Bolstering Framingham’s Economy
COVID-19 has been devastating for our business community. The impacts of the pandemic have been detrimental, most often to minority business owners and those with lower socio-economic status. I have been distraught by Framingham’s hundreds of deaths, thousands of positive cases, extended school closures, businesses trying to stay open, and the mental health impacts of the pandemic. I am running for Mayor of Framingham because I strongly believe the end of this crisis is an opportunity for someone with my experience to lead our community into the post-pandemic recovery phase.
If elected, I will continue to strive for an inclusive recovery, ensuring all small businesses have the resources they need to get back on their feet. From every shop to the banking, legal, and municipal services that are necessary for daily life, local business enclaves are the backbone of Framingham’s economy, and it is critically important to continue to create programs that help sustain their existence.
I have always been a longtime supporter of small businesses in our community. I have advocated for, and supported many small businesses in the area of licensing. As a former Selectman, I realized that the burden on small businesses to navigate city processes was challenging, and I tried to assist in any way I could.
As Mayor, I will even have a greater platform to make these processes more user-friendly and efficient for small businesses, particularly. I’m cognizant of the need to minimize the impact of cost growth on small businesses. Real-estate taxes and water and sewer costs are big impacts, and they are in control of the city. We have to be sure we mitigate these costs as much as possible, and be aware of their impacts when we make decisions in relation to City spending and operations. I will look to establish a policy as Mayor, that requires the City to utilize Framingham businesses if at all possible. We are often required to strictly follow state laws in terms of procurement, but I think there are many opportunities in which we can utilize local businesses for goods and services.
Lastly, I will be accountable and available to small business owners. I will not hide behind the door of the Mayor’s office. I will welcome the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with people who invest in our City by running their businesses here.
Regular, open communication – be it formal, or informal – will make me a better mayor. It will allow me to see the perspective of the small business owner and accommodate the challenges that are being faced.
Specifically, I plan to:
- Work to strengthen the community offerings of mental health services. From regional health care providers to higher education to non-profits, and to our public and private schools, there is more to be done to expand offerings and awareness to city residents. I know the Mayor has an important role to play to bring parties together and provide more services to help support our resident’s mental health.
- Clearly communicate and provide public health services wherever necessary. The new normal remains an unknown. As Mayor, I will work with the Board and Department of Public Health and relevant departments and stakeholders to require clear communications and deliver services in areas such as vaccinations and testing. If COVID-19 testing is to remain a public need, I will ensure that an accessible and consistent location is operating and will not move as many times as it has under Mayor Spicer.
- Continue to strive for an inclusive recovery, ensuring all small businesses have the resources they need to get back on their feet. From every shop to the banking, legal, and municipal services that are necessary for daily life, local business enclaves are the backbone of Framingham’s economy, and it is critically important to continue to create programs that help sustain their existence despite the current pandemic. Our businesses need a commitment to public safety. Our businesses need to have clean streets. Our businesses need more loan and grant opportunities. I vow to double down his support for all of these initiatives in order to create a fantastic environment for small businesses to take critical steps forward to revive and thrive in a post pandemic world.