BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The state of Massachusetts is giving $1.2 million in grant money to support community-based innovation and entrepreneurship.
There are 26 organizations receiving funding, in 18 communities. Some of which are in western Massachusetts.
The grant is a part of the Collaborative Workspace Program that is administered by MassDevelopment. The goal of the program is to facilitate job creation, entrepreneurial activity, and accelerate business formation.
“Our Administration is proud to provide funding to help collaborative workspaces comply with the mandatory workplace safety standards essential to our COVID-19 reopening plan,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Now in its fifth round, the Collaborative Workspace Program continues to provide key support to our community of entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and students who drive economic activity and job creation across Massachusetts.”
The following are organizations in western Massachusetts that received funding:
- Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center, Greenfield – $61,000: The Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center is a shared space for food entrepreneurs. The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment to help clients enhance food safety and access new markets .
- Cubit Coworks, Holyoke – $27,315: Cubit Coworks is a blend of co-working, meeting, and collaborative spaces to help members and users be productive. The grant funding will be used to purchase a variety of things, such as build new offices, install dividers, add a meeting room and expand WiFi access and video security throughout the building.
- Nuestras Raíces Farm/La Finca, Holyoke – $55,000: Nuestras Raíces Farm/La Finca is a space for farm, food, and cultural businesses with an on-site market store, event space, commercial greenhouses, and a retail stand. Using the grant, an outdoor covered training space will be created, purchase personal protection equipment and additional farm equipment to reduce contact.
- The Berkshire Innovation Center, Pittsfield – $14,435: The Berkshire Innovation Center is a collaborative workspace designed to support the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and engineering community in Berkshire County. the grant funding will be used to purchase and install a simulation lab with augmented reality and virtual reality systems that will offer access to advanced, high-tech prototyping and product design review, socially distant training, and access to virtual meetings and conferences that will benefit its partners in industry and academia.
- Urban Food Brood, Springfield – $50,000: Urban Food Brood is a shared food manufacturing and distribution facility, home to an urban farm, farmer’s market, coffee roasting company, cold brew company, artisanal bakery, and catering business. The grant will cover the costs associated with the build-out of the production, packaging, and process elements of each business, and a proposed internship curriculum for students at neighboring colleges and a vocational high school.