Community & Economic Development

community-economic-development

Initiatives

Berkshire Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning process is an on-going regional economic development effort focused on identifying regional economic goals and priorities, identifying strategies for and facilitating implementation, and measuring progress in the region. The result of this ongoing planning process is the development of a 5-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the region and accompanying annual progress reports, which are sent to the Economic Development Administration (EDA), in order to maintain the region’s eligibility for EDA investments.

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CDBG-CV Assistance to LMI Microenterprise Business Owners

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is pleased to announce the launch of two Community Development Block Grant CDBG CV Grant Programs to provide assistance to low to moderate income microenterprise business owners in Berkshire County. The purpose of each Program is to assist low to moderate income (LMI) microenterprise business owners prepare for, prevent and/or respond to the impacts of the coronavirus. Eligible applicants will receive assistance in the form of grants up to $10,000 to be used as working capital to cover business costs such as rent, staffing and utilities. These grants have been made available by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (MA DHCD) utilizing funds received from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) assists Berkshire County municipalities in applying for and administering Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which are awarded on a competitive basis by MA Department of Housing and Community Deve...

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Economic Development District

BRPC is working with the Economic Development Administration to apply for Economic Development District designation on behalf of Berkshire County. The primary purpose of an EDD is to implement the economic development activities and priorities set forth in the region’s CEDS. One of the few regions remaining in Massachusetts without this designation, Berkshire County stands to benefit from EDD status through increased access to regional economic development funds as well as public works assistance grants for individual municipalities.

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Massachusetts Rural Policy Plan

Rural areas of Massachusetts face different challenges than the rest of the Commonwealth. Unlike the economic growth engine of Greater Boston, rural areas are dealing with issues such as: small, aging and often declining populations; limited fiscal resources and staffing constraints; inadequate infrastructure and mobility options; and acute public health challenges. To help identify strategies and opportunities to address these issues, the Rural Policy Advisory Commission was created by the state Legislature in 2015 with a mission to “enhance the economic vitality of rural communities.”

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community-economic-development

Projects

Adams - Outdoor Center at Greylock Glen

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will provide technical assistance and subcontractor oversight for the completion of the Town of Adams Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership grant to undertake conceptual planning for climate change education to take place at the future Outdoor Center at Greylock Glen. Though this project, Memoranda of Understanding will be drafted for use in delivering services to a range of audiences, an Educational Plan will be created to establish climate change programming before and after Outdoor Center construction, and initial Outdoor Center exhibition concepts and content will be developed.

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Becket FY17 Community Development Block Grant

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) is currently managing a Housing Rehabilitation Program for the Town of Becket. The Program is being funded by a $772,800 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), written and submitted on behalf of the town by BRPC, and awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. The Program goal is to rehabilitate 20 homes, which may be located anywhere within the Town of Becket. 

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Cheshire and New Marlborough FY18 Community Development Block Grant

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is currently managing a Housing Rehabilitation Program for the Towns of Cheshire and New Marlborough. The Program is being funded by a $998,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), written and submitted on behalf of the towns by BRPC, and awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. The Program goal is to rehabilitate up to 20 homes in Cheshire and 4-6 homes in New Marlborough. The average cost per rehabilitation project is expected to be $30,000.

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Great Barrington Housing Needs Assessment

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) will perform a Housing Needs Assessment for the town of Great Barrington, updating the 2013 Great Barrington Sheffield Needs Assessment, with the focus on Great Barrington.

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Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Project (implementation)

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, working with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, will assist in the development and implementation of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership.

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Northern Berkshire CDBG-CV Regional Microenterprise Assistance Program

  Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, the Town of Adams and their municipal partners are pleased to announce the FY19 Community Development Block Grant CDBG CV emergency grant assistance for microbusinesses in Adams and neighboring northe...

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Sheffield-New Marlborough-Otis FY19 Community Development Block Grant

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is currently administering a $1,265,368 FY19 CDBG Community Development Block Grant for the Town of Sheffield.  The grant includes 3 activities, including a Housing Rehabilitation Program for the Towns of Sheffield, New Marlborough and Otis, and 2 individual ABR design projects for Sheffield and New Marlborough.  The grant application was written and submitted on behalf of the towns by BRPC Community & Economic Development staff, and was awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.  With a budget of $896,000, the housing rehabilitation program goal is to rehabilitate up to 20 homes across the three towns of Sheffield, New Marlborough, and Otis. Due to the age and presence of lead paint hazards in many of the homes in the 3 towns, the average cost per rehabilitation project is expected to be $40,000. The Sheffield Municipal Facilities ABR Design project will provide bids ready specifications and designs eliminating architectural barriers to ADA access at the Sheffield Police Station, Library and Town Park. The New Marlborough Town Hall ABR Design project, with a separate designer selection process, will also provide designs and bid ready specifications for a future construction project, in this case eliminating architectural barriers to handicap accessibility at the town hall. The New Marlborough Town Hall was built in 1908.

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Small Business Relief Partnership

The Berkshire County Small Business Recovery Fund will provide small for-profit businesses in Berkshire County with emergency assistance in adherence with the parameters set forth by the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office: addressing fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities, and other working capital expenses that could have been recognized had the COVID-19 pandemic not occurred. The focus of this fund will be on fixed costs that cannot be avoided despite the applicants inability to operate as they did prior to regulations pertaining to non-essential business functions.

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Southern Berkshire CDBG-CV Regional Microenterprise Assistance Program

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and Town of Lenox and their municipal partners are pleased to announce the FY19 Community Development Block Grant CDBG CV emergency grant assistance for microbusinesses in Lenox and neighboring southern Berkshire communities. 

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community-economic-development

Reports

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