US2 Receives Chamber of Commerce Neighbor of the Year Award

Last week, US2 was honored to receive the 2016 Neighbor of the Year award from the Somerville Chamber of Commerce. We are grateful to be recognized as a community partner and we will continue to be committed to the City of Somerville throughout the redevelopment process. We hope the Board of Aldermen approve zoning changes before the new year so we can begin the planning and design review process with the city and the community. US2 remains committed to evolving Union Square into the future that is envisioned by the Neighborhood Plan – a great place to work, live, play and raise a family. 

US2 & Union Square Main Streets Announce “Union Lunch” Summer Series Celebrating Union Square Restaurants & Businesses

In partnership with Union Square Main Streets, Union Square Station Associates (US2), Somerville’s master developer partner for Union Square’s revitalization would like to announce this year’s “Union Lunch” summer series showcasing delicious lunch fare from a different neighborhood restaurant each Wednesday  from June 22 through July 27 on Union Square Plaza.

Sponsored by US2 and Union Square Main Streets, the events will be free to the public and will feature live music by local bands and cool happenings from local retail establishments A rotating selection of local restaurants will be on site offering lunch for purchase. The events will take place from 12 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.

“This summer series offers a wonderful opportunity to experience all Union Square has to offer – delicious cuisine, eclectic music, diverse businesses and a strong sense of community,” said Greg Karczewski, president of US2. “We hope this weekly Wednesday gathering will help shine a spotlight on our local businesses, add even more daytime energy to the square, and bring the community together.”

“Union Lunch will be an experience unique and distinct to Union Square, so bring your friends, family and coworkers to partake in the festivities every Wednesday for the next six weeks,” said Esther Hanig, executive director of Union Square Main Streets.

The first Union Lunch will take place this Wednesday, June 22 and will feature dishes by the Spanish-Caribbean tapas restaurant Casa B , ice cream by Gracie’s and music by the Wild Edibles. In the coming weeks, other featured restaurants will include, MoMo n Curry, Kitchen Millie, Juliet, Cantina la Mexicana, the Neighborhood Restaurant, and Nibble, a program of the Somerville Arts Council.

Weekly updates advertising details of upcoming lunches and performers can be found on the event’s Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/UnionLunch/?fref=ts

 

US2 & Union Square Main Streets Launch Mystery Shopper Survey To Assist Local Businesses

Union Square Station Associates (US2), Somerville’s master developer partner for Union Square’s revitalization, and Union Square Main Streets (USMS) today announced the launch of a mystery shopper survey to support local businesses participating in the City of Somerville’s Small Business Technical Assistance Program.

The Technical Assistance Program is sponsored by US2 and USMS, delivered by business consulting firm Retail Visioning and operated by the City of Somerville Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Suite initiative. The program helps storefront small businesses in Union Square refine their business approach and take advantage of the new opportunities that will be presented by the redevelopment and enhancement of Union Square.

Businesses selected to participate in the program have a one-on-one consulting relationship with a Retail Visioning expert who works with the business owner at their place of business to help address their specific needs. It provides assessments, recommendations and implementation support for business improvement in the areas of identity and positioning, store and restaurant design, visual merchandising and retail marketing.

The mystery shopper survey is designed to solicit volunteers to offer feedback to support local Union Square businesses.

“US2 is pleased to sponsor this valuable program, and the mystery shopper survey is an important tool for these great neighborhood businesses who are looking to be even more responsive to their customers,” said US2 President Greg Karczewski.

Participating businesses include:

·      RiverDog: Owned by Peter & Priscilla Lareau, RiverDog is a dog daycare, training facility and pet supply store that carries health foods, treats and supplies for dogs and cats. It is located at 321 Somerville Ave.

·      Beadkreative: Opened in July 2014 by Millali Marcano, Beadkreative is a unique beading supplies store that also offers classes and a consignment shop for local artists to sell their bead-inspired art. It is located at 369 Somerville Ave.

·      Mineiaro One Stop Market: This corner shop owned by Francisco Valadares Silva is located at 57 Union Square, and offers Latin American groceries, spices and general wares as well as a Brazilian buffet.

 

Residents are invited to complete the survey through February 10th. Reviews by mystery shoppers are held in confidence, and relevant insights and suggestions will be shared in aggregate with the business owners.

“Public input will provide these businesses with information that they need to better serve their current customers and attract new customers,” said Esther Hanig, Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets.

The survey can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/hm4vn4g. Residents can also receive digital copies of the survey by emailing Max MacCarthy at mmaccarthy@somervillema.gov or calling 617-625-6600 x2515. Hard copies can be found at the following locations:

·      Union Square Main Streets office (66-70 Union Square)

·      US2 headquarters (Workbar Union - 31 Union Square )

·      RiverDog (321 Somerville Ave)

·      BeadKreative (369 Somerville Ave.)

·      Mineirao One Stop Market (57 Union Square)

For respondents who do not use the online survey, their completed survey can be returned to Max MacCarthy at mmaccarthy@somervillema.gov or to the offices of Union Square Main Streets or US2.

US2 Announces Round Two Small Business Technical Assistance Program Awardees

Partnership With City of Somerville & Union Square Main Streets Provides Four Local Businesses Free Access To Marketing Consultants And Funding For Recommended Improvements

Union Square Station Associates (US2), Somerville’s master developer partner for Union Square’s revitalization, today announced four local businesses have been selected to participate in a second round Technical Assistance Program to help storefront small businesses refine their business approach and take advantage of the new opportunities that will be presented by the community-driven redevelopment and enhancement of Union Square. The program is co-sponsored by Union Square Main Streets. First round awardees were announced in March.
“US2 is pleased to sponsor this valuable program to support local businesses and assist them in taking advantage of the new opportunities presented by Union Square’s revitalization,” said Greg Karczewski, president of US2. “We are committed to the growth and prosperity of Union Square’s small business community, and with the neighborhood poised for tremendous progress, US2 wants to help them benefit.”


The program is delivered by business consulting firm Retail Visioning and operated by the City of Somerville Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Suite initiative with multi-lingual support from the City’s SomerViva program. It provides assessments, recommendations and implementation support for business improvement in the areas of identity and positioning, store and restaurant design, visual merchandising and retail marketing. Businesses selected to participate in the program will have a one-on-one consulting relationship with a Retail Visioning expert who will work with the business owner at their place of business to help address their specific needs. 


“We are pleased to join US2 in sponsoring this important program that offers Union Square’s small businesses expertise and perspective to help them grow and prosper,” said Esther Hanig, Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets.


Funding from US2 is allowing Retail Visioning to work with a total of eight Union Square small businesses. Along with providing retail expertise and recommendations specific to each business, the program will provide grants of up to $1,000 each to help owners implement improvements. 
To be selected, businesses must be a small, independent storefront business that fits the unique character of Union Square; owners must desire to grow their business in Union Square and interested in taking advantage of new opportunities presented by Union Square’s redevelopment; and their specific needs must fit with the strengths of the program, including retail consultation, customer experience, marketing, branding, and other management issues. 


The second round awardees are:
• The Juice Union: Juice Union will open early this year in Union Square and offers healthier beverage alternatives such as freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. Owned by Diana Krefetz, it is located at 23A Bow St.
• RiverDog: Owned by Peter & Priscilla Lareau, RiverDog is a dog daycare, training facility and pet supply store that carries health foods, treats and supplies for dogs and cats. It is located at 321 Somerville Ave.
• Beadkreative: Opened in July 2014 by Millali Marcano, Beadkreative is a unique beading supplies store that also offers classes and a consignment shop for local artists to sell their bead-inspired art. It is located at 369 Somerville Ave.
• Pao de Acucar Market: This corner shop owned by Francisco Valadares Silva is located at 57 Union Square, and offers Latin American groceries, spices and general wares as well as a Brazilian buffet.


“The revitalization of Union Square is extraordinary in its potential,” said Diana Krefetz, owner of Juice Union. “As a local resident and business owner, I appreciate that US2's involvement will help support our neighborhood shops and restaurants to maintain the character that makes Union Square so special.”


“Union Square’s revitalization is going to be a great thing for local businesses,” said Peter Lareau, owner of River Dog. “I appreciate US2’s interest in supporting our neighborhood shops and restaurants to help us thrive during this exciting time.”


Retail Visioning has provided small business technical assistance to over 500 retailers, restaurateurs, salon owners and other types of small businesses in urban centers all around Massachusetts including Boston, Lowell, Westfield, and Cambridge. They have also provided assistance to businesses in other neighborhoods of Somerville through the Somerville Small Business Suite. 


For more information about the Technical Assistance Program, please contact Max MacCarthy atmmaccarthy@somervillema.gov or at 617-625-6600 x 2515 or visit http://www.somervillema.gov/businesses/small-business-assistance.

 

ICYMI: 2015 Union Square Holiday Stroll!

 

Join your neighbors, family and friends for an afternoon of holiday cheer to enjoy food, holiday decorations, and special treats while also doing holiday shopping and/or buying your tree.  Participating business to date include:  Ricky’s Flower Market, Loyal Supply, Workbar Union, Cove, Brass Union, El Potro, East Boston Savings Bank, PAs Lounge, Taza Chocolate, The Independent, Beadkreative, Gracie’s Ice Cream, Thunder Road, Union Pop Up Holiday Market and more to come

    WHEN: Sunday, December 13, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    WHERE: Union Square

    WHAT: A map with participating businesses and their special offerings will be provided

    PRICE: FREE, open to the public

Find out more details and sign up on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/640893622720265/ and click here to get all the information handout for this event.

Small Business Support Program Application Deadline Extended To November 30th

Union Square Station Associates (US2) today announced the deadline for applications for the City of Somerville’s Technical Assistance Program has been extended by two weeks to November 30th .

The program is sponsored by US2 and Union Square Main Streets, delivered by business consulting firm Retail Visioning and operated by the City of Somerville Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Suite initiative with multi-lingual support from the City’s SomerViva program. It provides assessments, recommendations and implementation support for business improvement in the areas of identity and positioning, store and restaurant design, visual merchandising and retail marketing. Businesses selected to participate in the program will have a one-on-one consulting relationship with a Retail Visioning expert who will work with the business owner at their place of business to help address their specific needs. The program is free for participants.

For more information about participation in the Technical Assistance Program, please contact Max MacCarthy at mmaccarthy@somervillema.gov or at 617-625-6600 x 2515 or visit http://www.somervillema.gov/businesses/small-business-assistance.

 

US2 Sponsors Round Two Of Union Square Small Business Support Program

Partnership with City of Somerville & Union Square Main Streets Gives Local Businesses Free Access to Marketing Consultants and Funding for Recommended Improvements

Union Square Station Associates (US2) today announced its second round sponsorship of the City of Somerville’s Technical Assistance Program to help storefront small businesses take advantage of the new opportunities that will be presented by the community-driven redevelopment and enhancement of Union Square. Round One awardees were announced in March and completed their improvements this summer.

The program is sponsored by US2 and Union Square Main Streets, delivered by business consulting firm Retail Visioning and operated by the City of Somerville Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Suite initiative with multi-lingual support from the City’s SomerViva program. It provides assessments, recommendations and implementation support for business improvement in the areas of identity and positioning, store and restaurant design, visual merchandising and retail marketing. Businesses selected to participate in the program will have a one-on-one consulting relationship with a Retail Visioning expert who will work with the business owner at their place of business to help address their specific needs. The program is free for participants.

“US2 is committed to fulfilling the community goal of making Union Square an employment center that both supports existing neighborhood businesses and attracts new employers to the Square,” said Greg Karczewski, President of US2. “Our partnership with Union Square Main Streets and the City of Somerville in support of the Technical Assistance Program will help prepare more local businesses for the great new opportunities that will arise from Union Square’s revitalization.”

Funding from US2 has already provided assistance to four Union Square small businesses, and this next round will allow Retail Visioning to work with another four. Along with providing free retail consultation and recommendations specific to each business, the program provides grants of up to $1,000 each to help owners implement improvements.

Kim LaFoy of Loyal Supply Co., a local design studio, retail store and workshop was among the first round awardees. “We appreciate the advice and counsel provided by the Technical Assistance Program and the improvements made possible by US2’s grant,” said LaFoy. “I know the future of Union Square is bright, especially with partners like Union Square Main Streets, the City and US2 that are dedicated to our neighborhood small businesses.”

“Union Square Main Streets is pleased to join with US2 and the City of Somerville to sponsor this valuable program to strengthen Union Square and our local businesses,” said Esther Hanig, Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets.

Retail Visioning has provided small business technical assistance to over 500 retailers, restaurateurs, salon owners and other types of small businesses in urban centers throughout Massachusetts including Boston, Lowell, Westfield, and Cambridge. They have also provided assistance to businesses in other neighborhoods of Somerville through the Somerville Small Business Suite.

The deadline for the second round of applications is November 15. For more information about participation in the Technical Assistance Program, please contact Max MacCarthy at mmaccarthy@somervillema.gov or at 617-625-6600 x 2515 or visit http://www.somervillema.gov/businesses/small-business-assistance.

 

Get an Argenziano School Community Card!

At US2, we’re proud sponsors of the Argenziano School Community Card. The Community Card features reusable deals to nearly 20 local, independent businesses. For only $10, you can save hundreds of dollars a year AND support your school and community.

You can purchase your card by clicking here, or buy it in person at Two Little Monkeys at 77 Bow St. Email AFASCard@gmail.com with questions.

Union Lunch: September 4, 2015

In partnership with Union Square Main Streets, US2 hosted a 'Union Lunch' summer series showcasing delicious lunch fare, desserts, and retail options from different locally-owned and independently-operated businesses from the Union Square neighborhood. The event was held each Friday from July 17 to September 18 on Union Square Plaza.  Featuring over 20 local vendors throughout the summer, the series featured live local music, lawn games, and other activities designed to showcase the unique businesses throughout the Square. Learn more here.

Food // BBQ Pulled Pork + Sweet Potato by Area Four
Treats // Mint Chip + Cookies & Cream Ice Cream by Gracie's Ice Cream
Treats// Union Square Donuts Holes sponsored by Brooklyn Boulders Somerville
Entertainment // Music by the Wild Edibles
Inspiration // Pop Up Coworking & Free WiFi by Workbar Union

Union Lunch: August 7, 2015!

In partnership with Union Square Main Streets, US2 hosted a 'Union Lunch' summer series showcasing delicious lunch fare, desserts, and retail options from different locally-owned and independently-operated businesses from the Union Square neighborhood. The event was held each Friday from July 17 to September 18 on Union Square Plaza.  Featuring over 20 local vendors throughout the summer, the series featured live local music, lawn games, and other activities designed to showcase the unique businesses throughout the Square. Learn more here.

A delicious way to kick off the weekend! We enjoyed banh mi's from A4 Pizza, ice cream from Gracie's Ice Cream, cold brew coffee with Black Magic Coffee of KITCHENiNC, art from Hacker Creations of Artisan's Asylum and live jams from Joe Greaney Music.

Union Lunch: July 24, 2015!

In partnership with Union Square Main Streets, US2 hosted a 'Union Lunch' summer series showcasing delicious lunch fare, desserts, and retail options from different locally-owned and independently-operated businesses from the Union Square neighborhood. The event was held each Friday from July 17 to September 18 on Union Square Plaza.  Featuring over 20 local vendors throughout the summer, the series featured live local music, lawn games, and other activities designed to showcase the unique businesses throughout the Square. Learn more here.

Featuring delectable treats by Cantina La Mexicana & The Galley Ice Cream, live music by the Wild Edibles sponsored by PA's Lounge, and flufftastic Fluff Festival apparel by Union Square Main Streets!

Union Square Station Associates (US2) Announces Small Business Support Program Awardees

Partnership With City of Somerville Provides Four Local Businesses Free Access To Marketing Consultants And Funding For Recommended Improvements

Union Square Station Associates (US2), Somerville’s master developer partner for Union Square’s revitalization, today announced four local businesses that have been selected to participate in a Technical Assistance Program to help storefront small businesses refine their business approach and take advantage of the new opportunities that will be presented by the community-driven redevelopment and enhancement of Union Square.

“US2 is pleased to sponsor this valuable program to support local businesses and assist them in taking advantage of the new opportunities presented by Union Square’s revitalization,” said Greg Karczewski, president of US2. “We are committed to the growth and prosperity of Union Square’s small business community, and with the neighborhood poised for tremendous progress, employers of every shape and size stand to benefit.”

The program is delivered by business consulting firm Retail Visioning and operated by the City of Somerville Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Suite initiative with multi-lingual support from the City’s SomerViva program. It provides assessments, recommendations and implementation support for business improvement in the areas of identity and positioning, store and restaurant design, visual merchandising and retail marketing. Businesses selected to participate in the program will have a one-on-one consulting relationship with a Retail Visioning expert who will work with the business owner at their place of business to help address their specific needs.

Funding from US2 will initially allow Retail Visioning to work with up to eight Union Square small businesses. Along with providing retail expertise and recommendations specific to each business, the program will provide grants of up to $1,000 each to help owners implement improvements.

The first round of funding attracted ten applicants, of which four were selected. To be selected, businesses must be a small, independent storefront business that fits the unique character of Union Square; owners must desire to grow their business in Union Square and interested in taking advantage of new opportunities presented by Union Square’s redevelopment; and their specific needs must fit with the strengths of the program, including retail consultation, customer experience, marketing, branding, and other management issues. There will be another round of selections later in the spring and businesses that did not get selected in this round, along with new applicants, will be considered. New applications are being accepted currently and the form can be found here.

The first round awardees are:

Cantina La Mexicana: Owned by Robert Rendon, Cantina La Mexicana is a sit-down and take-out restaurant and bar, and has been in business for two decades. It is located at 247 Washington Street.

Reliable Market: Owned by Pokye Casserly, Reliable Market is a large Asian market with fresh foods and packaged groceries that opened for business three years ago. It is located at 45 Union Square.

CrossFit Somerville: CrossFit Somerville is a fitness studio and community center located at 35 Prospect Street. Owned by J.T. Scott, it has been in business three and a half years.

Local Supply Company: Co-owned by Kim LaFoy and Ryan Habbyshaw, Loyal Supply is a design firm, retailer, and distributor of home, office and studio supplies. It opened in at 21 Union Square just three months ago. 

“This program will help us grow our business in ways that benefit our community,” said Kim LaFoy, co-owner of Local Supply Company. “We appreciate the support we’re receiving from US2, and it’s nice to know they're supporting existing local businesses as they revitalize Union Square.”

“I moved here and founded my business with the intention of growing with Union Square as it grows and changes,” said J.T. Scott, owner of CrossFit Somerville. “I hope this program will help strengthen my business, and it’s a great first step by US2 to demonstrate their commitment to our local small businesses.”

Retail Visioning has provided small business technical assistance to over 500 retailers, restaurateurs, salon owners and other types of small businesses in urban centers all around Massachusetts including Boston, Lowell, Westfield, and Cambridge. They have also provided assistance to businesses in other neighborhoods of Somerville through the Somerville Small Business Suite.

For more information about the Technical Assistance Program, please contact Max MacCarthy at mmaccarthy@somervillema.gov or at 617-625-6600 x 2515 or visit http://www.somervillema.gov/businesses/small-business-assistance.

Union Square Station Associates (US2) To Sponsor Union Square Small Business Support Program

Partnership with City of Somerville Gives Local Businesses Free Access To Marketing Consultants And Funding For Recommended Improvements

In partnership with the City of Somerville, Union Square Station Associates (US2), the City’s master developer partner for Union Square’s revitalization, is sponsoring a Technical Assistance Program to help storefront small businesses take advantage of the new opportunities that will be presented by the community-driven redevelopment and enhancement of Union Square.

The program is delivered by business consulting firm Retail Visioning and operated by the City of Somerville Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Suite initiative with multi-lingual support from the City’s SomerViva program. It provides assessments, recommendations and implementation support for business improvement in the areas of identity and positioning, store and restaurant design, visual merchandising and retail marketing. Businesses selected to participate in the program will have a one-on-one consulting relationship with a Retail Visioning expert who will work with the business owner at their place of business to help address their specific needs.

“US2 is engaging in a significant campaign of community outreach to ensure the interests, goals, and values of Somerville residents are at the forefront of Union Square’s revitalization,” said Greg Karczewski, President of US2. “As we’ve listened to their feedback, it is clear that the people of Somerville are fully committed to the success of locally owned small businesses, and as their partner in the redevelopment of Union Square, we are proud to work with the City of Somerville to offer this valuable program to help strengthen Union Square’s small business community and prepare it to take advantage of the new opportunities that Union Square’s revitalization will bring.”

Funding from US2 will initially allow Retail Visioning to work with up to eight Union Square small businesses. Along with providing retail expertise and recommendations specific to each business, the program will provide grants of up to $1,000 each to help owners implement improvements.

“One reason US2 was selected as the master development partner for Union Square was because of their unique commitment to understanding and acting upon the priorities of Somerville’s residents and business owners,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “I continue to be impressed by their effort to turn community feedback into tangible benefits for the people of Somerville.”

Retail Visioning has provided small business technical assistance to over 500 retailers, restaurateurs, salon owners and other types of small businesses in urban centers all around Massachusetts including Boston, Lowell, Westfield, and Cambridge. They have also provided assistance to businesses in other neighborhoods of Somerville through the Somerville Small Business Suite.

The deadline for the first round of applications is February 20th with future rounds of applications being accepted in the spring. For more information about participation in the Technical Assistance Program, please contact Max MacCarthy at mmaccarthy@somervillema.gov or at 617-625-6600 x 2515.