Attorney General Maura Healey, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, combed through a row of Colombian jeans at the Chelsea Boutique on Monday morning and giggled at a pair of shimmering sequined shorts, as she complimented her. The owner asked about supply chain issues and vowed to address affordability concerns over whether she would win a corner office next month.
Maria Barrientos, the mother of Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Kindriscoll’s campaign manager, lamented that shipping costs have doubled amid a slowing economy — and the cost of other goods remains high.
But with the help of a translator from her son Juan Gallego, Barrientos told Driscoll and Healy what she thought the all-female ticket would do for Chelsea and small businesses in Massachusetts Work ‘very confident’.
“We have an incredibly vibrant and growing Latino community in Massachusetts, and I don’t think Latinos have been supported or valued for too long,” Healey Chow said. She and Driscoll had also visited Janet’s beauty salon, which was struggling for federal relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she told reporters in downtown Chelsea this morning.
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“Latinos are a huge economic engine for the Massachusetts economy,” Healy continued. “We know the Latino community has been disproportionately hit by COVID and its impact. Not only are we there to support and protect, we know more can be done to enhance and create opportunities for economic growth.”
Following their Chelsea small business tour, Healey and Driscoll plan to travel through other parts of the Commonwealth on Monday to gain more first-hand insight into the economic plight of Latino Bay states and to refine their policy approach to Provide much-needed financial relief and education and job training.
Healey stressed that small businesses are “part of the fabric of the community” as she reflected on the salon owner she met with 20 employees — which in turn translated into 20 families in need of support, the attorney general said.
“Certainly, many of our small business owners and micro business owners have shown incredible resilience through this pandemic,” Healy said. “But what they’re really lacking is access to capital and financing, and that’s something we want to work on, working with the state and local and the business community to help and change the future.”
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Healy did not delve into the specific plans and eligibility parameters that her future administration might have if she were to win over former state representative Jeff Deere, backed by former President Donald Trump, in the November election. Instead, Healy said “everything should be on the table”.
Salem Mayor Driscoll, who was previously Chelsea’s deputy city manager, said the store upgrades could represent another opportunity for state and local partnerships. These technical assistance funds will help businesses thrive as they pursue capital investments, Driscoll said.
“We need to break down barriers to access,” Driscoll said. “We certainly want to put it in language to make sure we’re going to business owners – it’s not going to be a situation where business owners come to local government.”
Looking back at her roots and the example Chelsea set, Driscoll describes it as a city that always faced challenges – but managed to overcome them through the persistence of small business owners.
“A lot of new entrepreneurs, new people in our country, come here and send their kids to school through these small business opportunities, put food on their desks, keep a roof over their heads,” Driscoll said. Riscoll said. “It’s great to see them thrive on their recovery efforts, and (I) certainly want to be part of a team that continues to support their efforts.”
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