A heavy sun beating down on him, John R. Connolly spent more than two hours ducking into storefronts in the Grove Hall area Thursday afternoon, embarking on a business tour as his campaign prepared to unveil a series of proposals aimed at assisting small businesses owned by women and people of color.
“We are a stronger city for our diversity, but we face daunting equity gaps that threaten to undermine our future,” Connolly said. “We can improve economic opportunities for all Bostonians, no matter their background or where they live.”
Led by several members of the business community that bridges Roxbury and Dorchester, the mayoral candidate popped into hair salons, pizza shops, chicken restaurants, and barber shops. He also stopped in front of many vacant lots, pledging to find new ways to funnel money toward economic development in minority neighborhoods.
“Besides education, it’s the second most important issue for Boston residents, maybe even the most important issue,” said Mike Williams, a member of the Action for Boston Community Development board and a Connolly supporter. “In communities like this, making sure people have an opportunity to work and make a living is key. “
In a plan released later Thursday, Connolly vowed to commission a study on business disparities, prioritize joint venture bidding, and alter bonding requirements to allow more businesses to spring up in low-income areas.
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