Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of the Community One Stop for Growth, a joint application process that will allow applicants—including municipalities, public entities, community non-profits, and private companies—to use a single portal to access ten different grant programs. Part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns, the One Stop will support strategic public investments in economic development projects in communities across the state.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito made the announcement during remarks at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual conference, and will join Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy for a detailed presentation to mayors and managers later this month.
“Launching the Community One Stop for Growth is one way for our administration to create a more accessible, approachable, and transparent state government, as well as strengthen the local partnerships that we have fostered since coming into office,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This new process will provide one door through which communities can access state resources as they look to achieve both short-term recovery and long-term success.”
“The Community One Stop for Growth represents a major shift in how our administration does business with cities and towns and others by taking the existing complex network of disparate funding sources and transforming it into a true partnership that supports communities in their local economic development strategies,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Thanks to the invaluable feedback we got from local officials across Massachusetts, this new unified application will allow the Commonwealth to better understand and support a community’s development goals and vision.”
“Whether a community is preparing for growth, aiming to attract private investment or looking to catalyze specific projects, the One Stop application offers a streamlined, customized and coordinated process to partner with the state to advance their objectives,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “With a simplified application process, communities will have easier access to the administration’s tools that can support recovery in the near term while also making progress toward communities’ future housing and economic development goals.”
The new One Stop process includes a single application portal to multiple grant programs offered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and MassDevelopment. The One Stop also incorporates direct referrals to additional programs, offers tailored guidance, and features collaborative review, all organized around a single timeline. It also includes an optional, but highly recommended, Expression of Interest that allows an applicant to indicate economic development priorities and seek feedback from EOHED and its partner agencies prior to submitting a Full Application. To help guide applicants, the One Stop uses a Development Continuum or lifecycle that describes how a typical economic development project moves from concept to reality within diverse communities.
This coordinated effort for accessing state grants and agencies originated out of a series of regional engagement sessions held in 2019 during the crafting of the Administration’s economic development plan, Partnerships for Growth. During those sessions, leaders from municipal government and the community development sector routinely cited a number of long-standing challenges to securing state funding, including difficulty in identifying available funding sources, understanding the purpose and requirements necessary for successful access, and navigating a complex patchwork of different timelines, processes, and guidelines. The One Stop for Growth follows on the success of the Community Compact Connector, an online, centralized grant finder and calendar launched by Lt. Governor Polito and the Community Compact Cabinet to address concerns regarding access to funding and awareness of programs.
Details on the Community One Stop for Growth are available at www.mass.gov/onestop.