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The restaurant is housed in a small building that’s been on pilings in Lobster Cove for nearly 100 years. Before The Market, the site was home to an ice cream shop, a fish market and a breakfast joint.

Last month Manchester and Essex successfully secured state-funded technical support from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development under a program designed to help towns get back to business.

The first step of the Local Rapid Recovery program will focus on research and community planning to help business centers recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The program is designed with the summer season in mind.  

Essex and Manchester’s joint application identified a core business center that they could engage with to gather data and identify a number of strategies they could take to begin and sustain business recovery.  While the project focuses on those businesses within each town’s identified area, the strategies are likely to be applicable to businesses in other areas as well.

To guide the planning, each town has identified town staff, board members and business representatives that will work closely with a consultant group, Dodson and Flinker, paid for by the state program.  This working group will be meeting with the consultant next week to discuss the project scope, process, schedule and deliverables. 

Business owners within Manchester and Essex's downtown districts will be receiving a link to an online survey as an early step in the planning process.  Essex already has a separate business survey in place that can supplement understanding its local business picture. 

The team is hoping businesses in both towns will respond quickly to the survey so the project team can begin identifying and evaluating strategies for recovery.

Business owners not contacted by someone on the project team by April 9 can contact Manchester Town Planner Sue Brown, browns@manchester.ma.us or Donna Roy, of the Essex Merchants Association at dmroy60@gmail.com.

In addition to the Business Survey, there will be a series of public meetings over the next few months to assure that all businesses and residents can be part of this community conversation to develop an actionable, project-based recovery plan tailored to the unique economic challenges and COVID-19 related impacts in the commercial centers of Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

The first step of the Downtown Business Initiative Program will focus on research and community planning to help business centers recover from the impacts of the Covid Pandemic.  The program is designed with the summer season in mind. 

Essex and Manchester’s joint application identified a core business center that they could engage with to gather data and identify a number of strategies they could take to begin and sustain business recovery.  While the project focuses on those businesses within each town’s identified area, the strategies are likely to be applicable to businesses in other areas as well.

To guide the planning, each town has identified town staff, board members and business representatives that will work closely with a consultant group, Dodson and Flinker, paid for by the state program.  This working group will be meeting with the consultant next week to discuss the project scope, process, schedule and deliverables.

Business owners within Manchester’s downtown and along the Causeway in Essex will be receiving a link to an online survey as an early step in the planning process.  Essex already has a separate business survey in place that can be an additional help in understanding the local business picture. 

The team is hoping businesses in both towns will respond quickly to the survey so the project team can begin identifying and evaluating strategies for recovery.

Business owners not contacted by someone on the project team by April 9 can contact Manchester Town Planner Sue Brown, browns@manchester.ma.us or Donna Roy, of the Essex Merchants Association at dmroy60@gmail.com.

In addition to the Business Survey, there will be a series of public meetings over the next few months to assure that all businesses and residents can be part of this community conversation to develop an actionable, project-based recovery plan tailored to the unique economic challenges and COVID-19 related impacts in the commercial centers of Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

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