Wish Worcester a Happy 300th Birthday
Worcester became a town 300 years ago, in June of 1722. Three centuries later, our humble community has grown from an instrumental revolutionary center into a diverse and modern city. A Tercentennial Celebration in Worcester’s honor is set for June 10-12, 2022. The long list of programs includes a road race and a parade, among many other exciting happenings and promotions across the Heart of the Commonwealth. The City also is partnering with stART on the Street to host a vibrant festival on the Worcester Common of local artists and businesses with a passion for Worcester. Stay tuned for a full schedule of events. (Bonus fact: Did you know Worcester became a city on February 29, 1848? That’s right – it was a leap year!)
Stevens Block Glows Up
The 4,000-square-foot brick office building adjacent to The Hanover Theater and Conservatory for the Performing Arts on Southbridge Street is undergoing necessary renovations to provide ample opportunities for businesses looking to grow in Worcester. The historic commercial building, which is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, was purchased in January 2021 by Benedict Canyon Equities, Inc. Current retail-level tenants, including the popular Gong Cha bubble tea cafe, Downtown’s premier florist La Jolie Fleur, beauty salon Lush Studio, family-owned-and-operated Goral Community Optician, and the skilled foodservice professional staffing agency Snapchef, keep foot traffic flowing on their picturesque block. In addition, current commercial space is available under the care of the professional management company Peregrine Property Management. The renovated office space, which will also undergo lobby and patio renovations, features a variety of nonprofits and continues to expand its offerings to engage the Downtown business community.
Stream Music Straight from
 Worcester Public Library
Are you tired of ads on Spotify? If you have a Worcester Public Library card, you can now stream music on Freegal every day. Freegal gives library patrons access to over 15 million songs across more than 200 different genres, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. The collection also features music videos and audiobooks. Aptly named, Freegal Music is free and easy to access from your computer or mobile device. With just a WPL card and PIN, you can stream unlimited tunes and download three songs per week directly to your device.
Small Business Owners Eligible for
$75m in Grant Funding
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently announced the launch of two new small business grant programs totaling $75 million to be administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. The New Applicant Program is directed at businesses that did not receive one of the previous state COVID grants or qualify for the prior round of MGCC grants due to a lack of documented revenue loss. Additionally, the second Inclusive Grant Program targets business owners who focus on reaching underserved markets and historically underrepresented groups. Minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, businesses owned by individuals with disabilities, and businesses owned by members of the LGBTQ+ community are also eligible. For consideration, businesses must have been established before September 30, 2020, and earned revenues between $40,000 and $2,500,000 while employing between 2 and 50 full-time or full-time-equivalent workers. Applications are now open and due by April 4, 2022. MGCC offers a variety of other supports, including the Biz-M-Power crowdfunding matching grant program for capital needs and the Empower Digital Grant Program, which assists small businesses in developing their digital capabilities.
Citywide Planning Enters Phase One
Worcester’s citywide planning process is ready to launch, urging the community to focus on pressing issues such as housing, land use, environment, transportation, and economic development. The planning effort, called Worcester Now | Next, will put together a plan of initiatives spanning the whole city, including Downtown, to create an innovative blueprint for the future. The kick-off of this 18 month-long process, set to conclude in May 2023, is guided by equitable community engagement. In other words, the first half of the planning process will focus on listening, learning, and studying issues in Worcester, while the second half will focus on analysis, opportunities, and documentation. Residents, workers, students, and business owners are key to both phases of planning. Please consider stepping up for Worcester by participating in the citywide planning process.
Photo by Caio César Gutierres
February Street Report
In February, our Downtown Worcester Ambassadors cleared snow and ice in addition to their regular trash and other debris removal operations in our continued effort to beautify Downtown. Fifteen inches of snow fell throughout February, resulting in the shoveling of over 250 block faces and more than 300 curb cuts. Our Ambassador’s spread nearly 4,000 pounds of ice melt to ensure the safety of all who walk Downtown. In addition, Ambassadors removed over 1,900 pounds of trash to keep our district looking pristine for all to enjoy.

Save the Date:
April Community Meeting
Join us on Friday, April 8, from 9-10 a.m. for our monthly community meeting, which will be held at the JMAC, 20 Franklin Street. After two years of meeting virtually, we will meet in person for a networking hour with coffee and refreshments. The virtual format enabled us to reach a broader audience and showcase presentations on a variety of topics of interest to our Downtown community. Based on the overwhelming support of those polled at our last meeting, we plan to alternate between in-person meetings and virtual presentations. Our meetings are always free and open to all.
Follow us on Instagram
The focus of our Instagram page is to highlight the businesses and people of Downtown Worcester. Follow our page for our shop local/eat local series, community event announcements, did you know facts, and Downtown history.