The Mattapan Square Main Streets has secured the necessary funds to hire an executive director, according to the group’s board president.
“This is a big step for us,” said Nancy Rachel Rousseau, president of the group’s board. “[The money] is really going to help us hire an executive director.”
The non-profit group, which is part of the broader Boston Main Streets program, has been working over the past year to raise the necessary cash to receive matching funds from the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development, which oversees the Main Street program.
Boston Main Streets is a federally funded, citywide program that works to revitalize commercial districts through a combination of technical, financial, and design support.
In November 2010, the city officially accepted Mattapan's application to become a recognized Main Streets District, making it the 20th Main Street group in the city.
After the recent contribution of close to $9,500 by the area grassroots group Mattapan United and $3,500 from Carney Hospital, according to Rousseau, the group reached its $30,000 goal, opening it up to the city’s matching $50,000.
Fifteen area businesses made major contributions to the group, said Rousseau, who added that the fundraising isn’t done for the group.
“My goal is to put us in a place where we’re at $100,000 on an annual basis,” Rousseau said. “That [the donations] is the kind of support that is going to encourage other businesses to send funds our way.”
While the money is a major step for the group, the association has been struggling to find an executive director to guide it.
“The executive director is going to be the glue,” said Rousseau. “They’ll make sure the services are getting delivered to the businesses. They’ll be the ‘it’ person.”
Rousseau said she’d like to have an executive director in place by late January and hopes to make the final announcement at the group's Jan. 31 annual meeting.
The group's next board meeting will be held Jan. 7 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Mattapan Square Transit Police Station.