February 2013 Uphams Corner Main Street Board Meeting took place on
February 19 and covered several topics of interest to the community.|
Filling New Position at Main Street
The most important agenda item was the “Meet & Greet.” The two top
contenders (both females) for the “Cultural Events and Communications
Manager” position were scheduled (separately) to spend a couple minutes
with the Board sharing a little about themselves and their vision for
the job. The new position will be reporting directly to Max
MacCarthy, Executive Director.
Max said that about 15 people had applied for the position and that
about a half-dozen were strong candidates. “If neither one
accepts the position, then there are more qualified people to choose
from.” Max expects to announce who has accepted the position by the end
of February 2013. Board discussion about the candidates was held
in Executive Session.
Businesses Asking to Borrow Money
The City of Boston assists small businesses in several ways including
what are called “Store Front Improvement Projects,” typically new
signage or windows.
One of the merchants in Uphams Corner is interested in participating in
the signage program. The full cost of $5,000 is eventually fully
reimbursable by the City. However, the business must submit a
$1,000 deposit to get the project started, an amount they cannot afford.
According to Steve Rumpler, Boston Main Street, this is a common
problem throughout the small commercial areas of Boston. An
example of a Main Street that came up with a solution to this problem
is the Eggleston Main Street. In cooperation with Urban Edge,
they established a “Deposit Loan Program,” which Steve says worked very
The Uphams Corner Board members expressed concern about making direct
loans to the merchants as it sets a precedent. Do they loan to
everyone regardless of need? For what purpose? In fact, one
board member noted that merchants had requested loans from UCMS in the
With a surplus in their account, UCMS is now in the position to make
commercial loans but most of the members expressed reluctance to get
“into the loan business.” Deidre MacLeod, Board member, and
Senior Loan Officer at Dorchester Bay, said they would be willing to
serve as an intermediary. UCMS could loan to Dorchester Bay which
would then loan to the merchant.
Public Works Improvement Program
At the February 12, 2013 Public Works meeting, the recommendations set
forth were acceptable to the group except for two areas: moving
the bus stops and eliminating parking on Columbia Rd. Because of
its impact on local businesses, the UCMS Board discussed some concerns
and made suggestions. Max will be passing on this information
directly to Zachary Wassmouth, Principal Engineer for the project.
The fundraising campaign has already started and information on ongoing
projects has already been sent to the primary funders. Luncheon
meetings will start taking place next week. This builds up for the big
push for fundraising which takes place in March.
The annual fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, June 13 at the
Strand. They organizers are thinking about having the event on
the stage. This has been done in the past very
successfully. Chris Cook will help with appropriate lighting that
causes the “empty theater” to be a lovely backdrop to a stage event.
|Posted: February 22 2013
Nancy J Conrad
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