Economic Development


The Town of Watertown is now accepting applications for microenterprise business grants, using federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.  The funding can be utilized to address emergency needs in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to $10,000 for microenterprise businesses (a commercial enterprise that has 5 or fewer employees) are now available.  CLICK HERE (  to connect directly to the online application.

The application process will be open on a rolling basis in 2020-2021.  Businesses interested in applying must fill out the online application only. For further questions refer to the FAQ or contact: Gideon Schreiber, Senior Planner, or at (617) 972-6417.


Economic Profile

Watertown CEOs and professionals are quoted on everything from health insurance to interior design. In recent news, it is a Watertown company that has developed a cutting edge high-tech lithium-ion battery. Another firm is at the forefront of the national move to digitize health care records. A Watertown company involved in clinical research for biotech and pharmaceuticals beat out 81 other applicants for coveted accelerator loans from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. The renowned Brewer Fountain from the Boston Common is being restored in Watertown by a preeminent art restoration firm. Harvard University publishes at the Arsenal, only one of many occupants of this historic complex overlooking the river. Perhaps less known is the fact that Watertown is home to the nation's largest custom manufacturer of titanium and carbon-fiber bicycles.

Watertown has a growing presence in the areas of information, design and engineering, and science and technology and continues to be strong in specialty building trades. With many start-up companies, the town has over 1,000 businesses that employ approximately 20,000 people. In 2006, $137 million in venture capital was invested in Watertown (Grow Think Research). Over the last ten years, businesses in Watertown have been granted 294 patents ranging from infrared thermometers to biomolecule crystallization (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office).

The largest private companies in Town include:

  • Tufts Associated Health Plans
  • Athenahealth, Inc
  • Bright Horizons Family Solutions
  • JC Cannistraro
  • Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
  • Sasaki Associates, Inc.
  • Communispace Corp
  • Harvard Business School Publishing
  • New England Research Institutes, Inc.
  • Doble Engineering


The Town occupies a key position in the Metro-west Region, on a line between Boston and Worcester, adjacent to Cambridge, MIT, and Harvard as well as the teaching hospitals of Boston. Watertown has excellent access to the MassPike (I-90), Storrow Drive, and U.S. Routes 3 and 20, and Logan Airport can be reached in 20 to 25 minutes. Regular bus service on Routes 71, 73, and 70 provides direct access to Red Line stations in Harvard Square and Central Square. Express buses to Boston's Financial District and Back Bay leave from Watertown Square.


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Community Profile

Watertown is a hidden gem with many of the benefits of a small town with access to the economic, cultural, and educational resources of a big city. Cultural destinations like the Arsenal Center for the Arts are complemented by safe neighborhoods, a good school system, international food offerings, coffee shops, and fresh green grocers. The Perkins School for the Blind is located on a gracious campus overlooking the river. Watertown has approximately 33,000 residents and a workforce of 20,000. More than half of the residents have occupations in management, professional, and related occupations, and approximately 25% are in sales and office occupations. Ninety percent of Watertown residents have a high school degree, and 52% have a Bachelors Degree or higher.

Watertown Labor and Workforce


The Charles River runs along the southern edge of the Town, providing approximately 10 miles of continuous bicycling and walking trails on both banks. The proposed three-mile Watertown Branch Rail Trail will eventually connect these paths with Fresh Pond and the Minuteman Trail. The beautifully landscaped Mount Auburn Cemetery is located predominantly in Watertown. The Arsenal Center for the Arts is home to the New Repertory Theater and Watertown Children's Theater, and offers a wide range of events and educational activities.

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