NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford is receiving just over $224,000 in funding to help bring people back to the downtown area as the COVID-19 pandemic hopefully continues to wane.

The funding comes from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program, which doled out $2.8 million in the fourth round of funding to 17 municipalities.

Senator Mark Montigny worked to secure the funding for New Bedford in the amount of $224,224 to help bolster downtown dining, shopping, and arts and cultural programming. The money will be used to install lighting, wayfinding, and other placemaking elements in order to encourage a return to downtown.

“Support for our local restaurants and arts and cultural community as they continue to navigate through challenging circumstances is vital to our downtown and local economy,” Sen. Montigny said. “These funds will again help our small businesses persist as we continue to make progress against this deadly pandemic.”

Similar state funding supported downtown New Bedford businesses in 2020.

According to a Baker-Polito Administration release, the program “provides technical and funding assistance to help Massachusetts cities and towns conceive, design, and implement tactical changes to curbs, streets, and parking areas in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce, with a special focus on the particular challenges of winter.”

The release also notes that “since the inception of the program in June of 2020, the Commonwealth has invested $21.1 million in municipal Shared Streets projects.”

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