State Announces Funding for Chelsea TDI Program

The Baker-Polito Administration announced $510,000 in funding for 10 organizations to provide relief for small businesses in Gateway Cities during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Through MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Local COVID-19 Emergency Grants program, developed in response to needs faced by small businesses during the pandemic, $60,000 block grants will be awarded to fiscal agents in TDI districts in Chelsea, Chicopee, Fall River, Fitchburg, Lawrence, Springfield, and Worcester (Main South), and $30,000 block grants will be awarded to fiscal agents in the areas of Attleboro, Barnstable, and Brockton served by TDI. Recipients can re-grant funds directly to small businesses to cover rent, payroll, or other business expenses, or create small-business stabilization programs specific to their city. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera and state and local officials to announce the funding today in a virtual event.

“Our administration recognizes the immense challenges COVID-19 has created for small businesses across the Commonwealth, and remains committed to providing the resources they need to navigate the pandemic,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We were proud to direct over $700 million to stand up a grant program for small businesses that is the largest of its kind in the country, and look forward to building on that support through the funding announced today to help ensure a strong recovery for businesses throughout our Gateway Cities.”

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative works with cross-sector partnerships in targeted commercial districts in Gateway Cities in order to engage community members, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. During the program’s first five years, MassDevelopment has invested $18 million in TDI districts through tools such as technical assistance, real estate investments, grant programs, and fellows who work in the districts. That investment has directly influenced over $78.7 million in public and private investments in the districts, and assisted an additional $84 million.

Created in 2017, TDI Local is a small-business grants program that supports local market development by fostering business, resident, and property-owner engagement, building community identity, and improving the public realm in TDI districts. In 2020, MassDevelopment redirected resources from the program budget to develop TDI Local COVID-19 Emergency Grants as a direct response to the emergency faced by Gateway City small businesses impacted by COVID-19-related closures or loss of business.

Today’s awards mark the second round of the TDI Local COVID-19 Emergency Grants program since the start of the pandemic. In April 2020, the agency awarded $545,000 in funding to 10 organizations; that funding assisted 192 small businesses, including 72 women-owned businesses and 94 minority-owned businesses, of which more than 180 are still operating. 

MassDevelopment is currently accepting applications from organizations for a new competitive round of TDI Local; applications will be accepted until April 7, 2021.

TDI Local COVID-19 Emergency Grants program recipients: 

•Chelsea Business Foundation (Chelsea) – $60,000  The organization will re-grant a majority of the funds directly to small businesses in or near the Chelsea TDI district, and use remaining funds to provide technical assistance services to businesses focused on long-term business stability. Visit for more information.

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