May 31, 2014 | Union United | Leave a comment In mid-May, some Union Square businesses received information from their landlords and management companies informing them of substantial rent increases. These businesses that make up the block that include: G&T Alterations Living Well SCOM Services Somerville Grooves Red House India Palace Machu Picchu Somerville Cleaners Sherman Café and Market On Friday, May 30, Union United held a rally to demonstrate how the exorbitant rent increases hurt small, local and immigrant-owned businesses. After a few introductory remarks from group leaders were made, we visited local businesses that are being affected and showed our support to keep local jobs in Union Square. Will Union Square lose its soul to gain prosperity? Karen Nerefsky, community organizer for Somerville Community Corporation, is one of leaders of Union United helping to fight displacement. Where else but in Somerville could a record store like Grooves be so successful? What will happen if the neighborhood undergoes drastic changes that displace so many eclectic businesses that serve a meaningful purpose? Union United stands in front of Sherman Market in the heart of Union Square. Dirce (center, with sign) is the owner of G & T Alterations, part of 31 Union Square. Her rent will increase 50% effective July 1. Her story is similar to many other small business owners in Union Square. Living Well and Envios de Diner are two small shops facing possible displacement. G&T Alterations is just one of the small businesses that could be displaced from the redevelopment of Union Square. Kwan is the owner of Somerville Cleaners, which he runs with his wife. Union United wants to help local small businesses to stay and prosper. Union United visits Sherman Market. Avery behind the counter is happy to have the support!