For Small Business Month, Haverhill Gets $60K Boost

City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Dana and Salvatore Defranco of Battle Grounds Coffee Co., and Rep. Brian S. Dempsey. (WHAV News photograph.)


Councilor Colin F. LePage and Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Haverhill is receiving $60,000 to help small businesses fill empty downtown storefronts and improve the appearances of other buildings.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, flanked by representatives of MassDevelopment and state and local officials, made the announcement at a Washington Street reception Wednesday afternoon. Polito explained what she thinks is Haverhill’s formula for success.

“You have a concentration of people living in an area—not just day workers. This is full time. Nights and weekends. What do they need? Lots of restaurants—kudos to you for setting up a restaurant district. They need services. They need good coffee. They need a lot of other things. That’s why the small businesses, that are really the backbone of this downtown neighborhood, are thriving,” Polito said.

Polito acknowledged state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for bringing his vision for the city to the attention of state leaders. The grant announcement was made at Battle Grounds Coffee Co., one of the downtown’s newest businesses.

Of the $60,000 in Transformative Development Initiative Business Accelerator grants, Haverhill received a $25,000 Local Lift grant that it will match with $25,000 to expand an existing façade improvement program with increased design, lighting and interior services to encourage business owners to become involved with the program. The city also received a $35,000 Lease it Local grant that it will must be matched with $8,750 to provide seed funding for creative business start-ups, galleries and other microenterprises to move into vacant sections of downtown. Noah Koretz, Haverhill’s TDI fellow, explained how the grants will be used.

“One of which is specifically money for façade improvements and physical facility improvements for businesses. The other is for, what’s called, Lease It Local program. It’s essentially a way to sort to help encourage local landlords to get small, locally run, locally owned businesses into their spaces and get those businesses up and running,” explained Koretz.

MassDevelopment CEO Marty Jones explained the state’s motivations in extending the grants.

“Try some new ways to engage small businesses. We’ll see what works—some will, some won’t. We’ll take the ones that work and we’ll find a way to replicate them around the Commonwealth and use those tools in other places,” she said.

Haverhill’s grant is part of $330,000 given to eight districts across the state to support downtown improvements for business growth and job creation. Polito announced the awards after touring downtown. The TDI Small Business Accelerator Grant Program is jointly provided by the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment, a quasi-public finance agency.

2 thoughts on “For Small Business Month, Haverhill Gets $60K Boost

  1. I wonder if Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito knows…

    >The mayor views downtown as nothing more than a resource to suck as many tax dollars and fees out of those that live, work and visit downtown as possible.

    >The mayor created a meals tax which drives patrons away from downtown and keeps new restaurants from opening.

    >The mayor created parking taxes that penalize homeowners and business owners and keeps people from visiting businesses downtown.

    >The mayor invested in a city vehicle and hired employees with the sole purpose to drive around downtown to ticket as many cars as possible. Another policy decision which discourages people to visit downtown businesses.

    >The mayor made the policy decision to take a downtown property owner’s building by eminent domain for the purpose of the city selling it to a developer for a profit. The city ended up getting sued for this illegal action by the mayor.

    Liberal Democrats never fail to display in their moronic public policies for all to see. They tax people and businesses to death; turn around and give people back their own money; and then have photo ops as if they’re some kind of entrepreneurial geniuses and heroes. All the while they completely ignore that their public policies decisions are failing, which is why they have to give money away in the first place.

  2. “You have a concentration of people living in an area—not just day workers.” – We know, Mayor Jimmy’s vision is to have as many taxpayer subsidized humans as possible “grow” Haverhill as part of his revitalization plan. That way, these subsidized inhabitants can use their taxpayer funded monies on local businesses to create artificial demand/productivity at said businesses.

    “Polito acknowledged state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for bringing his vision for the city to the attention of state leaders.” – There is no vision outside the legalized theft of the fruits of other people’s labor and given to others in the most politically patronized, nepotistic ways possible.

    “vacant sections of downtown.” – Because, you know, demand. So where it is lacking, all things government think they can artificially create it.

    “Try some new ways to engage small businesses” – Try checking the BLS for the current state of affairs for small businesses. 2015 marked the first time in history small business deaths outpaced births.

    “to support downtown improvements for business growth and job creation” – Once again, see Massachusetts non-farm payrolls, as well as national peaked in 2015, and still well below turn of the decade numbers. None of this matters though in this politically ideological state where crony capitalism and “pay-to-play” is the only game in town. Credit/debt at record highs in ALL sectors, especially CONSUMER debt and credit demand is on a secular decline with negative Q1 & Q2 2017 prints.

    Just a microcosm in a city, state, and country running on credit (debt) emissions in a cheap money era, massive income disparity, and #EatCake attitudes and self-aggrandizing politicians.