All aboard Amtrak’s Valley Flyer! The Valley Flyer has service from Greenfield, Northampton, and Holyoke to New Haven, CT. The Valley Flyer connects to New York City and beyond! The Valley Flyer is making stops for Times Square and Columbus Circle. Book your ride today at http://amtrak.com/valleyflyer
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
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.
Through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation for the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership area, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) and the Franklin Region Council of Governments (FRCOG) are developing an inventory and online map of the recreational assets in the 21-town partnership area. At this time, BRPC and FRCOG are looking for feedback on the draft inventory and map, which are available in the following links.
Map of MTWP Recreation Inventory: https://berkshire.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=44be5855f1614d3ea3d076fbbd4caf9d
Berkshire County Recreation Inventory (northern portion of county): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aAeRJZbz9K7UYP9rIe2gV5667DlIAXNx/view?usp=sharing
Franklin County Recreation Inventory (western portion of county): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lGpcbxD9gBzIQPBQaUM3CbtWE-dULlqI/view?usp=sharing
Please give us your comments and corrections by May 31st to:
Beth Giannini, Franklin Region Council of Governments
The DRAFT 2021 Franklin County CEDS Annual Performance Report is available for review and comment. Click here to view the report.
Please submit comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 4 at 5:00 pm.
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.
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
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
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.
For an archive of all the emails sent by the state on re-opening, click here
For a Franklin County data dashboard from the Public Health Institute of Western MA, click here.
For the state’s COVID data page, click here.
For the latest situation reports from the MA COVID Command Center, click here.
For the COG’s COVID Municipal Resources Page click here.
For the COG’s Board of Health COVID Resources Page click here.
For local public health COVID case management contacts (public health nurses), click here.
For the Region 1 Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition, click here.
For resources and guidance for businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, click here.
To read the FRCOG’s Municipal Leader COVID-19 updates:
- July 3, 2020
- June 5, 2020
- May 3, 2020
- April 22, 2020
- April 14, 2020
- April 4, 2020
- March 27, 2020
- March 19, 2020