Small businesses are critical drivers of the US economy. Collectively, they employ one-third of the nation’s workforce – nearly 59 million Americans across the country. They create jobs, spark innovation, invest in neighborhoods, and increase America’s competitiveness globally.
Yet as anyone who supports a small business knows, global impact is only part of the story. Beyond job tallying and GDP tracking, behind these important but abstract numbers, the men and women who start and run small businesses are the backbone of America’s local communities in a very real, tangible way. Neighborhood small businesses are where we eat, drink, shop, and socialize. They give our streets and cities character, and they form the cultural core of where we live, work, study, and raise our families every single day.
The US Small Business Administration recognizes the pivotal contributions of America’s small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them each year by observing National Small Business Week. This year’s event, declared by proclamation of the President of the United States, took place between May 5-11.
ICIC is a national organization that works with the private sector to drive economic development in inner cities across the country, but to celebrate Small Business Week this year, we turned locally. Our office is located in Nubian Square, a vibrant neighborhood in Roxbury, Massachusetts, with no shortage of its own unique small businesses to fuel us and keep us entertained.
In honor of National Small Business Week, read on to learn more about three of the small businesses in our own backyard – places where the ICIC team eats, drinks, and reads during our lunch breaks, after work, and beyond.
If you ever have the chance to visit us in Nubian Square, we hope that you’ll check out and support these exceptional businesses too.
15 Warren Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
Located in the newly renovated Bolling Building, Dudley Cafe is more than a place to eat; it’s a community hub with a mission to celebrate the arts while providing Roxbury families with wholesome food and a creative space to collaborate with local and neighborhood organizations. The cafe sources its ingredients from local businesses and makes a point to offer internships and employment to local youth. Visit for open mic nights, painting, trivia, and more. The coffee is great too.
2306 Washington Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
Soleil is a Southern-influenced, casual restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Nubian Square, as well as providing catering services to the local community. Patrons can dine-in or take-out, and there is even space for small group dining, making is a natural gathering place for local social events. Stop by on the first Sunday of the month for their famous all-you-can-eat jazz brunch.
57 Warren Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
Frugal Bookstore is an independent bookstore that is located directly across the street from ICIC. Founders Leonard Egerton and Clarrissa Cropper are committed to providing affordable books to the community, to promote literacy among local children, teens, and adults. The shop has a wide variety of books in stock, but the owners are happy to special order any currently in-print book that you cannot find too. Not local? You can also shop online.
For more information on National Small Business Week 2019, read the official SBA press release here.
ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents.
PO Box 191297
Roxbury MA 02119
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