Downtown Venture Fund
Fact Sheet

The Fund is set up specifically to assist those ventures that add value and diversity to the retail and restaurant climate of Downtown Lowell by making available low-cost financing.  The initiative will create the critical mass needed to encourage others to open new ventures in Lowell; similar to what has occurred in recent years in Portsmouth, NH, Newburyport, MA and Portland, ME, among others.

Eligibility Criteria/Guidelines

Any existing venture or new venture that proposes to add value to the retail and restaurant climate of Downtown Lowell and meets the following target characteristics will be considered for funding:

Targeted Retail and Restaurant Concepts:

  • Restaurants (not including fast-food establishments);

  • Specialty food, shoe and apparel stores;

  • Art galleries;

  • Antique shops;

  • Coffeehouse offering entertainment;

  • Specialty bed, bath and kitchen accessory shops;

  • Office supplies;

  • Luxury personal care service establishments;

Target Area
Funds will be focused to assist ventures seeking to locate, or are already located in the core of Downtown Lowell.

Funds can be used for design work, construction, equipment purchase, inventory, and working capital.  Funds cannot be used to refinance existing debt or obligations;

Borrower Equity
A minimum of 20% is required

The maximum loan amount is $100,000

Loan Terms/Rate
Term will be based on size of loan; however, no payments are due in year one, interest at an annual rate of 6% is accrued and deferred to the second year;


All commitments are subject to the availability of funds


Andrew Shapiro or Maria Dickinson – Department of Planning & Development
(978) 674-1432 (Andrew) or (978) 674-1435 (Maria)
Jim Cook, Executive Director-LDFC
Germaine Vigeant-Trudel, Assistant Director-LDFC @ (978) 459-9899