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FRAMINGHAM – Downtown Framingham Inc. was one 59 organizations, chambers of commerce, and municipalities to receive a newly- created Travel and Tourism Recovery (TTR) grant from a new pilot program from the Baker-Polito administration.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, and Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall announced $1,587,791 in awards to 59 tourism organizations, chambers of commerce, and municipalities 

Funds from the TTR Grant Pilot Program are dedicated to marketing projects that support the My Local MA campaign, enhance tourism recovery, and have the potential to increase non-resident visitation.  

The program’s goal is to strengthen the Massachusetts economy through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism industry.

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Examples of projects aligned with the program’s goals include Old Sturbridge Village’s “Come and Stay” campaign; the towns of Concord and Lexington’s joint promotion of “Two Historic Towns; One Memorable Trip,” and the East of the River Chamber of Commerce for website development, video, signage and increasing access for diverse populations and people with disabilities.

Downtown Framingham Inc. received $12,000 to install nine “Welcome to Downtown Framingham!” month-long posters on three billboards along Route 135 (25,000-plus vehicles/day) and a smart display Soofa sign that features community content and advertising opportunities for local businesses.

“The tourism and hospitality industry is vital to the economic well-being of Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “Our administration recognizes the challenges this industry has faced during the pandemic, and these grants will support the Commonwealth’s recovery by allowing grant recipients to market to their local strengths.”

“Our administration is committed to leveraging the resources and tools available to assist the tourism and hospitality industry recover,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “We are grateful to our tourism councils, municipal colleagues, and regional and local chambers of commerce for their continued partnership, as we tackle this challenge together.”​

Lt. Governor Polito also announced the opening of the Destination Development Capital (DDC) Grant Program. 

This $2 million competitive grant program will award funds to strengthen the economy through development projects that will expand, construct, restore, or renovate Massachusetts tourism destinations and attractions, and aid in destination recovery and resiliency. This program was created in the economic development bill signed by Governor Baker in January. 

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“Massachusetts continues to make critical investments that support our small businesses, visitor destinations, downtown districts, and rural areas,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Kennealy. “These investments are critical to helping our tourism and hospitality industry rebound from the impacts caused by this public health crisis, and will allow our communities to recover as we approach the summer tourism season.”

“This new TTR funding is a perfect complement to the Commonwealth’s ‘My Local MA’ campaign, which focuses on supporting local businesses throughout the pandemic,” said MOTT Executive Director Matsudo Orrall. “With these grants, tourism groups and local municipalities can market their assets directly to prospective vacationers, targeting tourists in the New England region and the Mid-Atlantic states drive market.”

“The funding being announced today is a critical first step in the recovery of the tourism, arts, and culture industries,” said Senator Ed Kennedy, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. “The marketing campaigns created with use of these funds will draw attention to the wide variety of attractions and experiences Massachusetts offers, bringing in new visitors from outside of the state and reminding those already here that there are hundreds of fun, cultural, and educational experiences right here in our own backyards.” 

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“The impacts of COVID-19 are far reaching. We have seen the numerous devastating effects on this industry that was first to close and likely last to reopen,” said Rep. Carole Fiola, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development.  “These grants are an important tool to support these organizations in beginning their recovery and help the Commonwealth build back travel and tourism stronger than it was before. I look forward to working with the industry to continue with this critical recovery.”

Funded through the Tourism Trust Fund, the TTR Grant Program was open to any public, nonprofit agency, 501(c)3, or 501(c)6 that has been in operation in Massachusetts for at least two consecutive years since January 2019, and is in good standing with taxes and licenses/registrations in the Commonwealth.

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The TTR and DDC programs are in alignment with the Baker-Polito Administration’s Partnerships for Recovery Plan to help stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy. The plan focuses on getting people back to work, supporting small businesses, fostering innovation, revitalizing downtowns, and ensuring housing stability.

Through Partnerships for Recovery, the Administration has awarded more than $660 million to small businesses, and has opened new grant programs to revitalize downtowns, create winter community spaces, support cultural institutions and foundations, and fund regional economic development organizations. 

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FY21 Travel & Tourism Recovery Grant Awards
OrganizationRegionAward AmountProject Description
AHA! (Arts, History, Architecture) with fiscal agent SouthCoast Community FoundationSOUTH OF BOSTON$43,531“Summer in the Seaport” is a marketing campaign to promote New Bedford as an arts, culture, and maritime heritage destination through a combination of website redesign, advertising, lamppost banners, and social media promotion.
Amesbury Chamber of Commerce & Industrial Foundation, IncNORTH OF BOSTON$10,000Creation of multiple videos that each feature an individual local restaurant, in addition to each video speaking generally to the quality and diversity of Amesbury’s restaurant community.
Amherst Area Chamber of CommerceWESTERN MA$116,655A comprehensive marketing campaign including brand development, content creation, website development and optimization, digital advertising, photography, and video production.
Arlington Chamber of CommerceGREATER BOSTON$24,750VisitArlingtonMA is a multi-faceted marketing campaign to amplify established initiatives to promote commerce/arts & culture in Arlington, through marketing content development, website development/optimization, digital advertising, photography, video.
Arts Foundation of Cape CodCAPE COD & ISLANDS$71,250In partnership with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, “Capture Cape Cod through the Arts!” is a digital marketing campaign using the arts as a catalyst to attract tourism to Cape Cod.
Attleboro Arts MuseumSOUTH OF BOSTON$9,150“Hear & See” project is a five-month program of National Public Radio (NPR) announcements on The Public’s Radio (83.9) to promote museum artwork that will appear on banners throughout the streets of downtown Attleboro and a companion self-guided tour.
Boston Fisheries FoundationGREATER BOSTON$25,000Advertising campaign for Boston Seafood Week, including website enhancements and social media.
Brookline Chamber of CommerceGREATER BOSTON$24,975“Discover Brookline” is a website platform to be developed to promote Brookline’s business districts to a local, regional, and intrastate audience. Project includes website development, artist commissioning, photography and a marketing campaign.
Cambridge Historical Tours, Inc.GREATER BOSTON$7,500Four separate series of 12-15 videos, highlighting four of the organization’s most popular tours and destinations, along with information on restaurants and local shops.
Cape Cod Museum TrailCAPE COD & ISLANDS$24,950“There’s So Much to Explore on the Trail!” is a marketing campaign to promote visitation to Cape Cod museums in a day trip or staycation through advertising, digital/social media promotion, with organization’s website featuring over 70 Cape Cod museums.
City of Quincy TourismGREATER BOSTON$10,000Discover Quincy’s Diversity Marketing Campaign is a multi-channel media campaign targeting a diverse audience, embracing African American and Latino communities, and includes radio commercials, video, website banner advertising, and social media.
Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District Inc.CENTRAL MA$75,674In partnership with the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, the “Colorful Night on The Common” campaign promotes the spacious Worcester Common and curated wrap-around experiences supporting local businesses.
Essex Agricultural SocietyNORTH OF BOSTON$19,200Marketing of the Essex Agricultural Society and the Topsfield Fair via billboard advertisements, online digital advertisements, poster creation and distribution.
Falmouth Artists Guild Inc., dba Falmouth Art CenterCAPE COD & ISLANDS$3,000Website enhancement and optimization project through posters, signage (including language translation), and video creation.
Falmouth Road Race, Inc.CAPE COD & ISLANDS$22,500Marketing promotion for Falmouth Road Race (FRR) and Falmouth in the Fall (FITF) through website updates, an enhanced digital marketing campaign, videography, and race weekend signage efforts.
Framingham Downtown Renaissance dba Downtown Framingham, Inc.GREATER BOSTON$12,000Installation of nine “Welcome to Downtown Framingham!” month-long posters on three billboards along Route 135 (25,000+ vehicles/day) and a smart display Soofa sign that features community content and advertising opportunities for local businesses.
Freedom Trail FoundationGREATER BOSTON$20,000Marketing project to build marketing content, including photography, video, signage for outreach to visitors/consumers.
Gloucester Tourism Alliance dba Discover GloucesterNORTH OF BOSTON$24,500“Adventures with Loblolly,” the introduction of a fun, animated lobster character mascot for Gloucester, is a comprehensive marketing strategy which includes a full design of Loblolly across various media platforms.
Greater Lowell Chamber of CommerceNORTH OF BOSTON$47,000Funds from this grant will be used to build the My Local Greater Lowell map game, create a My Local Greater Lowell webpage on the existing GLCC site, conduct social media advertising, and develop marketing collateral.
Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors BureauWESTERN MA$47,500In partnership with Springfield Regional Chamber and its Minority Business Council, “Hidden Gems of the Gateway Cities” effort highlights women and minority-owned businesses in four Western Mass Gateway Cities: Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Westfield.
Harvard Square Business AssociationGREATER BOSTON$6,360Pole banner project intended to create an even more welcoming, safe, fun, family-friendly Harvard Square. Grant is for banners only.
Hyannis Main Street BIDCAPE COD & ISLANDS$22,500“My Local MA:  Local is more than a place. It’s who we are….Hyannis Main Street, Cape Cod’s Downtown!” is a marketing project that will integrate the My Local MA campaign with the organization’s long running hyper-local Shop Local Hyannis Campaign.
Lowell Festival Foundation d/b/a Lowell Summer Music SeriesNORTH OF BOSTON$25,249“Reopening Lowell Summer Music Series” is a digital marketing program expansion with advertising and visitor/customer outreach for the 31st season.
Maria Mitchell AssociationCAPE COD & ISLANDS$17,675Enhance/expedite organization’s strategic 2021 marketing plan to better represent the community via marketing materials, increase reach to broader audience, increase accessibility of offerings via translations. Includes photos, video, ads, social media.
Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of CommerceCAPE COD & ISLANDS$22,825Spring Forward! project is a multi-pronged themed promotion to emphasize the Vineyard’s accessibility, natural beauty and unique appeal during three critical segments of spring and early summer through ad geotargeting, video, and social media.
Massachusetts Lodging AssociationSTATEWIDE$49,075“The Best Adventures are Local – 24 Hours: Stay MA,” a five-month campaign to drive business to Massachusetts hotels by encouraging people to book and stay locally.
Massachusetts Marine Trades AssociationSTATEWIDE$20,000Expansion of current Stay Local Boat MA marketing initiative for marinas. 
Merrimack Valley Chamber of CommerceNORTH OF BOSTON$9,000Designed to spotlight Merrimack Valley locally owned businesses through social media promotion. Each of the proposed components will also work to enhance minority owned business, veteran owned business and women owned businesses.
Metro South Chamber of CommerceSOUTH OF BOSTON$19,980The “My Local MA Metro South/MSCC Marketing Campaign Brand Integration, Communication and Website Refocus” plan includes updated logos, website, digital and traditional media.
Museum of ScienceGREATER BOSTON$24,999“Welcome Back Scientists” is a multi-channel media campaign to encourage visitation by highlighting benefits of limited capacity (“more space to explore”) and a safe, fun, educational experience. Includes social media paid advertising, digital billboards.
Nantucket Boys & Girls ClubCAPE COD & ISLANDS$5,000“2021 Tim Russert Summer Groove Short Film,” a short film produced as a marketing tool for the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club.
Nantucket Comedy Festival, Inc.CAPE COD & ISLANDS$9,936Upgrading current web presence with more consistent, content-rich digital marketing strategy, including re-development of festival website, national search engine optimization, integrated social media and the creation of visitor packages.
Nantucket Historical AssociationCAPE COD & ISLANDS$45,830Nantucket high season tourism recovery marketing campaign to include advertising, in addition to a special promotional collaboration with the Cape Cod Maritime Museum.
Nantucket Preservation TrustCAPE COD & ISLANDS$1,500Expanded photography project for Ramblings, a guidebook published by the Nantucket Preservation Trust about the island’s unique architectural heritage. Grant is for photography only.
Nashoba Valley Chamber of CommerceCENTRAL MA$24,700Nashoba Valley Hometown Tourist is a program designed to encourage everyone to find/support local businesses through production of passport program. Project includes content development via videography/graphic design, social media, traditional marketing.
New Bedford Art Museum (NBAM/ArtWorks!)SOUTH OF BOSTON$1,434Publicity and marketing campaign support through billboards/banners for the Ruth Carter Exhibition “Uncommon Threads.”
New England Aquarium CorporationGREATER BOSTON$24,968A digital advertising recovery campaign to drive ticket sales.
North of Boston Convention & Visitors BureauNORTH OF BOSTON$20,000The “Love My Local MA–North of Boston Radio Campaign” is a media-buy utilizing the reach of well-known local radio stations to increase visitation to area. Project components include branding development, visitor/consumer outreach, digital advertising.
Old Sturbridge Inc. (dba Old Sturbridge Village)CENTRAL MA$33,750“Come and Stay” is a multi-faceted advertising and outreach campaign for Sturbridge, which includes marketing content development, video, visitor/consumer outreach, and digital ads. Campaign also coincides with the museum’s upcoming 75th anniversary.
Plimoth Patuxet MuseumsSOUTH OF BOSTON$21,715Bringing Visitors Back to Plymouth: A Plimoth Patuxet Museums Marketing Plan is a digital marketing strategy, which includes retargeting and social media advertising to attract visitors.
Provincetown Business GuildCAPE COD & ISLANDS$25,000A marketing campaign, including social media, public relations and website optimization to promote and market Provincetown to the LGBTQ traveler.
Reading-North Reading Chamber of CommerceNORTH OF BOSTON$24,745Development of Shop Here First marketing program with inclusion of My Local MA campaign to coincide with the SBA’s Small Business Week campaign. Includes creation of Shop Here First website with business listings, outdoor amenities and attractions.
Salem Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Inc.NORTH OF BOSTON$47,500In partnership with the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Main Streets, the Salem Partnership, and the City of Salem, a recovery marketing campaign includes campaign development phase, website redesign, video production, and advertising.
See PlymouthSOUTH OF BOSTON$58,328The My Local Plymouth campaign is a 13-week strategy to promote the town and county, by focusing resources toward producing high-quality marketing materials, such as, posters, signage, and billboards.
Spirit of Springfield, Inc.WESTERN MA$11,861Multi-channel marketing campaign for “Bright Nights”, a signature event in Springfield to group tour market traveling by motorcoach. Plan includes online marketing, email campaign, and a marketing advertising package with the American Bus Association.
Springfield MuseumsWESTERN MA$24,500“Seuss in Springfield” is a statewide marketing campaign to leverage the iconic Seuss brand and cultural assets of the city of Springfield through the video creation and digital advertising.
Sterling and Francine Clark Art InstituteWESTERN MA$24,500“Go West,” a campaign to drive stronger attendance from eastern Massachusetts to the Institute through additional billboard promotions and a concentrated social media campaign with targeted marketing.
The City of Lynn – Office of Community DevelopmentNORTH OF BOSTON$25,000“LYNN IS IN” marketing campaign which includes the creation of a full length marketing video designed to promote the City of Lynn, its cultural district, amities, businesses and natural resources.
The East of the River Chamber of CommerceWESTERN MA$23,457Marketing project with various components including website development/optimization enhanced branding, b-roll, signage, digital advertising, and includes an intention to increase access and awareness of website for people with disabilities.
The Massachusetts Restaurant AssociationSTATEWIDE$22,500A three-pronged approach in support of My Local MA Campaign enhancing visitor experience, drive visitation and promote overnight stays.
The Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Inc./DBA Boch CenterGREATER BOSTON$24,750Website redesign project to include an extensive marketing campaign to introduce new site and enhanced features.
Town of ConcordNORTH OF BOSTON$28,028In partnership with the Town of Lexington, “Two Historic Towns; One Memorable Trip,” is a targeted market campaign for advertising and social media promotion.
Town of HudsonGREATER BOSTON$8,367Downtown Hudson Wayfinding Program: A Collaboration between the Town and the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) for the production of 15 wayfinding signs that will be installed at strategic locations in the Downtown.
Town of WareWESTERN MA$12,143Ware branding banners & media marketing project includes the production of a promotional video, television, radio, and also digital advertising and social media ads.
USS Massachusetts Memorial Committee Inc. DBA Battleship CoveSOUTH OF BOSTON$25,000Re-Launch of America’s Fleet Museum at Battleship Cove, Fall River with updated marketing to include aerial videography, photography and updated branding of marketing materials and outreach through social media and radio ads.
Waltham Chamber of CommerceGREATER BOSTON$6,000“Wander into Waltham”: Update website to more effectively market Waltham as a tourist destination and create and include an interactive map showcasing restaurants, hotels and points of interests.
Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc.CAPE COD & ISLANDS$24,750“Marketing Wellfleet and The Quintessential American Oyster” is a campaign to inform potential visitors about Wellfleet as a tourist destination, its shell fishing history and connecting visitors to shell
fish farmers to reinvigorate tourism to region.
Williamstown Chamber of CommerceWESTERN MA$25,735“Escape to Williamstown” is multifaceted marketing campaign to include an enhanced visitors guide, advertising, social media, banners.
Worcester Regional Tourism and Visitors Corp DBA Discover Central MACENTRAL MA$99,999Worcester is “Smile City:” The Gateway to Central Massachusetts, an omni-channel campaign with proposed used of funds to include a micro-site and passport programs, marketing, content development, digital & traditional advertising, ambassador/influencer program.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.