From ‘Little Italy’ to the Pythian Temple

Our latest report, “Going for Growth: Promoting Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts Gateway Cities” explores creative new models to support the development of ethnic business districts. Efforts to support immigrant entrepreneurs are gaining momentum.

New Bedford recently had a visit from Marci LiMandri, the president of San Diego-based Next City America. Li Mandri has worked to revitalize San Diego’s Little Italy by strengthening and rebranding the district and organizing a Community Benefit District.

The immigrant entrepreneurship report also noted the potential of commercial land trusts; a new model in which non-profit entities purchase commercial space and create requirements that lessees be locally-owned businesses. Crescent City Community Land Trust in New Orleans recently announced plans to build its first commercial project, a rehabilitation of the historic Pythian temple, in partnership with a private developer. This fresh new approach is one to watch.

– Meg Aki

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