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Friday, June 26, 2020

麻州長提案增撥2億7500萬元刺激經濟 2025年前要建135,000戶住宅

                 (Boston Orange編譯)麻州州長辦公室626日宣佈27500萬元刺激經濟方案,以在今年34日提出的為成長促使合作法案基礎上,更進一步改善大受新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)大流行影響的麻州經濟。
               麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker),副州長白莉朵(Karyn Polito)政府提出的這一方案,26日當天下午還由住宅及經濟發展廳廳長Mike Kennealy在參眾兩會的經濟發展及新興科技聯席委員會面前發言做證,說明立法之必要,並解釋政府當局提案內容的改變。
             三大重點包括,修訂幾項提案項目的範圍,以針對遭受新型冠狀病毒大流行打擊最大的幾個特定社區,撥發資金。在提議的授權中,重新調配資金,以更好的針對受新型冠狀病毒影響最大的地區。制定新工具以在社區,以及在爭取州政府合約上面對困難的企業等方面,推廣平等,驅動經濟成長。
            麻州政府提議,增撥1500萬元給鄰里穩定項目,使總額達到4000萬元,藉以和社區組織及地方政府合作,把安全的,可負擔的住宅帶回市場。
             婦女,少數族裔,退伍老兵及移民小企業主在取得資金,發展企業上面對著不成比例的挑戰。在新型冠狀病毒大流行期間,那些無法利用聯邦巷木的企業,面對的挑戰更嚴峻。麻州政府因此提議增撥2500萬元,達到總額3500萬元來資助社區發展金融機構(Community Development Financial Institutions),為那些未得到足夠服務的企業提供財務服務,技術援助,以及重建信用的機會。這將是對該項目增撥額的歷史紀錄。
             支持微型企業的補助款經費也增加3被,從5百萬元增至1500萬元。麻州成長資金公司(MGCC)最近推出一試驗項目,名為”Biz-M-Power”,為員工少於20人,並已成功取得10,000元種子資本的微型企業提供11的配合補助款,以及技術援助。
              麻州住宅及經濟發展廳廳長Mike Kennealy表示,藉由這5年計畫,麻州將在舒緩新型冠狀病毒大流行的影響中,有機會更加重點關注住宅,社區發展及企業競爭力。
             該法案內容還包括住宅選擇(Housing Choice)”條文,要讓地方市政可經由大多數而不是現行的三分之二投票通過,採用某些區域規劃的最佳案例。麻州政府計畫在2025年時,建造出135,000戶新住宅單位。(節譯)

Baker-Polito Administration Unveils $275M COVID-19 Economic Relief Package to Promote Equity and Economic Growth

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration unveiled a COVID-19 economic recovery package to generate economic growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The $275 million package, designed to promote equity across the Commonwealth, is an update to the Administration’s Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth, the economic development legislation originally filed on March 4, 2020.

The original legislation was the product of a nearly year-long economic development planning process last year, and the now $275 million proposal represents a targeted package of investments across three core areas: housing, community development, and business competitiveness. In response to the dramatically different economic landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administration will ask the Legislature to consider an amended scope for several of the proposed programs, reallocate funding among proposed authorizations, and establish new tools to promote equity and drive economic growth.

“By funding more affordable housing, implementing critical zoning reform, stabilizing neighborhoods, and supporting minority-owned businesses with record levels of funding, these proposed changes will bring critical relief and promote equity across Massachusetts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to advance this legislation and give communities, especially those most in need, the tools and support they require to move forward.”

“This legislation will help to stabilize the neighborhoods and communities that were hardest hit and bring new tools to bear to promote equity and drive economic growth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, co-chair of the Economic Development Planning Council. “The feedback we received last year, along with the realities that we are seeing during this pandemic, have informed this legislation and our revised proposal, and we are grateful to the Legislature for their consideration.”

This afternoon, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy will testify during a virtual hearing before the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technology, highlighting the need for the legislation, and explaining the Administration’s proposed changes.

To address the new realities brought on by COVID-19, while continuing to address the opportunities and challenges already identified in the Partnerships for Growth economic development plan, this package proposes to:

  • Amend the scope of several proposed programs, to target funding towards specific communities including those hardest hit by COVID-19

  • Reallocate funding among proposed authorizations, to better address the significant economic impacts of COVID-19 and to help provide a path for recovery, particularly for those most devastated by the pandemic

  • Establish new tools to promote equity and drive economic growth in communities and among businesses facing barriers to entry in areas like state contracting

To do so, the Administration is proposing allocating an additional $15 million for neighborhood stabilization (for a total of $40 million) to invest in blighted and distressed homes. This funding, paired with collaboration and engagement with community organizations and municipalities, will bring safe, affordable housing units back on the market.

Women, minority, veteran, and immigrant small business owners face disproportionate challenges to accessing capital to grow their enterprises. During the COVID-19 pandemic, gaps worsened for businesses that have not been able to take advantage of federal programs. To allow the state to invest in more small businesses overall, especially those owned by underrepresented populations, and to leverage greater federal and private investment dollars, the Administration is recommending increasing funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) by $25 million (for a total of $35 million), a record increase in this program. These grants to small business lenders allow CDFIs to serve entrepreneurs in underserved populations with financial services, technical assistance, and credit building opportunities.

To help address the disproportionate challenges to accessing early stage business financing, the Administration is asking the Legislature to triple funding for grants to support micro businesses from a total of $5 million to $15 million. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) recently launched a pilot program called Biz-M-Power, which offers 1:1 matching grants and technical assistance to microbusinesses (fewer than 20 employees) who have successfully crowdsourced up to $10,000 in seed capital.

“We have an opportunity with this 5-year plan to focus even more of our housing, community development, and business competitiveness efforts on equity and recovery as Massachusetts continues to weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Kennealy. “This legislation and our recommended updates tackle the housing crisis through targeted reforms and funding, and invests in the people and places who need support the most, and we look forward to getting this done.”

The legislation also includes the language of An Act to Promote Housing Choices, the Administration’s bill to advance new housing production in Massachusetts, to promote equitable access to opportunity, and to support the administration’s goal to produce 135,000 new housing units by 2025. An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth includes these Housing Choice provisions to enable cities and towns to adopt certain zoning best practices through a simple majority vote rather than the current two-thirds supermajority.

An Act Enabling Partnerships for Growth was originally filed in March of 2020. For more details, click here. 

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