Boston’s Effort To Refurbish Its Cityscape Buttressed With A $2.8 Million Grant
In an exciting development, Boston’s efforts to revitalize its cityscape have received a substantial boost with a $2.8 million grant for the state’s business owners under the American Rescue Plan.
The grant, facilitated by the Supporting Pandemic Affected Community Enterprises (SPACE) Grant, aims to breathe new life into empty storefronts and fuel the expansion of 24 local businesses. Of these recipients, three-quarters of the business owners fall to the racial minority group or women, reflecting the city’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion.
Mayor Michelle Wu expressed her enthusiasm for the project that is auspicious for Boston business owners, aggrandizing the unique and diverse stories behind each business that will contribute to the city’s heart. From immigrant-owned establishments sharing their culture through culinary experiences to daycares addressing community needs, these entrepreneurs embody the spirit of Boston’s entrepreneurial landscape. (Know more at Newsbreak)
The grant’s initial phase targets business owners that own businesses including retail, art, bars, food, and daycare centers. For some business owners, this opportunity marks their first venture into storefront ownership, while other business owners see it as a chance to expand their existing enterprises. Dawne Brown, one of the state’s business owners, who owns a daycare, tearfully expressed her appreciation for the grant, recognizing its potential to transform her business.
Flood Applications Inundated The Grant Program
Over 350 applications were submitted, demonstrating the overwhelming response to the grant program. Segun Idowu, the city’s Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion, lauded the initiative’s success in bridging the gaps within neighborhoods and Downtown Boston. He emphasized the resulting increase in foot traffic and patronage that will benefit existing businesses in the area.
The business owners who will win the grant will receive financial support ranging from $40,000 to $200,000 over the next three years, tailored to meet the specific business needs of the business owners. In a proactive move, the Wu Administration aims to ensure the long-term success of these local business owners by offering wrap-around, long-term technical assistance. By doing so, they are breaking down barriers to opening new storefronts and expanding businesses, driving Boston’s economic growth. (Check reference here: BlackEnterprise)
Looking ahead, the second round of funding applications will open on October 2, 2023, providing even more opportunities for business owners to escalate their businesses and contribute to the city’s vibrant community. With this grant program, Boston is not only revitalizing its vacant storefronts but also fostering an environment where small businesses can flourish and make a lasting impact on the city’s identity.