State awards MORE job grants

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More than 20 cities and towns in late June received a total of $76.2 million through a new jobs program created as part of the MMA-backed economic stimulus bill passed by the Legislature this past spring.

The Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion program requires that a municipality jointly apply for grant money with a for-profit business. The business must generate substantial sales outside of Massachusetts, be able to create at least 100 new permanent full-time jobs in the state within two years, and maintain those jobs for at least five years.

Grants must be used for infrastructure improvements such as water and sewer connections, roadway enhancements, and utility upgrades.

State officials estimate that the first round of grants will lead to the creation of 8,200 jobs.

The program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. Program guidelines and applications are available at www.mass.gov/MOREJobs.

Written by John Ouellette