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CHICOPEE, MA – The City of Chicopee through, collaboration with the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, the MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Partnership, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), is working to alleviate some of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s devastating effects on the Chicopee Center community. Through the Massachusetts Local Rapid Recovery Planning Program (LRRP), Chicopee is working with PVPC and other subject area experts to understand business needs and to develop innovative strategies to catalyze revitalization throughout this downtown neighborhood. The LRRP Program is part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Partnerships for Recovery Plan created in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to the Commonwealth, more than 15,000 small businesses across Massachusetts will benefit from the funds available through the LRRP, with an estimated 86 businesses being located in Chicopee Center.
“As we continue to navigate the pandemic and work toward recovery, our administration remains committed to collaborating with the local officials that know their communities best to address their unique challenges,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in a prepared statement. “We are grateful to our municipal colleagues for their continued partnership and look forward to these funds supporting plans that help cities and towns best leverage their local assets to help residents and businesses thrive.”
The first phase of the program includes a survey of owners or managers of commercial businesses, both for-profits, and nonprofits, even if they are temporarily closed.
Mayor Vieau noted, “Chicopee is grateful to the Commonwealth for launching the Local Rapid Recovery Planning process and eager to collaborate with the Chamber, the Chicopee Center Partnership and our Chicopee Center businesses to ‘build back better’ as we look to a future beyond the immediate impacts of the Pandemic.”
Julie Copoulos, Executive Director of the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, informed businesses with the District of current survey efforts underway, “Our team has recently sent a survey to all Chicopee Center businesses, and we urge all of them to complete the survey as soon as possible. Our Team and the Commonwealth need to hear from as many businesses as possible to ensure financial resources are targeted to where such resources are needed most.”
The survey asks a few questions about Chicopee Center business characteristics and owner/manager’s satisfaction regarding location, the impacts of COVID-19, and opinions regarding potential strategies to support business and improve the commercial district.
The five-month targeted recovery planning process that concludes at the end of August will generate an action-oriented plan to help Chicopee and Chicopee Center businesses develop immediate strategies for short-term recovery and will conclude with a set of projects and strategies necessary to address COVID-19 recovery needs, long term. The plan will provide the City, the Chamber, and all Chicopee Center stakeholders with a concise road map for project-related investments that support alignment with existing public resources, and the potential to leverage additional resources from other partners and funders.
Mayor Vieau urges all Chicopee Center businesses to respond to the survey request sent by the Chamber by the response deadline of April 16, 2021.