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New Small Business Center launched in East Boston

October 24, 2017

Eight small business workshops with Spanish interpretation will be offered in partnership with over a dozen business support organizations.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Office of Economic Development have launched the Small Business Center in East Boston, beginning a seven week residence at the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library (365 Bremen St., East Boston). First launched by Mayor Walsh this past summer in Mattapan, the second installment of the Small Business Center will offer eight unique and free small small business workshops in partnership with more than a dozen leading business service organizations.

"After a successful launch in Mattapan, I am proud to have the Small Business Center open its doors in East Boston," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Boston's small businesses and neighborhood commercial districts are the backbone of our communities, and I will continue to support entrepreneurs and small business owners with expert and streamlined guidance."

In the first installment of the Small Business Center, over 200 small business owners and entrepreneurs attended nine workshops and coaching sessions hosted by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, and in partnership with business support organizations and experts retained through the on-site technical assistance program.

"Generating and expanding networks of opportunity is a key step in creating a healthy and thriving small business ecosystem, and the small business center will continue to reach and assist business owners and entrepreneurs in every Boston neighborhood," said John Barros, Chief of Economic Development. "We are eager to build on the positive feedback we received from the small business community and look forward to bringing a tailored and enhanced program to small businesses in East Boston and beyond."  

Data shows that the businesses which most frequently attended workshops included food-based businesses, contracting companies, as well as retail and web-based businesses. Workshops that saw the most attendees were focused on access to capital, tips for operating a food-based businesses and guidance on winning public contracts.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with the City of Boston and our local partners to be able to bring these fantastic opportunities to East Boston's small business owners," said Max Gruner, Executive Director, East Boston Main Streets. "A streamlined, central resource for small businesses is enormously helpful, and I look forward to continued work with Mayor Walsh's administration on growing the small business landscape in East Boston."

"The staff was very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, and the presenters were very approachable and friendly. The 1 on 1 services that were offered were very helpful and beneficial," said Yusuf Ali, of Mattapan United.

"I thought the office of Economic Development and small business development did a fantastic job providing these high-impact training and networking session, especially in areas where there is a huge number of demographics of color and immigration populations," said Leonard Tshitenge, a Poet, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Community/Youth Organizer.

The East Boston Small Business Center will offer eight workshops of high-impact professional training, networking and one-on-one coaching sessions beginning Thursday, October 19 through Thursday, December 7. Based on feedback from the small business community and prioritized in the City of Boston's first ever Small Business Plan, workshop topics range from leasing and legal guidance, to tips on accessing capital resources, to tailored advice for immigrant entrepreneurs. Spanish interpretation will be available for each workshop and coaching session.

About the Mayor's Office of Economic Development

The Economic Development Cabinet's mission is to make Boston an appealing and accessible place for working families, entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors to innovate, grow, and thrive in a way that fosters inclusion, broadens opportunity, and shares prosperity, thereby enhancing the quality of life for all Bostonians and the experience for all visitors. Learn more on their website.

About Boston Main Streets

Boston Main Streets 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.

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