Springfield receiving $1.5M to encourage new downtown restaurants

Federal funding will allow city to offer loans to new eateries

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the new Union Station and casino opening in the South End in the future, there is hope for further economic development the area. To spur that development, the city of Springfield is getting some help from the federal government to attract new restaurants to the downtown area.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Tuesday that they are approving $1.5 million in loan guarantees to the city in order to create a “low-interest loan fund” for downtown eateries.

According to a HUD news release sent to 22News, the fund will allow the city to make loans of $50,000 to $200,000 to the new downtown businesses. “The city aims to develop the district into a prime location for restaurants to service the additional commuter traffic expected thorough the restored Union Station; an increased number of residents living downtown; and the thousands of new visitors an entertainment district will attract,” the release states.

Mom and Rico’s has been open for almost 40 years. Co-owner Rico Daniele told 22News starting a business and maintaining it is no easy task, and that any help would benefit the community. “Any help would be a joy,” he said. “We’ve got to help all the restaurants and all the businesses and try to keep it alive and make the city of Springfield better.”

As the city continues to recover from the effects of the 2011 tornado, HUD awarded $17 million to Springfield last year as part of the department’s National Disaster Resiliency Competition.