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$122,000 in Funding Secured for Shared Space Pilot Program in the Shirley Ave Neighborhood

February 21, 2023

Program aimed to stabilize, retain, and grow local small businesses while cultivating new entrepreneurs

REVERE, MA — The City of Revere’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Partners are announcing up to $122,000 available in local block grant funding for the Shirley Ave Shared Space Pilot Program. The funding is available for lease subsidies, construction or renovation, operations seed costs, and supportive design or consultant activities necessary to launch or significantly enhance the performance of approximately two to four pilot shared spaces in the Shirley Ave neighborhood. When it comes to shared spaces, eligible projects could include anything from an emerging food business using a restaurant’s commercial kitchen in its off hours to a gallery curated on the walls of an existing business to daytime office space “popping up” in a nightclub or restaurant space that sits largely empty during the day. The program’s intent is to stabilize, retain, and grow local small businesses while cultivating new entrepreneurs. Average grant awards are expected to range from $20,000-$60,000.

“The Shirley Ave neighborhood is a business district in Revere that is constantly growing, changing, and adapting,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “I am grateful to have the support of the TDI Partnership and Women Encouraging Empowerment, who are working to adopt innovative solutions for the space limitations faced by the Shirley Ave neighborhood. Revere should always be a place for entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive and expand, and I hope to see this funding used to further support this distinctive business community.”

Revere’s Shirley Ave neighborhood is brimming with diverse talent, engaged community members, and collaborative business and property owners. However, one common limitation faced by many of the individuals and groups is space.  The competitive commercial property market puts pressure on small businesses, therefore making it difficult to expand and grow within the Shirley Ave neighborhood. Shared commercial space is accomplished by pairing businesses or community groups with similar customer bases, complementary space requirements, or alternating hours of operating.

Interested parties may review the Shirley Ave Shared Space Pilot Program guidelines and begin their application here: ShirleyAve.com/SharedSpaces  

“This tool is a great opportunity for the community and the entrepreneurs that Women Encouraging Empowerment works with and it is a good fit for the Shirley Ave neighborhood where WEE is located,” shared Olga Tacure Executive Director of Women Encouraging Empowerment. “WEE is excited to serve as the fiscal agent and support the hand-on approach to small business assistance that it will offer. We are glad to work as part of the TDI Partnership to bring more opportunities and enhance collaboration among the business community."

The Shirley Ave Shared Space Pilot Program is being offered as a complement to ongoing planning and analysis. Shirley Ave’s Shared Space Strategy will explore the neighborhood-wide inventory of spaces, recommend complementary uses, and identify regulatory and/or standard operating considerations that may allow for increased use of shared spaces as a tool to help prevent commercial displacement. The study is being prepared by Studio Luz Architects.

Local and regional community members can participate in the development of Shirley Ave’s Shared Space Strategy by attending one of the following engagement events. Whether you are a business looking to share your space to reduce your overhead costs, an entrepreneur looking for your first physical location, a community group looking for a spot to serve your mission, or a property owner looking to bring a creative use to your space, the project team wants to hear from you.

Prospective Shirley Ave Shared Space Pilot Program applicants and community members interested in weighing in on Shared Space Strategy may also reach out to Revere TDI Fellow Laura Christopher (lchristopher@massdevelopment.com) for more information or to set a time to speak about the opportunities.

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative, a program for Gateway Cities designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts, aims to engage community members in actionable planning, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. The Revere TDI Partnership’s work is focused in the Shirley Ave neighborhood and is led by Women Encouraging Empowerment, MGH/Revere Cares, The Neighborhood Developers, and the City of Revere. Funding for the pilot program is made available through a MassDevelopment TDI Local block grant, consultant support funded through the TDI Technical Assistance program, and lease subsidy funding provided by the City of Revere. Women Encouraging Empowerment will serve as the fiscal agent awarding the Shirley Ave Shared Space Pilot Program funds to grant recipients.

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