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.