You might remember hearing about efforts to streamline the state’s grant process at our Legislative Breakfast this year, by our keynote speaker, Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba. The goal was to get more money in the hands of local communities that would help boost our communities and homeownership. Last week, Governor Charlie Baker and state and local officials came to Pittsfield to announce more than $143 million in grant awards to support 337 local economic development projects in 169 communities. $3.6 million is earmarked for Pittsfield projects (outlined below) The grants were made through Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal that funds economic development projects related to community capacity building, planning and zoning, site preparation, building construction and infrastructure.
“The One Stop’s single application portal and collaborative review process helps us ensure we take a wide-angle lens in directing funding to communities of all sizes and across all regions,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba. “This round we were proud to fund about 60-70% of all applications that were submitted in a region, and every region received more awards and more funding than last year.” The announcement was made at the Berkshire Innovation Center in the City of Pittsfield. The Pittsfield community is receiving more than $3.6 million in awards through the One Stop process, including:
- $3 million MassWorks award to the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority to convert 16.5 blighted acres of a former GE transformer property into greenspace, roadways, utility corridors, and stormwater management.
- $525,000 Underutilized Properties Program award to Allegrone Companies to restore the nationally listed Wright Building.
- $55,122 Urban Agenda award to Blackshires Community Empowerment Foundation Corp., a cohort-based leadership program for Black community members in Pittsfield.
- $15,000 Collaborative Workspace Program award to Berkshire Innovation Center to fund a feasibility study to expand the organization’s coworking environment.
- $15,000 Collaborative Workspace Program award to Berkshire Black Economic Council for feasibility work needed to create a collaborative workspace for underserved Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in Berkshire County.