$10K Improves the Point's Storefronts

MassDevelopment Awards Commonwealth Places Grant to Help North Shore CDC Drive Foot Traffic to Small Businesses in Salem’s Point Neighborhood with Artwork, Improved Signage

August 31, 2021

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

SALEM, Mass. – MassDevelopment has awarded a $10,000 grant to North Shore Community Development Coalition (North Shore CDC) to improve and drive foot traffic to four storefronts located at 117 Lafayette St. in Salem’s Point neighborhood. The initiative, dubbed the Salem Small Business Economic Recovery project, will use funds to add artwork, signage, and other exterior aesthetics to update the storefronts’ outdated facades. The North Shore CDC’s current design plan is to paint the phrase “Hola Mi Gente” (“Hello My People”) on the Harbor Street side of the building, surrounded by leaves and greenery; as the design wraps around the building, it will evolve from leaves to reflect what each business offers: hair products, clothing, shoes, groceries, and candles. The funds are awarded through MassDevelopment’s special Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places, which was made available specifically to assist local economic recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors.

“Before this pandemic, the vibrant centers of our cities and towns were not only a driving force behind the strength of local economies, they were the places where we gathered to dine, to shop, and to be entertained, and the Commonwealth Places program is one way that we can help these areas bounce back stronger than ever,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to support downtowns and town centers through various economic recovery programs, and these Resurgent Places grants are providing non-profit community organizations with the resources to activate public spaces, boost economic activity, and support an equitable recovery.”

“This grant will add vibrancy to a significant building in Salem’s historic and diverse Point neighborhood in a way that reflects the local community and draws foot traffic to the small businesses located there,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment has been proud to support the great work of North Shore Community Development Coalition and their efforts to strengthen the Point neighborhood, and we’re excited to deliver this targeted assistance today.” 

Created in 2016, Commonwealth Places aims to engage and mobilize community members to make individual contributions to placemaking projects, with the incentive of a funding match from MassDevelopment if the crowdfunding goal is reached. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDevelopment announced the opening of the first Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places in June 2020 and from August – October 2020 awarded $224,965 in funding for 21 placemaking projects across Massachusetts. 

In December 2020, MassDevelopment announced the availability of $390,000 in funding for a second Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places. Nonprofits and other community groups can apply to MassDevelopment for seed grants of between $250 to $7,500 to fund inclusive community engagement, visioning, and local capacity building that will support future placemaking efforts, or implementation grants of up to $50,000 to execute a placemaking project. For implementation grants, up to $10,000 per project may be awarded as an unmatched grant; awards greater than $10,000 must be matched with crowdfunding donations. 

More information about the program is available at

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.