Congressman John Tierney joined Frances Martinez, executive director of the North Shore Latino Business Association (NSLBA), on a walking tour in the downtown business district Friday afternoon.
Business owners, such as Jaime Taveras of Downtown Market and William Sanchez of Casa Antigua, warmly greeted Tierney during the 45-minute tour.
Several residents recognized Tierney as he walked through the steady rain accompanied by Martinez, congressional office outreach coordinator D.J. Napolitano, and Rose Mary Sargent, congressional aide.
“It’s great to see him in our city and to talk to him one-on-one,” said Melissa Marquez, a visitor to Downtown Market. “I’d like to see more of our public officials doing this and seeing what’s going on.”
Tierney said he had attended the opening of the NSLBA offices on Sutton Street last May and wanted to reaffirm his support of the group and its growing membership.
“We were here for the opening and it appeared they were very excited about it, and today we had a chance to see visit the members and see how their businesses are growing and how well they’re doing.”
Tierney commended Martinez’s leadership of the NSLBA.
“Frances is doing a terrific job and her services are pro bono right now,” said Tierney. “She’s putting in a lot of time and effort to make this work and I think she’s doing an admirable job.”
Tierney said his office has been assisting small businesses throughout his tenure in the House of Representatives.
“The idea is that people out there are working hard and we have to be as supportive as we can possibly be,” said Tierney. “And I think we’ve done that. We’ve had 17 small business tax cuts in recent times and we’re trying to make sure we get people back to work so they have customers. That’s what I heard from all the folks today – they need customers and that only comes when you put people back to work which is what we’re focusing on doing.”
Tierney said the economy is on the upswing.
“There are good signs in the economy,” he said. “It’s not booming, but it’s doing a lot better. I think we need to keep investing in people, making sure they have the skills to get the jobs and the resources they need to put people to work. Lynn is a great city and we’ve been able through the Recovery Act to make some investments with the federal government partnering with the state and the local community.”
Martinez said the congressman’s visit meant a lot to her organization that was launched last May. There are 128 members in the NSLBA.
“It means a lot to have Congressman Tierney here,” said Martinez. “We want to make sure we have the support of our public officials. By coming here to talk to local business owners, it’s a way to get the community involved as well. Congressman Tierney has been supportive of the NSLBA since the beginning. The reception he got from our members was tremendous.”