Woburn Redevelopment Authority

Tina Cassidy
WRA Administrator

Dan Orr
Planner/Grant Writer

Woburn Redevelopment Authority
P.O. Box 72
Woburn, MA 01801

(VIRTUAL) PRESENTATION
PRELIMINARY REPORT ON DOWNTOWN and COVID-19 RECOVERY

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 AT 7:00 P.M.

The City of Woburn is one of 125 communities across the Commonwealth participating in the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI) Local Rapid Recovery Program, which is designed to assist downtowns plan for a future beyond the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the past several months, economic development consultant Goman+York has been working with Mayor Scott Galvin, the Woburn Redevelopment Authority, Woburn Chamber of Commerce and numerous downtown businesses to evaluate current economic and physical conditions and policies and practices. A preliminary report has been drafted which identifies and recommends short-term and intermediate-term actions and investments to increase downtown Woburn foot traffic and improve outcomes in the public and private realms, including revenue and sales, administrative capacity, tenant mix and cultural/arts.

A virtual public meeting was held on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. to present the preliminary report, answer questions and garner feedback. A recording of that meeting may be accessed by clicking the following link: Meeting Recording

CITY UPDATE AND ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK REQUESTED FOR PHASE 1 OF WOBURN CENTER LOCAL RAPID RECOVERY PLANNING (LRRP) INITIATIVE

The City of Woburn is making progress relative to Phase I of the Massachusetts Local Rapid Recovery Planning (LRRP) program. Several participants took part in a survey of owners/ managers of business establishments located in the study area (core of Woburn Center), and the results were presented to the Woburn Redevelopment Authority (WRA) on May 25th. A video of the WRA’s meeting at which the presentation was given can be found here: LRRP Presentation Link. More detailed information regarding the preliminary results of the Woburn Center Needs Assessment is contained in this PowerPoint file.

Additional input from as many Woburn Center businesses as possible is highly encouraged to develop a plan to meet local needs, inform future policy decisions the development of potential projects to aid the Center’s long-term recovery.

To date, at least 70% of survey respondents rated the issues below as “important” to businesses:

  1.   100% – Implement Marketing Strategies for the Commercial District
  2.   99% –  Improve/Develop Public Spaces & Seating Areas
  3.   99% –  Change Public Parking Availability, Management or Policies
  4.   88% –  More Cultural Events/Activities to Bring People into the District
  5.   77% –  Renovate Storefront/Building Facades
  6.   77% –  Improve Safety and/or Cleanliness
  7.   77% –  More opportunities for Outdoor Dining & Selling
  8.   77% –  Recruitment Program to Attract Additional Businesses

The City still needs more information on these eight topics!  If you are willing to share your thoughts, questions or comments, please contact City Planner/Grant Writer Dan Orr by phone (781-897-5816) or email ([email protected]). Simply provide the corresponding number (1 through 8, as listed above) of the topic(s) of your interest and then tell us anything you think we should know to meet the needs of local businesses and plan for future investments in Woburn Center. We will continue to take input, feedback and recommendations until June 11th.

All participation is greatly appreciated and is crucial to support the success of Woburn Center in the months and years to come.

 

MICROENTERPRISE GRANTS AVAILABLE NOW

Mayor Scott Galvin and the City of Woburn wish to alert the business community to two sources of grant funds which are currently, or soon will be, available to certain small businesses.

Individual grants of up to $10,000 are available to commercial enterprises that have five (5) or fewer employees (1 or more of whom owns the enterprise) and which are for-profit entities. Approximately $275,000 remains available to support small businesses that have physical locations in the City of Woburn.

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (“MGCC”) is administering and overseeing the grant program. Applications must be made online and submitted directly to MGCC via electronic submission. The application form and instructions are available at https://massgcc.submittable.com/submit. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted, so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

OTHER GRANT INFORMATION AVAILABLE

Massachusetts Growth Capital Commission has compiled a list of resources to help businesses find technical and financial assistance during the pandemic. Please use this link to access a wealth of information about various government grant and loan programs as well as training and counseling sessions:

https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/covid-19-response/small-business-resources

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The Woburn Redevelopment Authority (WRA) is an independent municipal urban renewal authority established by the City of Woburn in 1961 in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 121B.  The WRA is governed by five members, four of whom are appointed by the Mayor and one by the Governor.  The Authority functions as the City’s community development agency under an agreement with the City of Woburn executed in 2000.

 

Meeting Dates & Information

The WRA typically meets on the last Tuesday of every month at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Committee Room on the first floor of City Hall.

2021 Proposed WRA Meeting Schedule

  • Tuesday January 26th
  • Tuesday February 23rd
  • Tuesday March 16th
  • Tuesday April 27th
  • Tuesday May 25th
  • Tuesday June 15th
  • Tuesday September 28th
  • Tuesday October 26th
  • Tuesday November 23rd
  • Tuesday December 14th

Board Members

Donald Queenin, Chair (gubernatorial appointment)

Gary Fuller, Vice-Chair

Arthur Duffy, Treasurer

David Ryan, Assistant Treasurer

Wayne McDaniel, Secretary

Staff

Tina Cassidy

WRA Administrator

Dan Orr

City Planner / Grant Writer

Karen Smith

Planner