The Baker-Polito Administration and MassDevelopment have announced up to $1 million in funding for the sixth round of the Collaborative Workspace Program, a MassDevelopment program that accelerates business formation, job creation and entrepreneurial activity in communities by supporting infrastructure that fuels locally based innovation.
Eligible organizations may apply for seed grants of up to $15,000 to study the feasibility of new collaborative workspaces or fit-out grants of up to $100,000 for new equipment or building improvements, including adjustments to help spaces adhere to the social distancing and health and safety standards outlined in the Commonwealth’s sector-specific COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the outlook for what it means to be ‘at work’ for many people, with Massachusetts’ vast network of co-working spaces offering another avenue for working, creating, and collaborating,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “Through MassDevelopment’s Collaborative Workspace Program, our administration is pleased to offer co-working spaces the resources they need to grow their membership, expand offerings and make adjustments to keep members safe.”
Since its pilot launch, and through the first five rounds of grants, the Collaborative Workspace Program has made 164 awards totaling $9,842,041 for the planning, development, and build-out of collaborative workspaces.
“It’s great to see the state acknowledge the benefits of co-working and help operators get started,” said Robbin Orbison, founder and president of CapeSpace, which has two co-working centers on Cape Cod. “It’s not inexpensive to open a quality co-working center, especially with a new audience for the product who will be used to a certain standard of professional facilities. ”
The full Request for Proposals is available at massdevelopment.com/cowork. Responses are due by 5 p.m. on July 2, 2021.