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MEDC launches new financial assistance program to attract new restaurants, brewpubs

MEDC launches new financial assistance program to attract new restaurants, brewpubs

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation this week launched a financial assistance program aimed at attracting new restaurants and brewpubs to the city.

The Marlborough Amenities Financing Program will reimburse eligible prospective restaurant and brewpub owners one year of rent, up to $15,000, and 50 percent of equipment expenses, up to $10,000, to open in the city, said MEDC Executive Director Meredith Harris.

Applicants must sign a multi-year lease in Marlborough and demonstrate the project would not be possible without funding through the program. Unlike some other MEDC initiatives that are focused on revitalizing Marlborough’s downtown, the new program has no border within the city, said Harris.

To be eligible for equipment reimbursement, applicants must provide three price quotes per item, along with proof of purchase. Businesses can apply for both rental and equipment assistance, said Harris.

MEDC officials geared the new program toward restaurants and brewpubs because residents stressed they would like to see more of those amenities. The organization had a brainstorming session with residents a few weeks ago and brewpubs were on the minds of many.

A brewpub would not only attract out-of-towners to the city, but be a popular amenity for residents, said Harris.

“Those are the types of services they are looking for,” said Harris. “The brewpubs kept coming up. It’s such a hot market. It’s very trendy right now.”

Brewpubs are required to have a signed lease before they are able to apply for proper licensing, but are not allowed to serve until the license is issued, which Harris said can take up to six months. Because the business is unable to generate revenue in the meantime, it could become prohibitive for a prospective owner to open.

The program is available on a first come, first served basis, said Harris.

Funds for the program will come from the MEDC’s Toolbox budget line item – which provides small business owners and entrepreneurs with financial resources including gap financing, tax reimbursements, rental assistance and beautification grants.

For more information or to apply visit http://marlboroughedc.com/our-services/financial-incentives/amenities-funding.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.