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The federal authorities awarded Salem a large grant that officers say will velocity up town’s financial restoration from the overwhelming mess COVID-19 has wreaked on the native tourism, restaurant and hospitality industries.
Mayor Kim Driscoll and Congressman Seth Moulton touted on Friday afternoon the $662,922 award from the USA Financial Growth Administration. The mayor characterised the financial help as an vital cornerstone in Salem’s present and future recuperation.
“This funding might be key to serving to a lot of our present small companies,” mentioned Driscoll. “It additionally gives funds to help us in methods to proceed rising the variety of our native financial system.”
She added, “This main grant award will create tons of of recent jobs, entice non-public capital, and advance better financial resiliency and restoration for our neighborhood.”
Driscoll attributed the success behind Salem securing the grant award – which she referred to as a “extremely aggressive funding alternative” – to the laborious work of the Salem Financial Restoration Taskforce.
Town plans to spend the federal cash within the following methods:
- To fund technical help for small companies within the tourism trade
- To create a customer advertising and marketing marketing campaign
- To host different occasions programming
- To construct an financial diversification technique that may assist town establish promising industries and recruit new companies based mostly on financial traits within the area
“The financial growth administration’s funding will create 374 new jobs within the better Salem space, entice non-public funding to Salem and make the area extra economically resilient,” wrote Moulton’s workplace.
The congressman sourced the grant funding to a bigger $1.5 billion allocation for economic-assistance applications tucked within the first $2.2 trillion stimulus package deal, CARES Act, handed in 2020.
“A lot of downtown Salem’s financial success will depend on folks visiting us, consuming at our eating places and staying at our resorts,” mentioned Moulton. “This grant will assist us not solely get well from the pandemic however discover new, revolutionary methods to do enterprise in Salem, so we emerge from this stronger and higher in a position to climate hits to the financial system down the highway.”
A fast examine of Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Help knowledge exhibits simply how laborious COVID has hit and is hitting Salem’s financial system.
When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in mid-March 2020, 10,100 folks comprised the Peabody-Salem-and-Beverly leisure and hospitality workforce. Within the subsequent month, that determine plummeted to four,000 employees.
In that very same time interval, Salem’s total unemployment shifted from 769 people, or three.1%, out of a labor power of just-under 25,000 folks in March to four,239 people, or 16.three%, out of a labor power of 22,852 folks in April.
The unemployment charge remained within the mid-teens till July, and hit single digits a month later. It is since leveled out, fluctuating between 7% and eight%.
Proper now, February studies put Salem’s total unemployment at 7.1 p.c, 4 share factors larger than a 12 months in the past.