At-large City Councillor Annissa Essaibi George on Monday kicked-off a 10-day “Get Boston Back to Business” tour in Dorchester, talking to local merchants in Grove Hall and Fields Corner to get their input on what types of support they need as the city moves forward in its phased-in reopening.
“This tour is about learning how to support small businesses that have been struggling through this time, helping businesses that are prepared to grow, grow, and looking at opportunities for new businesses to come online for this recovery and eventual rebirth of our Boston’s business district,” she told the Reporter.
Essaibi George, a candidate for mayor who once led the Main Streets program in Fields Corner and owns the Stitch House on Dot Ave., said small business owners need help accessing technical assistance and services translated into their languages.
“We learned a lot today about some of the challenges our businesses continue to face if they don't have access to technology or technical assistance, especially around the work to apply for both city state and federal funding,” she said.
“There’s still a lot of federal money available and our businesses need support to get there. I know as a business owner, you sometimes get stuck in just working on your business but not thinking about the infrastructure.”
Outdoor dining will resume in Boston on April 1, and capacity limits at indoor venues in the city were increased to 50 percent.
“We’ve talked about some of those silver-lining experiences that Covid forced upon us, like outdoor dining. Last year we had some success, but there were bumps along the road,” said Essaibi George “This year I’m hopeful, especially as we’re seeing the end of covid on the horizon, that outdoor dining will help them increase their capacity. As restrictions become eased and consumers become more confident with being out and about, I hope that businesses can return, succeed, and thrive.”