Centre/South Main Streets loses nonprofit status

Regrouping to begin

Jamaica Plain’s Centre/South Main Streets (CSMS), a business promotion organization, has lost its status as a nonprofit corporation and it is currently undergoing a reorganization.

CSMS has not filed a legally required annual report since it organized as a nonprofit corporation in 2001, according to the Secretary of State’s website. The Secretary of State’s office revoked CSMS’s corporate status last June.

By comparison, Egleston Square Main Street has filed an annual report every year since it organized in 1997. But Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street found itself in the same predicament as CSMS, having not filed for years and had its status revoked last June, but then filed an annual report in November. HJSMS had been dormant for a year as its former executive director was charged with theft.

Brian McNiff, spokesperson for the secretary of state, said revocation comes when an entity fails to file an annual report. But, he said, lacking a corporation status “doesn’t affect their operation directly.” McNiff gave the comparison that if the Gazette was a nonprofit that lost its status, it still would be able to put out a paper.

But, McNiff said, some entities might require an organization to have corporation status in order to do business with it. That would seem to indicate CSMS might have trouble with grants and other fundraising efforts.

CSMS has also not filed nonprofit papers with the Attorney General’s (AG) office since 2009, according the AG’s website, which might not be up-to-date.

CSMS is currently undergoing a reshuffling of leadership, including holding a event for potential new board members Feb. 4, and is “fairly active,” according to board member Brad Brown, who the Gazette spoke with before finding out that CSMS’s corporate status was revoked. He was unavailable for further comment.

CSMS Executive Director Randace Moore resigned last November, but Brown, owner of the Blue Frog Bakery, said the organization hopes to have an interim executive director soon, maybe as early as Monday. He said CSMS has two potential candidates on its radar.

Kasey Hughes, secretary for CSMS, said the organization wants to hire a permanent replacement in the spring.

Brown also said CSMS is looking for a new president and board members. He said president Richard Downey has served the maximum two, two-year terms and that Mary Hannon, a current board member and real estate agent, is a potential replacement. Hannon did not respond to a request for comment as she was out of the country.

Hughes said the president will be picked at CSMS’s annual meeting, which has been pushed back to March from February.

Hughes said that there is a “meet and greet” Feb. 4 for potential board members. A location and time had not been determined at the Gazette deadline. The City’s Department of Neighborhood Development is buying an advertisement with the Gazette to publicize the event.

Brown said CSMS was “fairly active,” although he said later CSMS is “not as active as we want to be.” He said CSMS still holds the First Thursdays events, but the Gazette has not received any press releases.

CSMS recently moved into a shared space with Q Salon at 676 Centre St. from its own offices above City Feed and Supply. Funding has been an issue for CSMS, especially in support of First Thursdays, Moore previously told the Gazette.

John Ruch contributed to this article.

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