Will offer guidance and technical assistance on business operations to eight businesses

SOMERVILLE – The City program that helped small retail and restaurant owners in Magoun Square, Winter Hill and Union Square improve their businesses earlier this year is now aiming to support East Somerville businesses, through a partnership with East Somerville Main Streets and Retail Visioning.

The Small Business Assistance Program will support eight businesses this fall and coming winter. The program is open to businesses citywide, and with this round of funding, the City is targeting support in East Somerville. The program lends free guidance and technical assistance on a variety of business operations including website and menu design, interior lighting and signage, store layout, and customer service best practices. Taking advantage of the recently expanded sidewalks built through the East Broadway streetscape project, there will be a focus on methods for businesses to best utilize the space in front of their storefront, including sidewalk seating.

Services are offered through consulting company Retail Visioning’s On-Site Technical Assistance Program. Assistance in Portuguese, Haitian Creole and Spanish is also available through the program thanks to City Communications staff in the SomerViva Immigrant Outreach program. For more information on how to apply for this round of the Small Business Assistance Program in East Somerville, contact Ben Sommer at or 617-625-6600 ext. 2513.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods, spurring vibrant streets and sidewalks, a thriving local economy and a safer community,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “East Somerville’s time is now. With the transformation of East Broadway into an attractive urban boulevard that is safer for all forms of travel and invites people to spend more time gathering, dining and shopping, we want to provide more support to help the local businesses in this dynamic neighborhood capitalize on the opportunities before them. This program is just one of the ways we can offer that support to our local entrepreneurs.”

East Somerville Main Streets is a major partner in this effort as part of their mission of revitalizing East Broadway. The Small Business Assistance Program fits in with their neighborhood-wide branding efforts such as the popular events Carnaval and the Foodie Crawl, as well as their recent multi-media public art campaign, “This Is East,” which consisted of several murals along the length of East Broadway, a public mosaic in front of the East Somerville Public Library, and a video documentary.

“I am super excited to begin to implement this program to support our terrific small businesses in East Somerville,” said Teresa Vasquez-Dodero, East Somerville Main Street Executive Director. “It is the perfect ingredient to an already flourishing area. The combination of this program and other strategies we are putting in place to continue to beautify the area’s underpasses connecting all sides of East Somerville will give businesses the flow of customers and necessary resources to embrace best practices.”

Retail Visioning consultants most recently worked with Mabel’s Hair Salon, Modelo’s Market and Café, Royal Bengal and several other businesses in the Magoun Square and Winter Hill area, while Union Square master developer partner US2 also funded the program for four businesses in Union Square this year. Retail Visioning has worked with over 500 independent businesses in Somerville, Boston and Cambridge and other urban centers over the past 12 years.

The Small Business Assistance Program is offered in addition to the City’s Commercial Storefront Improvement Program, which offers matching funds to property owners and businesses to improve storefront signage, lighting, entrances, and other design elements. In the last year, 11 businesses and property owners took advantage of this program, leading to $200,000 in public and private investments.


  1. Thanks so for your small business assistance program which targeted a specific region of Somerville, and doing very well. I wish this great opportunity could reach the people like me. who life and dreams is being a great business man, but struggling with my little business, the WEA SECURITY AGENCY INC.
    I am Liberian. currently in Queensland, Australia. I actually scaped form the out break of Ebola in Africa, particularly Liberian. After the survival of 17 years of civil war in which thousands lose their lives. and currently in Queensland, Australia.
    I will be returning to Liberia very soon.
    I therefore, will highly appreciate where my small business, the WEA SECURITY AGENCY INC in Monrovia, Liberia will benefit from this program, for a dreams come through.
    Temynus G Wea
    mobile # +61-469-731-405

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