CONTACT: Gloria McPherson, Economic Development Coordinator
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Hyannis, MA – March 25, 2021) The Town of Barnstable, together with the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (BID), has been awarded participation in the Local Rapid Recovery Program from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI) under the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. This award provides technical assistance tailored to the unique economic challenges and COVID-19 impacts that have affected downtowns and commercial centers throughout Massachusetts.
The focus of the program is to understand the unique impacts of COVID-19 on Barnstable businesses, particularly targeted to Downtown Hyannis Businesses within and just outside of the BID area, and to develop short-range, actionable projects that will help drive business and economic recovery. Recommendations will also be developed for longer-range actions that will foster business resiliency and economic sustainability, including recommendations for project-related investments that align with existing public resources and the potential to leverage additional resources from other partners and funders.
Planning & Economic Development Coordinator Gloria McPherson stated, “We are happy to have this opportunity to partner with our business community and the BID to strategize ways to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a robust business environment, and to help position our local businesses for long-term success.”
The MDI has appointed MJB Consulting, a real estate and economic development consulting firm based out of New York City and Berkeley, as the Plan Facilitator for the project. President of the firm Michael Berne previously worked on the “Main Street Hyannis Retail Market Analysis and Positioning Strategy” which analyzed Downtown Hyannis’s retail mix and identified ways it could be better positioned within the broader competitive marketplace.
BID Executive Director Elizabeth Wurfbain stated, “We are thrilled to be paired with MJB Consulting. Michael Berne has worked extensively in Massachusetts and all over the US, and has worked with the Town and BID in the past. We look forward to sharing ideas and creating solutions for a post-COVID world that build on his prior work in Downtown Hyannis.”
The success of the program depends in large part on input and participation from the business community. In this regard, Barnstable has an advantage. Last year, the BID, local business owners, and multiple Town departments came together to brainstorm how local businesses could operate outdoors in light of gathering and physical distancing limitations brought on by the pandemic. This collaboration transformed Main Street. Local businesses will play a primary role and the Town will assist with ongoing engagement from the community in the Local Rapid Recovery Program.