Boston is a city of neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has at its core a commercial district with a unique culture and history. These commercial districts are important places of commerce and community. They are home to many immigrant-owned and young-entrepreneur owned businesses. They are places where the city's residents can have their basic shopping needs met as well as social gathering places for dining and shopping.
Fifteen years ago, many of the city's neighborhood commercial districts were not inviting places to visit. Changing shopping patterns and demographic shifts led to a disinvestment in the neighborhood shopping districts from the 1970's through the 1990's. In 1995, the City of Boston launched Boston Main Streets a public-private initiative, to revitalize the city's neighborhood commercial centers. Neighborhood-based, non-profit main streets organizations have been hard at work improving main streets districts throughout the City of Boston.
After ten years of success, the Boston Main Streets Foundation was established to support the work of the individual Boston Main Streets organizations and to ensure that their work is sustained into the future.