Food Business Grants Available for Local Entrepreneurs

Chelsea is launching Chelsea Neighborhood Market as part of a multidimensional strategy to increase economic opportunities for food businesses, strengthen partnerships with Chelsea-based food distributors, and improve food security. The program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Community Funding Allocation.

Chelsea Neighborhood Market will offer a central location for local vendors to sell foods and ingredients, including but not limited to fresh and dried produce, meat, fish, dairy, oils, and spices. The Market will be open to the public, near residential neighborhoods, and within walking distance of public transportation. The Market site will comply with all applicable local, state, and federal health and safety requirements and generally acceptable quality standards.

Those who wish to take part as a vendor in the Chelsea Neighborhood Market are encouraged to apply for the Food Business Grant Program. This grant opportunity is open to Chelsea-based food businesses and first-time entrepreneurs interested in becoming vendors at the Chelsea Neighborhood Market in 2024. Eligible applicants may qualify for funding if they are Chelsea residents, currently operate or plan to operate a Chelsea-based food business, and commit to becoming a vendor at Chelsea Neighborhood Market for three months.

Anyone interested can apply online at or in-person at Chelsea City Hall, Room 101. For additional information about the grant, please call 311 (617-466-4209) or email Anna Bury ([email protected]).

The grant process and the potential vendors will also help determine when and where the market will open this season, according to City Manager Fidel Maltez.

Maltez said the innovative food market program will help address issues associated with urban food deserts, where people do not have access to healthy, affordable foods.

“What we are trying to do is give entrepreneurs, our residents, an opportunity to start something up with financial support from the city,” said Maltez. “This is funded through ARPA funds, and the idea is to give folks a start and ideally start something like a fruit market, a vegetable market. We are hoping that is something that we can host on our property, either in Chelsea Square or at city hall, and that it is something that rolls organically.”

The food market and grant programs hit a lot of the priorities for the city, Maltez said.

“It’s giving people access to healthy, affordable, fresh food, and it’s also creating an opportunity where residents have the ability to move from poverty and into the American Dream,” said Maltez. “We are hoping that with programs like this we are able to facilitate that process.”

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