Legacy Business Program to support iconic businesses

The program will identify iconic and long-standing businesses in the City of Boston to increase their visibility and provide access to grants and resources.

Today, Mayor Michelle Wu announced the launch of the Legacy Business Program, an initiative that will support Boston’s long-time independent businesses through increased visibility and connecting them to city services and grant opportunities.

Our legacy businesses serve as anchors in our neighborhoods, expand opportunities for our residents, and build community across Boston,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am thrilled to announce this program and look forward to elevating these valuable businesses and connecting them to City services and resources. »

The Legacy Business Program will identify 25 iconic businesses that have been in business for over 10 years. Bringing this kind of business awareness can help turn our neighborhoods into destinations and drive spending and foot traffic in those local business districts.

Businesses like these are neighborhood institutions that have helped shape the building of our city, and with increased visibility, the goal is to ensure that these legacy businesses can avoid displacement, increase their influence, keep employed residents and enrich the cultural vibrancy of the City of Boston.

“This initiative is an opportunity for the city to honor the commitment, investment and impact that small business owners have had in our communities for decades,” said Segun Idowu, Head of Economic Opportunities and Inclusion. “I am proud to have worked alongside Mayor Wu and our small business team, led by Aliesha Porcena, to deliver on a promise to our legacy businesses. This initiative will help ensure that generations of Bostonians can continue to support the grassroots businesses that add to the fabric of our communities. »

Potential legacy businesses must meet the following criteria to be considered:

  • It is a business that has operated for at least 10 years at the same place in the city of Boston.
  • It is a company that contributes to the cultural, historical and societal assets of the Boston community or neighborhood (for example, the company is located in the cultural district of Little Saigon).
  • It is a company that maintains its activity in the City once designated as a legacy business.

Once a business has been designated as a legacy business, it has access to a number of resources. To increase their visibility, they will be featured as a legacy business on the city’s digital platforms. The City will also form partnerships with external stakeholders to promote each business and provide targeted technical assistance focused on succession planning and employee ownership, a commercial lease toolkit and free legal consultation.

“The Legacy Business Program gives Boston residents the opportunity to be part of the program and allows them to share their stories of local business and their impact in our neighborhoods,” said Aliesha Porcena, Small Business Director. “We want to ensure that all 23 Boston neighborhoods are represented through this program and provide resources and support to ensure these businesses remain vibrant within our communities.”

“This investment in our local legacy businesses is crucial to energizing our neighborhoods and main streets, especially in District 4 where our small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and reflect the rich diversity of our city,” said Councilman Brian Worrell, Chairman of the Boston City Council Professional Licensing and Small Business Committee. “I look forward to continuing to work with the mayor and his administration to provide more avenues for small business owners to thrive in our city.

To celebrate, businesses will receive a special plaque and badge to display in their storefront, along with a coordinated tour and photo opportunity with a representative from the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity and Inclusion, their advisor(s) ) municipal(s), main streets and their party nomination. For additional support, businesses will be able to access the recently created $1 million Legacy Business Grant Fund to stabilize ongoing operations and rent, or to invest in physical improvements. For businesses 30 years or older – or Legacy+ Businesses – they will be eligible to receive a storytelling video featured on social media, the city’s website and other places.

The program will launch after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, allowing residents to nominate their favorite eligible local business. Nomination forms will be available online in 10 different languages ​​as well as in paper form and located at local Boston Public Library branches, main street offices and neighborhood organizations. Residents will only be able to nominate one company per cycle. The Economic Opportunity and Inclusion team will then work with Boston City Council and the Legacy Business Review Committee to submit 25 recommendations to the mayor for final approval, helping to ensure these recommendations represent the rich diversity and heritage of our neighborhoods. Once approved, a joint ceremony with the Mayor and City Council for those selected will take place at Faneuil Hall.

To learn more, visit the Legacy Business Program website.

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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