Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Receives $50,000 Grant to Revamp Regional Website

Downtown Haverhill. (Creative Commons.)

Haverhill’s Merrimack River. (Creative Commons photograph)

The Merrimack Valley is getting a brand makeover. The Haverhill-based Merrimack Valley Planning Commission has been named the recipient of a $50,000 Community Compact Cabinet grant from the Baker-Polito administration.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito shared news of the grant with Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Karen Sawyer Conard at a breakfast Friday sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the grant at a Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Friday. (WHAV News photograph)

Conard tells WHAV the group intends to revamp their Merrimack Valley Means Business website,, to make it a destination for regional information.

“We asked for additional funds to roll out a website and clear marketing materials for our communities. The website is currently in existence called Merrimack Valley Means Business, We set that up a decade ago and we’d like to refresh it and give it a new look and feel. It has a lot of great data, but we’d like it to be an information clearinghouse. We want to be a place for information on the Merrimack Valley and get into specific community interests and have it have an economic development bent, if you will.”

In addition to Haverhill, the Commission focuses their efforts on Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury.

With the expertise of Haverhill business Primary Design, Conard’s team will develop a brand and logo cities can use to promote their communities individually or as a group.

As Conard tells WHAV, the Baker-Polito administration saw immense value in granting funds to the Commission.

“We’re really excited,” she said. “The mayors and (town) managers really see the value in this and the Baker-Polito administration appreciates that giving one entity $50,000 to leverage this many communities really does go a long way.”