MassDevelopment Awards Commonwealth Places Grant to Amesbury Chamber of Commerce
August 24, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Louisa Stone, MassDevelopment, 857-283-3340 (cell)
MassDevelopment has awarded an $8,450 Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places grant to the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce for Eat Great, Shop Late, a project that includes creating and implementing outdoor programming in downtown Amesbury. The Chamber has scheduled events in August, using three different outdoor venues in the downtown area. The organization is using funding to hire live bands, artists, and fitness instructors for outdoor music and classes, as well as to buy equipment such as folding tables, hand sanitizer, and tablecloths, and cover costs for marketing and staff. The grant was 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.
“MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program is a resource to help communities implement placemaking projects that improve public spaces, create foot traffic, and stimulate economic activity,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “During this challenging economic climate, we’re pleased to support the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce as it aims to creatively and safely welcome visitors downtown.”
Created in 2016, Commonwealth Places aims to engage and mobilize community members to make individual contributions for placemaking projects, with the incentive of a funding match from MassDevelopment if the crowdfunding goal is reached. In June 2020, MassDevelopment announced the availability of $225,000 in funding for the Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places. For this round, nonprofits and other community groups could apply to MassDevelopment for grants of up to $25,000. Up to $10,000 per project could be awarded as an unmatched grant; awards greater than $10,000 must be matched with crowdfunding donations. All grantees and projects will be required to follow the mandatory safety standards and protocols of the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts plan.
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.