Insurance Information Institute

The mission of the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) is to improve public understanding of insurance—what it does and how it works.

Everything you always wanted to know about insurance at the click of a mouse. Whether you're looking for basic information about what is in your insurance policy, tips for saving money or an in-depth financial analysis of industry trends, you will find the information you need on a wide range of insurance topics right here.

Boston Bar Association

The Boston Bar Association's mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, to facilitate access to justice, and to serve the community at large. The Boston Bar Association also offers a law referral service.

Accion East

Accion East is a nonprofit micro lender that connects small business owners with the financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy enterprises. Since the inception of its Boston office in 2001, Accion has lent more than $9 million and provided support to over 1,400 small businesses. In 2012, Accion was recognized as the Small Business Administration’s Micro lender of the Year for providing more microloans than any other lender in Massachusetts. Accion microloans range from $500 to $50,000, with an average loan size of $7,000. These loans, which are hard to access from traditional lenders, provide the small, but critical amount of financing needed to grow. Accion is more than a lender. It offers free financial education services in the form of one-on-one financial counseling, online resources and interactive webinars. Accion works closely with each borrower to help manage cash flow, understand credit problems, build a strong application for financing and learn about the financial and regulatory marketplace.

The Boston Local Development Corporation invites you to Shop Local for Small Business Saturday

This Saturday, November 24, will be celebrated across the nation as Small Business Saturday. On this day, holiday shoppers are encouraged to patronize their local Boston businesses. These small businesses are key to keeping your community vibrant and fun. Show them your appreciation this Saturday, and throughout the holiday season!

Small Business Saturday is an event special to Bostonians in particular. When it was first observed in 2010, the City of Boston and the Roslindale Village Main Streets program were among the original sponsors. The event has now gone nationwide and is a registered trademark of American Express.

To celebrate this event, many businesses will be offering special deals, and you can check out those in your area at #smallbusinesssaturday, #smallbizsaturday and #shopsmall.

Over the last twenty years, the BLDC has provided over $16 million in loans to small businesses, many of which are participating in Small Business Saturday. They include:

BLDC celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States from September 15 through October 15. Over the course of the month, the histories, cultures and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America are celebrated. This includes generations of Hispanic American residents of the City of Boston who, for many years, have positively influenced and enriched Boston’s economy and cultural landscape.

The Boston Local Development Corporation has been proud to include many of these Boston job creators as clients. Most recently Patty Martin, with BLDC assistance, realized her dream of owning her own hair salon. Her already highly successful Love and Mercy Salon is located on the ground floor of the Aloft Hotel on D St. in South Boston.

The BLDC also provided a loan when Miguel Fuentes, then owner of Fuentes Market, was the only store in Mission Hill that offered a variety of both Latino and American groceries while providing fresh vegetables and meat to that community. Miguel retired not too long ago, but the business is still going strong.

Another client, Freddy Blanco, the owner of Don Quijote Market, has been a fixture in the South End for almost 40 years. He has always offered his neighbors a variety of reasonably priced groceries, fresh produce and meat, Spanish language newspapers and magazines, sometimes on credit when his customers need it.

Before Downtown Crossing became the dynamic restaurant environment it is today, the BLDC assisted Henry Herrera when he made the leap from food carts to a sit down restaurant. Herrera’s Mexican Grill remains a popular spot for burritos and quesadillas in Downtown Crossing.

The Board of Trustees and staff of the BLDC is proud of these and all of our other client’s contributions to making Boston a better place to live and work.

For more information, visit

Commonwealth Kitchen serves up opportunities

W. Marc Bernsau © Boston Business Journal

The Boston Business Journal gives greatly deserved recognition to Jen Faigel and the organization she co-founded, Commonwealth Kitchen—a nonprofit kitchen in Dorchester which incubates more than 50 community-based businesses. The BLDC is proud of its collaborations with Commonwealth Kitchen—at the last Board of Trustees meeting, our Board approved financing to help one of Commonwealth's client businesses make the next step into their own kitchen commissary space.

BLDC highlighted in CNBC article

CNBC features Boston as one of the seven best cities for start ups, noting the role of BLDC funding in the success of Gingko Bioworks.

Goldman Sachs raises $37 million for BLDC startup Cogito Corp

The Boston Business Journal reports that Goldman Sachs has raised $37 million for Cogito Corporation. When this Boston software company was founded, it received $150,000 in initial funding from the BLDC. The company now employs 110 people.

Gingko Bioworks on biosecurity

by Jason Kelly, Founder of Gingko Bioworks

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer—that hasn’t changed for the ten years we’ve been building Ginkgo. The ability to read, write, and design DNA code is having profound positive impacts in medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing, from engineered cell therapies that can target a person’s cancer cells, to probiotics for plants that can reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizers, to sustainably grown materials.

We are working to unlock the enormous power of biology: its ability to grow sustainably, to process information, and adapt to changing environments. But we’re not naive to the potential risks. We understand that as it becomes easier to engineer biology, it will become easier to engineer the part of biology that’s dangerous to humans, animals, and plants—the pathogens and parasites that can infect us. Since researchers synthesized the polio virus in 2002, it has been technically possible to chemically synthesize viruses that infect humans.

To date, the work done on synthesizing viruses has been intended for medical research and other peaceful purposes, but there is a concern that someone could theoretically produce a virus or other pathogen with the intent to harm. The intentional use of pathogens to harm others is abhorrent and something that I believe that we should never do under any circumstances—as a company and as human beings. The international community agrees with me on this: 180 countries including the United States are parties to the UN Biological Weapons Convention, which was first signed in 1972 and states that we are “never in any circumstance to develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain: Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins…that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes.”

As the technology for synthesizing DNA code improves, groups from governments, industry, academia, and civil society have been developing frameworks for monitoring and assessing the safety and security of these new technologies. For example, we are a part of the international gene synthesis consortium, which developed standards for screening orders made to DNA synthesis companies. Our Head of Design, Patrick Boyle, was also recently on a panel convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to assess the risks of intentional misuse of synthetic biology.

Today we’re announcing Ginkgo’s biosecurity initiative that directly addresses some of these potential threats from engineered DNA sequences. Our current work on biosecurity focuses primarily on detecting potential threats using software that analyzes DNA sequences.

Register now for the South End/Lower Roxbury Business & Financing Workshop

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM at the AC Hotel
Come network with small businesses in the South End and learn about how to grow your business with SPARK by Capital One, as well as financing opportunities, grants, store improvements and technical assistance from the City of Boston's Main Street and ReStore program, the Boston Local Development Corporation, and other sources.

Guest Speakers

  • Liza Quiñonez, Acting Director, Washington Gateway Main Street
  • SPARK Program by Capital One
  • Bill Nickerson, Senior Finance Manager, Boston Planning & Development Agency
  • Steve Rumpler, Business & Design Services Manager, Mayor's Office of Economic Development
  • Karleen Porcena, Program Officer, Economic Opportunity, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Paul Ricchi, Senior Loan Officer, Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation

Register here.