East Boston Main Streets (EBMS) announced that it is launching Eastie Strong, a partnership between EBMS and local real estate developers to provide much needed financial support to local restaurants, as they re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative has two components. The first is “Adopt a Patio” which will provide capital to fund reopening costs related to complying with COVID-19 restrictions. The funds will be used to purchase items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas, and space heaters. The second component is a “gift card program” under which sponsors will distribute gifts cards directly to tenants for use only at participating local restaurants.
“We wanted to find a way to help our tenants as well as contribute to the local restaurant economy which has suffered greatly during the pandemic,” said Stephen Davis of The Davis Companies. “Thanks to East Boston Main Streets we can help our tenants afford a night out while providing a financial lifeline to restaurants and support the overall health of the East Boston economy,” added David Grossman of The Grossman Companies, who is spearheading the fundraising component of the program with The Davis Companies.
Gladys Oliveros, the Executive Director of EBMS, is running the program. “Over the course of the pandemic, we have discovered many unique challenges that local restaurants face: lack of access to government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, decreased revenue from customers, and the need for capital to help cover the cost of creating new outdoor seating. This partnership will help address these problems while encouraging East Boston residents to dine at the many wonderful restaurants operating locally.”
EBMS Board (acting) President, Ida R. Candreva added, “The Board is excited to enter into a partnership that will support local restaurants. Historically, this neighborhood has thrived on the local small businesses built by local residents. This pandemic is certainly taking its toll on many of our neighborhood’s businesses and its vitality. This partnership will help put money back into our community and our local businesses, an important component to keeping ‘Eastie Strong’. Thank you to our sponsors and thank you to Gladys for taking this project head on.”
Founded in 1995, EBMS is a nonprofit community improvement organization serving the diverse neighborhoods of East Boston with a focus on Maverick and Central Squares. EBMS has been working to support local restaurants and businesses through the immediate shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting business owners to grants and helping to navigate evolving reopening guidelines. EBMS aims to create a vibrant business district by initiating private and public improvements, promoting commerce, and supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for all who live, work and do business in East Boston.
The first round of Adopt-A-Patio funding will be distributed in mid-October with a potential second round in November, depending on need and resources. Sponsors of the program, as of this writing, include The Davis Companies, The Grossman Companies, Roseland, The Novus Group, MG2, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Trinity Financial, Volnay Capital, LendLease, and Norfolk Kitchen and Bath. Sponsors expect the list to grow over the coming weeks.