By Mayor Martin Walsh
The holiday season is in full swing, and many of us are searching for gifts to give friends and family to show them how much they mean to us. It’s a great time to try and shop local to support the small businesses in our neighborhoods. Lucky for us in Boston, it’s easy to find wonderful small and locally-owned places to shop!
There are 20 official Main Streets districts in Boston, each reflecting the unique history, culture, and traditions of the surrounding neighborhood. We recently celebrated Small Business Saturday and kicked off our ‘20 Districts in 20 Days’ campaign in Four Corners. Through Dec. 19, each day is dedicated to a different neighborhood to highlight their Main Street businesses. I’m inviting all Boston residents to get involved and see what their local Main Street Districts have to offer—or to explore a part of the city they’ve never visited before!
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and the backbone of our communities. They represent goods and services close to home, first jobs for our young people, and opportunities for our residents. They hire locally, they reflect our rich diversity of cultures and languages, and they care deeply about being good neighbors.
Boston is home to more than 40,000 small businesses, which account for about 170,000 jobs. That’s nearly half of all private-sector employment! All together, they create vital commercial districts that strengthen our local economy. When our small businesses thrive, our entire city thrives. Supporting small businesses is very important to my administration, and it’s a key strategy in some of our most important efforts—from creating jobs, to beautifying our neighborhoods, to improving equity and making sure that opportunities reach everyone.
Throughout the holiday season, and throughout the year, I hope you’ll join me in shopping local. You’ll be supporting your community and learning more about our historic and vibrant neighborhoods. After all, they’re where the locals go.
You can find out more about the Boston Main Streets program and the 20 Districts in 20 Days campaign at Boston.gov/SmallBusiness. And share your support by using the hashtag “#WhereTheLocalsGo”!
Martin Walsh is the Mayor of the City of Boston.