$40,000 in Economic Development Bill Earmarked for Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District to Address Quality of Life Issues Downtown 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2022
Media Contact:
Lisa Malo, Marketing & Communications Manager                                   

WORCESTER, MAThe Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) will receive an additional $40,000 to address quality of life issues in Downtown Worcester, thanks to the $3.76 billion spending plan signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker last week. 
As a result of amendments from State Representative Mary S. Keefe and State Senator Harriette Chandler, co-sponsored by the entire Worcester legislative delegation, the BID will receive funding to assess community concerns, devise solutions, and develop a prioritized implementation plan to service all populations that frequent or visit the Downtown area. The project will include studying the feasibility of constructing public restrooms Downtown. 

“Developing solutions for quality of life issues is the BID’s top long-term priority, based on Worcester’s 2021 Rapid Recovery Plan for Downtown Worcester,” said Downtown Worcester BID Board Chair Julie Holstrom. “We are grateful to the Baker-Polito administration, Representative Keefe, Senator Chandler, and all our legislative partners for their strong support and decisive action to secure this much-needed funding to help Downtown Worcester continue to grow and thrive.” 
“Addressing quality of life issues within Downtown Worcester is paramount to attracting and retaining businesses, growing the residential population, and attracting visitors to support our local economy,” said Evelyn Darling, Executive Director of the Downtown Worcester BID. “Downtown redevelopment and the BID’s active role in beautification and placemaking efforts have transformed the area; however, the COVID-19 pandemic identified a growing number of quality of life issues that must be addressed in an accessible and equitable manner to sustain momentum. Securing this funding is the next, important step for Downtown.” 
This news comes just weeks after the City of Worcester announced it will receive a $25,000 Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI) Technical Assistance grant for the creation of this Downtown Worcester quality of life amenities plan in partnership with the BID. The additional $40,000 in funding will allow the team to further expand its outreach and develop more detailed plans of action. 
“Worcester is fortunate to have been recently awarded a $25,000 MDI grant to help us better understand and address quality of life issues Downtown,” Holstrom said, “and this additional $40,000 in funding is critical in moving this project forward. It will allow us to expand our planned outreach to Downtown stakeholders including property owners, residents, business owners, employees, and others in the neighborhood. It will also enable us to develop more detailed plans and schematics for amenities the community may ultimately agree upon.” 
As part of the BID’s quality of life agenda, the BID’s Downtown Worcester Ambassador team has been working diligently since 2019 to clean the District’s sidewalks on a daily basis. Ambassadors have been collecting data to document the types of waste found during cleaning operations, the areas most affected, and how often these areas need to be addressed. In 2021, that data informed where to install dog waste stations and cigarette disposal receptacles throughout the District. 
“Our Ambassadors have made a significant impact in making Downtown cleaner, more vibrant, and more welcoming. They see what’s happening in the neighborhood every single day, and they do a great job of removing litter, cleaning and power washing sidewalks and entries to businesses, and safely disposing of items like needles when they find them... but we can do more,” said Darling. “The Downtown Worcester Quality of Life project will help us better understand, advocate for, and continue making changes to make Downtown livable and enjoyable for all.” 
The initial Downtown Worcester Quality of Life study is expected to begin in late 2022 and be completed by Summer 2023. Expanded action plans are expected to be complete by early 2024. 

About Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District
Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District is a non-profit organization established in 2018 to sustain momentum in the heart of Downtown Worcester. The result of a comprehensive community-based effort, the organization represents the owners of 140 properties and seeks to create a unique sense of place through enhanced investment and development, establishing and sustaining a vibrant, welcoming, and economically viable district for all.