NEW BEDFORD, MA – A fund to help small businesses improve their facades; a coordinator to build the capacity for them to work together collectively; special events to fill the street; and a determination to further activate the economic and cultural renaissance underway on The Ave will all be enabled by an Urban Agenda Grant awarded by MA Governor Charles Baker’s administration to the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) for the broader Love The Ave community action project.
The Urban Agenda grant program offers funding, on a competitive basis, to local partnerships in selected urban communities, to implement projects that are based on creative collaborative work models with the goal advancing and achieving economic progress.
In all, 23 projects were awarded Urban Agenda Grants this year – and it is a testament to the hard work and firm foundation the CEDC and Love The Ave team has built in New Bedford over several years that this North End neighborhood was among them. The community action committee is also supported by both the office of Mayor Jon Mitchell and the New Bedford Economic Development Council.
The grant is worth $100,000 and work is already underway to implement its goals. A plan to map each and every storefront along The Ave has begun, to be followed by a vigorous outreach effort to engage all small business owners, stakeholders and residents of this diverse commercial corridor.
Acushnet Avenue and the surrounding area has benefited from an influx of Latino and Hispanic enterprises in recent years, and this urban agenda will seek to strengthen their role in transforming and stabilizing the streetscape here.
Separately, the City of New Bedford is supporting the Love The Ave campaign with the launch of a new cultural night on The Ave this June, followed by the third edition of the destination-creating Love The Ave & North End New Bedford Restaurant Week in September, 2020.
As always, follow Love The Ave on this website and on Facebook to learn more as events warrant.