MA Vacant Storefront Program (MVSP)

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Vacant Storefront Program

The City of Northampton is a designated Vacant Storefront District by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC). Businesses or individuals looking to lease and occupy a vacant storefront (in the approved Northampton Vacant Storefront District and listed on the Vacant Storefront District application as having been vacant for at least twelve months) may apply to the EACC with the support of the city for refundable Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) tax credits.

Eligible Applicants

Businesses or individuals locating in a vacant, first-floor storefront within the city's Vacant Storefront District are eligible to apply for a Vacant Storefront Project. *Locations are considered vacant if they have been unoccupied for at least 12 months. The general area of the Vacant Storefront District is the Central Business District. To find a vacant storefront in the city's Vacant Storefront District, please contact Annie Lesko (413-587-1212) or Alan Wolf (413-587-1067).

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Financial Benefits

The EACC will award refundable EDIP tax credits (up to $10,000) that match the level of municipal support (up to $10,000) businesses or individuals receive for moving into a vacant storefront. A business or individual may only receive one award from this program. The tax credits reduce the recipient's tax liability to the Commonwealth; to the extent the tax credit award exceeds the tax liability, the difference will be refunded to the taxpayer. The tax credits can be claimed by the business upon its next filing of a tax return with the Commonwealth.

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Application & Guidelines

Applicants must be able to provide:

  1. A letter of support for the City of Northampton addressing:
    • How you will be adding value to the local business community environment;
    • how you fill a need or void in the downtown or central business district;
    • potential synergy with other existing downtown businesses; and
    • the amount awarded by the municipality to the business.
  2. If the business has been in operation for less than two years, the application must include a business plan. Priority will be given to those businesses that have had their business plan reviewed by one of the following: (Applications should include a letter from the reviewing organization if applicable.)
  3. A Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR).
    • If the business is not currently in operation, you must submit a personal Certificate of Good Standing from the DOR; or,
    • If you are conducting business but in another state, you must submit a Certificate of Good Standing from the state in which you are currently operating. 
  4. A projected date for commencement of occupancy of the storefront and a commitment to occupy the space for a term of not less than two years.

Once an application and all required documents has been submitted, applicants will go before the EACC for consideration during the Council’s quarterly meetings.

To view guidelines, deadlines to be considered at a corresponding EACC meeting, and to submit an application, please visit the following website. 

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