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.