Northampton receives $10K grant to redesign, adjust to COVID-19 safety practices

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Northampton on Thursday received a $10,000 design grant to help adjust to COVID-19 changes as businesses begin to open.

The grant was awarded by the Lawrence & Lillian Solomon Foundation and will help encourage  outdoor dining and easy curbside transactions on Main Street in Northampton and Florence, following safe distance practices.

“Expanded outdoor dining has long been a desired addition to the downtown experience, and many see it as a critical component of economic redevelopment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This design will help us provide safe social separation, serve our residents’ needs, and help begin the business recovery process. We are working closely with the business community to convert parts of downtown into attractive streetscapes for dining, pickup, and easy access. While there are still a lot of details to work out, the city is united around a desire to make this happen.”

Mayor David J. Narkewicz

The Downtown Northampton Association and the Florence Civic Association are surveying their members to identify needs which may include outdoor dining space, curbside pickup space, less congested sidewalks and easy parking.

The city says the grant is mainly intended for Main Street in downtown Northampton but both Central Business Districts are open to be considered for outdoor use expansion.

“The Police Department has committed to help with security, noting that an active downtown has less vandalism and other negative behaviors than an empty downtown. The Department of Public Works will deploy necessary barriers and provide labor,” according to the city.

Tax deductible donations in support of the project can be made payable to the City of Northampton (‘Tourism Gift Account’ on the memo line) and be mailed to Planning & Sustainability, 210 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060.

Donations by credit card or debit can be made here (select donation and note streetscape).

For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-587-1249 or email mayor@northamptonma.gov

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