In response to COVID-19, FRCOG offices are closed. Staff are working remotely. Email is likely the most efficient way to reach us. You can find our contact information on the Staff page under the About link below.

Building, plumbing and wiring inspectors are available for meetings by appointment only.

All meetings, workshops and forums are cancelled or have been changed to a call-in or video format.  Please look for emails from FRCOG staff about specific meetings or on our calendar at the Meetings and Events link below.

Archive | Economic Development

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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.

**COVID-19 Data and Updates**

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.

Click here for testing resources

 

 

To read the FRCOG’s Municipal Leader COVID-19 updates:

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.

New grant program for small businesses – deadline extended!

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has launched two new programs to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide grants of up to $75,000 to eligible small businesses (businesses with 50 or fewer employees) and grants of up to $25,000 to eligible microenterprises (businesses with 5 or fewer employees) to fund certain activities.  The application round opened on October 22 and was scheduled to close on November 12. However, the deadline has been extended to Tuesday, November 17 at 11:59 pm. For details, go to: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/covid-19-response/covid-19-grants-massachusetts-small-businesses.

This program as well as information about other programs and resources to support businesses and community economic development are posted at: https://frcog.org/publication/view/business-development-resource-guide/

Draft East-West Passenger Rail Study Released in advance of Final Online Public Meeting on October 22, 2020, from 6-7:30 p.m.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has released the Draft Report for the East-West Passenger Rail Study and is hosting the final public meeting online on Thursday, October 22, 2020, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be hosted online on zoom and the link to the meeting can be found on the MassDOT’s website.  The meeting agenda includes a presentation of the analysis of the final three alternatives, draft recommendations, next steps, and feedback on the Draft Final Report.

The Draft Report is available online through this link East-West Passenger Rail Study Report.  Comments on the Final Report will be accepted at the public meeting on October 22nd, and also may be submitted online through the East-West Study comment form by Thursday, November 19th, 2020.

The meeting will be recorded and posted online for those who cannot attend.  For more information, please visit the study website:

MassDOT East-West Rail Meeting Flyer 10-22-20

For accommodation or language assistance, please contact MassDOT’s Office of Diversity and Civil Rights by phone (857-368-8580), fax (857-368-0602), TTD/TTY (857-368-0603), or by email MASSDOT.CivilRights@dot.state.ma.us.

2020 Census Events

Everyone in Franklin County needs to be counted in the 2020 Census by the end of September 2020!

To help complete the 2020 Census, check out one of these upcoming Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (MQA) Center events in Franklin County see the list below by date or by town. For more information about these MQA events, contact US Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Elaine Arsenault at elaine.m.arsenault@2020census.gov.

BY DATE:

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

 

BY TOWN:

ASHFIELD

Fri. September 11, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

Fri. September 25, 2020, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Country Pie Pizza, 343 Main St, Ashfield

CHARLEMONT

Fri. September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

Fri. September 25, 2020, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at A.L. Avery Store, 127 Main St, Charlemont

GREENFIELD

Tue, September 1, 2020, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm at The Recover Project, 68 Federal St, Greenfield

Thur. September 3, 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at Just Roots, 107 Main Street, Greenfield

Sat. September 12, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 19, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Wed. September 23, 2020, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

Sat. September 26, 2020, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St, Greenfield

ORANGE

Thur. September 10, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

Thur. September 24, 2020, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm at Orange Farmers Market, 141 E Main St, Orange

ROWE

Wed. September 2, 2020, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Rowe Town Hall, 321 Zoar Rd, Rowe

SHELBURNE FALLS

Wed. September 9, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Self-Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

Wed. September 23, 2020, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm at Center for Self Reliance, 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls

TURNERS FALLS

Wed. September 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm at Gill/Montague Senior Center, 62 5th St, Turners Falls

WENDELL

Sun. September 20, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Good Neighbors Program, 9 Morse Village Rd, Wendell

 

Help spread this message in your community that the US Census is safe, easy and important. Click here for information about the 2020 Census and graphics and materials that can be shared.

Draft 2020 Franklin County CEDS Plan

Click here to view the Draft 2020 Franklin County CEDS Plan (PDF file, 4.4 mb)

The Draft 2020 Franklin County CEDS Plan is available for public review and comment through June 7, 2020. Please submit comments by email to jatwood@frcog.org or leave a voicemail message with contact information at 413-774-3167 x123.

The Draft Plan was created by the FRCOG, under the guidance of the CEDS Committee.  Using the EDA framework, this new five-year plan will serve as a roadmap for the FRCOG and its partners to foster an environment in Franklin County that cultivates business and job growth and enhances opportunity for all.