The Bedford Economic Development Office received a grant of $15,000 in 2019 to provide technical assistance to local retail stores, restaurants, and storefront businesses from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative Program. The grant made available hands on assistance from retail consultant, Christine Moynihan, on ways to improve appearance, marketability, and merchandising of local small businesses.
Kicking off the program, Moynihan gave a workshop open to all Bedford businesses on best practices in retailing. The workshop focused on simple changes that any business can make to improve appearance and operations to attract customers. Overall, 7 businesses applied for and received one on one retail consultations. The businesses included Renzo’s Salon, Wearovers, KB Jewelers, Great Road Gallery and Framing, Minuteman Diner, the Well Effect and Pizza Express. All the businesses have storefronts on main roads in Town but all struggle with identifying and implementing the right combination of improvements to position their business for success. That’s where Moynihan’s suggestions come in handy. After an initial in-take meeting, she provides a written list of improvement priorities for each business from upgrading signage, to improving the layout of the store, to making small but high impact changes to storefront window displays or marketing campaigns.
All the businesses are in the process of making changes to their stores based on her recommendations with the Town providing a small grant to complement this state-funded program.