The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, today announced it has provided $25,000 in funding to ReImagine North of Main to support their Façade Improvement Program in the City of Fitchburg.
The program, which provides an opportunity for downtown property owners and businesses to upgrade their building’s exterior, aims to help the city retain and attract businesses, strengthen the downtown area, increase utilization of existing business, and enhance property values.
“Part of our Urban Revitalization Plan focuses on supporting a diverse mix of downtown businesses and the facilitation of the redevelopment for significant vacant or underutilized properties,” said Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale, City of Fitchburg. “This façade program is instrumental to the plan and also provides ReImagine North of Main, now known as InTown Fitchburg, the opportunity to take the lead on larger, more meaningful impact projects as they work with the city towards its goal of revitalizing the downtown corridor.”
“With the momentum we’re building in downtown Fitchburg, these funds could not have come at a better time,” said Joe Ferguson, Director, InTown Fitchburg, which is housed in the Fitchburg State University Theater Block on Main Street. One of the businesses benefiting from the program will be located in a storefront adjacent to the theater. “Our storefront improvement grant program is designed to incentivize commercial occupancy in redeveloped storefronts, many of which have been vacant for a long time. These funds will support a locally owned, woman-owned business that has adamantly sought a physical, brick-and-mortar business offering on Main Street.”
Formerly known as ReImagine North of Main, InTown Fitchburg is a partnership of local anchor institutions, businesses, government, nonprofits and residents focused on making a collective impact to improve the quality of life in the downtown neighborhood and commercial district.
“Our recent Economic Regional Development Plan identified one of the critical factors for our region’s growth is focusing on our downtown areas,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President and CEO, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “With this grant, the city will be able to improve and enhance the exterior of its many historic buildings while positively impacting the downtown’s revitalization.”
The funding came from a competitive regional economic development grant secured by the NCMDC from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
Property or business owners interested in applying for improvement grants should contact InTown Fitcchburg to discuss the potential project prior to applying.