NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A free market is taking root in the Boston area, and it could be leading to a boom in local businesses, a mayor and a leading business leader say.
For decades, Boston’s thriving fish market was a magnet for tourists and locals alike.
But as the city became a bigger and bigger tourist destination, many businesses moved elsewhere, and that’s changed.
The Fish Market Now has nearly 600 customers a day, said Mayor Marty Walsh.
“We’re a market for local businesses,” Walsh said.
“We’re not a market that is catering to everybody.
We’re catering to the very few who want to go to the Fish Market.”
The mayor and others are urging businesses to keep up the pressure to lure new customers, particularly with the state of the economy.
Massachusetts is a state that has historically attracted more than 50,000 visitors a year.
Last year, more than 22,000 of those came from out of state.
That number is expected to grow to nearly 29,000 this year.
That could mean more people coming to the city, and the market could become a bigger draw, said Bill Brown, owner of the Market Now.
When people see a business with a free market mentality, they’re going to go out and get the best prices, he said.
Brown said he’s already seen a surge in the number of people checking out and coming back, and he said he thinks it’s going to continue.
Last year, the market attracted 1,500 customers and generated $4.8 million in sales.
That’s about $1.5 million for the city each year, Walsh said, and more than double the previous year’s number.
Walsh also has asked the city to allow for more parking, and Brown said there are plans to expand parking in front of the market.
The mayor said the city has also been working to increase the number and variety of food trucks, restaurants and retail outlets.
At the market, people come to buy fish, lobster, shrimp and other seafood, as well as produce and produce-related products, and sell their products to other shoppers, Walsh added.
While the market is a great place to spend an evening, it’s also a great venue for a business meeting, Walsh noted.
It’s also open to the public, he added.