Marty believes local small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy. That’s why one of his early decisions as mayor was to increase funding for the Main Streets program that supports neighborhood business districts. And he didn’t stop there: Mayor Walsh has cut red tape, consolidated and expanded the City’s small business services, and upgraded public space in commercial districts. To take it one step further, he created Boston’s first citywide Small Business Plan, a comprehensive study of the sector and a roadmap for helping businesses grow in every community. Small businesses invest in our neighborhoods and hire our neighbors, so Marty is making sure no neighborhood or business is left out of our economic vision. In Boston, opportunity is for everyone.
- Launched Boston’s first Citywide Small Business Plan. Mayor Walsh’s team found that Boston’s 40,000+ small businesses generate around $15 billion in annual revenue and 170,000 jobs, or roughly 44% of employment and 37% of revenues in the city’s for-profit sector.
- Opened the City’s first Small Business Center in Mattapan, to bring crucial city resources for small business owners directly into the neighborhood for easier access.
- Created the City’s first Economic Inclusion and Equity Agenda, with Business Development as one of its pillars.
- Reduced permitting and licensing approval times and removed needless regulations.
- Secured 75 new liquor licenses and targeted them to neighborhood small businesses.
- Added worker co-operative training to the small business assistance program, to help turn workers into owners.
- Increased funding for Main Streets districts and doubled resources for on-site business assistance, including social media training to help local businesses modernize.
- Marketed local retail with campaigns like #5onMain, #LoveOnMain, and #AcousticOnMain.
- Launched Wicked Free Wi-Fi and rolled it out in small business districts.
- Upgraded public space in disadvantaged commercial districts through Main Street Makeovers.
- Transformed the annual Main Street Awards into a 3-day rolling block party to generate excitement and customers for local businesses.
- Created a Business Capital and Finance Unit to make loans to small businesses with guaranteed inclusion for historically underserved neighborhoods and people.
- Issued an Executive Order to ensure women and people of color receive fair and equitable opportunities in competing for City contracts.
- Added a Veterans’ certification to the Minority and Women Owned Business certifications in city contracting.
- Continue to implement the Small Business Plan and advance the Economic Inclusion and Equity Agenda.
- Increase small businesses’ access to real estate and capital.
- Take further steps to increase access to city contracts for small businesses, especially those owned by underrepresented groups.
- Work with the City Council and State Legislature to secure additional liquor licenses for neighborhood restaurants. Learn more, here.