Mayor and Downtown

A woman walks in downtown Attleboro.

ATTLEBORO — The state has awarded the city a $50,000 grant aimed at filling some downtown storefronts with start-up businesses.

The grant was given under the Urban Agenda Awards program and will fund the development of five businesses to be chosen in a competition, according to a press release from the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

“The city will coordinate and promote the program as well as waive all permitting and inspection fees, while community partners will train businesses, assist with business plans, and assign a dedicated mentor,” the press release said.

Statewide, 21 communities will get $2 million for 23 projects.

Mayor Paul Heroux credits Economic Development Director Catherine Feerick for writing the grant proposal, which supports one of his goals as mayor — downtown revitalization.

“This award is something that Catherine found and applied for with the support of others to help with downtown revitalization,” Heroux said in an emailed statement. “Catherine has brought in more money to the city than the city has paid in her salary, and she is just getting started.”

Last summer, Feerick brought in a $30,000 grant from MassDevelopment, a quasi-public corporation run by the state to assist cities and towns with revitalization efforts.

Attleboro will team up with Partnership for Entrepreneurial Development, HarborOneU, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, SCORE, an organization that mentors new business owners, and the United Regional Chamber of Commerce to develop the businesses.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito started the grants in 2015.

“The flexibility of the Urban Agenda program enables investments in a wide range of initiatives that train unemployed individuals for jobs, assist local entrepreneurs and prepare small businesses for success,” Baker said in a prepared statement.

George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.

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