National Grid To Provide Energy Bill Assistance to Mass Businesses

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WALTHAM, Mass. — National Grid announced it is partnering with four nonprofit business associations to distribute $1 million in grants to help businesses with their energy bills.
National Grid is working with the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM), the Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA), and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to distribute up to $250,000 each to their small business members in need.
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and the impacts of the global energy crisis are creating real challenges," said Stephen Woerner, President of National Grid, New England. "We recognize some small businesses are struggling this winter, and that's why we're stepping up to provide help. We've partnered with four outstanding organizations who can assist us in reaching the small business community across Massachusetts and speed the distribution of energy assistance funds to those that need it."
National Grid has partnered with community organizations and nonprofits to provide financial and volunteer assistance to assist populations impacted by increased winter energy rates and higher costs for goods and
services. In October, National Grid announced a commitment of $17 million to partners and networks across Massachusetts and New York to help customers and communities meet their needs during this financially challenging time. As part of that commitment, the company donated $1 million combined to three Massachusetts branches of the United Way and to the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund to assist customers with high winter energy bills.
National Grid later donated another $1 million to 10 Massachusetts food banks to help hundreds of thousands of families and individuals struggling with food insecurity.
The four business organizations will receive $250,000 each and distribute $1,000 grants to reach a total of 1,000 small businesses across Massachusetts.
"Black business owners are disproportionately affected by higher costs (due to their razor-thin margins)," said Nicole Obi, CEO of BECMA. "We're pleased to partner with National Grid in providing 250 grants to offset some of the financial burdens faced by Black entrepreneurs this winter."
This small business energy assistance grant program is part of National Grid's Winter Customer Savings Initiative, launched in the fall of 2022, which provides customers support in reducing energy use, balanced billing, and links customers to all available energy assistance.

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Construction Grant Changes No Longer Align with Berkshire Atheneum's Goals

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass — The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has adjusted this round of its construction grant program, no longer aligning with the Berkshire Athenaeum's goals. 
This grant round is really no longer a renovation program, library Director Alex Reczkowski said during a trustees meeting last week.
Interested applicants need at least two locations that they would be interested in pursuing as possible libraries or locations, not just the current library, he said. Acceptance of the award is once every 30 years. 
Although the library has some physical upgrades to the building in its strategic plan, it does not have enough data for a bigger project than that, Reczkowski said. 
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