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Mayor Walsh Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Boston Main Streets Program

June 25, 2015

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

Awards Ceremony Honored Volunteers and Businesses; Announced $150,000 in grants from Citizens Bank Foundation and Boston Main Streets Foundations

On June 25, 2015, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, together with President of Citizens Bank Massachusetts Quincy Miller, and nearly 400 community members, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Boston Main Streets Program, a national model for urban, multi-district Main Streets programs.  The ceremony took place at the historic Strand Theatre in Dorchester, with emcee WCVB’s Shayna Seymour, and featured entertainment by Brittany Butler, a contestant on NBC's The Voice, and students from Berklee College of Music.

"I want to congratulate all of the businesses and volunteers who were honored this year," said Mayor Walsh. "And I want to congratulate the Boston Main Streets Program on 20 years of serving our great city. The creativity, drive and passion these individuals bring to our neighborhoods is inspiring, and we look forward to helping them achieve another successful 20 years."

At the event, Mayor Walsh joined Miller to announce a $100,000 donation from the Citizens Bank Foundation to the Boston Main Streets Foundation.  The Main Streets foundation plans to use these new funds for marketing and promotion in Boston’s 20 Main Streets districts.  

“This $100,000 award from the Citizens Bank Foundation reflects our belief that the strength of our company is directly tied to the strength of communities we serve,” said Miller.  “We are proud to partner with Boston Main Streets, a program that has become a national model for revitalizing neighborhood business districts.  Our investment will help build on the achievements the Main Streets districts across the city have made in fostering small business development and making our neighborhoods more vibrant.” 

In partnership with Citizens Bank and the City of Boston, the Boston Main Streets Foundation also announced that it will be providing a match grant of $50,000 to support the development of the new Boston Main Streets brand, logo and marketing efforts.

“The Boston Main Streets Foundation is thrilled to receive this latest contribution from Citizens Bank   and to announce our own $50,000 matching grant.  We deeply appreciate their continued investment in Boston Main Streets,” said Joel Sklar, President of the Boston Main Streets Foundation.  “We are proud to have them as a partner, and this substantial contribution is a testament not only to Citizens Bank’s leadership but also to their commitment to empowering Main Streets organizations to produce exciting new outcomes in our neighborhoods.”

Mayor Walsh also commended the Boston Main Streets Foundation for its successful fundraising on behalf of the Main Streets districts.  This year, in response to a challenge from Mayor Walsh, the Foundation far exceeded its $500,000 goal, raising more than $600,000.  

From among the hundreds of Main Streets volunteers who gave more than 26,000 hours of time in 2014, each district has chosen one volunteer to honor as “Volunteer of the Year.”  Since the start of the program in 1995, volunteers have contributed more than 347,000 hours of their time to Main Street efforts.  This year’s Volunteers of the Year are:

  • Allston Village – Lea Beaulieu           
  • Bowdoin/Geneva – Courtney Asher
  • Brighton – Steve and Molly McCarthy
  • Chinatown – Jack Tan
  • Dudley Square – Frederick Fairfield   
  • East Boston – John Tyler
  • Egleston Square – Tim Reardon  
  • Fields Corner –  Brian Corbett
  • Four Corners – Marilyn Forman
  • Greater Grove Hall- Roberta Young               
  • Hyde/Jackson Square – Jeff Cronin
  • Hyde Park – Bob Menapace
  • JP Centre/South – Michael Epp
  • Mattapan Square- Nadia Fenton-Rahim          
  • Mission Hill – Reverend Philip Dabney
  • Roslindale Village – Richard Chalfin  
  • St. Mark’s Area – Pat O’Neill
  • Upham’s Corner – Bridget Curd         
  • Washington Gateway – Dave Wisholek
  • West Roxbury – Adrienne Vaughan

In his remarks to awardees, Mayor Walsh referred to Boston’s small businesses as “the backbone of our commercial districts," providing products and services to the people who live and work in the neighborhoods. Each Main Streets district has chosen one business to honor as Business of the Year.  In 2014, more than 2,500 businesses have received business assistance through their local Main Streets organizations, and Boston’s Main Streets districts have boasted an average 95 percent occupancy rate for the last two years. This year’s Businesses of the Year include:

  • Allston Village –Lulu’s Allston
  • Bowdoin/Geneva – Just Steak
  • Brighton –The Corrib Pub
  • Chinatown – Tea Do
  • Dudley Square – Tropical Foods
  • East Boston –East Boston Neighborhood Health Center         
  • Egleston Square – Millennium Restaurant & Grill
  • Fields Corner – Very Berry  
  • Four Corners – Aspirers Community Center   
  • Greater Grove Hall – Classic Clothing Company
  • Hyde/Jackson Square – The Old Havana Restaurant
  • Hyde Park – Central Paint and True Value Hardware
  • JP Centre/South – Boing! JP’s Toy Shop
  • Mattapan Square – Brother’s Deli & Restaurant
  • Mission Hill – Montecristo Mexican Grill       
  • Roslindale Village – Delfino
  • St. Mark’s Area – Sea Breeze Mexican Grill   
  • Upham’s Corner – Liberty Tax Service
  • Washington Gateway – The Gallows  
  • West Roxbury – Rental Depot

About Boston Main Streets

Developed out of a partnership between the City of Boston and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Boston Main Streets initiative was created in 1995 as the first urban, multi-district Main Streets program in the nation, with the goal of establishing thriving commercial districts throughout the city.  Boston Main Streets is a successful model for urban commercial district revitalization that strengthens local business districts through strong organizational development, community participation, resident and merchant education and sustainable development. 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.      

About Boston Main Streets Foundation

In 2005, the City of Boston established the Boston Main Streets Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established  to provide financial and strategic support to the Boston Main Streets program and local districts. The Boston Main Streets Foundation raises funds from the private sector and foundations to spark new, innovative, and scalable outcomes in Boston’s twenty Main Streets neighborhood commercial districts and to empower local Main Streets districts to produce new & improved results.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $136.5 billion in assets as of March 31, 2015. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance. Citizens operates through its subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at www.citizensbank.com.