Northampton accepting applications for vacant storefront program

The city is accepting applications for its Vacant Storefront Program.

The city is accepting applications for its Vacant Storefront Program. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 03-22-2024 5:02 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The city is accepting applications for its Vacant Storefront Program, an initiative that encourages businesses and individuals to express their interest in leasing and occupying empty storefronts that have been unoccupied for a minimum of 12 months.

The program is part of the state’s Economic Development Incentive Program, offering refundable tax credits and matching municipal support up to $10,000, for businesses or individuals looking to occupy a vacant storefront. To qualify, businesses or individuals must locate within the city’s Vacant Storefront District and apply to the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council. The general area of focus is the Central Business District.

Eligible applicants are invited to submit letters of intent to the mayor’s office by April 30. The EACC, which last year recognized the city as a designated vacant storefront district, has set a May 15 deadline for a full application, with consideration at its June 20 meeting.

“I am proud to continue this important initiative that assists two businesses that are investing in Northampton and are helping to restore our downtown economy,” said Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra.

Prospective recipients area asked to address three aspects in their letters of intent:

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>How their potential business will contribute to and enhance the local business environment.

■How their plan will fill a need or void downtown and contribute to its overall vibrancy.

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>How their plan will collaborate with other businesses in the downtown area.

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Businesses or individuals targeting vacant, first-floor storefronts within the Vacant Storefront District are eligible to apply. To determine eligible locations or inquire about storefront availability, contact Annie Lesko at alesko@northamptonma.gov or 413-587-1212, or Alan Wolf at awolf@northamptonma.gov or 413-587-1067.

Sciarra will select two qualifying projects to move forward for consideration.

For more information, visit: the city’s website or contact the Mayor’s Office at mayor@northamptonma.gov or 413-587-1249.