Even the smallest neighborhood business district is important.
That’s the message of the City’s latest revitalization initiative known as Biz Buzz
, a small grant program that targets the less prominent districts of the city. And it’s meant to enable small businesses and volunteers to have an immediate impact in their community.
“We've put a lot of focus on our larger business districts like Liberty Avenue, Butler Street…and we’re still working with them” says Josette Fitzgibbons, URA Mainstreets/Elm Street coordinator.
But Biz Buzz will provide services to the little districts that, while they may never become booming destinations, are “key to being not only the health of the neighborhood, but the key to the health of the city,” Fitzgibbons says.
According to Fitzgibbons, the project has three main goals: to create a buzz about a particular business district; to attract new people, whether it be shoppers from outside, residents within, or even new entrepreneurs; and to highlight the unique nature of a particular neighborhood.
Mayor Ravenstahl will launch the program today, at Cannon Coffee, in Brookline.
Awardees will be given up to $7,000 for a particular initiative. Biz Buzz has a total project budget of $45,000, and Fitzgibbons hope to allocate more funding for the project in the coming year.
At today's event, Brookline will introduce their new shop-local campaign, called, I Shop the Line
. The Biz Buzz program will reward shoppers with Brookline Bucks for purchases made in the district.
The URA plans to work with communities to develop successful strategies, and to build capacity for specific events. But Fitzgibbons says the actual ideas should come from the districts themselves.
“We want groups to be creative about this,” she says. “There's not a whole lot of guidelines to it because we want to hear what the community has to say, and what the community wants to do.”
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Josette Fitzgibbons