As a way to support Boston’s small businesses during the holiday season, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the City of Boston will provide two hours of free parking at the city’s 8,000 metered spaces on Saturdays during the holiday season, beginning this Saturday, November 28 (Small Business Saturday). Parking meters are located throughout Boston’s downtown, as well as in several of the city’s residential neighborhoods that host commercial districts, including Boston’s Main Streets.
The City is also offering a holiday discount for the Bluebikes bike-sharing program, including a 30 percent discount on annual memberships on Monday, November 30 (Cyber Monday). Additionally, free 90-day passes are still available for employees in retail shops and restaurants in Boston. These efforts build on the City’s ongoing commitment to support small businesses that have been hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While shopping during the holiday season will look different this year, we are doing more than ever to help our small businesses get through a very difficult time,” said Mayor Walsh. “Our small businesses contribute so much to our local economy, and I encourage everyone to shop safely and shop local this year.”
Two hours of free parking at metered spaces will be offered in Boston on the following days:
• Saturday, December 5
• Saturday, December 12
• Saturday, December 19
• Saturday, December 26
While payment at meters will not be required on these five days, the time limit on the meters will be in effect. The purpose of this is to allow as many customers as possible a chance to take advantage of this opportunity.
“We are pleased to provide this incentive for Boston residents to shop locally this holiday season,” said Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Greg Rooney. “Parking meters are located throughout several of Boston’s neighborhood commercial districts, and I encourage drivers to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The City is asking everyone who participates in in-person shopping this weekend and this holiday season to take steps to stay safe from COVID-19, including: wearing a face covering in public, staying 6 feet apart from others whenever possible, avoiding crowds and crowded places, bringing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and washing your hands often, and staying home if you are sick. The City is also encouraging shoppers to consider alternative, safer options including shopping online, using contactless services, such as curbside pick-up, and shopping in open air markets.
To date, a total of more than $9.6 million in debt-free grants have been issued to 3,391 small businesses across Boston. The Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Unit continues to engage with Boston’s business owners through weekly calls, office hours, and ongoing surveys in order to best understand their needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small Business owners are encouraged to complete Survey #10 to share their thoughts and experiences to better shape our programs and policies to serve the small business community. For additional questions, the Small Business Unit can be reached at [email protected]