News & Updates

2013 Recap: Back Streets

Jan 09, 2014

Newmarket Industrial District
In 2013 the Back Streets program successfully assisted over 90 companies in Newmarket Square one of Boston's key industrial districts, resulting in the creation or retention of more than 700 jobs. A sample roster of these businesses include: F.W. Webb, Grand Ten Distilling, Boston Salads, the New England Center for Arts and Technology (NECAT), The Boston Flower Exchange, and Allied Waste.  The program also worked closely with the Newmarket Business Association, which has over 300 business members on issues that impact their establishments. 
Breweries & Distilleries

In 2013 the Back Streets program assisted many of Boston's growing micro-brewery/distillery businesses, including Trillium Brewery (Fort Point, South Boston), Grand Ten Distilling and Bully Boy Distillers (Newmarket), and Downeast Cider House (Charlestown).  Staff have become a key resource for the specific real estate needs of breweries and distilleries, and have developed relationships with brokers and landlords to let businesses know which properties are on the market.

Advocacy to Protect Industry
Back Streets led the way in advocating for zoning updates in industrial areas such as Newmarket, advocating to keep industrial land from converting to residential uses. The new zoning was formally adopted by the Boston Zoning Commission in early January 2014, and now supports such uses as cleantech, life sciences, and brewing and distilling, making it easier for companies to enter into the Boston market.

Back Streets also worked to fight legislation that would have required brewery owners to buy their grains locally, which had the potential to severly stunt the brewing industry in Boston.

Connecting the Food Industry & Boston Business

Back Streets worked to support companies within the food industry, making sure Boston's restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and universities have access to the produce, seafood, meat, and baked goods needed for their customers.  The roster of food related companies that Back Streets assisted in 2013 includes Wicked Catering, Katsiroubas Brothers, Steve Connolly Seafood, and Boston Brisket.
Office Hours in Districts

Back Streets began holding office hours in Newmarket, East Boston, and Hyde Park to be close to their industrial constituency. Hours are held in the districts every week to allow businesses to stop by and talk about their needs and concerns, including requests for assistance with financing, zoning, and permitting. Office hours are held Monday mornings from 9-1PM at 65 Sprague Street in Hyde Park, Thursday mornings from 8AM-12PM at Victoria’s Diner in Newmarket, and Fridays 8AM-12PM at 175 McClellan Hwy in East Boston.
National Recognition

The Back Streets program was featured as a national model by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance at their annual conferences in New York City and Oakland California.  Staff presented the programs innovative approaches to assisting manufacturers and wholesale businesses.

In September 2013, Back Streets organized an Inspectional Services Department (ISD) workshop for business owners in Newmarket. The workshop gave business owners the opportunity to ask questions to ISD staff as well as seek advice on permitting and inspection issues.  Over 30 business owners attended and gave it great reviews. 
Social Media Outreach

Back Streets launched Twitter (@BackStreetsBos) and LinkedIN sites and have been focused on getting other industrial and wholesale businesses up and running on social media. In the four months the Twitter account has been active, over 150 have joined as followers.

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