Right now, there is a disconnect between city hall, small businesses, and our small business districts. The current grant program landscape is obscure and piecemeal, making it difficult or impossible for small business owners to take advantage of grant programs. We need to be making it easier and more efficient for our businesses to work with city hall to grow their businesses, provide more jobs, and keep our city moving forward.
But we also need to be laser-focused on equity. Our economic development and concentration of certain businesses are uneven and not distributed equitably throughout the city. The downtown core and surrounding more affluent neighborhoods are well served by businesses, but our communities of color in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan are underserved by basic businesses like grocery stores, bars/restaurants, banks, and other critical amenities.
Promoting and protecting our small businesses has been a top priority for Jon on Beacon Hill. When COVID-19 decimated our small business community, Jon stepped up, connecting South End restaurants to PPP loans by stepping in to coordinate between businesses, city hall, and business advocacy organizations. As business transitioned to online ordering and takeout, Jon voted to pass a 15% cap on third party fees for delivery to make sure that small businesses and restaurants could keep more money within their business. Jon also voted to pass a paid family leave bill, which included 40 hours of leave in case of COVID exposure. Lastly, Jon also voted to create the $10 million Small business recovery loan fund, providing emergency capital of up to $75,000 each for Massachusetts businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Jon is running for mayor to ensure that as we recover from the pandemic, our recovery is rooted in equity and opportunity. That starts with our small businesses, ensuring they have access to city hall, the resources they need to thrive, and bringing in more women and folks of color into our small businesses districts. As mayor, Jon will:
- Get our businesses back on track.
- Shepard small business through the pandemic with dedicated grants and resources.
- Create conditions for business to succeed by streamlining permitting and improving access to city services.
- Double down on the success of outdoor dining.
- Lift the arbitrary liquor license cap to provide more access to hospitality industries in our communities of color.
- Create an accessible and responsive City Hall.
- Replace the antiquated permitting process for a more efficient one using automation and online portals.
- Make city hall more culturally competent and accessible for our entrepreneurial immigrants and communities of color.
- Use city contracting as a tool to support businesses in our communities of color.
- Double down on our Main Streets and provide resources to foster a swift recovery for our local business districts.