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Local Rapid Recovery Plans

A new program of the MA Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) is the Local Rapid Recovery Planning Program. It was created to help downtown/village center business districts recover more quickly from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. DHCD funded consultants to work with participating communities to help with create these plans by early October 2021. In Franklin County, the following Local Rapid Recovery Plans were created:

Downtown Greenfield, City of Greenfield

Turners Falls, Town of Montague

Northfield Main Street Corridor, Town of Northfield

Sunderland Village Center, Town of Sunderland

Village of Shelburne Falls, Towns of Buckland and Shelburne working jointly

Shelburne Falls Rapid Recovery Plan

Through a grant from the MA Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), FRCOG is working with the Towns of Buckland and Shelburne and with community partner Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association to develop the Village of Shelburne Falls Rapid Recovery Plan (RRP). The purpose of the RRP is to develop action-oriented projects to help the Village recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The towns of Greenfield, Montague, Northfield and Sunderland are also participating in this DHCD program. For more information, click here.

Click here for flyer about the August 25th Shelburne Falls Rapid Recovery Plan Community Meeting to be held on Zoom.

Federal Grant Programs for Businesses

The federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes new funding programs to assist businesses and communities with economic recovery.  One of the new business programs to be launched is the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, as administered by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is developing the program now and will announce details when they become available.

Another new SBA program to be launched soon is the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits include: live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, move theater operators, relevant museum operators, and more. The application period will open on April 8, 2021. Program details on who is eligible to apply, how the grant funds can be used, and more is available at: https://www.svograntportal.sba.gov/s/.

Prospective applicants should note that most federal grant programs require applicants to have a Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number and to register with the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM). It may take time to get these tasks completed, so it is advantageous for prospective applicants to get a DUNS number and register with SAM in advance. For more information about how to get a DUNS number and register with SAM, go to: https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide/basic-requirements.

 

The FRCOG regularly posts updates on available resources and guidance for businesses, nonprofits and communities to support economic recovery here.

Shelburne Falls/West County Grant Opportunity

A new grant opportunity has opened for businesses, nonprofits, artists and farmers in Shelburne Falls and the West County area (i.e. Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Monroe, Rowe, and Shelburne). Applicants may request grants for $2,500 to up to $15,000. Eligible entities and individuals can use grant funds cover expenses such as payroll, rent, inventory, equipment, and working capital. To view the online grant application form and criteria, go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1HJzcyeo6SRJ0IVq0t3Htwh0Bl_XAwHUj2_pJXEibPBc/. For questions about this opportunity, please contact Whit Sanford at info@shelburnefalls.com.

To view the latest resources and funding opportunities available to businesses and nonprofits, click here.

Community One Stop for Growth

The Community One Stop for Growth is a new, single application portal for municipal governments to access 10 state funding programs for community and infrastructure projects. Check out www.mass.gov/onestop for details about the different funding programs, the schedule of important dates, and to access webinars about how to apply. The Commonwealth is encouraging municipalities to submit “expressions of interest” that identify up to five projects that need funding. These expressions of interest can be submitted from February 8 to April 2, 2021. Based on this information, the Commonwealth will provide guidance regarding how to proceed. Full applications are due no later than June 4, 2021.

New Round of Commonwealth Places

MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program has a new funding round to support economic recovery from COVID-19 through community placemaking. The purpose is to support projects that create destinations for residents and visitors to shop or dine. Eligible applicants, such as non-profits and other community groups, can apply for seed grants (between $250 to $7,500) or implementation grants (up to $10,000 unmatched, or up to $50,000 matched by crowdfunding donations).  Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until June 30,2021.

For more details, go to: https://www.massdevelopment.com/what-we-offer/real-estate-services/commonwealth-places

New Small Business Grant Program

To help the Commonwealth’s small businesses, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a new financial assistance program (link to press release).

The Mass. Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is administering the state’s Sector-Specific Relief Grant Program for Massachusetts Businesses, which seeks to award grants to businesses in need of financial support due to COVID-19 pandemic related loss of income.

The industry sectors given preference for this program include:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Indoor recreation or entertainment establishments
  • Gyms or fitness centers
  • Personal services
  • Event support professionals
  • Brick-and-mortar retailers

Applications are due January 15, 2021. For details go to: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/covid-19-response/sector-specific-relief-grant-program-massachusetts-businesses

New Local Rapid Recovery Planning Program

The Commonwealth opened a new state technical assistance program to support local governments in revitalizing downtowns and commercial districts.  Called Local Rapid Recovery Planning, applications are being accepted through December 18, 2020 at 3 pm. All municipalities are eligible to apply, and non-profit entities, such as Business Improvement Districts, Main Street organizations or Community Development Corporations, are eligible to lead the planning process with local government support. For more information, go to https://edit.mass.gov/forms/local-rapid-recovery-planning-application.

New rounds of the MassDOT Shared Streets & Spaces Grant

MassDOT has announced new funding for the Shared Streets and Spaces Program to help municipalities address the challenges of winter and the ongoing public health crisis. This new phase of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program is called Shared Winter Streets and Spaces. The program provides grants from $5,000 to $300,000 for quick-build improvements to sidewalks, curbs, streets, on-street parking spaces, and off-street parking lots in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce.

MassDOT has allocated $10 million for this program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and decisions will be made in four rounds. The deadlines for the 4 rounds are December 4th, January 5th, January 29th, and February 26th. Please note that this review schedule is different from the first, summer version of the Shared Streets and Spaces Program.

For further details about the program go to https://www.mass.gov/shared-winter-streets-and-spaces-grant-program.