Ashland-Framingham-Natick Receive $250,000 Business Marketing Technical Assistance Grant

Major portions of this report is a press release from the Town of Ashland submitted to SOURCE media

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ASHLAND – The Massachusetts Office of Business Development presents the communities Ashland, Framingham, and Natick a $250,000 Business Marketing Technical Assistance Grant, funding a new program helping struggling small businesses in this region.

The Business Marketing Technical Assistance Grant focuses on an identified need for marketing support within the business community. Business owners will have an opportunity to work directly with marketing professionals to create, redesign or update their website, upload an online point of sale tool to business websites where applicable, and focus on digital marketing strategies for direct marketing to consumers.

The grant will be open to all sectors for businesses under 50 employees that have been in business since March 10, 2020.

Preference will be given to BIPOC, women, LGBTQIA+, or veteran-owned businesses, and those that have not already received CARES Act funds. Each business will be given options of service based on their need:

  • Package 1: Branding & Website Updating or Creation
  • Package 2: Website Update and Social Media Guidance and Creation
  • Package 3: Website Update to include Point of Sale Creation
  • Package 4: Website Update, Point of Sale Implementation, and Social Media Guidance

Based on the business’s marketing needs, they will be paired up with a marketing specialist that best fits their needs. The consortium hopes to support over 50 businesses with this technical assistance. The overall goal of this grant is to increase sales, drive business, stimulate the
economy and keep communities vibrant. This grant opportunity will provide a much- needed resource to help businesses survive in a very challenging time.

This grant program is two-fold, in that it support marketing teams who will provide the services and offers a service to businesses that are struggling with their online presence

The team that consists of Economic Development leaders in Ashland, Framingham and Natick are working together to utilize the funds provided by the MA Office of Business Development to bring a unique opportunity to businesses in the region.

“We are excited to work with our colleagues in Framingham and Natick to provide a service for small businesses at a critical time,” said Beth Reynolds, Economic Development Director for the Town of Ashland. “It is out hope that this opportunity will provide much needed support to more than 50 businesses.”

Ashland will be the lead community in the distribution of the grant funding.

This program addresses an identified need and builds capacity for marketing strategy and best practices for leveraging the web and social media. This grant allows for quick matching of professionals with businesses and for clear deliverables that are still tailored to each business’s individual situation.

‘This was a group effort between Ashland, Framingham and Natick to provide this opportunity to the small business community. The Natick Center Cultural District and the Natick Community and Economic Development Dept. are pleased to be able to offer business marketing assistance to Natick businesses who will be working directly with marketing professionals to create, redesign or update their website, upload an online point of sale tool to business websites where applicable, and focus on digital marketing strategies for direct marketing to consumers,’ said Athena Pandolf, Executive Director of the Natick Center Cultural District.

“These much-needed services are often expensive and many businesses simply cannot afford them, especially over this past year when they have been struggling to keep their doors open. Working with Ashland and Framingham we will be helping to support the small business owners in tangible ways that will increase sales and keep the MetroWest business community strong,” said Pandolf to SOURCE.

Marketing specialists can obtain a Request for Proposal (RFP) at https://www.ashlandmass.com/Bids/PlanHolders/87?documentId=

Business Applications may be downloaded at https://www.ashlandmass.com/831/Grant-Opportunities

Janelle B. Smith

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