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Fitchburg, Worcester receive Urban Agenda funding

January 18, 2019
Photo/Grant Welker
Photo/Grant Welker
Representatives from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Food Hub pose with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito Thursday in Fitchburg.

Fitchburg has received $60,000 and Worcester $65,000 for economic development initiatives through the state's Urban Agenda Grant Program.

Fitchburg will use its funds for Fitchburg State University's Activate Fitchburg initiative. The funding will support programs at the university's ideaLab, which will provide resources for creators, innovators and entrepreneurs, creating a business development pipeline and helping to revitalize the downtown area.

The ideaLab opened last year in the Theater Block building on Main Street as part of Fitchburg State's plans to grow its downtown presence and help bring new uses to that stretch of Main Street by City Hall.

In Worcester, the funds will go toward the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce's Launching Diverse Food Entrepreneurs program. Launching Diverse Food Entrepreneurs will add targeted, in-depth support to urban food entrepreneurs, including ServSafe training, access to a commercial kitchen, business plan development and seed money.

The program builds on existing partnerships created through the chamber's Regional Food Hub, which has a commercial kitchen for food start-ups to use.

The funding, which went to seven others, was announced Thursday by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at Fitchburg State.

"These are smaller chunks of money but really impactful to you," Polito said.

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