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Collaborative Workspace Grants Up for Grabs

June 29, 2020 : State House News Service, by Michael P. Norton

Grants of up to $100,000 to plan, develop and build out collaborative workspaces are up for grabs again under a program that has dished out $8.4 million to 136 applicants during its first four rounds of activity. MassDevelopment on Monday announced that responses to the fifth round of grants under the Collaborative Workspaces Program are due by 5 p.m. on Aug. 10. Program supporters say collaborative workspaces will remain an important part of the business landscape in Massachusetts as companies, employees and contractors adjust to working in environments with safety protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19. "As these spaces begin opening their doors again, these grants will help ensure that they can operate safely, comply with mandatory safety standards, and support the recovery by accelerating job creation and entrepreneurial activity," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. The program's goal is to accelerate business formation, job creation, and entrepreneurial activity by supporting infrastructure that fuels local innovation. "Over the past several months, we've been heartened to see many previous awardees step up to the plate to support their communities by using their workspaces, equipment, and skills to produce protective face masks and shields, meals, and more – demonstrating the collaborative spirit and 'can-do' attitude that is deeply rooted in the mission of these spaces," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. A round of grants awarded in January included $75,000 for the Old Stone Mill in Adams, $12,910 for an artist incubator and community art center in Beverly, $100,000 for a redeveloped manufacturing facility in Dalton called The Stationery Factory, $160,000 for HUB 35, a workspace with a commercial kitchen in Fitchburg, and $7,000 for Framework Pittsfield Coworking.