The center is designed to serve as a one-stop neighborhood resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Office of Economic Development (OED) today launched Boston's Small Business Center in Mattapan, designed to serve as a one-stop neighborhood resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Following a nine-week program in Mattapan, the City of Boston Small Business Center will travel to East Boston and then on to Roxbury to provide resources for small businesses throughout Boston. To celebrate small business owners citywide, Mayor Walsh will also kick-off "Mayor on Main," a three-day event that will highlight Boston's Main Streets (BMS) districts at the end of June. During Mayor on Main, Mayor Walsh will visit small businesses and present the 21st Annual Boston Main Streets Awards, which recognize an outstanding business owner and volunteer from each district.
"Small businesses and their owners are the backbone of our City, representing the character and diversity of our communities," said Mayor Walsh. "All neighborhoods deserve the chance to have a thriving center, and that's why I'm so proud to begin the City's Small Business Center in Mattapan. I am committed to supporting small businesses in each corner of our City, and am thrilled to be able to recognize over 35 owners and volunteers with the Boston Main Streets Awards."
Boston's 40,000 small businesses fuel the City's economy and generate $15 billion in annual revenue, and 170,000 jobs. The Small Business Center will serve as a one-stop neighborhood resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs ready to grow their businesses. In addition, Boston is focused on empowering minority and women-owned businesses. Entrepreneurs of color comprise 32 percent of all Boston businesses, generate $2.7 billion in revenue and employ 32,000 people, while 35 percent of small businesses in Boston are women-owned.
In partnership with more than a dozen leading business service organizations, the City of Boston's Small Business Center will provide high-impact professional training, networking and one-on-one coaching sessions during the first nine-week summer series in Mattapan.
To celebrate the achievement and contributions of small businesses in Boston, on June 28, June 29 and July 1, Mayor Walsh will lead trolleys to 12 Main Streets districts in Boston, and will be joined by representatives of Boston Main Streets foundations and boards, and members of his cabinet. In each district, Mayor Walsh will recognize outstanding business owners and volunteers to celebrate the 21st BMS awards.
"The Boston Main Streets Foundation is proud to stand with Mayor Walsh in creating a city devoted to developing small businesses," said Joel Sklar, President of the Boston Main Streets Foundation. "We are pleased to support the launch of the City of Boston Small Business Center and the Mayor on Main trolley tour and provide investment and opportunity for businesses across the entire city."
Mattapan's Small Business Center and the Mayor on Main visits are a result of Boston's central planning initiatives: Boston's 2016 Citywide Small Business Plan and Imagine Boston 2030, both of which incorporate community feedback to continue building a thriving, equitable City. Boston's Small Business Advisory Council has also worked to prioritize establishing a Small Business Center.
Mayor Walsh's five year small business plan aims to make the small business economy thrive, to enhance neighborhood vibrancy and to foster economic and social inclusion and equity. To accomplish these goals, the Plan proposes policies and programs to foster a high-quality, efficient support system for all small businesses; to develop tools, programs, and policies to address specific gaps in key small business segments that are vital to the city's economic growth; and to enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs of color, immigrants and women to launch and grow small businesses across the city.
In addition to the City of Boston, the Small Business Center is supported by Bank of America, which has provided a $100,000 grant to the Boston Main Streets Foundation over the next two years. The grant supports the launch of the City of Boston Small Business Center and a series of neighborhood recognition events aimed at celebrating economic successes while raising the visibility of local businesses.
"Bank of America is committed to supporting the small businesses and entrepreneurs making Boston such a compelling place for community, commerce, and -- most importantly -- economic mobility for all," said Miceal Chamberlain, Massachusetts President for Bank of America. "We are honored to play a role in advancing the City of Boston's economic-equity agenda to support technical assistance, access to capital and capacity-building for small business owners in our neighborhoods."
As part of Boston's commitment to fostering and empowering small businesses, Mayor Walsh today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with more than 12 business services organizations to provide high-impact trainings to neighborhoods with dense pockets of small businesses. These partners specialize in business operations, legal services, access to capital and strategic planning. Organizations that have signed the MOU include:
- Center for Women & Enterprise
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
- Mattapan Square Main Streets
- Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment
- Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)
- English for New Bostonians
- Northeastern University School of Law Community Business Clinic
- Roxbury Innovation Center
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Boston Public Library, Mattapan Branch
- Commonwealth Kitchen
- Tech Goes Home
- Mass Small Business Development Center
- Mattapan Community Health Center
- MA Office of Business Development
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
- Boston Main Streets Foundation
ABOUT THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Mayor's Office of Economic Development aims to promote a healthy environment for businesses of all types and sizes in the City of Boston. The Office of Small Business Development is Boston's front door for small businesses, providing navigation help for permitting and licensing, technical assistance and certification for local, women, minority and veteran owned businesses. For additional information, visit boston.gov.
ABOUT BOSTON MAIN STREETS
Boston Main Streets (BMS) provides funding and technical assistant to 20 neighborhood-based Main Streets districts throughout the City of Boston, and has served as a national model for urban areas seeking to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Detroit, New Orleans, Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Boston Main Streets continues to empower individuals in the small business sector to have a direct role in the economic health, physical appearance, and development of their own community.