By John Lynds
Last Thursday, the City of Boston Office of Economic Development launched the Small Business Center at the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library on Bremen Street. The launch begins a seven week residence at the library.
The Small Business Center workshops will include high-impact professional training, networking and one-on-one coaching sessions through Thursday, December 7. Each workshop will be held on Thursday at start at 4 p.m.
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.
The Small Business Center was first launched by Mayor Martin Walsh this past summer in Mattapan.
“After a successful launch in Mattapan, I am proud to have the Small Business Center open its doors in East Boston,” said Mayor 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.”
The City’s Chief of Economic Development John Barros said Mattapan over 200 small business owners and entrepreneurs attended nine workshops and coaching sessions, and hopes Eastie has the same level of turnout. Barros said city’s partnership with business support organizations and experts retained through the on-site technical assistance program will be a win win for the neighborhood and the city.
“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 Barros. “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.”
Barros added that the city’s data shows that the businesses that most frequently attended the 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 Executive Director East Boston Main Streets Max Gruner. “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.”