The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


Promoting Immigrant Entrepreneurship


Successful economic development projects come in many shapes and sizes, but the best efforts capitalize on the unique strengths of a community. Following this logic, the City of Lynn has been working diligently with a variety of partners to support our city's growing population of immigrant entrepreneurs.


Immigrant-owned shops are revitalizing downtown Lynn. At face value, these small shops create jobs, contribute to the city's tax roll, and add to the culture and vitality of the city's street scape. Yet, many of these small storefronts have potential to expand and become launching pads to larger enterprises and can become invested in the city's growth in an even bigger way. But immigrant entrepreneurs face some unique barriers navigating our regulations and obtaining financing that could hold them back. Together, public agencies and community organizations can help them overcome these hurdles. We can also play a vital role in bridging cultural differences, integrating newcomers into a cohesive business community that works together to everyone's benefit.


The City of Lynn recently completed a downtown master plan, but additional work is needed to establish the conditions for equitable revitalization. A critical part of this additional work is outreach and connection to immigrant businesses to assist them in expanding and enhancing their enterprises. With the support from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's Sustainable Communities Grant, we have embarked upon this effort.


We've reached out to our downtown businesses to build relationships and provide them with information on business development services available in the community. We have also developed partnerships to market local restaurants with patrons attending concerts at the popular Lynn Memorial Auditorium. While promoting immigrant entrepreneurship is challenging work for a small community with limited resources, like other Gateway Cities that are benefiting from the entrepreneurial energy of newcomers, we are hopeful that by finding creative ways to support these business owners we can help our community grow and prosper.


-- Jeff Weeden, Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development





MassINC's Gateway Cities Innovation Institute gets set to release a new report on immigrant entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy. Journal readers click here for a sneak preview.


The supplemental budget making its way through the legislature includes $15 million to recapitalize MassDevelopment's brownfields fund.


After a redesign to address parking concerns and other issues, a proposal for redeveloping a building in a Haverhill neighborhood targeted for revitalization gets a second City Council vote.


Springfield seeks proposals to redevelop tax foreclosed industrial sites on Bay Street.


WBUR reports on the Fitchburg Art Museum, which is in the midst of a transformation to better reflect its increasingly diverse community.


A Pittsfield architect's vision for a downtown community greenhouse is beginning to garner support throughout the city.


New Bedford State Representative Antonio Cabral was among the local legislators to testify in support of a new seafood marketing plan currently before the legislature.




The New Bedford School Committee voted to extend the school day in an attempt to improve performance at the city's level 4 high school.


Central High School in Springfield will be one of the 1100 schools in Massachusetts to test the new PARCC exams this spring. 


During a visit to Worcester, Governor Deval Patrick announced $590,000 in new grants to support the state's Innovation Schools.


In this month's issue of Urban Education, Madlene Hamilton examines four urban turnaround high schools in Texas before and after reconstitution and reconstruction - and wonder whether the changes did more harm than good.




In a great feature on regional transit, the Telegram & Gazette's  Susan Spencer reports on the challenge the Worcester Regional Transit Authority faces building ridership on suburban lines. WRTA's had success in Southbridge; the new Northbridge -Grafton route is a work in progress.


Holyoke merchants gathered downtown to lament the impact of the prolonged closure of the Willimansett Bridge on their bottom lines.


Stretches of asphalt on 16 streets in Lawrence are breaking up and need to be repaved. The paving was done too late in the season and without a warranty on orders from the former mayor, William Lantigua, the Eagle-Tribune reports.


Mount up! The Lowell Police Department is putting patrollers on Segways.




Lowell residents voice their discontent with the recent placement of recycling bins, which they say blocks views of the Concord River.


Fall River received a $4 million dollar Community Innovation Challenge Grant to pilot retrofitting streetlights with LED bulbs.


Opponents of a new natural-gas power plant in Brockton are seeking a meeting with the state's environmental chief to ask for enhanced pollution monitoring.


The EPA lists the state's top polluters, with a Springfield chemical plant topping the list. The coal-fired Brayton Point power plant in Somerset came in second, the Salem News reports.




The Brockton Mayor's Office faces salary cuts and layoffs after the City Council rejects a request for funding.


Mayor Richard Kos announces in his inaugural speech his plan for growth and economic development for Chicopee in 2014.


In Fall River, the Flanagan administration makes the case for a $1.15 million loan order for capital equipment.


The Lowell City Council unanimously approves a measure revising its panhandling ordinance to target only aggressive panhandling, the Sun reports. The measure had been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union.




Steve Wynn wants to pay for traffic improvements around his proposed Everett casino by tapping into the state gambling taxes the facility would generate. State transportation officials say Wynn is trying to shortchange them. Wynn has also been threatening to walk away from the project if Massachusetts doesn't cut his tax rate to match the lower tax rate attached to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's proposed Taunton casino.




For a full list of Massachusetts Gateway Cities, click here. The Gateway Cities Journal is a weekly news publication of MassINC. If you would like to unsubscribe to The Journal but would still like to hear from MassINC, please let us know. If you are not yet on our list and would like to sign up, click here. To contribute news or comments, please email MassINC.



NMEF_ColorEasternBankLogoThumbMTALogo2davis foundationParkerThumb

MassINC's Gateway Cities Innovation Institute
Tel: (617) 742-6800
Fax: (617) 589-0929


Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn