Sen. Lesser Lauds Development Grants to Boost Springfield Small Businesses

SPRINGFIELD — Sen. Eric P. Lesser welcomed the announcement last week that Springfield businesses would benefit from $75,000 in grants for state and local partnerships.

The City of Springfield received $10,000 in matching grants to extend its Lease It Local program, launched as an effort to fill vacant storefronts. The program provides a rental subsidy for early-stage businesses that occupy vacant ground-floor storefronts for three or more months. The City will match grant funds with an additional $10,000.

The City will also be able to expand an existing architectural lighting program, launched by the local Business Improvement District, and an existing wayfinding program, supported by the City, thanks to $28,500 in state grants.

“This is great news for Springfield as the City continues its historic revival from downtown outward. These grants will give another boost to our downtown businesses, bringing more foot traffic into their stores and to our region’s signature attractions,” Sen. Lesser said.

The wayfinding program adds signage and lighting to draw visitors to downtown attractions and provide additional visibility and security for pedestrians.

The funding is being released to the City as part of MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative, a program for Gateway Cities such as Springfield and Chicopee, designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts.

The program works to build partnerships partnerships that engage community members in planning and implementing local economic development initiatives to spur further public and private investment.

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