Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District Awarded $75,000 Grant for Downtown Wayfinding & District Branding

Release Date: April 20, 2022
Media Contact: Evelyn Darling, Executive Director                         
508-622-3050 x1,

WORCESTER, MA – The Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with the City of Worcester, was awarded a $75,000 Travel and Tourism Recovery grant through the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) to implement a new short-term, “tactical” pedestrian wayfinding and district branding initiative within Downtown Worcester. This program will include signage, street banners, digital advertising, and translation of the BID’s website to bring greater awareness of the diverse array of businesses and attractions available to those visiting Downtown.

“We are grateful for MOTT’s continued support of our efforts to bring more attention to Downtown Worcester and all it has to offer,” said Evelyn Darling, Executive Director of the BID. “Downtown Worcester has seen incredible growth in the past couple of years – the landscape has changed and there is so much more to experience in our Downtown. This wayfinding program hopes to provide visitors and locals alike with ease of access to these new experiences and further support our many local businesses and institutions.”

The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced $4 million in awards to 80 organizations throughout the Commonwealth, including the Downtown Worcester BID. Projects throughout Massachusetts range from establishing an enhanced virtual presence for organizations to creating new marketing campaigns and promoting new tourism experiences. The BID’s grant funds will help to support a wayfinding project that was initially developed as part of the BID’s Rapid Recovery Plan (RRP). The Downtown Worcester RRP is a collaboration between the BID and the City of Worcester designed to create a comprehensive community plan with priority actions that directly respond to the continued effects the COVID-19 pandemic has on the Downtown community.

“The tactical wayfinding and district branding initiative is a wonderful supplement to a host of improvements along the Main Street, making the Downtown corridor a more walkable area,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “The Downtown footprint is adorned with public art ranging from murals and statues to interactive installations, among them a variety of indoor and outdoor restaurants, retail shops and galleries for visitors and locals alike to explore. This initiative is aimed at helping people discover the charm and opportunity available within the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District.”

Implementation of this pilot wayfinding program includes the installation of eye-catching, temporary sidewalk and storefront window decals to direct visitors to Downtown restaurants, retail, and cultural destinations with QR codes linking to the BID’s new website, providing information about various destinations and activities occurring within the Downtown. Additionally, the organization will be displaying new street banners within the BID boundaries, further branding the Downtown area and highlighting various area attractions.

The BID has a proven history of marketing success through the Commonwealth’s Travel and Tourism Recovery program. In 2021, the BID partnered with The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts and the City of Worcester to create the “When in Worcester” campaign. This marketing campaign highlighted the successful outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar on the Worcester Common and promoted local businesses and cultural attractions. This new initiative will build upon the successful “When in Worcester” concept and further enhance the pedestrian experience throughout Downtown Worcester.


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.