Mayor Greg Verga Announces Plan to Build on Economic Development Work with Investment of Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

Investment of federal funding to support Gloucester’s economic recovery and growth.

Today, Mayor Greg Verga announced the next appropriation of Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to support critical economic development work. The City of Gloucester was allocated $23 million under the American Rescue Plan Act’s local funding provisions to aid our community’s recovery following the pandemic. Mayor Verga has identified key categories after reviewing the Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Listening Group’s findings and the community requests.

After initially allocating a significant amount of the City’s Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to major infrastructure work, Mayor Verga will appropriate $1.5 million to economic development initiatives. The recovery and growth of Gloucester’s local economy is a priority of the City’s administration, and this funding will support several innovative and necessary projects.

“The considerable investment into infrastructure was a necessary first step, but I know there is a need for funding in other areas,” said Mayor Greg Verga. “Targeting this money to economic development will build on strategic planning and ongoing work to support our local businesses and promote growth.”

Mayor Verga has worked closely with the Community Development Department and local partners to identify meaningful projects to receive funding. These include several initiatives from the Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP), which identified 12 recommended projects to support Gloucester’s economy and local businesses recover from the pandemic. The $1.5 million Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds allocation will include supporting several economic development projects, including the following:

●       Citywide Wayfinding Program: The LRRP identified the need for a comprehensive wayfinding plan and system to promote economic growth and create community identity while providing clear direction and information to visitors and residents. The Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will support the design, fabrication, plan, and installation of a complete wayfinding system. An innovative and engaging wayfinding system will highlight the many villages and areas throughout the City and help direct visitors and residents to Gloucester’s unique treasures.  

●       Parking Analysis: The City of Gloucester will launch a thorough study of the parking availability within the heart of the City. This funding will be used to start the first phase, which includes analyzing existing conditions, identifying potential improvements, and designing a future phase of the project. This project was a direct recommendation from the LRRP and will help address concerns around parking access in the community.

●       Economic Development & Industrial Corp. (EDIC) Electric Capacity Study: The Mayor will be directing Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to support the EDIC’s effort to investigate the current capability of the electrical system across the City. This work will include understanding the current capacity and the provider’s related expansion planning to address future power needs to support expected economic development. The study will focus on the City’s industrial parks to plan for potential growth, but its work will benefit the entire City.

“Early in the pandemic, our Community Development Department offered grant opportunities to help support our small businesses through Community Development Block Grants,” said Verga. “The COVID Local Fiscal Recovery Funds will be used to build on some of the innovative work being done in our community and provide thoughtful and strategic support to further the recovery and growth of our local economy.”

Mayor Verga is also committed to allocating Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to seed the creation of a Downtown Management Organization (DMO). The City of Gloucester was recently awarded a technical assistance grant to explore and plan for the creation of a Downtown Management Organization and will begin this work in the coming months.

In addition to infrastructure and economic development, Mayor Verga will be allocating Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to several other sectors in the community, including:

●       Housing

●       Public Health

●       Community Initiatives

●       Parks and Open Space

●       Arts and Culture

●       General Government/Revenue Recovery      

For more information on Gloucester’s Local Rapid Recovery Plan, please visit: https://gloucester-ma.gov/1234/Local-Rapid-Recovery-Plan-LRRP

For the final Covid Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Listening Group report and public submissions, please visit: https://arpa.gloucester-ma.gov/

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