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March 28, 2024

Grants up to $20K available for Pleasant Street businesses looking to upgrade storefronts

A brick building with an arched entryway and red awning to the side Photo | Timothy Doyle A historic mixed-use building in the Pleasant Street TDI district

Stores on Worcester’s Pleasant Street stores may soon offer an elevated shopping experience as the Pleasant Street Transformative Development Initiative Partnership has been awarded $125,000 to sponsor storefront beautification efforts in the neighborhood’s commercial district. 

The Pleasant Street TDI was one of 13 organizations across Massachusetts that in February were awarded a total of $1,625,000 in grants by the MassDevelopment’s DTI local program, according to a Wednesday press release from the City of Worcester. The MassDevelopment program aims to accelerate economic growth by funding the individualized needs of local districts. 

The Pleasant Street TDI works to financially support business owners by offsetting their investment costs for storefront improvement projects, business relocation assistance to the corridor, and the launch of a branding initiative in the district, according to the release. 

Properties along Pleasant Street between Main Street and Park Avenue will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $20,000 for qualifying improvements such as replacing or restoring the original architecture of the façade, lighting, security cameras, signs, awnings, window bar removal, and exterior paint.

Applications will be evaluated by a review committee, which will determine the amount to award selected candidates. Worcester Common Ground, a community development corporation, will act as the task agent for the efforts.  

“There is a need for walkability, connectivity, and comfortability patronizing the neighborhood for the individual experience of the residents and new visitors," said Chris Bettencourt, owner of The Raven bar and Pleasant Street TDI partner, in the press release. “An attractive streetscape is key in positively affecting one’s sense of place and this program is a tool in achieving that.”

Applications for grants are due by April 22. For more information and to access the application, contact Ivette Olmeda at or Vaske Gjino at

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