City of Boston Small Business Plan

Mass Economics and Next Street collaborated to create the city’s first-ever business development strategy. The project team provided an inventory and description of Boston’s small businesses, business service organizations, and capital providers, and interviewed dozens of stakeholders to understand business needs and ecosystem gaps by sector, stage of business, neighborhood, and owner characteristics. The team then created a series of strategies and initiatives for the City of Boston and partners to improve small business services in the city.

To identify the needs of small businesses in Boston, the project team first created a small business typology that segmented businesses using their ages, employment and revenue sizes, and industries. The team then assessed Boston’s existing small business support environment, identifying and mapping the city’s business service organizations and capital providers, and tracking the flow of capital to small businesses. Following the business segmentation and the resource identification and mapping, the project team identified gaps in the overall small business ecosystem and for businesses in specific segments. Using these gaps, the Small Business Plan offered a series of recommendations for public, private, and philanthropic leaders to support small businesses in Boston and to provide targeted interventions for key business segments.

Project Link:


City of Boston,





Project Type:

Inclusion + Opportunity,