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MassDevelopment Funds Business Assistance Programs through Transformative Development Initiative

June 13, 2021 : Merrimack Valley Magazine, by Kristin Cole

MassDevelopment has awarded $390,000 in grants to multiple organizations to implement outdoor dining, business signage improvements, district branding and marketing plans, placemaking and wayfinding projects, public events, and more through locally developed business assistance programs in gateway cities. The grants were awarded through MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Local program.

Created in 2017, TDI Local is a small-business grants program that supports local market development by fostering business, resident, and property-owner engagement, building community identity, and improving the public realm in TDI districts.

For this round, fiscal agents in TDI districts in Chelsea, Chicopee, Fall River, Fitchburg, Lawrence, Springfield, and Worcester (Main South) will receive $30,000 district grants.

The Essex Art Center in Lawrence, one of the projects who received a TDI award, will use the $30,000 district grant to implement a key component of a downtown action strategy, which was funded and managed by the Lawrence TDI Partnership, that includes improving pedestrian and auto-oriented placemaking and wayfinding on the corridor from Island Street and Canal Street into downtown Lawrence. The Canal Activation Program aims to create temporary creative visual markers, including asphalt and sidewalk art and a flash flower field installation, which are aimed at helping establish a future downtown arts and culture district.