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MassDevelopment Announces $390,000 in Commonwealth Places Funding

BOSTON — MassDevelopment recently announced the availability of $390,000 in funding for a new round of the Commonwealth Places program, a statewide initiative that leverages public support for placemaking projects in Massachusetts. Funding is being made available specifically to assist local economic-recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors.

Eligible projects will comply with the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts plan, and may include outdoor seating spaces, sidewalk retail venues, partitions to support social distancing, and more.

“Our administration is committed to supporting local economic-recovery efforts as communities adjust and respond to the impacts of COVID-19,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “It’s more important than ever to find new and creative ways to drive foot traffic to our Main Streets and commercial districts, keeping safety and distancing in mind.”

Added MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss, “earlier this year, MassDevelopment pivoted our annual Commonwealth Places crowdfunding program to more quickly assist nonprofits and other community groups looking to reimagine and reopen public spaces for safe dining, shopping, and recreation during the pandemic. We are pleased to double down with another, larger round of available funding to continue to support place-based recovery efforts across Massachusetts.”

Nonprofits and other community groups can apply to MassDevelopment for seed grants of between $250 to $7,500 to fund inclusive community engagement, visioning, and local capacity building that will support future placemaking efforts, or implementation grants of up to $50,000 to execute a placemaking project. For implementation grants, up to $10,000 per project may be awarded as an unmatched grant; awards greater than $10,000 must be matched with crowdfunding donations.

Expressions of interest will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 30, 2021, and are available at massdevelopment.com/commonwealthplaces. MassDevelopment will host an informational webinar about the program on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Register at massdevelopment.com/cp-webinar​.

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