To jump-start businesses of all kind on May 1, the Charlestown business community has come together like never before to highlight all kinds of businesses and invite residents to shop safely and patronize the local proprietors in the Town.
The idea was hatched by Amanda Mitchell of Junebug and Place & Gather, and then helped along by Sean Boyle of All Roads Charlestown – with assistance from Kim Mahoney of the Warren Tavern as well. The result has been the convergence of more than 25 brick and mortar stores and restaurants and throngs of vendors and home-based businesses all coming into the central business district to draw in customers and help bring back the local economy.
“The nuts and bolts behind May Day is to promote local businesses to residents and have them come out and support our local small businesses that took such a hard hit last year,” Mitchell said. “It started with the brick and mortar businesses. We put the idea out and it really took off. We really hope we can drum up support for these businesses in the neighborhood after last year. Really the neighborhood really wouldn’t be that fun without these small businesses. We really want to keep our neighborhood Boston’s best.
“I think we’ll get a ton of neighborhood support,” she continued. “It will be safe, but a lot of fun.”
Throughout the day there will be sales and specials at participating business, and there will be pop-ups in the businesses and fitness classes outside from local trainers – as well as specials at the Town’s favorite restaurants.
Boyle joined the effort and enlivened it substantially by creating the May Day Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with vendors and home-based businesses, which will set up in the parking lot of the First Church in Charlestown on Green Street.
“The market is about 15 to 20 all Charlestown connected mom and pop businesses that usually do stuff at the fairs and bazaars – as well as at the holidays and on Parade Day,” he said. “They haven’t had those outlets with so many cancellations and so this is a great opportunity for them…It’s a great diverse group of people.”
Mahoney praised the effort for its collaboration, and said it’s been awhile since so many different types of businesses in Charlestown came together for one big promotion. She said she hopes the connections forged will continue into future endeavors.
“What is tremendous about this is the collaboration that has formed here between businesses that have never connected before,” she said. “Everybody has a different network and now we’re bringing all of our different networks together with the goal of helping all of the businesses represented.”
Boyle added that he has produced a list of businesses with Mitchell that has really become a great asset for economic coordination, and something they will use going into the summer and the holidays too.
“I think it’s going to be very exciting,” said Mitchell. “I’ve lived in the neighborhood 10 years and I’m definitely not a Townie. But I am excited to be working together with everyone on this. It has made us a more cohesive business community. It’s something special about Charlestown and something that’s better than the other neighborhoods. We have people that grew up her and people who moved here, but everyone is obsessed with Charlestown.”
The effort is being publicized on Instagram as the central location, and those participating are urged to use the hashtag (#MayDayCTown).