May 11th Information & Resource Update

In this issue....

  • Pop Up Shops Supported by the 495/MetroWest Partnership Coming to Marlborough, Westborough, Acton

  • Apprenticeship Program Opportunity Available for Manufacturing and Healthcare Companies

  • Site Readiness Program Accepting Applications

  • EXTENDED: 495/MetroWest Employer Survey

  • Water Resources Committee Meeting: June 15th

  • Housing Committee Meeting: June 28th

Pop-Up Shops Supported by the 495/MetroWest Partnership Coming to Marlborough, Westborough, Acton

As the Regional Economic Development Organization for our area, the 495/MetroWest Partnership was able to secure funding through the Mass. Office of Business Development for three "Pop Up" Shop projects in our region, which are aimed at providing a space for local aspiring entrepreneurs to test their concepts in brick-and-mortar retail locations. 

Pop Up retail space is being supported in Marlborough, Westborough, and Acton. 


The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has created an opportunity for local small businesses to test the market in a “storefront” set up uniquely by them. Online retailers, makers and artists will fill these pop-up shops with their specialty products giving shoppers a chance to meet them and see their goods in person on a rotating basis.

The Marlborough pop-ups are 8’x10’ sheds equipped with electricity, lighting, and the optional use of provided counters, shelving, and tables. The pop-ups are located at the corner of Court and Weed streets. Vendors can outfit the space to be compatible for your merchandise. Ample parking and unique neighboring businesses offer additional foot traffic. Space is limited. The pop-ups are open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4:00 to 8:00 PM, and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Interested vendors should contact Linsey Jaworek via email.


The Westborough Economic Development Committee (EDC) has created a Pop Up space in downtown Westborough, along with their partners at UpNext. The EDC is activating 57 East Main Street, Unit 129, with an incubator space to host an emerging pop-up brand for three months. The space is 1,220 square feet with significant visibility. 

Applications for the space were accepted in April; the EDC anticipates announcing its selected retailer in the coming weeks. The selected brand will have the opportunity to test brick and mortar retail at a subsidized rate, and be provided with access to a suite of resources to help seed their success. The EDC extends its thanks to Jin Huang, the property owner at 57 East Main Street, who has provided critical support and collaboration on the project.


The Town of Acton is also partnering with UpNext, and is currently evaluating a temporary Pop Up site on Massachusetts Avenue, with the intention of opening applications for retailers later this month. Acton entrepreneurs who may be interested in the Pop Up space should contact Julie Pierce, Economic Development Director for the Town of Acton, via email

Apprenticeship Program Opportunity Available to Manufacturing and Healthcare Companies

Area manufacturing and healthcare businesses may be eligible to participate in a Registered Apprenticeship program supported through MassHire Metro South/ West. The 495/MetroWest Partnership is seeking interested businesses in both industries looking for apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships are work-based training that are designed to your company’s specific needs. All apprenticeship programs consist of five core components: direct business involvement, related instruction, structured on-the-job training from an experienced mentor, rewards for skill gains in the form of wage increases, and apprenticeship completion resulting in a national occupational credential.

MassHire Metro South/ West would serve as the Sponsor of the program, with the 495/MetroWest Partnership as a Partner entity. The cost to an employer is the related instruction tuition; however, in many cases those costs may be covered by funding available through MassHire.


If your company may be interested in an apprenticeship, simply reply to this email or email Executive Director Jason Palitsch at to arrange a meeting with the Partnership and MassHire to learn more about the process.

Site Readiness Program Accepting Applications

The Site Readiness Program application is now available through the Massachusetts Community One Stop for Growth portal. Applications must be submitted for consideration by June 2nd, 2023. The Site Readiness Program funds predevelopment, permitting, and site preparation activities that enhance a site’s readiness for commercial, industrial, or mixed-use development including housing. Administered by MassDevelopment, the program aims to increase the state's inventory of large, well-located, project-ready sites; to accelerate private-sector investment in industrial, commercial, and mixed-use projects; and to support the conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively used, tax-generating properties. Grants typically range from $50,000 to $500,000.

Eligible applicants include Massachusetts cities and towns, municipal agencies or authorities, economic development and industrial corporations, economic development authorities, and nonprofit entities.

As an example, last year, the Site Readiness Program awarded $100,000 to the City of Fitchburg to analyze approximately 52 acres of publicly owned, industrially zoned land at the Fitchburg Municipal Airport. Funds were used to analyze development constraints, generate conceptual development scenarios that conformed to FAA airspace regulations, consider appropriate access routes based on existing infrastructure, and conduct a financial analysis of real estate development options for both aviation and non-aviation related uses. Other examples of program funded activities include site acquisition and disposition strategies, MEPA permitting, and selective demolition.

Interested parties can submit an application through the Massachusetts Community One Stop for Growth portal. Applicants who did not submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) can still submit a full application. An EOI is not a prerequisite for the submission of an application to the Community One Stop for Growth. 

EXTENDED: 495/MetroWest Employer Survey

The 495/MetroWest Partnership has extended the response time for our annual 495/MetroWest Employer Survey!

This survey represents a collaborative effort between the 495/MetroWest Partnership and Framingham State University's MetroWest Economic Research Center (MERC). Over the past decade, this survey has proven an important tool in gauging business confidence in the 495/MetroWest region. Now being conducted for the 10th year running, the survey is an opportunity for our region’s employers to communicate concerns and challenges, which can guide policymakers in considering needed changes and investments. The survey is also an important tool in forecasting future growth by regional employers, and identifying warning signs of challenges to come.  

Click Here to Take the Survey

Your participation is greatly appreciated, and is leveraged to promote the region and to ensure its continued prosperity.

Key survey details:

  • Who should take the survey? Owners, leaders, or individuals with regional hiring authority for private, public, or nongovernmental organizations that have a presence in the 495/MetroWest region.

  • This survey should only take about 5-7 minutes to complete.

  • Your individual responses are anonymous; your answers will be aggregated and reported with all responses.

Thank you for your assistance in continuing this important economic assessment tool for our region.

Water Resources Committee Meeting: June 15th

On Thursday, June 15th at 8:30 AM, the Water Resources Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will host a presentation from Sudbury Valley Trustees regarding their recent land protection prioritization work. To guide regional land protection strategies, Sudbury Valley Trustees has worked with the Metrowest Conservation Alliance to develop a tool that identifies those lands that are the most essential to conserve in the region around the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. Because the tool can identify priority areas at the boundaries of towns, it is also intended to facilitate collaboration and conservation partnerships. This presentation will take place virtually via Zoom; click here to register

Housing Committee Meeting: June 28th

The Housing Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will meet virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, June 28th at 8:30 AM to examine and refresh regional housing priorities identified by the Suburban Edge Community Commission (SECC). The SECC was established by the Legislature in 2015 to examine the development challenges facing suburban edge communities in the 495/MetroWest region and determine how the Commonwealth’s programs and initiatives can address their needs. One of the key topics addressed by the Commission was Housing. The commission published its final report in 2018. As an early step towards the 495/MetroWest Partnership's goal of identifying a regional strategy to increase housing diversity, our Housing Committee will review the status of housing-related issues identified in the SECC report, as well as the status of strategies and approaches recommended by the report to assess which have been implemented, which remain to be addressed, and which merit reconsideration. Click here to register for the meeting

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.
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