By Meredith McCulloch
Economic Development Coordinator Alyssa Sandoval reported to the Selectmen May 11 on her recent work to inform existing and potential businesses about Bedford and to ease their interactions with town government.A new section on the Town website for Economic Development (https://www.bedfordma.gov/economic-development) features resources that would assist companies considering a Bedford location. Among those are a current list of available commercial spaces, an outline of the steps required to open a business in Bedford, and a description of key industries in Town. Of use to any resident or visitor is a list of all the restaurants in town.
Sandoval has coordinated Bedford’s participation in the Middlesex 3 Coalition, a cooperative of nine towns bordering the route corridor that, among other projects, is looking at solutions to transportation needs.
Sandoval’s other recent projects include:
- Researched data on new businesses locating to Bedford
- Coordinated the update of the Depot Park Trail Map with Chris Nelson from DPW and input from Bedford Chamber of Commerce and Depot Park Committee
- Contacted real estate brokers and updated available office and commercial real estate in Bedford
- Responded to multiple inquiries for retail, industrial and office space in Bedford
- Compiled descriptions and photos of Bedford cultural and historical sites which she supplied to Merrimack Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau for its website and printed visitors’ guide
Efforts with existing businesses include a meeting with four companies forming a Wiggins Avenue business group about their interest in better pedestrian access on Wiggins Avenue and to the Great Road Shopping Center. In a public-private partnership, she organized a median landscaping project for the Crosby Drive business district, working with businesses and the DPW..
She created a guide on “Opening a Restaurant in Bedford” and plans a similar guide for general retail business. Businesses have long sought clear direction on how to proceed with town permits and licenses.
Another future project Sandoval foresees is a promotional brochure introducing the town and its assets to prospective businesses. She shared similar efforts from Billerica and Chelmsford as examples of one she would like to produce for Bedford
Sandoval was appointed in the spring of 2014 and is the first economic development coordinator for the town. On the website she writes, “We believe collaboration is key to having a sustainable community here in Bedford with a high quality of life for our residents and businesses. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you [businesses] about opportunities in Bedford.”