Economic Development Committee

The Town of Belmont received a grant from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative to participate in the Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) program. This program was developed as part of the Baker Polito Recovery Plan and provides municipalities with technical assistance to develop actionable, project-based recovery plans tailored to unique COVID related economic challenges and impacts to downtowns and town centers. The Town of Belmont is one of 125 participating municipalities in this program.

This program includes the following elements:

Trapelo Road business outreach and engagement

Analysis and exploration of challenges, barriers, opportunities and actions

Best practice case study webinars on different economic development topics

Project-based recovery plans tailored to Reading's downtown business needs

This project will be completed in three phases and will focus on the Trapelo Road Corridor as shown below.

This Rapid Planning process will take place over three phases: Phase 1 – Diagnostic; Phase 2 – Project Recommendation; Phase 3 – Plan Documentation.

Phase I is currently underway, and will focus on diagnosing conditions in each community, cataloging COVID-19 impacts, and conducting community outreach to build community consensus around community needs.

Phase II begins min May, and will consist of project identification and developing project details in consultation with the Town’s Consultant, the community, and stakeholders

All findings identified in Phase I and Phase II will culminate in Phase III, with the development of Final Rapid Recovery Plans. These plans will contain data on the impact of COVID-19, as well as actionable recovery plans for defined Study Areas. Final Rapid Recovery Plans are due to the communities and to the commonwealth at the end of August.


What types of projects will come out of this planning process?

As part of this program, the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (DHCD), is hosting a series of informative webinars for the general public to learn how communities are finding opportunities to creatively respond to COVID and support local businesses. These discussions are meant to inspire opportunities in our own unique communities.

Past presentations and associated slide decks are available on the DHCD website here (scroll to bottom):

Ultimately project recommendations will be classified into the following categories:

Strategies to improve the Public Realm, including, but not limited to:

Transportation or Infrastructure Planning strategies that may include streetscape improvements, wayfinding, mobility enhancements/complete streets, broadband accessibility, Wi-Fi networks, parking management, etc.

Placemaking, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture and Design strategies targeted to the public realm, including placemaking investments to public spaces

Strategies to improve the Private Realm, including, but not limited to:

Redevelopment and Private Investment to privately owned properties (this may also include properties owned by nonprofit entities), including improvements to private storefronts (vacant or occupied), facades improvements, redevelopment of built assets, support for assemblages, etc.


Strategies to help drive Revenues and Sales for local businesses and/or nonprofit cultural institutions, including, but not limited to:

Marketing and Promotion strategies aimed at raising awareness of district offerings through events, campaigns, etc., to support growth in customer spending and visitors to both brick-and-mortar and online offerings of businesses within the study area.

Strategies to address underlying Administrative Capacity issues to support implementation efforts, including but not limited to:

Land Use, Zoning, Policy, and Regulations

Small Business Technical Assistance

Strategies to Improve Tenant Mix through retail retention and attraction

Strategies to address the needs of Cultural/Arts Organizations

Where can I provide input?

Consumer Survey – Coming Soon!

You can also request more information about the project by contacting: Assistant Town Administrator, 

The Economic Development Committee (EDC) was formed in 2020 by the Select Board following the completion of the Belmont Business Strategy. The Role of the Belmont Economic Development Committee (BEDC) is to develop, implement, and update the recommendations in the Belmont Business Strategy, in conjunction with Town staff and departments.   

The committee focuses their efforts in the following areas:

  • Advise the Select Board and other town boards on issues concerning bylaws, policies, regulations, and zoning that foster commercial growth, strengthen the local economy, and are consistent with maintaining the character of our community
  • Focus efforts on activities that maintain or expand the commercial & industrial tax base
  • Identify changing economic trends and develop recommendations to maximize interest in our community and attract these potential new businesses
  • Advocate for state and federal grants, incentives, or for improvement in regulations that help advance our economic priorities
  • Establish relationships and improve communication with local businesses
Erin Brown2022
Wendy Etkind2022
Deran Muckjian2022
Suzanne Schalow2021
Edmund Starzec2021
Emma Thurston2021
Katherine Venzke2021