) is a place-based development program for Gateway Cities that enhances local public-private engagement and community identity; stimulates improved quality-of-life for residents; and spurs increased investment and economic activities. MassDevelopment complements TDI with existing Agency finance products and real estate services, and coordinates with private- and public-sector partners to encourage development activities by private landowners, enterprises, and investors. MassDevelopment created the Transformative Development Fund in 2014, selected ten of the twenty-six Gateway Cities for a three-year pilot program.
TDI Small Business Accelerator Grant Awards
Brockton Redevelopment Authority- $25,000
The Brockton Redevelopment Authority will use this Local Lift grant to support “Best Foot Forward,” a city program that helps small businesses upgrade signage, window displays, lighting, and the first 10 feet of their interiors. The awardee will match the grant with $25,000.
City of Haverhill - $60,000
The City received a $25,000 Local Lift grant that it will match with $25,000 to enhance its existing façade improvement program with increased design, lighting, and interior services that will incentivize business owners to become involved with the program. The City also received a $35,000 Lease it Local grant that it will match with $8,750 to provide seed funding for creative business start-ups, galleries, and other microenterprises to take root in vacant sections of the TDI District.
Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce/SPARK - $40,000
The Chamber will use funds to develop a unique program that will enhance SPARK, an existing city initiative that supports start-ups and small business development, with small grants that will fund costs needed to open or sustain a business. The unique program will expand offerings to SPARK graduates that may not fall within program guidelines, and will encourage entrepreneurs to fill vacant space within the TDI District. The Chamber will match this grant with an additional $40,000.
New Bedford Economic Development Corporation - $40,000
The City will use this Local Lift grant to support storefront design efforts and enhance technical assistance and investment in several well-located storefronts in the district. The City will match this grant with $40,000.
City of Peabody - $45,000
Peabody received a $15,000 Local Lift grant that it will match with $15,000 to enhance its storefront improvement program by hiring an architect or design expert to help businesses navigate design standards and permitting processes.
The city also received a $30,000 Lease it Local grant that it will match with $7,500 to activate unused commercial spaces in its TDI District by connecting established business owners and entrepreneurs with landlords of buildings that have inactive first floor retail spaces. Applicants will receive financial support and will be connected with the Small Business Development Center at Salem State University.
City of Pittsfield - $30,000
The City of Pittsfield will use this Local Lift grant to pilot its first storefront improvement program that will offer support to the TDI District’s existing businesses and storefronts, many of which need façade improvements to enhance visibility and attractiveness. The City will match this grant with $30,000.
Develop Springfield - $50,000
Develop Springfield received a $20,000 Local Lift grant that it will match with $20,000 to expand its existing storefront improvement program and increase technical assistance and funding for streetscape and upper-level improvements.
Develop Springfield also received a $30,000 Lease it Local grant that it will match with $15,000 to pilot a program to provide a rental subsidy and support services for new businesses willing to occupy vacant first floor storefronts for a minimum of three months.
Worcester Business Development Corporation - $40,000
The Worcester Business Development Corporation will use this Find it Local grant to develop a “placemaking kit” for area businesses that will include the necessary tools to host an event, such as chairs, tables, lights, and more. It will also provide technical assistance and guidance on special event permits, branded materials, and information on how to successfully engage an audience. It will match the grant with an additional $16,250.