MassDevelopment Announces Availability of Funding for Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program
August 21, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-694-9695 (cell)
MassDevelopment is pleased to announce available funding from the Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program, a new program to offer taxi, livery, and hackney operators financial assistance to secure products or services that will aid in improving their competitiveness and enhancing safety capabilities in the rapidly evolving market of for-hire transportation. MassDevelopment’s Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program is one of two initiatives that will be funded by MassDevelopment’s allocation from the Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund.
“MassDevelopment is pleased to make funding available through our new Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program, and we encourage eligible small businesses and industry associations to apply now for funding,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “The goal of this grant program is to equip our taxi, livery, and hackney operators with tools that will help them achieve advanced service, safety, and operational capabilities, and remain competitive in today’s market of for-hire transportation. We’re also proud to partner with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council on the creation of an operational subsidy program that will expand transportation service capacity and create new business opportunities for taxi and livery businesses in the Commonwealth.”
The Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund (the “Fund”) was created by An Act Regulating Transportation Network Companies, which Governor Baker signed into law in August 2016, and is supported by a 20-cent assessment on every transportation network company ride in Massachusetts. For the calendar years of 2017-2021, one-quarter of the Fund is being designated to MassDevelopment to provide financial assistance to small businesses operating in the taxicab, livery, or hackney industries.
MassDevelopment is using two-thirds of its allotment from the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to support the Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program. Through this new program, small businesses in the taxi, livery, and hackney industries can now apply for grants of up to $50,000 for expenses including dispatch systems or other equipment, technology-enabled ride-hailing systems, safety enhancements, workforce training programs, and business consultant services. Additionally, taxi and livery industry associations can apply for grants of up to $1 million for aggregated improvements that will have a collective impact on the industry in Massachusetts, and can direct up to $200,000 of such awards toward the purchase of marketing materials that promote the taxi and livery industry. The full Request for Proposals for MassDevelopment’s Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program is available at massdevelopment.com/taxiliverysupport. Responses are due by 5 p.m. on September 21, 2020.
The remaining one-third of MassDevelopment’s allotment from the Fund will support the Taxi/Livery Partnership Grant Program, to be launched and administered by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in fall 2020, which will be an operational subsidy program enabling municipalities, municipal entities, regional transit authorities, health and human service providers, and applicable nonprofits to expand transportation service capacity through contracts with licensed taxi or livery businesses. In response to COVID-19, in April 2020 MAPC launched an early version of this program to facilitate urgent transportation and delivery needs for vulnerable populations. A half million dollars have already been distributed to 12 cities, towns, and agencies throughout the state, and another half million will fund 13 additional projects over the next few weeks.
“MAPC is pleased to partner with MassDevelopment and the taxi/livery industry to provide critical transportation services to communities in need throughout the Commonwealth,” said MAPC Executive Director Marc Draisen.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth. During FY2019, MassDevelopment financed or managed 316 projects generating investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 9,743 jobs and build or preserve 1,992 housing units.