Business Incentives & Programs
NewVue Communities provides a one-on-one technical assistance to help small businesses develop a business plan that will help grow a business, obtain more capital or provide proof of concept for a start up.
The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce hosts bi-monthly training sessions geared towards both start-up and existing small businesses looking to expand.
Grants and Loans
The PACE Program: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) for commercial buildings is a new mechanism to finance energy improvements, such as energy-efficiency projects, renewables, and gas line extensions, on commercial and industrial properties in Massachusetts. To finance improvements, a property owner agrees to a betterment assessment on their property, which repays the financing.
ADA Accessibility Grant: Building owners located in the Urban Renewal District who need to make building alterations to comply with ADA requirements and building codes related to accessibility standards are eligible for 80% of equipment/material costs related to accessibility improvements up to $20,000, Owner must comply with city procurement standards, invoices and payments must be documented; work must be completed and signed off by local building dept. authorities prior to reimbursement.
Small Business Loan: Funded through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the City of Fitchburg supports small businesses in the City with a primary focus on Main Street businesses. Loan Application | Loan Policy
Economic Development Incentive Program: The Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) is a tax incentive program designed to foster full-time job creation and stimulate business growth throughout the Commonwealth. participating companies may receive state and local tax incentives in exchange for full-time job creation, manufacturing job retention, and private investment commitments. Please contact Mary Jo Bohart at MBohart@FitchburgMA.gov for more information.
Market-Rate Housing Incentives: For market-rate housing development, the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) offers two incentives: a local-option real estate tax exemption on all or part of the increased property value resulting from improvements, and State tax credits that are awarded through a rolling application process. Please contact Liz Murphy for more information.
FRA-Design Grant Program: The Design Grant is a new program to help ease the costs of design drawings often required, but not necessarily planned for by the business owner. Drawings can include, but are not limited to architectural, mechanical, or structural designs for new spaces or upgrades within the FRA’s Urban Renewal District. This reimbursement grant awards up to $2,000 and can be applied to at any time throughout the year.
Main Street Redevelopment Incentives
NEW! Storefront Activation Fund [Application]
Created to activate storefronts and remove blight, this revolving loan fund can provide funds at favorable terms to Main Street building owners who commit to making needed code corrections and improvements to create ready-to-lease spaces. Storefront Activation Policy
NEW! Downtown Housing Development Fund [Grant Application]
Designed to encourage the production of housing on the upper floors of Main Street properties, this limited time program can assistant eligible properties with up $20,000 per market rate unit created, up to $100,000 per property.
NEW! ARPA Downtown Business Loan Assistance [Loan Application]
This fund has been created to supplement the City's existing CDBG funded business assistance. These funds may be used for store front fit-out, sign and façade improvements, broadband installation, remodeling and marketing costs. Applicants are required to submit a business plan and financial projections with their application. ARPA Business Loan Policy
NEW! Downtown Sign Program [Application]
As a part of the ongoing efforts to revitalize downtown, the City is providing up to $10,000 in assistance to eligible downtown businesses to replace defunct, faded and out of date signage with new quality signage. This is in addition to ongoing code enforcement to remove blighted signage. See Downtown Sign Program Design Guidelines for design requirements.
Main Street Fit-Out Grant:
The Storefront Fit-Out Grant was created to provide certain funds to eligible landlords and business owners to defray a portion of the costs incurred in fit-out of new businesses in existing spaces in downtown. Landlord or tenant fit-out grant funding, which may cover up to 50% of the construction cost, will be considered for projects that have a total project cost of $10,000 - $60,000 (meaning $5,000-$30,000 in grant award). Please contact ReImagine North of Main Director, Joseph Ferguson, for additional information.
The North Central Chamber's Development Corporation offers up to $150,000 for leasehold improvements, inventory, purchase of equipment, refinancing of business debt (up to $50,000), working capital, real estate, or gap financing (partnering with a bank).
FRA- Main Street Housing Program: The proximity of Main Street to Nashua River, Boulder Drive, and the City’s oldest neighborhoods makes it a desirable destination for city residents and employees. The Fitchburg Redevelopment Authority has created the Main Street Housing Program to foster a unique neighborhood in Fitchburg’s downtown area as a key component of the Urban Redevelopment and Revitalization Plan. The Main Street Housing Program will award grants upon the completion of projects that have converted upper-level office space on Main Street to residential use. Grants are $5,000 per unit, up to a maximum of $50,000 or 10 units per year. The grant must not be combined with other subsidies unless approved.
A full list of resources and incentives is available here.