Attleboro Jewelers, Steampunk festival among recipients to share in $100K downtown grant

April 25, 2023 : The Sun Chronicle, George W. Rhodes

ATTLEBORO — MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative has awarded $100,000 to be dispersed through the Downtown Attleboro Business Association to 17 downtown businesses and events.

The TDI program has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to 13 organizations in Gateway Cities this year.

TDI works in Gateway Cities to engage community members, implement local economic development initiatives and spur further public and private investment.

There are two programs which that receive funds.

The Attleboro Direct-to-Business Grant Program provides Attleboro businesses help with marketing and equipment upgrades to help them get through the challenges of pandemic recovery while looking toward future success.

One business getting a grant is Attleboro Jewelers.

“This is so amazing. We are incredibly thankful for this opportunity,” Jeff Read, co-owner of the business, said.

“This grant provides funding for upgrades to laser technology which will be accessible to our apprenticeship program.”

The second program is the Attleboro Activation Grant Program.

It provides grants to “place-making projects” that involve and impact residents, visitors and businesses in downtown.

Place-making includes events, public art, public service and community engagement.

“This grant has created incredible opportunities for community groups such as ours to create destination events in downtown Attleboro,” said Chris Schultz of New Latitude Events, which is putting on the Jewelry City Steampunk Festival on April 29.

“What we can accomplish for the festival this year would have taken Jewelry City Steampunk years of fundraising,” Schultz said. “To be given the chance to jump start our project and create an attractive event in the heart of our community is both humbling and remarkably validating.”

Downtown Attleboro was designated a full TDI District in 2022.

The Attleboro TDI Partnership is a community-driven committee comprised of public, private, and nonprofit partners.