Mayor Walsh Announces Increased Funding for Main Streets Districts in Boston

On April 12, 2014, Mayor Walsh announced a 30% increase in funding for the 20 Main Street Districts in the City of Boston up to $75,000 per year from the current $58,000.  Each district offers a unique set of programs in support of existing and new businesses specific to the neighborhood and its needs.  Newly supported programs include free WiFi, crowd sourcing potential, Urban Mechanics ventures and access to capital.

Boston Main StreetsMayor Martin J. Walsh joined Boston Main Street Directors, city officials, and community leaders in Roslindale Village on April 12, 2014 to highlight increased funding for Boston’s 20 Main Street Districts.

“Investing in our Main Streets districts preserves and protects our neighborhood commercial centers, and helps our small businesses thrive, grow, and adapt to the changing economy,” said Mayor Walsh. “Access to a variety of retail in neighborhoods is critical to maintaining robust and connected communities.”

Mayor Walsh identified the increased funding in his $2.7 billion Operating Budget for fiscal year 2015 which was released the week ending 4/12/14. Main Streets District funding will increase by $400,000 over last year, with each Main Streets District receiving $75,000 annually from the City -- a 30 percent increase.  In other words, the $58,000 that each district received in prior years has now been increased to $75,000, administered by DND.  The increased funding will be used to implement innovative new programs to continue the critical support work. 

Main Streets Programs Vary

Main Streets Districts programs across Boston offer varying business support services and programs, often unique to the needs of each district. Recent programs have included

Roslindale Village's Historic Role

The Roslindale Village Main Street District was the first urban Main Street District in the country.  With more than a dozen ethnic grocers, bakeries, small family restaurants, and specialty shops, it is a shopping and food destination for the community and the Greater Boston area.

The increase in funding will enable Roslindale Village Main Streets to explore potential programs such as a year-round model for their Saturday farmers market, which currently attracts more than 3,000 people on Saturdays throughout the spring and summer.

Other planned projects in Boston’s Main Streets Districts include

History and Future of Boston Main Streets

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.  Named by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change as one of 19 “Solutions for America,” Boston Main Streets continues to empower individuals in both the small business sector and residents to have a direct role in the economic health, physical appearance, and development of their own community.

Today, there are more than 4,000 businesses across Boston’s 20 Main Streets Districts.  Boston Main Streets provides funding and technical assistance to 20 neighborhood-based Main Streets districts throughout the City of Boston and has served as a national model to urban areas seeking to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Detroit, and New Orleans.

Districts include: Allston Village Main Streets, Brighton Main Streets, Chinatown Main Street, Dudley Square Main Streets, East Boston Main Streets, Egleston Square Main Street, Fields Corner Main Street, Four Corners Main Street, Greater Grove Hall Main Streets, Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street,  Hyde Park Main Streets, JP/Centre South Main Streets, Mission Hill Main Streets, Mattapan Square Main Streets, Roslindale Village Main Street, St Mark’s Area Main Street, Upham’s Corner Main Street, Washington Gateway Main Street, and West Roxbury Main Streets.

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Posted: May 08, 2014    Nancy J Conrad