Northampton receives grant money to reinvigorate business reopening efforts

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – As the reopening plan slowly continues businesses in Northampton is gearing up to expand its services to the public.

The city of Northampton announced that it received a $10,000 grant in design funding to encourage outdoor dining and easy curbside purchases on Main Street, consistent with COVID-19 safe distancing practices.

22News spoke with Justin Baillargeon from Northampton, who says he thinks it will bring some normalcy back to the city.

Baillargeon told 22News, “Not only will it help people to run their businesses more smooth but it will also let people know that “hey, the city is trying to reopen, come on down.”

The Main Street plan is seen as a critical component of economic redevelopment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is meant to help ensure safe social separation, serve residential needs, as well as begin the business recovery process.

Lizzy MCeleny of Northampton told 22News she thinks this design will help bring more people to downtown.

“I think it definitely would encourage people to come out again because I think people are itching to get out of the house and get back to normal,” said MCeleny

The Downtown Northampton Association (DNA) and the Florence Civic Association are actively surveying their members to identify the needs, which vary from outdoor dining space, curbside pickup space, less congested sidewalks, and easy parking.

The grant is specifically intended for Main Street in downtown Northampton but both Central Business Districts are open for consideration for expanded outdoor uses.

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