Economic Development

Grants and Technical Assistance Available for the Acton, MA Business Community and Visual Artists

Applications for the following two programs from the Town of Acton’s Office of Economic Development are open May 23, 2022-June 14, 2022:  Acton Business Incubator and May 2022 Call for Public Art.

Watch an explanatory video about the programs here or read more below!Acton Business Incubator Icon 2

Acton Business Incubator

We are proud of the Acton business community and our goal is to help the businesses who are here to stay and thrive while also attracting new businesses. The business community provides products and services to our Town and a livelihood for the business owners and their employees. There are three avenues to join the incubator for Acton business owners:

  • Sign Program: Participants in this program will receive grant funding of up to $3000 towards the cost of a new or recent sign, assistance navigating the sign permitting process and a technical seminar regarding thriving as a business owner. Four grants are available. 
  • General Grant Program: Eligible participants are existing businesses who may be struggling through the pandemic or new businesses who have recently located/relocated in Acton. Selected participants will receive a grant for operating their business and a technical seminar regarding thriving as a business owner. Funding amount is up to $5000. Eight grants are available.
  • Pop up Program: Participants in the program have products to sell and will participate in a coordinated pop up market to sell their products and technical seminar regarding thriving as a business owner. The funding covers the physical space of the pop up.

Link to full program description here

Link to application form here

 Icon for the Acton Public Art program

Call for Public Art in Acton, MA– Boosting the Creative Economy

The Creative Economy is an important part of our economic and social well-being and we want to both support working artists in our community and add more public art to our streetscapes for all to enjoy. We are proud of the working artists and artisans in the Acton community. For this specific call for art we are looking for murals and benches. Four grants are available. Those whose work is commissioned will receive assistance in four ways:

  • Grant for the work to create the commissioned art in the range of $2500-$3500 
  • Materials reimbursement of up to $750
  • Installation costs will be covered by the Town
  • Technical seminar regarding making a living as a working artist

Link to full program description here

Link to application form here

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The Town of Acton is business-friendly and our economic development initiatives are designed to create and stimulate an environment in which businesses succeed.  We are here to serve as a conduit for this work.  Thinking of starting a business or have ideas to maintain or grown your existing company? Call or send a message today!

Acton Community Movie

The Town of Acton supports our local business community in creative and innovative ways.  The Town collaborated with CGI Communications to help businesses market themselves and reach potential customers while also showcasing all the great things about our community.  Check out the video shorts here.

Economic Development Initiatives

In 2021, the Town of Acton released a report about how the town can be part of the Commonwealth's Local Rapid Recovery Planning initiatives. View the Great Road Corridor Revitalization Local Rapid Recovery Plan Report here to view a wealth of information including data and presentations shared during the public hearing phase of developing the plan, diagnostic key findings and recommendations.  The Commonwealth's Recovery Program was developed to help individual towns develop project-based recovery plans by providing technical support and guidance from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Plan Facilitators to assist in the development of customized plans. It also provided a research-based diagnostic framework to assist all stakeholders in understanding the unique economic challenges within their own municipalities covering four major areas: the customer base, the physical environment, the business environment and the administrative capacity that exists.

As a result of study and analysis in Acton, eleven projects were recommended that range from way finding signage, expansion of the municipal sewer system, shared marketing and collaborations among business owners, and improved pedestrian and bicycle access along the Great Road Corridor in Acton.  All proposed projects are targeted towards improving consumers' ease of access, improving visitors' experience, and increasing businesses' capacity to reach and interact with their clients. 

The key takeaway of the report is that in Acton, a "full recovery will depend on a mix of private and public realm projects." The proposed projects involve sufficient public-private partnerships and room for feedback from residents, consumers and business owners so that by following the key performance indicators and timeframes, the completed projects improve the economic sustainability of our Town.

Happening Around Town

If you have any programs or events related to building collaboration among business owners, residents and the Town, please feel free to share.  Our Town has a number of ways to collaborate and interact with others. Additionally there are some upcoming changes in our Town that may be of interest to businesses and residents as well.  A few programs and associations are highlighted here:

Acton Supports It's Local Businesses!

Acton is a business-friendly community, with a recent history of approving tax incentives for companies moving into Town. Associated Environmental Systems was granted a Special Tax Assessment to relocate from Ayer to Acton, doubling its workforce in the process.  Acton taxpayers granted a generous Tax Increment Financing deal to Insulet Corporation, enabling the medical device company to build a global headquarters and manufacturing facility for its Omnipod insulin delivery device. These companies, along with Haartz Corporation, are working with the Town and MassHire to create the Middlesex County Manufacturing Collaborative to match job seekers with the training necessary to become valuable manufacturing employees. Acton is a leader in the region.

In September 2020, Acton voters approved funding for a small business grant program for those negatively impacted by COVID-19.  The grant program was supposed to be funded by CARES Act funding, but the MA Department of Revenue prevented this.  Acton voters stepped up to use more than $165,000 in free cash to fund the small business grant program. This program helped over 40 businesses which was significantly impactful to keeping these businesses afloat. 

Small Biz Grant Video

  1. Julie PO Headshot

    Julie Pierce Onos

    Economic Development Director
    Phone: 978-929-6611

Trying is Believing Business Showcase