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Merrimack Valley Municipal Business Development and Recovery Fund
The Merrimack Valley Municipal Business Development and Recovery Fund has been made possible by a donation from Columbia Gas. The purpose of the program is to provide direct support to the municipalities and their business communities (not businesses directly) impacted by the recent gas disaster in Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence. It is designed to provide flexible funding and is intended to empower the municipalities to use these grants in a manner that in their view best assists with business and economic recovery in the impacted areas.
It is envisioned that this program will:
• Strengthen businesses within the communities impacted by the gas crisis;
• Generate additional opportunities for their growth and long-term success;
• Expand support services and technical assistance for businesses;
• Contribute to the long-term resiliency of individual businesses and the overall business community.
Funding requests should align with overall local and regional economic development and business development plans and priorities within the town/city whenever appropriate.
Essex County Community Foundation is the fiduciary agent of the donation from Columbia Gas. The Lawrence Partnership will administer the grant program. Grant requests must be consistent with the purpose of the program and could include requests for:
• Direct individual business support, i.e., gift card program;
• General business promotion, i.e., shop local campaign;
• Technical assistance and business consultation services;
• Economic development and planning.
Each municipality will be eligible for up to $2 million in grant funding over the life of the fund, and if interested in applying for funding, must complete a short application. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Awards will be made once the completed application is reviewed and approved. Upon completion of the initiative, the municipality will be expected to provide a summary of how the grant funding benefited business and economic recovery.
Joint applications will be accepted.
Projects initiated by the City of Lawrence, the Town of Andover, and the Town of North Andover are eligible for funding from this program. Each project is required to apply individually; however, joint applications are encouraged in the instances where there is collaboration on a business or economic recovery initiative. Appropriate municipal approval is required per each application.
The Lawrence Partnership, in consultation with ECCF, will review each application to ensure that the request is consistent with the purpose of the program. Upon successful review, funds will be made available immediately.
Grants will be awarded to Grantees based on meeting the eligibility and adhering to the Fund Purpose and Guidelines and ability to adhere with reporting expectations.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
The Fund Review team, lead by the Lawrence Partnership and assisted by ECCF, will review all proposals and make funding recommendations for approval.
Grantees must submit a final report 60 days after the planned completion of their project. Final reports are required to be eligible for future grant funding. If projects are not complete by the deadline, Grantees should submit an Interim Report on their progress and request an extension.
Businesses located in Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence
FINAL REPORT FORMS
Final and Interim reports should be submitted through the Application Portal.
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