By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Rosana Rivera opened the Latino Beauty Salon on Washington Street 20 years ago, right when Tom Menino became mayor.

She says he’s been her ally throughout. A framed 8 x 10 photograph of Rivera and his honor adorns the wall of her beauty shop. She was awarded Egleston Square’s “Business of the Year” in 2011 and Menino was on hand to congratulate her.

“I’m very, very sad that he’s leaving,” Rivera says. “We are going to miss him a lot.”

Here in Roxbury’s, and around the city, businesses counted on his support.

“He has been very helpful to us,” Rivera explains. “He’s always available when we need him.”

But while most saw his friendly side, the mayor was the city’s ultimate power broker.

Nothing escaped his notice – and everyone sought his approval.

“He was tough when he had to be tough,” according to Paul Guzzi, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “He was very straightforward and I think people in business respect that.”

Guzzi says the mayor’s fingerprints are evident on projects all over the city, from the new convention center and innovation district to the revitalization work at Downtown Crossing.

Menino was the ultimate political power broker, too. Just last fall, Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren all but begged for the mayor’s endorsement of their respective campaigns.


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