The Main Streets network in Boston, MA

The 20 local organizations help maintain healthy commercial districts around Boston.

Holding up a program reading "Foodie Crawl"

City Editor Sara volunteered at this week’s East Somerville Foodie Crawl.

Photo by the BOStoday team

As big fans of supporting local businesses, we thought we’d share about the Main Streets network in our city.

The National Main Street Center was established in 1980 to address issues facing historic downtowns across the country. Three years later, Thomas Menino (City Councilor at the time + former Boston mayor) brought the initiative to Roslindale.

Now, there are 20 different neighborhood districts — including Allston Village and Chinatown — that are getting down to business and supporting Boston’s mom-and-pop shops.

Each district hosts community programming (think: farmers markets, comedy nights, and foodie events like Roxbury Restaurant Week + Taste of Eastie).

The network also provides business resources like design services for restoring storefront signs + a women entrepreneurs program.

For those just north of Boston, don’t worry — there are neighborhood groups in East Somerville + Union Square.

Pro tip: head to the website of your closest Main Street to find upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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