Visitors coming to Boston to do business can find help in making the necessary arrangements from The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. It provides information in finding accommodations, meeting and convention services, expos, shows, and media assistance. When the work day is done, there are listings for restaurants, entertainment, and local attractions to enhance the experience of Doing Business in Boston. Visitors may also purchase guidebooks on Boston by either contacting the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau by phone at 1 888-SEEBOSTON, or access its web site, bostonUSA.com.
Boston currently has two major convention centers. The privately owned Bayside Expo & Executive Conference Center, is currently the largest in New England. Located only one mile from downtown, the Bayside hosts more than half of the trade events in New England. There is a 197 room hotel on site and a T station next to the center. The publicly operated John B Hynes Memorial Convention Center, located in the heart of Boston's Back Bay, boasts 360,000 square feet. With a flexible floor plan, the Hynes can host a wide range of events from small banquets and meetings, to large trade shows. Many of Boston's top restaurants and attractions are within walking distance. In 2004 the new state of the art Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is scheduled to open at the South Boston Waterfront. In addition to the exhibition space the 500,000 square foot building will have 86 meeting rooms, a large ball room, and a 1,200 room hotel on the site.
The Kirstein Business Branch of the Boston Public Library is a business reference and research facility located in financial district in downtown Boston. The library features general business books, electronic and hard copy data bases, periodicals, trade journals, and business directories of all kinds. The library is open to one and all, but because it is a reference library books may not be removed. However some of the books at the Kirstein may be checked out at the Boston Public Library's main branch. In addition, the staff does accept telephone questions if they can be answered in a reasonable time.
The Small Business Association (SBA) is a good resource for small business operators in need help. A federal program with regional offices, its mission is "to maintain and strengthen the economy by aiding, counseling, assisting and protecting the interests of small businesses." The SBA helps businesses in finding financing, startup assistance, and for continued growth and expansion. In addition the SBA has programs in management aid, and minority development in the neighborhoods, plus many more.
Locally, the City of Boston's official web site www.cityofboston.gov lists city services, and provides information regarding licenses and permits, applications, taxes, and other requirements for doing business in Boston. The Office of Business Development has many programs to help neighborhood businessmen with technical support, financial aid, and referral services for the specific needs of a particular field. The Office of Business Development also sponsors events and programs designed for education and training, and publishes up to date journals in a variety of business subjects.
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is a valuable asset, with a membership of more than 1,800 local businesses. Working together, the Chamber advocates policies, and sponsor events and programs with the goal of economic growth for the Boston Business community as a whole. Members also benefit from Networking programs and cost saving business services offered by the Chamber of Commerce.
The Boston Business Journal is a weekly newspaper that reports on local business information and news. The Boston Business Journal has sections for networking, sales leads, prospecting, classifieds, and business resources. There are feature articles by some of Boston's leading financial writers. The publication also includes employment and recruitment pages. The business sections of Boston's daily newspapers, The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald provide local, national, and international business news.
If your goal is to own your own business in Boston, help is out there. Whether your dream is to open "that special" restaurant, or a software company, or a "widget" repair shop, the resources in the public and private sectors can guide you along the path to success for Doing Business in Boston.