BOSTON – Today, April 15, the Baker-Polito Administration announced 37 grants totaling $5 million were awarded to cities, towns, and non-profit entities through the Regional Pilot Project Grant Program.
This program was established to support recovery solutions based on the specific economic needs of individual regions of the Commonwealth and was designed to fund projects that uniquely address local concerns.
Applicants were asked to define a major issue associated with the economic recovery of a particular region and propose a solution.
Among the awarded proposals are projects to support regional supply chain resiliency and the creation of small business support networks, as well as support to market the distinguishing features and strengths of the Commonwealth on a regional basis.
The Town of Ashland was awarded a $250,000 grant, the maximum amount, to create a Business Marketing Technical Assistance Program that would pair marketing professionals with small business owners to help them with a range of branding, marketing, website, and social media assistance. The program is for Ashland, Framingham, and Natick.
“With the assistance of the Regional Pilot Project Grant Program, our administration looks forward to continuing to build on our progress toward economic recovery across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants will empower recipients to leverage their own local expertise to tailor recovery strategies that support the unique needs of each region of Massachusetts.”
“Each of the grant projects in Metro West exemplify the benefits of public-private partnerships and the full range of collaboration to be found in the Commonwealth,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka. “These grant recipients have a demonstrated track record as leaders creating access to otherwise unavailable expertise. As we continue to go ‘back to better,’ it is so critical that businesses are able to raise their profile in the community and be involved in our region’s full economic recovery.”
“As we continue to navigate COVID-19 and work toward our recovery, our administration remains committed to supporting residents, businesses and municipalities in every region of our Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to announce $5 million in Regional Pilot Project Grants, helping 37 cities, towns and non-profit organizations develop and implement strategies to ensure a strong recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.”
The competitive program accepted applications from cities and towns, public entities, and non-profit organizations. Awards were made according to several factors, including an ability to demonstrate a collaborative approach on strategies to support recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Additionally, successful applications drew ties to one or more of the four pillars of the administration’s plan to spur economic recovery from the pandemic, Partnerships for Recovery: Get Massachusetts Back to Work, Support Small Businesses, Revitalize Downtowns, and Foster Innovation.
Grant award totals varied based on each applicant’s request, with awards limited to a maximum of $250,000. The Regional Pilot Project Grant Program was funded through the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2021 operating budget signed by Governor Baker in December 2020.
“Partnerships have been key to the success of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, and the Regional Pilot Project Grant Program is one more way for the state to support and encourage the kind of collaboration that will lead to economic recovery, resiliency, and growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “In order to ensure an equitable and full recovery in every region of Massachusetts, our administration will continue to embrace locally-driven initiatives to address the challenges and unlock the opportunities that will usher in a ‘new normal’ that benefits all communities and residents.”