Small businesses are the backbone of Boston’s economy, serving as cultural hubs in our neighborhoods, economic engines for families across the city, and one of the most important ways to build wealth in our communities. As a former small business owner, Michelle has been standing up for entrepreneurs and breaking down barriers so locally-owned businesses can thrive, starting with streamlining processes for small business permitting and licensing, and reforming city contracting and procurement to align with our goals to close the racial wealth gap and support worker cooperatives. Michelle will help build Boston’s economic recovery to center local small businesses, their workforce, and the communities they serve.
Policy PrioritiesHow We Will Lead
Fighting for our locally-owned businesses during and after the pandemic
Businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they struggle to pay rent, serve their customers, keep their workers safe, and navigate reopening and recovery. We must work with entrepreneurs and advocates to ensure that those with the most need have access to relief and services.
Aligning City contracting to help close the racial wealth gap and support community wealth-building
We need to get the most value out of taxpayer dollars by directing them back into the community and ensuring that businesses owned by people of color, women, and Boston residents have a fair shot at winning City of Boston contracts.
Streamlining small business permitting and licensing
Boston should have a welcoming, convenient, and smooth process to open small businesses and wrap-around services to grow and expand a business in our city. We must create a customer service-focused environment for City processes, with clear timelines and accessible, efficient communications.
Strengthening Boston’s Main Streets and legacy businesses
Our neighborhood businesses anchor our communities, but small businesses are facing commercial gentrification with increasing rents across the city. In recent years, too many of Boston’s legacy businesses, critical to the economy and character of our neighborhoods, have been shuttered. As the stresses of COVID present an unprecedented threat, we need to fight for a pandemic recovery plan that builds on the strength of these mainstay businesses.
Supporting entrepreneurs of color
In combating historical economic exclusion, we need to better equip entrepreneurs of color with programming and resources to promote their success.
Creating specialized supports for restaurants
Restaurants have been hit especially hard during the pandemic with government-mandated shutdowns and restricted capacity adding to the stresses on an industry with already tight profit margins. Boston should work closely to connect federal, state, and local resources to neighborhood restaurants and work to rebuild the local restaurant scene with technical assistance, place-making, programming, and publicity.