September 22nd Information &
Resources Update
New Round of Site Readiness Program Now Open

The FY21 application round of the Site Readiness Program, administered by MassDevelopment, is now open; applications are being accepted until November 12th, 2020.

The program aims to increase the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, well-located, project-ready sites; to accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects; and to support the conversion of abandoned sites and obsolete facilities into clean, actively-used, tax-generating properties.

MassDevelopment will be accepting applications for funding in all of the eligible use categories described below:
  • Funding for land acquisition and site assembly (including both land and buildings) to expand or improve the marketability of existing or future industrial development sites, focused on strategic acquisitions that unlock development potential
  • Funding for property acquisition and site assembly (including both land and buildings) to broadly support mixed-use development opportunities in downtown settings, not limited to industrial uses
  • Funding for site preparation and improvements including demolition, remediation, and the design and construction of on-site and off-site utility and access improvements with a focus on targeted actions that unlock development potential
  • Funding for predevelopment work including due diligence, site identification, market studies, pre-permitting, master planning, and other technical studies

For further information:

A review committee will assess the likelihood of requested funding to advance a project towards site readiness and future development. Review criteria include demonstrated community support, consistency with existing zoning and plans, property attributes (developable acres, utilities available, access, workforce, etc.), marketability, and the level of potential private investment, and public benefits. An applicant commitment to provide some level of matching funds is advantageous but not required.   
CDBG COVID-19 Microenterprise Assistance Program Funding Available in Four 495/MetroWest Partnership Communities

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will be administering funds from the Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 (CDBG-CV) program to 23 municipalities for microenterprise assistance, including four served by the 495/MetroWest Partnership: Ashland, Marlborough, Natick, and Southborough.

These special CDBG-CV funds were appropriated through the CARES Act of 2020 and are being awarded to Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG-CV Microenterprise Assistance grant funding will support qualifying microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19, giving priority to minority status owned business (Minority, Women, Veteran, Disability, LBGTQ+).

Applications are due on September 25th.

Eligibility requirements include but are not limited to:
  • Business must have a physical establishment in one of the 23 communities served
  • Business must be a microenterprise (a commercial enterprise that has 5 or fewer employees, 1 or more of whom owns the enterprise)
  • Business owner(s) must qualify under the Low-Moderate Income (LMI) Limited Clientele national objective criteria. All owners of the business must earn an annual income equal to or less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) based on family size
  • Business must be a for-profit entity (sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations, or LLCs)
  • Business must provide goods or services to multiple clients or customers.
  • Business must be able to document a loss of income equal to or greater than requested assistance due to COVID-19
  • Business must be currently in operation and have been established prior to 01/01/2019
  • Business must be in good standing with the state and city/town
  • Business must be current on all taxes due through 3/1/2020, and have active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable

Ineligible businesses include real estate rentals/sales businesses; businesses owned by persons under age 18; businesses that are chains; liquor stores; weapons or firearms dealers; lobbyists; or cannabis-related businesses.

Up to $10,000 per business with demonstrated costs greater than or equal to the amount requested. Grants may be requested in increments of $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000. Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, and utilities. Funds may also be used for purchasing personal protection equipment (PPE). Microenterprise Assistance grant funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying. Funding for this program will be provided through your town/city’s CDBG-CV funds, which are allocated by DHCD.

Click here for more information, including detailed program guidelines, application information, a listing of required documentation, FAQs, and translations of the program overview materials.
MetroWest Life Sciences Network
"Execs Unplugged" Event on Sept. 29th

The MetroWest Life Sciences Network will host its next virtual "Execs Unplugged" event on September 29th. Guest speakers include:
  • Vikram Bajaj, former Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development at Acelity
  • Finn Haley, former Senior Strategy Development Director at 3M

This interactive session will take you behind the scenes with these two industry leaders in Medical Devices M&A who were recently involved in one of the biggest medical device transactions: 3M’s $6.7 billion acquisition of Acelity in 2019. To learn more about the event or to register, click here. The speakers will discuss how they managed their careers in the medical device space, how they approach transactions of varying sizes and complexity, and what considerations are critical on the buy and sell sides for medical device transactions. 

The session will be co-moderated by Gabriele Brambilla, Chairman of the MetroWest Life Sciences Network and Chief Executive Officer of Alira Health, and Brian Johnson, President of MassMEDIC.
Statewide Exit Renumbering Project
Public Information Meeting Set for Sept. 24th

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced an upcoming virtual Public Information Meeting for MassDOT's Statewide Exit Renumbering Project. The Public Information Meeting will take place virtually on Thursday, September 24 from 6:30 p.m., to 7:30 p.m. This project is converting all existing exit numbers on freeways to a milepost-based numbering system, per Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements.

The public meeting will cover information about the project, the construction schedule, and the project team will be there to answer questions. The meeting link is available through registration online here.

Construction is scheduled to begin on this project in mid-October of this year and is anticipated to end in the Summer of 2021.

Additional virtual public meetings will be scheduled throughout the Fall to cover the rest of the impacted corridors. Project updates and corridor-specific construction schedules will be posted regularly on the project's website. To learn more about the project, sign up for updates, or ask the project team questions, please visit
Marlborough Community Recycling Event on Sept. 26th

The Rotary Club of Marlborough and the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a Community Recycling event, accepting metals and electronics, on Saturday, September 26th (to repeat on Saturday, October 24th) from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The event will take place at the Navin Arena, located at 451 Bolton Street in Marlborough; the event is open to all area communities.

The pricing is $40 per car load; items accepted include electronics, electrical equipment, vehicle batteries, larger appliances, as well as yard and lawn equipment. Click here to access the complete event flyer.
Biweekly MetroWest Employer Town Hall Series

Area employers are invited to join the 495/MetroWest Partnership and the MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board for our continuing discussions, occurring every other week, surrounding critical issues business are facing. We will answer questions about the various resources that are available to companies and their workers during these difficult times.

These discussions are open to any interested party, and are held every other Wednesday at 1:00 PM via Zoom. The next session will be held this afternoon, Wednesday, September 30th; click here to sign up!

  • Jason Palitsch, Executive Director, the 495/Metro West Partnership
  • Greg Bunn, Executive Director, MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you. You may reach me directly via email at

Jason Palitsch
Executive Director
The 495/MetroWest Partnership