January 28th Information &
Resource Update
EIDL Loan Applications Extended Through 2021,
Pending Remaining Funding

The deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration has been extended through the end of the new year, to December 31st, 2021, so long as appropriated program funding remains.  

The program provides low-interest loans, which provide working capital funds to small businesses, nonprofits and agricultural businesses aimed at meeting shortfalls created by the pandemic. Eligible entities include:
  • Small business owners 
  • Agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees
  • Agricultural businesses include those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).

EIDL loans are offered at a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% interest rate for nonprofit organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin. EIDL loans are not forgivable. 
Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant Program

The Division of Ecological Restoration’s (DER) Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant Program is for Massachusetts municipalities interested in replacing an undersized, perched, or degraded culvert located in an area of high ecological value. This funding is designated for municipalities to replace aging culverts with better designed crossings that meet improved structural and environmental design standards and flood resiliency criteria. Only projects that intend to meet the goals of the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards will be considered for funding.

DER is holding a Pre-Request for Response (Pre-RFR) period between January 12th and February 18th at 3:00 PM. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the CRMA Grant Briefing Presentations and FAQ to learn about the application process and characteristics of a competitive project.

DER anticipates release of the RFR on February 18th at 5:00 PM, with applications due March 18th at 5:00 PM. Access to the online submission portal will be provided here upon release of the RFR. Municipalities can download the FY22 application form here.  

Additional questions may be directed to Bernadette DeBlander, DER Grants Manager by phone 617-921-0661 or by email DERCulverts@mass.gov.
Congressman McGovern to Host Diversity in Construction Webinar

Congressman James P. McGovern will host a webinar "Proven Strategies for Achieving Diversity in Construction" for Central Massachusetts on February 18th from 1:00 to 2:00 PM. The program is intended for institutional leaders, project managers, and diversity offices for regional institutions that engage in construction work: colleges, universities, hospitals, medical facilities, municipalities, museums, CDCs, and private developers.

Program attendees will:
  • Find out about an increased focus federally and in the state on diversifying the construction industry
  • Hear how recent area projects have linked diversity goals with their construction needs
  • Learn the latest best practices and tools for incorporating diversity into construction
  • Learn which contractors are leading the way in creating opportunity for women and people of color

Participants in the webinar will include Congressman McGovern, Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, Maggie Drouineaud of the UMass Building Authority, Eric Beattie of WPI, and Danielle Skilling of Gilbane Building Company. 
State "Community One Stop for Growth" Application Portal Webinars

Recently, the Commonwealth launched the "Community One Stop for Growth" program, a joint application process that will allow applicants—including municipalities, public entities, community non-profits, and private companies—to use a single portal to access ten different grant programs. The portal connects prospective applicants to multiple grant programs offered by EOHED, DHCD, and MassDevelopment, and offers tailored guidance and collaborative review.

The Commonwealth is hosting a series of virtual webinars to provide additional information and guidance regarding the program; complete information and registration information for these sessions is available online at this link. These information sessions are intended for staff and/or representatives from any Massachusetts municipality or public entity, community non-profit, and private entities that may be interested in seeking grant support for an eligible project(s) through the Community One Stop for Growth.

The next two sessions are scheduled as follows:
  • Virtual Session 2: "One Stop Application Guidance Webinar," Tuesday, February 2nd, at 12:00 PM
  • Virtual Session 3: "Technology Webinar," Thursday, February 4th, at 12:00 PM

"Virtual Session 1: One Stop Overview Webinar" was held on January 28th. The presentation from this session is available for download at this link.

Join the 495/MetroWest Partnership &
the MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board for our
MetroWest Weekly Employer Town Hall Series

Next week, the 495/MetroWest Partnership and MassHire Metro South/West will resume our virtual Employer Town Hall series! Join us on Wednesday, February 3rd at 1:00 PM to learn about new programs, resources, and legislation aimed at responding to the pandemic.

These discussions are open to any interested party, and are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Click here to sign up!

  • Jason Palitsch, Executive Director, the 495/Metro West Partnership
  • Greg Bunn, Executive Director, MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board
Municipal Government Response to COVID-19
in 495/MetroWest Panel Discussion on February 9th

The Energy and Sustainable Development Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership invites you to a special forum as part of its series on the impact of COVID-19 on our region, Municipal Government Response to COVID-19 in 495/MetroWest. This panel discussion will focus on how municipal governments across our region have responded to the pandemic.

Our panel of municipal leaders from across our service region will include:
  • Sgt. Ed Burman, Ashland Police Department
  • Bill Keegan, Foxborough Town Manager
  • Kristen Las, Shrewsbury Assistant Town Manager
  • John Mangiaratti, Acton Town Manager
  • Louise Miller, Wayland Town Administrator

Our panel will address topics that include COVID protocols put in place in their municipal operations, CARES funding allocations, permitting, efforts to support the local business community, working remotely while serving the public, and next steps with vaccination now in sight. Attendees will have an opportunity to submit questions for panelists to address.

This event will take place remotely via Zoom on Tuesday, February 9th at 8:30 AM; click here to register. The event is open to all interested persons, though registration is required.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership's Energy and Sustainable Development Committee focuses on issues related to land use, energy, brownfields remediation, low-impact development, broadband connectivity, placemaking, and environmental stewardship. Committee meetings and events are open to all interested participants.
I-90 Bridge Replacement Project: Virtual Public Meeting

MassDOT will replace eight bridges on I-90 east and westbound over Flanders Road in Westborough and Parkerville Road, Cordaville Road, and Woodland Road in Southborough over eight weekends in summer 2021.

MassDOT will host a virtual public meeting which will provide information about the replacement of the bridges (two bridges per local road). The meeting will be held online, via Zoom, on Tuesday, February 9th at 6:00 PM.

Webinar ID: 884 2354 2199
Or join via telephone: 929-205-6099
Password: 508076

To minimize disruptions, MassDOT will use a rapid bridge replacement approach to replace eight bridges over eight weekends. This approach reduces the project duration from a potential of three years with traditional construction methods to just over one year. In advance of the eight weekends, preparatory work will be performed on I-90 and on the local streets.

Click here for more information about the project. Questions about the work or issues related to the work may be directed to A8@dot.state.ma.us.
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 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.