Revitalizing Bedford’s Retail Districts through a Massachusetts Downtown Initiative Grant

Alyssa Sandoval showed Christine Moynihan around downtown Bedford – Courtesy image (c) 2019 all rights reserved

Submitted by Erin Sandler-Rathe

Around the table at the May 1 kick-off implementation meeting for Bedford’s MDI grant: Planning Director Tony Fields, Economic Development Director Alyssa Sandoval, Retail Visioning’s Christine Moynihan, two representatives of the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative, and Bedford Chamber of Commerce president Erin Sandler Rathe – Courtesy image (c) 2019 all rights reserved

Collaboration began on May 1 to begin implementation for Bedford’s Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI) grant. Bedford was awarded the $15,000 grant earlier this year through a competitive process administered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Emmy Hahn, Program Coordinator for DHCD, introduced Christine Moynihan of Retail Visioning to Town officials and a representative from the Bedford Chamber of Commerce.

The grant will provide an opportunity for 5 to 8 local small businesses to work directly with Moynihan to improve their presence in town and to draw in customers.

Yesterday’s kickoff meeting gave Alyssa Sandoval, Bedford’s Economic Development Director, and Tony Fields, Planning Director, the opportunity to walk Moynihan through Bedford’s business districts. Moynihan’s initial impression was that Bedford’s retail environment is comparatively “in good shape,” although she also noted that she already had ideas percolating for businesses.

Moynihan will hold a workshop for all interested retailers in early June to begin the application process. This initial workshop will provide valuable tips and resources for any small business looking to improve their foot traffic.

At the workshop, applications will be made available for those interested in working directly with Moynihan. The selected businesses will be notified shortly thereafter, and Moynihan will schedule her visits. The process should be completed by the end of the summer.

Interested businesses should contact Alyssa Sandoval at Town Hall (781-275-1111).for more information on the date and time of the workshop or with questions about the application process.

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