Row House featured in Boston Magazine spotlight on outdoor fitness

The staff at Row House, a BLDC-funded business located at Lovejoy Wharf, have pulled their rowers out onto the patio so participants can enjoy an outdoor experience that is relatively similar to an in-studio class. Expect music-driven rowing intervals mixed with low-impact, full-body floor exercises. Sign ups are online, but be sure to register quickly; classes typically reach maximum capacity. Morning and evening classes are offered, as well as a half hour noon-time class on Wednesday. All fitness levels are encouraged to join.


BLDC Borrower makes $25 million commitment to battling COVID-19

The BLDC gave Ginkgo Bioworks their first financing as a startup—a $150,000 loan, or as Gingko co-founder Barry Canton stated in a CNBC article,

When Ginkgo was a brand-new, five-person company, the city helped us find a home and provided loan programs to help us get off the ground.

Today the organism company, which designs custom microbes for customers across multiple markets, is worth over $1 billion. The company’s organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies and government entities to design microbes for their needs—applications including nutrition, health and consumer goods. Gingko is still a BPDA tenant in the Flynn Industrial Park and has created hundreds of jobs.

The following article details Gingko's $25 million commitment to creating diagnostic vaccination and therapeutic solutions to the COVID-19 crisis.


Join the BLDC at Salesforce Growth Camp Boston

Salesforce Growth Camp Boston

Join the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC), Salesforce, and BECMA at District Hall on March 24 for an exclusive afternoon filled with tailored content for growing businesses. At this free half-day event, you'll get access to resources, networking, expert advice, and best practices to scale your business. If you've overcome the initial stages of launching a company and are now seeking strategies for growth this event is for you. Learn tangible tips from experienced entrepreneurs who have successfully taken their businesses to the next level.

RSVP today

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210

The BLDC Honors Black History Month

by Bill Nickerson, BLDC General Manager

Photo by Julia Zhogina, courtesy of The Bay State Banner

As the nation celebrates Black History Month, you hear many stories of the struggles, successes, trials and triumphs of our nation’s African-Americans. I have had the pleasure of knowing, working with, and calling a friend a man who is the living embodiment of, and has been throughout his life, a key player in that history. That man is Marvin Gilmore Jr.

The grandson of slaves, Marvin rose from poverty to achieve the American dream. At 95 years young, he continues to lead his life in the way that firmly established his status as a revered local leader. Marvin has, throughout his life, embraced many roles. He has been a civil rights activist, community developer, decorated World War II veteran, music club owner, and mentor to many generations of future leaders.

Marvin is also a long time member of the Board of Trustees of the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC). This is only one example of Marvin’s lifelong commitment to jobs and economic growth for Boston, while at the same time striving for a more equitable City that provides opportunities for all of its residents.

Marvin co-founded Unity Bank and Trust Company in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the first African-American owned and operated commercial bank in Boston. Today it is called One United Bank.

In 1973, Marvin became president and CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Boston. This led to forty years of striving to develop Boston’s then blighted neighborhoods while providing economic empowerment for the City’s disadvantaged residents.

During World War II, Marvin served with the 458th Battery “A” Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. His unit landed on the Normandy beaches on D-Day. Like many African American soldiers of his generation, he was denied the medals and honors that were his due. However, in 2010, Marvin’s service was finally recognized when he received France’s highest award. He was named a Chevalier of The Legion of Honor for his heroic service in World War II.

Following the war, Gilmore studied music at New England Conservatory. He later opened and operated The Western Front night club for forty years.

Just last month, Marvin was recognized with a Drum Major award at the 50th anniversary Martin Luther King Day Memorial Breakfast.

Marvin, with all of his accolades and successes, never wavered in his life-long support of the disenfranchised and his efforts played a key role in helping Boston outgrow its racial divisions. He is clearly one of the founding fathers of the new Boston that we have today.

Register now for the Pathways to City Contracting Opportunity Fair

Join the City of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and anchor institutions to learn about current & upcoming contracting opportunities, becoming M/WBE certified, and how to register to become a City vendor.

Register here

Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
YMCA, 316 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

For more information:

BLDC, BPDA Celebrate Row House Grand Opening Event at Lovejoy Wharf

This past week, the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC), along with East Boston Savings Bank, Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), and the Massachusetts Small Business Administration (SBA) joined together with Gyee O’Malley to celebrate the opening of Row House, a new Woman/Minority owned fitness studio located at 25 Lovejoy Wharf near Boston’s North Station.

The BLDC is proud to work with partners like East Boston Savings Bank to provide financing for new and expanding Boston businesses that create quality jobs. In this case, our partnership helped an immigrant minority woman entrepreneur achieve a dream.

Gyee O’Malley moved to the United States during her junior year in college, graduated, and went to work in the oil and gas industry. However, she had a different long term goal. When Gyee was 9 years old, her mother opened a fitness studio in her native Malaysia that recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Seeing her mother accomplish this in a time and place where woman business ownership was rare inspired Gyee to start her own business. Row House is the realization of that dream.

Row House, owned by Gyee O’Malley, and her husband Robert, is part of a nationwide fitness franchise that offers a 45-minute full body cardio coach-led workout on indoor rowers. Row House Boston provides classes designed by fitness professional and rowers, and led by a certified coach who goes through rigorous classroom and studio training at the Row House University. Row House’s location on the Charles River, site of the Head of the Charles Regatta, is the perfect location to motivate rowers of all skill levels.

On hand at the event to congratulate Gyee were East Boston Savings Banks’s President and CEO Dick Gavegnano, along with Frank Romano, Jeff Dickinson, Luisa Coppola and Josefina Silva from East Boston Savings. Josefina is also a Member of the BLDC Board of Trustees. BLDC Board Member and BPDA General Counsel Renee LeFevre was also in attendance.

Bob Nelson and Norman Eng from the SBA were there for the event and BPDA Staff members Linda Qian and Gisella Soriano along with BLDC Treasurer Bob Luisi and BLDC General Manager Bill Nickerson helped the celebration.

The BLDC is a private 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation governed by an independent Board of Trustees. The day to day operation of the program is provided by the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s financial services department.

Three breweries financed by BLDC featured in Boston Magazine “Breweries in Boston: The Ultimate Guide”

Dorchester Brewing Co. Photo by Jacqueline Cain

The Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) is excited to share that three breweries featured in Boston Magazine “Breweries in Boston: The Ultimate Guide” have been assisted with financing from the BLDC.

Dorchester Brewing, Democracy Brewing in Downtown and the newly-opened Brato Brewhouse and Kitchen in Brighton have all benefited from the BLDC’s mission to increase employment opportunities for Boston residents by providing small business loans with a focus on commercial, industrial and service companies. Collectively these companies have already created 95 jobs in Boston.

BLDC loans are provided to support the attraction and retention of jobs for the residents of Boston. These breweries have unique business models that help fuel the local economy. For example, at Democracy Brewing employees have the opportunity to buy shares and become part owners in the company. Additionally, Dorchester Brewing’s contract brewing facility supports many smaller brewers in Massachusetts.

The BLDC is a private 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation governed by an independent board of trustees. The day to day operation of the program is provided by the Boston Planning & Development Agency's financial services department.


Register for the Samuel Adams Speed Coaching Event

Could your business take advantage of personalized mentoring from the pros at Samuel Adams and local experts? If so, we are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity on October 28th for Boston small businesses in the food and beverage sectors to receive one-on-one business coaching.

The unique format offers small business owners:

  • A chance to meet for 25-minute sessions with Samuel Adams employees and local business experts
  • Opportunity to network and connect with fellow entrepreneurs
  • Connect with local organizations that support small business
  • Access to a FREE business consultation with financial lender Accion to learn how to access critical capital

Capacity is limited – don't miss this great event in Boston, sign up today!

Register here

What: Unique opportunity for food and beverage entrepreneurs to access personalized mentorship with business professionals
When: Monday, October 28th, 2019
Time: 6:00pm

Refreshments provided!

Where: Samuel Adams Brewery, 30 Germania Street, Boston, Massachusetts
About: Since 2008, the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program has been providing business owners in the food and beverage industry with the essential ingredients to start, strengthen, and grow their small businesses.

To learn more about Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream at

Happy Independence Day to Bostonians and Cape Verdeans

As we all celebrate our nation's birthday on July 4th, the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) would like to join Boston’s Cape Verdean Community in celebrating the 44th anniversary of Cabo Verde's independence from Portugal.

As of 2016, Cape Verdeans made up only 2.4% of Boston’s population, but the Board members and staff of the BLDC have seen the outsized impact that these Bostonians with origins in Cabo Verde have had on Boston's business community. The BLDC can proudly say that over the years, we have been able to support a number of these entrepreneurs.

We would like to specifically acknowledge the contributions of our own BLDC Board Member and East Boston Savings Bank Vice President Josefina Silva; and John Barros, the City of Boston's Chief of Economic Development. Both have made major contributions to the City's economic growth while maintaining a commitment to fairness and equity for all Bostonians. Many other Cape Verdean leaders have shown this same commitment—City Staff such as the City’s Chief Diversity Officer, Danielson Tavares; and Eneida Tavares, Interim Commissioner of Boston’s Election Department.

Congratulations to you all!

Small Business Finance: A Panel Conversation

Join Bill Nickerson of the BLDC at the Harvard Ed Portal on Thursday, March 7 for a Small Business Finance Panel. Discover financial resources and loan programs that are available through the United States Small Business Administration’s network of lenders. Come no matter which stage your business is at, and learn about several nontraditional funding resources.
Learn more & RSVP

Did you know that 50% of small business fail in the first year because of lack of financial funding?

Don’t be one of them, join us at the Harvard Ed Portal on Thursday, March 7th for a Small Business Finance Panel.

Discover financial resources and loan programs that are available through the United States Small Business Administration’s network of lenders. Come no matter which stage your business is at. You will learn about several nontraditional funding resources.

  • Starting or expanding your business
  • Disaster recovery
  • Real estate & equipment loans
  • Startup funding
  • Low credit score

The panel will be moderated by Dan Martiniello, Massachusetts District, United States Small Business Administration

Lenders Represented:

  • Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation
  • Eastern Bank
  • Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA)
  • Boston Impact Initiative Fund

Guest Speaker: Linda Samuels, MBA, MSc. Educator and Author. CEO of Premier Capital-By-The-Sea LLC. - “We work with private investors with deep pockets who capitalize businesses by offering asset-based loans and accounts receivable financing.”

Breakfast provided by Harvard Ed Portal from 9:30AM - 10:00AM. Panel will start promptly at 10:00 AM

This panel discussion is co-sponsored by the Small Business Administration and the Harvard Ed Portal.