Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

During his State of the City speech on Tuesday night, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the creation of a new Economic Development Center focused on connecting residents to better jobs, helping small businesses grow and improve public input in economic development and policy-making.

The center will host multilingual workshops with child care in every neighborhood in the city at libraries, Boston Youth & Family Services locations and community organizations.

“Creating more pathways to economic security and success means a stronger, better city for all. Through programs like the Economic Development Center, we are building Boston’s middle class and ensuring we are a city where all can achieve and thrive,” Walsh said.

“To ensure our economic development strategies deliver real results for Bostonians, we are bringing policy and resources to residents and businesses in an accessible, thoughtful, and collaborative manner … to not only help with small business financing and connecting the diverse talent in our communities to opportunity, but to discuss our creative community development strategies in order to get your feedback,” John Barros, the city’s economic development director, said in an emailed statement.

According to a statement from the city, workshops will include:

  • How to bid on contracts with the city.
  • Matchmaking events for minority- and women-owned businesses.
  • Small business-focused seminars on business planning, food trucks, the creative economy and immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • Matchmaking events for employers and potential employees.
  • Career training.
  • Outreach to communities around specific needs and economic development policies, including outreach to immigrant communities like Boston’s Cape Verdean, Somali, Vietnamese and Haitian communities.

The Economic Development Center is meant to build on the success of a pilot program called the Small Business Center, which developed a popup series of free workshops around the city that included networking opportunities.

Walsh Promises New Economic Development Push, Focused on Neighborhoods

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min