NORTHAMPTON — In the ongoing attempts to revitalize the city’s downtown, local nonprofits and the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce have pitched in to try to help bring some renewed vibrancy to the city.
The Northampton Vibrancy Project, launched a year ago and expected to run to the end of the year, is a coalition of 40 community volunteers and business owners known as the Economic Development Committee, in partnership with the Downtown Northampton Association and the city of Northampton. The goal of the project is to help revive the downtown business community and surrounding commercial areas in the wake of the pandemic, according to the project’s website.
“What we were able to do is try to highlight how important a place Northampton was for business,” said Leslie Laurie, who chairs the EDC and is regional director at NETA, the first legal marijuana dispensary to open in Northampton, during a City Council Committee on Community Resources meeting last month. “I think it’s given great morale to many of the boosters of Northampton, to feel like they can do something to really revitalize the city that they love.”
The Vibrancy Project has been involved with a number of recent initiatives, including removal of graffiti around Pulaski Park, a “Rediscover Downtown” walking tour done in partnership with Historic Northampton, and the founding of The Sphere, an organization to support women and nonbinary entrepreneurs in the city.