While Jamaica Plain prides itself on supporting independent businesses -- operating one is not as easy as just opening up shop in the neighborhood. "I would advise anyone looking to start an independent business in JP to start with a love of the neighborhood. If you love the neighborhood, it will love you back," said David Warner, who co-founded City Feed and Supply with Kristine Cortese, and opened their first store in 2000 on Boylston Street and their second store on Centre Street in 2008. "Secondly, I would advise them to ask for help in every direction it is available." That help can come from numerous local organizations and nonprofits, including Boston Main Streets, the City of Boston, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, JP Local First and JP Business and Professional Association (BAPA).
Jamaica Plain, where you’re lucky to get a two-bedroom apartment for under $2,500, was once a neighborhood where homes were burned for insurance money. It was a neighborhood our state was ready to sacrifice for a highway. So when JPNDC (Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation) was founded in 1977, our priorities were bringing back jobs, turning burned-out lots into homes, and making the neighborhood livable again. Today, we face record wealth and income gaps, dramatically reduced economic mobility, and unaffordable housing. As across the country, lower-income people are on a treadmill, getting by at best rather than building security for their children.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) has issued a call to artists of color for a temporary weeklong pop-up on Centre Street. The deadline to submit is Feb. 19th. The rising costs of housing and commercial space in Boston have led to high levels of displacement among communities of color. In Jamaica Plain, gentrification has affected thousands of people without access to the capital they need to stay in the neighborhood they call home.