Jon Mitchell
Mayor | New Bedford, MA

ARP: New Bedford MA, Invests in Small Businesses

Idea Category: Jobs and Entrepreneurship | Funding Source: American Rescue Plan

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced in late 2021 that $8 million of the city’s ARP funding will go toward helping small businesses. Mitchell identified three areas of targeted funding. First, small companies will receive support to upgrade their external facade, not only improving the attractiveness of their stores but also benefiting whole neighborhoods and corridors with many small businesses. Second, the funds will go to defraying new business start up costs. And finally, ARP will fund upgrades at the airport, allowing the city to compete for more infrastructure funding and support many businesses that rely on the airport. 


In June, the New Bedford Economic Development Council launched NBForward! and NB100!, two new funding programs that will administer $3.3 million to achieve Mitchell’s goal of helping existing businesses and new entrepreneurs flourish and grow. NBForward! will provide funding to businesses still recovering from the pandemic, and NB100! will focus on providing financial and technical assistance to help early-stage entrepreneurs get off the ground. The programs are currently accepting applications.

The facade program was very popular, and the interest exceeded the total funding availability, which was initially set to $1.5 million. The city has stopped taking applications, but may reopen the program if additional funds are allocated. As of March 2023, the city has received 88 applications, of which just 5 were rejected for eligibility reasons.

More Idea’s From Jon Mitchell

ARPA Case Study: New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell Expands Access to Early Childhood Education

Idea Category: American Rescue Plan Act, Education, Funding | Funding Source: ARP

Bexar County District Court Judge Monique Diaz: Survivors of Domestic Violence

Idea Category: Criminal Justice, Public Safety | Funding Source: ARP

ARPA: New Bedford Supporting the Arts and Culture Sector

Idea Category: Equity & Opportunity, Jobs and Entrepreneurship | Funding Source: ARP

ARPA: New Bedford Expanding Access to High Quality Child Care

Idea Category: Child Care | Funding Source: ARP

ARP: New Bedford, MA Supports New Mixed-Income Housing

Idea Category: Housing | Funding Source: ARP

New Bedford Wind Energy Center

Idea Category: Climate Change | Funding Source: ARP