Town of Barnstable and Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District will participate in the Local Rapid Recovery Program through the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative


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.


2021 Tourism Mini-Grants available from the Town of Barnstable

The Town of Barnstable invites Civic Associations and Nonprofits to submit an application for a 2021 Tourism Mini-Grant.

The Tourism Mini-Grant Program is designed to aid our seven villages in promoting new or existing events and festivals to draw visitors to our town and villages.  All civic associations and nonprofit organizations that are marketing village events to visitors and/or providing visitor services are eligible and encouraged to apply.

These grants are available up to a maximum of $1,000 per applicant, and require one-to-one matching funds.


All applications must be submitted to the Town of Barnstable on or before 11:59 pm, Monday March 1, 2021. Grants will be awarded on or before March 31, 2021. The link to the application and complete rules and guidelines is provided here:

For more information, or if you have questions about the application process, please contact Gloria McPherson, Planning & Economic Development Coordinator, at

Tourism Mini-Grant Program Rules & Guidelines

  1. All civic associations and nonprofit organizations that are marketing village events to visitors and/or providing visitor services are eligible and encouraged to apply.
  2. Grants will be awarded to promote and market new and/or existing special events and festivals within Barnstable’s seven villages that draw visitors to Barnstable. 
  3. Projects must complement or expand the Town of Barnstable’s overall mission of attracting new and repeat visitors to the town.  
  4. Mini-Grant projects should include, but not be limited to, placement and production of advertising to attract visitors to the region. 
  5. Grant funds cannot be used for staff, administration, operations, and travel or entertainment purposes.
  6. Matching funds are required on a one-for-one basis for grants.
  7. Applications must be for the primary benefit of the Town of Barnstable.  Mini-Grant funds used for any other purpose will be revoked.
  8. Applicants must demonstrate their ability to develop, market, distribute and account for all advertising products.
  9. The Town of Barnstable MUST APPROVE ALL PROJECTS PRIOR TO THEIR EXECUTION.  Failure to submit projects for prior approval will result in revocation of the Mini-Grant funds.
  10. All projects must include the Town of Barnstable Seal.
  11. Grant request deadline is March 1, 2021, at 11:59 pm.
  12. Grants will be awarded on or before March 31, 2021.
  13. Successful applicants, must, within seven (7) days of being awarded a mini-grant, respond in writing that they are accepting the amount awarded and have read and understood all terms and conditions set forth in the guidelines and will abide by these terms and conditions. 
  14. Projects must be completed by the end of 2021.

The Town of Barnstable’s Economic Development Program offers assistance and guidance to existing and prospective businesses through the efforts of staff and collaborative community partnerships. More information about the program can be found here.

29 DEC 2020 – NEW ROUND Of MA COVID-19 Small Business Relief Funds Available

Additional businesses will be awarded as soon as next week through the Mass Growth Capital Corporation.

Last week Governor Baker announced a $668 Million Small Business Relief Package to boost the Small Business Grant Program, prioritizing several industries that have continued to be hard hit by the pandemic and public health restrictions. These include:

  • Restaurants, bars, and caterers
  • Indoor recreation and entertainment establishments
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Event support professionals (photographers, videographers, etc…)
  • Personal services
  • Retail

Grants will be offered up to $75,000, but not more than 3 months operating expenses. Funds may be used to pay rent, payroll and benefits, utilities, and to pay down debt, among other expenses.

The Small Business Grant Program, which was established in the fall, currently has a pool of eligible, but currently unfunded, applicants. This additional funding will allow for grant awards to more of those pending applications.

Eligible businesses that already applied to the program but were not funded due to limited funds available will be prioritized for funding and do not need to reapply. New applications for additional funding will be accepted from December 31 through January 15. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) will administer the funds and manage applications.

For additional details about eligibility and how to apply, click here. To view Governor Baker’s full press release,

13 DEC 2020 – STATEWIDE ROLLBACK TO Phase 3, Step 1

  • Effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday, December 13, 2020
  • Statewide Rollback to Phase 3, Step 1: The entire Commonwealth will move to Phase 3, Step 1 of the Reopening Plan. In addition, the following updates to capacity limits will go into effect:
    • Outdoor gatherings at event venues and public spaces to 50 people
    • Outdoor Theaters and Performance Venues to 25% and no more than 50 people
    • Close Indoor Theaters and Performance Venues and a few smaller indoor recreation businesses like roller rinks and trampoline parks
    • Reduce capacity from 50% to 40% for several industry sectors noted below:
      • Arcades/Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Businesses
      • Driving and Flight Schools
      • Gyms/Health Clubs
      • Libraries
      • Museums
      • Retail
      • Offices
      • Places of Worship
      • Lodging (common areas)
      • Golf
      • Movie theaters (no more than 50 people per theater)
  • Restaurants and Event Venues Protocols Updates: The following updates will be made to restaurant and event venue protocols with regard to face coverings, seating, and performances
    • Wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking
    • Seat no more than six per table and encourage customers to only dine with same household
    • Put a 90-minute time limit on tables
    • Prohibit all musical performances at restaurants
    • Close food court seating
  • Workplaces and Fitness Centers Protocols Updates: The following updates will be made to the Office Spaces and Fitness Centers protocols with regard to face coverings
    • Require mask wearing in offices when not in your own workspace and alone
    • Require mask wearing at all times in gyms
    • Encourage teleworking

All updates to sector specific guidance can be found on later this week.