2018 was a busy year for the Economic Development Office! Here are some of the exciting projects we have been working on:

We worked extensively with our strong partner, the Lowell Development and Financial Corporation (LDFC) to provide local Downtown-based businesses with access to the Downtown Venture Fund (DVF). Four (4) loans were executed in 2018, totaling $235,000 in capital that went to these businesses, to support startup and growth activities. The Economic Development Office also worked with the LDFC to expand the boundaries for the DVF program, in order to allow for more local businesses to be eligible to access this important source of financing.

New Downtown Venture Fund Boundary:
Lowell City Council
Mayor William Samaras
Karen Cirillo
David Conway
Rodney M. Elliott
Edward J. Kennedy
John J. Leahy
Rita Mercier
James L. Milinazzo
Vesna Nuon

Eileen M. Donoghue
City Manager

Diane Tradd
Assistant City Manager/DPD Director

Andrew Shapiro, AICP
Director of Economic Development
If you or someone you know are interested in accessing capital to support a ground-floor business in Downtown Lowell, please contact the Economic Development Office for more information about the DVF or other resources that can be of assistance.

Other highlights from 2018:

New Storefront Businesses in Downtown
In 2018 the City was excited to welcome nine new storefront businesses to Downtown Lowell:

Be sure to check out   Like Lowell's Restaurant Guide   to learn more about these and other great restaurants around the City.

The Economic Development Office is always working with prospective businesses looking for available properties in the Downtown and elsewhere. Follow us on social media (@DoBizInLowell: Facebook / Twitter ) to see what business will open next!
Manufacturing Business Growth
The Economic Development Office recently visited two manufacturing businesses in Lowell that are experiencing tremendous growth:

1.) Metrigraphics - A manufacturer of micron-scale thin film circuits and components. Since moving to Lowell in 2015, the company has grown from 76 to 164 employees (over half of which are Lowell residents!) and invested over $6.5M in its facility.

2.) Plenus Group - Makers of premium, value-added specialty foods with an emphasis in soups, sauces and gourmet frozen food items. Since 2017, the company doubled the size of its facility when it added a 16K square foot expansion and is committed to hiring at least 30 new employees over the next 10 years.

The Plenus Group is also partnering with Mill City Grows for their newest soup line, Herban Fresh . Every purchase of Herban Fresh soups directly supports urban farming initiatives. Be on the lookout soon for Herban Fresh soups in your grocery store!
Plenus Group's new "Herban Fresh" line of soups.
Assemblers at Metrigraphics.
Lowell's Booming Startup Ecosystem
UMass Lowell's Innovation Hub and M2D2 (Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center) are home to over 60 growing businesses that employ over 100 employees. When companies at the iHub and M2D2 have outgrown their space and are ready to move on, the City of Lowell's Economic Development team is there to assist. We host office hours on Thursday afternoons at the iHub, which gives us the chance to form relationships, learn more about these growing companies, and assist businesses with technical and financial inquiries. If you're at the iHub on Thursday afternoons, feel free to stop by and say hello!

The following companies recently "graduated" from the iHub and M2D2 and are currently leasing office and/or flex space at locations in Lowell:

1.) Stitch DX - A digital experience agency working with B2B, B2C, and Social Impact organizations to help them achieve their strategic goals and drive revenue growth. This company is now located in the Boott Mills South property (116 John St.).

2.) Horsepower Technologies - An animal healthcare and biotech company dedicated to combating equine lameness through the commercialization of products that reduce its incidence as well as the rehabilitation times associated with lameness. This company is now located in the Wannalancit Mills property (175 Cabot St.).

3.) Invisawear - A tech startup that develops "smart jewelry" that can reach designated contacts in the event of an emergency. Learn about how their product recently helped to save a woman's life ! This company is now based out of a flex industrial space on Stedman St.

4.) CAIDE Systems - A tech startup that develops artificial intelligence programs that have healthcare applications for diagnoses of medical abnormalities. This company is now located in the Boott Mills South property (116 John St.).
New City of Lowell Grant Funds Support Downtown Office/Lab Occupancy

Thanks to the efforts of Representative Thomas Golden, the City of Lowell secured $250,000 in State earmarked funds to support growing companies that are moving into office and lab spaces in Downtown Lowell. UMass Lowell iHub transplants Horsepower Technologies and CAIDE Systems both received grants to support their respective growth plans and occupancy of offices at the Wannalancit and Boott Mills.

Grant funds are also supporting Peroxygen Systems , which is a clean chemistry startup developing breakthrough technology for on-site hydrogen peroxide production. Grant funds will assist this innovative company as it relocates into Boott Mills lab and office space, from Knoxville, TN.

In total, 38 jobs will be created and/or retained and approximately 13,000 square feet of lab and office space will be occupied as a result of this support from the City of Lowell.
Free Marketing Workshops for Lowell-based Businesses
The City of Lowell Economic Development Office teamed up with Tomo360's Susu Wong to provide a free four-part marketing workshop for Lowell-based businesses. Participants that completed all four classes and a "marketing canvas" for their business are eligible to apply for an up to $1000 grant from the City of Lowell to implement marketing strategies.
Mass Innovation Nights Returns to Lowell
Mass Innovation Nights 121 (#MIN121) is coming to UMass Lowell's Innovation Hub for the fourth straight year! The Economic Development Office and UMass Lowell's Innovation Hub always look forward to hosting and welcoming a large audience from across the region. The event will feature a variety of tech startups across many industries including Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Robotics. #MIN121 will feature a great collection of innovative, local products and we hope you will join us and check them out!

Please join us at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub (110 Canal Street, 3rd Floor) on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 6 pm  for a night you don't want to miss. 
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Department of Planning and Development
John F. Kennedy Civic Center
50 Arcand Drive
Lowell, MA 01852