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The Commons

Downtown Brattleboro Alliance offers development grants

Originally published in The Commons issue #446 (Wednesday, February 14, 2018). This story appeared on page A5.

BRATTLEBORO—The Downtown Brattleboro Alliance (DBA) has issued a request for proposals for their 2018 Economic Development Grants.

DBA is the official Designated Downtown Organization for the town of Brattleboro. It says its mission is “to raise the vibrancy of the downtown community” by “magnifying what is already here ... Downtown is the heart of Brattleboro, the center of commerce, culture, and community life. Its health is the weathervane of the community, if downtown is healthy and thriving, the whole town will enjoy the benefits.”

The DBA is a National Main Street Program and follows the four-committee approach to achieving the goals and improving the Downtown Improvement District (DID).

The four committees are:

• “Economic Development,” through assistance to strengthen and improve existing business and recruitment of new businesses.

• “Design,” which involves shaping and enhancing the physical image of downtown.

• “Promotion,” of the downtown district to shoppers, area residents, visitors, and investors through special events. Creating and marketing a positive image of the DID and attracting people to socialize, shop at local businesses and restaurants, and enjoy local history and culture.

• “Organization,” supporting transparency and communication among the board, members and building owners.

This is the third year that DBA has awarded Economic Development Grants. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to organizations and individuals in support of local projects that promote the vibrancy of Downtown Brattleboro and help to drive local and regional traffic to the area.

“Tiny House Fest Vermont got a needed financial and social capital boost in its first year by receiving the DBA grant,” says Fest co-founder Erin Maile O’Keefe.

Grant applications will be assessed based on criteria that include: the level of impact that the grant can make on the project, the overall impact of the project on the economic development of downtown Brattleboro, and the likelihood that the project will be self-sustaining after the initial grant.

Grant applications are due by the end of the day on March 16, and grants will be awarded by April 2. Funds from the grant must be used by March 30, 2019. For information, contact DBA Economic Development Committee chair Mike Ekblom at

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