The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT)…
Boston, Massachusetts is Named #1 Startup City in America
The City of Boston has been ranked the top ‘startup community’ in the U.S. for the second straight year, according to the new “Innovation That Matters” Report released by the national organizations 1776 and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center and FreeEnterprise.com. Boston is the “city best positioned to succeed in the next-wave digital economy,” noted the report. “Boston’s growing access to talent is a boon for the city, and its steady pipeline of next-wave innovators contributes to its vibrant startup community. Investment by city and civic leaders, universities and other research institutions also contributed to its rise in this year’s connectivity ranking.” Other cities in the Top Ten include: San Francisco Bay Area (#2), Philadelphia (#3), San Diego (#4), Austin (#5), Atlanta (#6), Dallas (#7), Seattle (#8), New York (#9) and Portland (#10). Governor Charlie Baker said the ranking “solidifies Boston and the Commonwealth’s standing as the best place to start and grow an innovative technology-focused business, whether it’s a startup emerging from one of our top academic institutions, or a major global company looking for next stage growth. This is a testament to the innovation ecosystem that exists here in Massachusetts, bringing together and building on the unique partnership between our universities and tech firms.” The report’s authors lauded Boston, Massachusetts for being “home to a high number of next-wave startups” that are backed by the region’s world-class universities, which generate top talent that power innovation. The report also showed “the share of next-wave startups—sectors spanning health, energy, education, and smart cities—grew 29 percent from last year,” critical growth given that nearly half of all startup investment is going to these types of companies, according to the report. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the Administration’s “investments in advanced manufacturing and workforce development are designed to support the growth of innovative companies, supplying a deep bench of experienced and highly trained employees. As we continue those types of investments in infrastructure, talent, and more, we look forward to the Commonwealth remaining a global leader in the innovation economy.” For cities looking to improve their ranking, the report’s authors suggest embracing unique characteristics and to establish “industry-specific startup clusters that capitalize on your city’s distinct advantages,” while also bridging the gap between a city’s startups, investors, public officials and other business leaders. Engaging the next generation of talented workers and encouraging them to join the startup culture, while also promoting entrepreneurship and innovation are two other suggestions. Executive Director/CEO Tim Connelly of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative said, “Working on behalf of the Commonwealth and the Baker-Polito Administration, we’ve been pleased to spearhead economic development programs which bolster our talent pipeline, provide mentoring opportunities for new entrepreneurs, and invest in high-value R&D projects which spur increased engagement and interaction between our universities and top global companies.”
Global Cruise Industry Contributes $486 Million to Massachusetts Economy
A new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) indicates that the global cruise industry contributed $486 million to Massachusetts’ economy in 2016, up nearly 10 percent since 2014. CLIA is the largest cruise industry trade association and the leading authority of the global cruise community. CLIA’s 2016 Economic Impact Analysis was commissioned by CLIA and conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA). It reveals that the cruise industry’s direct expenditures in Massachusetts generated total economic impacts of 7,329 jobs and $483 million in wages and salaries. CLIA President and CEO Cindy D’Aoust said, “The cruise industry is a critical contributor to the U.S. economy and we see evidence of the industry’s positive effect spreading into every state, including Massachusetts.” A reason for the growth, D’Aoust said, was “the continuous improvements Boston has invested in its CruisePort…cruise ships sailing from Boston carried significantly more passengers in 2016. Massachusetts continues to be an important market for the cruise industry.” In June 2017, Massport officially named the its facility Flynn Cruiseport Boston, in honor of former Boston Mayor and Vatican Ambassador Raymond L. Flynn, who jump-started the city’s waterfront in 1986 during his first term as mayor. According to the report, Boston generated 431,000 passenger and crew visits, producing $34.8 million in passenger and crew onshore spending, or approximately $81 per visit. In addition, CLIA’s study reports that tourism-related businesses received approximately $213 million, or 44 percent of the cruise industry’s direct spending in Massachusetts. Another $187 million, or 38 percent of the industry’s direct spending in Massachusetts was spent with businesses in five business segments: food processors, petroleum companies, advertising agencies, insurance agencies and management consulting firms. The remaining 18 percent of direct expenditures in Massachusetts impacted other industries including law firms and business service companies such as computer services, software consulting and marketing, manufacturers of textile and apparel products, and educational and training institutions. Here is the 2017 cruise schedule at Flynn Cruiseport Boston, which ends November 13, 2017. For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Baker-Polito Administration Awards $8.5 Million in First Round of 2017 MassWorks Grants
Photo: Announcement of MassWorks Awards at State House on October 10 This week, Massachusetts elected officials joined community leaders to announce over $8.5 million in MassWorks Program Infrastructure awards to 10 rural towns in Massachusetts. These projects are the first of the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program’s 2017 awards, spurring regional and local roadway improvements in Boxborough, Chester, Colrain, Monroe, Mount Washington, Oakham, Rowe, Southampton, Stockbridge and Warren. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation. Governor Charlie Baker called the MassWorks Infrastructure Program “an important resource for cities and towns pursuing projects that drive local job growth and economic development in the Commonwealth’s communities. From safer streets and bridges to vital access to housing and our downtowns, these projects will further connect the residents of Massachusetts’ rural communities to schools, job opportunities and their neighbors.” The MassWorks Infrastructure Program makes grants to municipalities for public infrastructure projects that generate additional private sector investment. Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10% of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “These projects will enhance public safety and community access for first responders, school buses, residents and tourists in our rural cities and towns. Governor Baker and I have been proud to increase funding for and support the reauthorization of MassWorks as a vital and flexible program for upgrading infrastructure across the Commonwealth.” Since 2015, and including this year’s awards, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $274 million to 134 projects in 106 communities throughout the Commonwealth, spurring the development of over 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, over 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms and commercial/retail space. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the MassWorks awards “are highly sought after funds that make targeted investments in shovel-ready projects. Communities receiving these awards have made significant efforts to attract private development and undertake impactful infrastructure projects to create new economic opportunities for residents and small businesses in their region.” Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan called the MassWorks program “one of the most useful tools we have for supporting economic growth in our cities and towns. The awards announced today will go a long way to improving critical transportation infrastructure in these communities.” Secretary of Transportation and MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack said, “MassDOT is proud to work with the Department of Housing and Economic Development on the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. These grants will renew critical local infrastructure which connects our residents and visitors in rural communities to the education resources, hospitals, and the good and vital services they need.” Senate President Stan Rosenberg said, “These grants will address longstanding issues in communities across the Commonwealth. I am grateful that these needs have been recognized and that we are starting to address them.” In August 2016, Governor Baker signed to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million over the past two fiscal years.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Economic Development Incentives for 14 Projects
(Photo: J&E Precision Tool Inc.) On September 20, 2017, the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 14 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 722 net new jobs and retain 1,050 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $124 million in private investment. Of the applicants this quarter, 11 are manufacturing companies and six are located in Gateway Cities. Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts offers companies committed to expanding and creating jobs in the Commonwealth an unparalleled workforce and robust educational resources. Our administration works closely with municipalities and companies to spur regional economic growth through programs like EDIP, the Site-Readiness Fund, MassWorks and other targeted investments that leverage Massachusetts’ many assets to attract new opportunities for long-term growth.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said today’s announcement brings “new, private investment to thirteen communities, from Cape Cod to Pittsfield. We will continue to partner with communities across the Commonwealth to pursue strategies for long-term economic growth to connect more residents to new job opportunities.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “Programs like EDIP, MassWorks, the Site-Readiness Fund and more aid municipalities in removing roadblocks to development, attracting private investment and pursuing a vision for long-term, sustainable economic growth.” Assistant Secretary of Business Development Nam Pham said, “I congratulate the fourteen companies represented by today’s announcement. Not only will these companies create new jobs in manufacturing, the blue economy, real-estate development and food services, but will invest in regional economies and commercial infrastructure.” The EACC has approved 164 economic development projects since the beginning of the Baker-Polito Administration in January 2015. These projects will lead to the creation of 9,003 jobs, retention of 21,121 existing jobs, and will leverage almost $3.3 billion in private investment. Additionally, the EACC has assisted 75 manufacturing companies and 78 companies in Gateway Cities during this period. See a list of the companies here.
Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito visit transportation investments across Massachusetts
Photo: Governor Baker & Secretary of Transportation Pollack Visit a Construction Site In July, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito visited Mass Department of Transportation Highway Districts to highlight the positive regional impacts of over $2.8 billion spent since 2015 on highway construction projects and bridges, pavement, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes, while authorizing over $700 million in Chapter 90 local transportation funding for cities and towns. In addition, $30 million has been invested through Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridge programming to support local transportation planning and community bridges not eligible for federal aid. Statewide, those investments have paved approximately 2,000 lane miles, enough to cross Massachusetts and back at least 5 times; installed 160 miles of sidewalk, almost encircling the Quabbin Reservoir; and rehabilitated or replaced approximately 80 bridges. Projects include installing new safety equipment, optimizing traffic configuration, lane and intersection widening and promoting reduced congestion. Governor Baker said, “By improving our highway infrastructure through investments in our roads and bridges, we can enable people throughout our cities and towns to travel to the places, jobs, and opportunities that strengthen our Commonwealth and its communities.” For more details on the visits to various transportation construction projects, see Making Massachusetts Great blog from the Governor’s Office.
Baker-Polito Administration Award Economic Development Incentives for 16 Projects
Photo: Publick House Historic Inn, Strubridge, Massachusetts On June 21, 2017, the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved tax incentives through the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) that will support the expansion of 16 companies. These projects are expected to create 644 new jobs and retain 2,196 existing jobs across Massachusetts, leveraging $359 million in private investment. Governor Charlie Baker called the EDIP “an important tool for leveraging private investment and creating new job opportunities across the Commonwealth. We welcome these firms’ commitment to expanding and investing in their local communities and providing careers for those looking for work.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the awards will “support job and economic growth at family owned companies, manufacturers, hospitality providers and more across fifteen communities in Massachusetts.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the program “supports companies from Braintree to Sturbridge, and from Lenox to Lawrence, catalyzing further growth and development across diverse sectors.” Assistant Secretary of Business Development Nam Pham said the incentives “help companies big and small pursue expansion projects, relocate and hire more workers to increase productivity. We are eager to partner with our local partners and entrepreneurs to create jobs and build strong businesses.” Among the 16 projects brought before the EACC, four companies receiving local or state tax incentives this quarter are manufacturers, and four companies are located in Gateway Cities. In total, the EACC has approved 150 economic development projects since January 2015, including 64 manufacturers and 72 companies in Gateway Cities. These projects will lead to the creation and retention of more than 27,800 jobs, and will leverage more nearly $3.2 billion in private investment. The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available at Massachusetts Office of Business Development. Approved Projects: Channel Fish Processing Co., Inc. (Braintree) – A family-owned and operated processor of North Atlantic fish plans to purchase a 60,000 square foot cold storage facility and renovate the structure for their processing needs. They will create 32 new jobs, retain 98 existing jobs and make a private investment of $15.3 million. The EACC Board awarded the project $240,000 in state tax credits. J. Polep Distribution Services (Chicopee) – The company is a full service convenience store distributor operating in all of New England, NY, NJ and PA. They plan a 32,000 square foot expansion that will include a new cold service dock and a new freezer/cooler and will create 77 new jobs, retain 486 jobs and make a private investment of $9 million. The City of Chicopee awarded the project a five-year Tax Increment Financing (TIF) valued at approximately $73,103 and the EACC Board awarded $477,850 in state tax credits. Valentine and Kebartas, LLC (Lawrence) Valentine and Kebartas provides third-party collection services to public and private sector clients. They plan to make a private investment of $385,250 to lease and fit-out additional space and will create 50 new jobs and retain 143 current employees. The EACC Board awarded the project $250,000 in state tax credits. Litecontrol Corporation (Plympton) – For 80 years the company has produced commercial lighting in MA. They plan to expand in their current location by 25,000 square feet and convert it to manufacturing, as well as purchasing and installing new manufacturing equipment. The company will create 60 new jobs, retain 163 existing positions and making a $4.7 million private investment. The EACC Board has awarded $450,000 in state tax credits. Publick House Service Corp. (Sturbridge) – The Publick House is an historic inn opened in 1771 with 100 guestrooms. Owners will build a 21,226 square foot hotel complex on the grounds with a new lobby and parking. The project will create 10 new jobs, retain 87 current positions while making a $6.3 million private investment. The Town of Sturbridge approved a 10 year TIF valued at $188,000 and the EACC Board approved $50,000 in state tax credits. Local Incentives Only Projects: Insulet Corporation (Acton) – Insulet is a medical device manufacturer engaged in the development, manufacturing and sale of its proprietary, innovative, easy-to-use insulin infusion system. They plan to acquire and improve a facility in Acton to house their new manufacturing line, clean rooms and office space and will create 250 new jobs and retain 500 existing positions. The Town of Acton has approved a 20 year TIF valued at $2.8 million. Fresenius Kabi Compounding, LLC (Canton) – Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition and selected Canton, MA as the location for a new, state-of-the-art, pharmaceutical compounding facility for their first location in the Commonwealth. Fresenius Kabi will create 65 new jobs and make an $8.6 million private investment. The Town of Canton has approved a five-year Special Tax Agreement (STA) valued at $265,605. Chicopee Hospitality, LLC (Chicopee) – Chicopee Hospitality will construct a 49,750 square foot TRU Hotel by Hilton which will have 108 rooms commercial or retail space. The new hotel will create 30 new jobs and retain an existing 3 jobs. They plan to make a $11.3 million private investment and the Town of Chicopee approved a five-year TIF valued to be $187,756. GlassTech Boat Service, LLC (Gloucester) – GlassTech Boat Service provides owners of watercraft, large or small, high-quality custom repair and detailing services as well as full engine services for all major brands of marine engines, diesel repair and maintenance. The company plans to expand and erect a 60′ x 120′ storage facility onsite and create 3 new jobs and retain the 3 existing jobs. The private investment is expected to be $550,000 and the City of Gloucester has approved a seven-year TIF valued at $22,749. CPI Radant Technologies Inc. (Hudson) – The Company is a leading supplier of advanced composite radomes, reflectors and antenna for military and commercial use. They plan to lease a new facility, make the alterations needed and purchase and install new equipment, creating 30 new jobs, retaining 70 jobs and making a private investment of $5.4 million. The Town of Hudson has approved a 20 year TIF valued at $671,650. Morrison’s Home Improvement Specialists, Inc. (Lenox) – Morrison’s Home Improvement is a family-owned and operated company established in 1992. They purchased and renovated an abandoned building and turned it into a renovation and remodeling center and will create five new employees and retain 15 while making a private investment of $666,000. The Town of Lenox approved a five-year TIF valued to be $19,734. NBCUniversal Media LLC (Needham) – NBCUniversal Media is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. They are considering the establishment of a world class broadcast and digital media center in Needham. The project would relocate 375 employees at current facilities in Burlington and Newton to Needham. The Town of Needham approved a 10 year TIF valued to be over $2 million. Cox Engineering Company (Randolph) – Founded in 1914 Cox Engineering is a third-generation, family-owned manufacturer of large air handling units, HVAC piping and sheet metal ductwork and will be purchasing and renovating an estimated 70,380 square foot vacant building in Randolph for use as a corporate headquarters and for manufacturing operations. The expansion will create 20 new jobs, retain 140 jobs and make a private investment of $9 million. The Town of Randolph has approved a six-year STA valued at $463,000. Arland Tool and Manufacturing, Inc. (Sturbridge) – Arland Tool and Manufacturing is a 65 year old contract manufacturer and engineering company, which has expanded into commercial real estate leasing. They plan to build a 43,000 square foot office building to attract new professional and medical services businesses to town. The company will be making a $4 million investment and the Town of Sturbridge has approved a five-year TIF estimated to be worth $67,000. Agri-Mark, Inc. (West Springfield) – Agri-Mark is a premier dairy co-operative in the Northeast in business since 1916 and marketing $3.2 billion gallons of fresh milk each year for 1,075 dairy families in New England and New York. Agri-Mark farmers own the award-winning Cabot brand of cheddar products. The company plans to develop a 15,600 square foot expansion to an existing plant. They will hire 16 new employees and retain 115 current positions while investing over $17 million. The Town of West Springfield approved a five-year TIF estimated to be worth over $240,000. Armory Business Center, LLC (Worcester) – Amory Business Center plans to construct a new 20,500 square foot. building consisting of 10 suites of between 1,880 and 2,300 square feet for high tech industrial, manufacturing and R&D companies. The City of Worcester has approved a 20 year TIF valued at over $770,000.
Governor Baker addresses Massachusetts’ life sciences commitment at BIO International Convention
Governor Charlie Baker addressed the 2017 BIO International Convention in San Diego this week to reinforce Massachusetts’ commitment to the life sciences sector as tech and innovation firms around the globe look to expand. Governor Baker also welcomed attendees to the 2018 BIO International Convention, which will be hosted at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) in June 2018. Here is a video of Governor Baker’s speech. Earlier in the week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a legislative proposal to bolster Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences sector, which would provide up to $500 million over five years for strategic investments in public infrastructure, research and development, workforce training and education, including up to $295 million in capital authorization and up to $150 million job-creating tax incentives. Governor Baker said, “We are committed to supporting the public-private partnerships and strategic investments that have made Massachusetts a global leader in the life sciences, research, development and medical advancements. This proposal empowers the Commonwealth and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to continue that success, attracting world-class companies in innovation and technology, giving researchers the best available tools and educational environment, training our workforce and providing successful careers here in Massachusetts.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “Our administration has a strong commitment to increasing educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math for students across Massachusetts. We have a talented pipeline ready to lead and learn in the life sciences, and through this proposal, we are excited to provide more opportunities for the Commonwealth’s fastest growing industry.” The BIO International Convention is hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) which represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.
Governor Baker’s Statewide Tour Highlights Successful Education Programs in Massachusetts
Governor Baker with students at the John D. O’Bryant School in Roxbury. This spring, the Baker-Polito Administration toured elementary, vocational technical and early education schools around the state to highlight what makes a Massachusetts education great. In addition, Governor Charlie Baker announced new programs aimed at college affordability and completion. Stops along the tour included the Forest Park Middle School in Springfield (May 16); the Bentley Elementary School in Salem (May 24) and the Head Start program and childcare center at the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.(GLCAC) (May 24); and Leominister High School (May 31) and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fitchburg (June 15). After the Montachusett school visit, Governor Baker released a video capturing moments from the statewide education tour. “Our administration is proud of the hard work invested in learning and skill building throughout the system,” said Governor Baker. “We will continue to focus on opportunities, from early education to affordable college tuition rates, to strengthen every community and provide a bright future for our students.” On May 22, Governor Baker announced the expansion of a dual enrollment program between Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science in Roxbury. College officials pledged to fully-fund financial aid needs for qualified students from the John D. O’Bryant High School who are enrolled in the dual enrollment program and admitted to the Academy. On May 30, Governor Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the creation of The Boston Bridge, a tuition-free pilot program for 2017 high school graduates who live in the City of Boston. The goal of the historic partnership is to eliminate financial barriers that prevent low-income students from going to college full-time, in order to boost college completion rates. “Boston Bridge is not just about access to college; it’s not just about low-cost or affordable college. It’s about college success and completion. This is about encouraging students and providing incentives for students to go to school full-time and complete on time,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. On June 2, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Secretary Peyser, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II in announcing $2.2 million in Skills Capital Grants to 10 vocational high schools. Since creating the grants last year, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $26.4 million in Skills Capital Grants to schools that partner with local businesses to align curriculum and credentials with businesses’ demand to maximize hiring opportunities. Since taking office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has proposed increasing spending on all K-12 schools by more than $318 million.
Governor Baker Announces $9.3 Million in Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Awards
Photo Caption: Governor Charlie Baker speaks at the Seamen’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home Last week Governor Charlie Baker joined state and local officials and cultural leaders at the historic Seamen’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home in New Bedford to announce $9.3 million in new awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF). The grants are included in the Baker-Polito Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget Plan. This new round of awards brings the total cultural investment to over $100 million since the fund was established ten years ago. Governor Baker said that Massachusetts “shares a rich history and diverse culture that benefit residents and attract visitors from around the nation and the world.” He described the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund as “a tremendously powerful way for us to lend investments across the commonwealth for really important local endeavors and projects.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the awards “help cities, towns and their nonprofit partners restore and preserve culturally and historically significant sites that provide educational opportunities to visitors and local families.” “The Cultural Facilities Fund has delivered on its original mission to support the nonprofit arts, humanities, and sciences to create jobs and new economic opportunity in the Commonwealth,” said Jay Ash, secretary, Executive Housing and Economic Development, and chair of the Board of MassDevelopment, which unanimously approved the grants at its May 11 meeting. “Today we celebrate a 10-year, public-private partnership that has strengthened one of our state’s greatest assets: its arts and cultural sector,” said Anita Walker, executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “We are deeply grateful to the Governor and Legislature for the sustained commitment to the Cultural Facilities Fund.” Over $100 million in CFF awards since 2007 have supported 772 building projects in the nonprofit arts, sciences and humanities, with total development costs of $2.6 billion, driving cultural tourism, job growth, and community vitality in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Over ten years CFF-funded projects have supported 8,512 full time jobs and $492 million in wages, employed 23,778 architects, engineers, contractors, and construction workers, and created 2,092 new permanent jobs. Led by the Waterfront Historic Area League and the New Bedford Port Society, the Seamen’s Bethel project restores and preserves two of the city’s most iconic buildings, honors New Bedford’s fishermen and enhances the Whaling National Historical Park, site of one of the most beloved passages from Herman Melville’s classic American novel, “Moby Dick,” as an international visitor destination. The newly reopened historic Seamen’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home in the city’s Seaport Cultural District, had received a $440,000 matching CFF grant in 2014, and Governor Baker announced an additional $150,000 for the facility at the May 19 event. MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones said, “The Cultural Facilities Fund supports the Commonwealth’s priceless cultural and historical resources, which create jobs, draw thousands of visitors to Massachusetts, and grow the state’s creative economy.” The new round of awards includes 61 capital grants totaling about $8.9 million and another 18 planning grants totaling nearly $400,000. Grants range from $7,000 to $300,000, and must be matched one-to-one from private and/or other public sources. MassDevelopment and Mass Cultural Council jointly administer the CFF, and an Advisory Committee appointed by the Governor provides oversight to its operation. The grants announced on May 19 were supported with $10 million from the state’s fiscal year 2017 capital plan, authorized by the state Legislature and allocated by the Governor. Learn more about the CFF here.
MassEcon Welcomes New Companies to Massachusetts
In April 2017, MassEcon held its 9th annual Corporate Reception at Sanofi Genzyme‘s headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The popular networking event, held annually, connected representatives from eighteen new companies in Massachusetts to private sector leaders and senior state officials. Governor Charlie Baker greeted the assembly of 125 business and government leaders, telling them, “Massachusetts continues to succeed in attracting new jobs, development and investment from around the world and we are excited for the role these new companies will play in our economy and communities in the years to come.” The company locations of origin include Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland and China, as well as Michigan, Florida, Rhode Island and California. In total, these companies add more than 800 new jobs to the Commonwealth, and represent a wide variety of industries including life sciences, education, energy, manufacturing, technology, and transportation. Bill Sibold, Global Head of MS, Immunology & Oncology at Sanofi Genzyme welcomed the companies, telling them, “We have created an innovative ecosystem here that allows us to work with academic institutions, nurturing both public and private partnerships. There’s no greater place in the world to be.” The 18 new companies attending the Corporate Welcome: 3Decor in Lawrence; Air Berlin in Boston; Bayer East Coast Innovation Center in Cambridge; BeWell Connect’s Visiomed Group in Boston; Biognosys in Beverly; Brammer Bio in Cambridge, Lexington, and Somerville; DONG Energy in Boston; Duro-Last in Ludlow; Eataly in Boston; Founders Science Group in Taunton; For the Record (FTR) in Woburn; LEO Pharma in Cambridge; Moby Dick Brewing Co. in New Bedford; Nexthink in Boston; Signature Healthcare Services in Westborough; Smartick in Boston; Prodrive Technologies in South Weymouth; and Vcanbio in Natick. “This event is an opportunity for ambassadors for the state to say welcome to Massachusetts and thank you for investing here,” said MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston. “It is also an opportunity for us to connect these new companies with the robust network of resources Massachusetts has to offer.” Read more about MassEcon here.
Small Business Month in Massachusetts
Photo: Lt. Governor Karyn Polito kicks off Small Business Month at Clark University in Worcester. On stage is (l-r) Peter Milano, MOBD Regional Director, and Jay Ash, Secretary of EOHED. The Baker-Polito Administration officially proclaimed May as Small Business Month in Massachusetts, citing small businesses as “the backbone of the American economy.” This month, the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) and Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) have scheduled ten listening sessions across the Commonwealth to discuss ways in which Massachusetts can encourage economic growth and job creation. These listening sessions will inform the economic development strategy of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. Here is a schedule of the listening sessions. Governor Charlie Baker said that small businesses “account for close to half of our state’s employment and our administration will continue to advance policies and partnerships to support our local economy. We welcome this opportunity to further engage the small business community on ideas to drive new growth and job creation.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the contributions of small businesses “extend beyond the number of jobs they create and serve as a backbone of every region, downtown and community in Massachusetts. We look forward to highlighting existing resources available to small businesses and soliciting further ideas through listening sessions across the state.” EOHED Secretary Jay Ash said, “We are looking to create continuous engagement with our small business community to collaborate on how to best support this critical sector of the Massachusetts’ economy.” MOBD Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham said the listening sessions “give us the opportunity to discuss the complex issues that our small businesses face, from access to capital to navigating state resources. Through conversations with stakeholders and local leaders, we hope to identify the challenges in each region of the Commonwealth and build strategies to expand opportunities for our small businesses.”
Quincy 400 Initiative Launched to Celebrate the Past & Future of the City of Presidents
The City of Quincy, known as the City of Presidents, has announced its new Quincy 400 initiative, an ambitious and all-encompassing endeavor to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding in 1625. This week, Mayor Thomas P. Koch unveiled the Quincy 400 initiative before a packed room at the Great Hall in Quincy City Hall, by posing the basic question, “Where do we want Quincy to be in 2025?” Koch helped answer the question by discussing key topics that ranged from tourism and economic development to arts and culture, education and transportation. Getting all of Quincy’s historic neighborhoods involved is also a key component of the initiative. “The most important voice will be yours,” Koch said to the residents, when describing how the plans will take shape in the years leading up to 2025. A short video was presented at the meeting, extolling the historical significance of Quincy, with commentary by Governor Charlie Baker, Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough and Mayor Koch himself. The Quincy 400 initiative also has its own website, Quincy400.com, which provides a calendar of upcoming information meetings in Quincy’s various neighborhoods, plus a survey to solicit input and creative ideas directly from residents. The web site will keep people informed of ongoing plans tying into the celebration. Quincy is one of over two dozen cities, towns and neighborhoods that are celebrating a 400th anniversary between 2020 and 2030. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is helping to spearhead a concerted effort to coordinate a variety of plans that launch with the Plymouth400 celebration in 2020.
Massachusetts Holds 10 Small Business Listening Sessions throughout May
On behalf of the Baker-Polito Administration, EOHED Secretary Jay Ash invites you to attend a listening session on small business in your region of the Commonwealth. Please register in advance for the event of your choice. Topics include: Doing Business in Massachusetts (regulations, taxes, fees) Government Resources (grants, networks, expertise) Access to Capital (community based lending, micro-lending, seed money, predatory lending) Access to Government Contracts & Supplier Diversity Main Street Support Discussion on Local Issues Central Kick-off with Lieutenant Governor Polito Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. Clark University Higgins Center Worcester, MA Register Here Cape Cod with Deputy Secretary Carolyn Kirk Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. Chatham Community Center Chatham, MA Register Here. West Mass with Secretary Jay Ash Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Holyoke Community College Kittredge Center Holyoke, MA Register Here: Berkshire County with Secretary Jay Ash Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. Berkshire Community College Pittsfield, MA Register Here. Northeast with Deputy Secretary Carolyn Kirk Monday, May 15, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. Salem State University Salem, MA Register Here. South Coast with Assistant Secretary Juan Vega Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. Bristol Community College Fall River, MA Register Here. Brockton with Lieutenant Governor Polito Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. The Conference Center at Massasoit Brockton, MA Register Here. MetroWest with Secretary Jay Ash Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. The Center for Arts Natick (TCAN) Natick, MA Register Here. North Central with Secretary Jay Ash Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. Mount Wachusett Community College Gardner, MA Register Here. Greater Boston with Secretary Jay Ash Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. MassChallenge Boston, MA Register Here. Print the full schedule here.
Massachusetts Celebrates Tourism Day at the State House
Caption: Regional Tourism Councils shared their wares at Tourism Day. (Photograph by Shannon Healey) Tourism officials from across the Commonwealth gathered at the State House on Thursday, April 6 to celebrate Tourism Day in Massachusetts. The annual event is hosted by the 16 Regional Tourism Councils (RTCs) of Massachusetts, along with the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, the Massachusetts Visitors Industry Council and Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT). Representing the Baker-Polito Administration were Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade Nam Pham and MOTT Executive Director Francois-Laurent Nivaud. To kick off the event, Nivaud presented a Tourism Day Proclamation from the Baker-Polito Administration to Susan Nicholl, RTC representative and executive director of Metro West Visitors Bureau. The proclamation praised the tourism industry “for contributing to our year round economic growth, employment and cultural identity.” Other speakers at Tourism Day included Representative Cory Atkins and Senator Adam G. Hinds, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. Ann Marie Casey, executive director of the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, was emcee at the event. The officials presented Champion of Tourism awards to State Senator Karen E. Spilka and State Representative Mathew Muratore. The centerpiece of Tourism Day each year is the exhibition of tourism literature and culinary treats from the regional tourism councils. This is where legislators, state officials and the general public have a chance to meet representatives of each tourism region, pick up the latest brochures and maps, and sample the local food and beverage. Among the favorite products this year were clam chowder, cider donuts, Boston creme pies and cupcakes, and Cape Cod chips. In 2015, 25 million domestic and 2.5 million international travelers came to Massachusetts, a total of 27.5 million visitors. They spent $20.2 billion on lodging, meals, cultural and recreational attractions, transportation and retail. This direct spending generated $1.3 billion in state and local taxes, and supplied over 135,000 jobs in Massachusetts. MOTT’s mission is to promote Massachusetts as both a leisure and business travel destination to domestic and international markets and to contribute to the growth of the Commonwealth’s economy. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Economic Development Incentives for 13 Projects
Photo: Parathletes compete against each other with state-of-the-art technology using Maxon Motors. Earlier this month, the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved tax incentives through the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) to support the expansion of 13 companies in 11 communities. These projects are expected to create 1,181 new jobs and retain 4,685 existing jobs across Massachusetts, and deliver $469 million in private investment. Governor Charlie Baker said the incentive program “helps Massachusetts companies make investments, expand operations, hire people, and grow their businesses. The program builds on our efforts to promote growth across the Commonwealth, drawing new employers from out of state, and helping those already here grow, and complements investments in our people and our communities to drive sustained economic growth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the targeted investments “will create new jobs and economic opportunities by unlocking business growth and private job creation,” adding that the program “allows us to make these investments into growing companies, supporting the workers, families, and businesses of Massachusetts.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash called EDIP “an investment in the future of the Commonwealth (that) will ensure employment and business opportunities for our residents. The awards we approved today will support advanced manufacturing in Agawam, food enterprise in Pittsfield, and apparel distribution in East Bridgewater. This diversity is why Massachusetts thrives, and why our economy will continue to grow.” Assistant Secretary of Business Development Nam Pham said EDIP has enabled Massachusetts “to cultivate innovative businesses, traditional manufacturers, and main street entrepreneurs. Ensuring that all our entrepreneurs and businesses have the opportunity to succeed is an important part of our mission, and EDIP helps to make that a reality.” Six of the awarded projects this quarter are manufacturers, and 8 projects are located in Gateway Cities. Including the projects approved today, the EACC has approved 134 economic development projects since January 2015, including 60 manufacturers and 68 companies in Gateway Cities. These projects will lead to the creation and retention of more than 25,500 jobs, and will leverage more than $2.8 billion in private investment. The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available on the Massachusetts Office of Business Development’s website. Approved Projects Manufacturing Retention Projects Evans Machine Company, Inc. (Brockton) – Evans Machine Company is a precision manufacturer of machined parts. They plan to add 10,000 square feet to their current facility to expand operations, and will create 14 new jobs while retaining 59 and investing $2,262,750. The EACC Board approved $105,000 in investment tax credits. 3Dekor LLC (Lawrence) – 3Dekor is an online retailer planning to invest $2,136,500 to transition into a manufacturer of shower curtains, curtain panels, tapestries, slipcovers, and rugs. The company currently imports all its products. This shift will create 35 new jobs and retain 1 job. The EACC Board approved $256,380 in investment tax credits. Maxon Precision Motors, Inc. (Taunton) – Maxon Precision Motors is a wholesale distributor planning to expand into the assembly and modification of motors. As part of this process, the company is relocating to Taunton, investing $11,085,000, creating 70 new jobs, and retaining 42 jobs. The City of Taunton has approved a tax-increment financing agreement (TIF) valued at $1,148,638. The EACC Board approved $1,000,000 in investment tax credits. Modern Mold and Tool, Inc. (Pittsfield) – Modern Mold and Tool specializes in design, engineering, complex mold manufacturing, and injection molding. The company is investing $3,000,000 to expand its operations in Pittsfield, creating 20 new jobs and retaining 50 existing jobs. The EACC Board approved $145,000 in investment tax credits. Enhanced Expansion Projects Wayfair, LLC (Boston) – Wayfair is an online furniture and accessories company that is investing $105,178,207 to expand its offices and equipment, and hire new employees to staff a variety of departments, including software and systems engineering, online marketing and analytics, merchandising, customer service, and sales. This expansion will create 460 new jobs, while retaining 2,880 jobs. The EACC Board approved $1,150,000 in investment tax credits. EFEKTA Group, Inc. / Education First (Cambridge) – EFEKTA, part of Education First, will invest $133,400,000 to develop a third building for educational and business uses, on its North Point campus in Cambridge. This expansion will allow EF to create 300 new jobs and retain 1,150 existing jobs. The EACC Board approved $6,000,000 in investment tax credits. Expansion Projects Sound Seal (Agawam) – Sound Seal manufactures sound control products, and plans to invest $950,000 to purchase new equipment and add 10,000 square feet to their building, expanding the company’s manufacturing capacity. This expansion will create 15 new jobs, and retain 63 existing jobs. The Town of Agawam has approved a TIF valued at $38,122. The EACC Board approved $75,000 in investment tax credits. Twins Enterprise, Inc. / ’47 Brand LLC (East Bridgewater) – Twins Enterprise, a distributor of sports apparel, is planning to invest $21,200,000 to expand and open a new distribution center in East Bridgewater. This new facility will create 30 new jobs, while retaining 287 existing jobs at other Twins Enterprise facilities, in Brockton and Salisbury. The Town of East Bridgewater has approved a TIF and personal property tax exemption valued at $536,000. The EACC Board approved $150,000 in investment tax credits. Shire City Herbals, Inc. / Shire City Apples LLC (Pittsfield) – Shire City Apples manufactures Fire Cider, an organic apple cider vinegar tonic. Shire City Apples plans to invest $1,272,005 to build a new commercial kitchen, and expand the company’s office space and warehouse. The expansion will create 10 new jobs and retain 14 existing jobs. The City of Pittsfield has approved a TIF valued at $42,788. The EACC Board approved $74,000 in investment tax credits. F.H. Cann & Associates, Inc. (North Andover) – F.H. Cann & Associates provides call center, answering, debt collection, and loan resolution services for student loans. The company is investing $1,887,500 to expand from 17,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet, after winning new business with the U.S. Department of Education. This expansion will create 220 new jobs, and retain 139 existing jobs. The EACC Board approved $2,000,000 in investment tax credits. Local Incentive-Only Projects Emerald Corporate Center, LLC (Chelsea) – Emerald Corporate Center invested $114,000,000 to purchase land from the City of Chelsea and develop a LEED Silver-certified, 275,000 square-foot office building, now home to the regional office of the FBI. The City of Chelsea has approved a TIF valued at $15,671,538. Naumkaeg, LLC (Salem) – Naumkaeg, LLC is making a capital investment $862,000 to improve a commercial building for an incoming occupant, A&J Artisan Bakers, who will expand with more production space. The City of Salem has approved a TIF valued at $84,122. Algonquin Acquisition Company, LLC (Taunton) – Algonquin Acquisition Company, the parent company of Boston Globe Media Partners, is consolidating its printing operations in Taunton. The City of Taunton has approved a TIF valued at $1,307,357 million. ###
U.S. News & World Report Names Massachusetts #1 State in America
U.S. News & World Report debuted its Best States rankings this week and Massachusetts was ranked the #1 State in the United States. The rankings are based on various factors, such as education health care, infrastructure, government economy, opportunity and justice. The project includes 28 rankings using 68 metrics, 26 data sources and 10,000 data points. Here is a summary of all 50 states. Massachusetts’ highest rankings include: # 1 Educational Attainment #1 College readiness #2 Medicare quality #3 Pre-K to 12th grade “Massachusetts is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of the strength and character of all those who call the Commonwealth home,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Everyone should be proud that Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in health care access and public education for all citizens, and our administration will continue to build on these accomplishments to bring more economic success to every corner of Massachusetts.” In an interview on CBS This Morning, Governor Baker joined Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer for the Report, to discuss the Commonwealth’s #1 overall ranking. “We have a lot of great schools” in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said. “That has led to a whole series of terrific, what I would call ecosystems around technology and healthcare and finance and education. You put it all together, in this day and age, in this kind of global economy and global world we live in, and it’s a terrific mix.” Health care factored into the state’s high rankings, according to the Report. In 2015, 96.4% of residents had health care insurance, the highest in the country, and the health care industry contributed $19.77 billion to state’s economy. Massachusetts also ranked first in Broadband access, and was also cited for its low unemployment and rate of new business growth, ranking second in the nation for new patents. “We also do have a bipartisan approach to working together,” Baker said. “People are okay with the ideas of compromise and collaboration. If you look at the success we’ve had policy-wise in the education, health care, and economy spaces, energy and a whole bunch of others, they’ve all been done on a bipartisan basis.” Reporter Visi Tilak, who wrote the Massachusetts summary, wrote, “Its vibrant academic environment, innovative and supportive health care policies and modernizing economy, measure for measure, make this small New England powerhouse with a population of 6.8 million the strongest state of all.” Tilak concluded that the indicators “point to a promising future for a state presently ranked No. 1 overall, a state whose fabric is woven with the modern and traditional, immense range and diversity, a formula that allows for tremendous innovation and growth.” Find out about visiting Massachusetts at MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council Awards $5 Million to 13 Communities
Port of New Bedford. Photo courtesy of New Bedford Tourism & Marketing Office. Earlier this month, the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced a total of $5 million in awards for 13 coastal communities. The grant awards advance collaborative initiatives to improve public infrastructure and promote maritime economic development in a wide array of coastal cities and towns. Governor Charlie Baker called the Blue Economy “an integral component of Massachusetts’s long-term economic growth, in sectors as diverse as robotics and commercial fishing. These investments will help modernize and repair vital infrastructure in New Bedford, encourage research and development in Falmouth, and generate maritime economic growth from Gloucester to Tisbury.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said that Massachusetts “has built a globally competitive economy on our ability to leverage the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, skills, and physical assets. The Seaport Economic Council gives coastal communities the tools to advance collaborative work and community-based plans that will encourage sustainable growth.” Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk, vice-chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said the Baker-Polito Administration “remains committed to supporting our 78 coastal cities and towns by making investments in waterfront planning and coastal assets which generate economic development.” Here is a link to the 2017 grant recipients of the Seaport Economic Council. The Seaport Economic Council advances the Baker-Polito Administration’s support for communities and residents across the state by leveraging unique economic assets to drive sustainable regional growth. The council was re-launched in August 2015, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast.
Governor Baker announces budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018
(Photo courtesy of State House News) The Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal on January 25, 2017. The $40.508 billion spending plan funds key priorities including local aid, education, workforce development, housing and homelessness services, and substance misuse prevention programs, while keeping spending in line with recurring revenues and does not raise taxes. See video on the budget proposal, with comments by Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance. “This budget reaffirms our commitment to the hardworking people of the Commonwealth to propose a balanced budget that significantly invests in education, workforce development and funds to fight the opioid epidemic—without raising taxes,” said Governor Baker. “While practicing fiscal discipline and reining in spending, we are also pleased to introduce new initiatives like the ‘Learn to Earn’ program to shrink the unemployment and underemployment gap in our state and a $4,000 tax-credit for employers hiring an unemployed veteran. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the legislature so that we can all make Massachusetts a better place to live, work, and raise a family.” Read more information on the Governor’s filing letter, budget message and specific account informmation.
Governor Baker Delivers Second State of the Commonwealth Address
This week, Governor Charlie Baker delivered his second State of the Commonwealth address from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Members of the audience included Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, members of the House and Senate, state officers, business leaders and community groups. “Our economy is among the strongest in the nation,“ Governor Baker told the assembled guests. “Over the past two years we’ve added 120,000 jobs. Today more people are working than at any time in the past 20 years. The companies of the future are moving to Massachusetts, bringing millions in private investment, while new companies are born here every day. In fact, for the second year in a row, Bloomberg named Massachusetts the #1 state for innovation. “It’s not an accident that Massachusetts is such an attractive place to do business. It’s a reflection of the quality of our people and the business climate we’ve created,” he said. Governor Baker also spoke about the progress being made on energy in Massachusetts. “Together, we passed landmark legislation that will reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining a competitively priced and reliable supply of energy. And we’ve built on those efforts by issuing an Executive Order on Climate Change that directs state government to work with local governments, business, and non-profits to develop plans to further protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” In terms of making government more efficient and more accessible to businesses and citizens in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said, “We’ve reviewed, updated and eliminated thousands of pages of outdated and obsolete state regulations, which has reduced red tape and made it easier for employers, non-profits and cities and towns to do their jobs.” Governor Baker also talked about Massachusetts’ innovation economy and its global reputation in technology, health and the life sciences. “We all know the world is becoming more and more dependent on technology. Smart buildings. Smarter machines. Robotics. Autonomous vehicles. Digital health. Precision manufacturing. And big data to name a few,” Baker said. “These are the platforms of the next generation of great companies and new jobs. And cyber security that moves as fast as the hackers, thieves and troublemakers is what makes this all possible. Success in protecting databases and smart machines will ensure that people benefit from the best ideas in science, engineering and technology for decades to come. Baker called Massachusetts “one of the three most important players in cyber security in the world,” and said the industry is just taking off. “Hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent over the next decade to protect information and assets. Massachusetts’ organizations should play a major role in driving these decisions. Over the next ten months we’ll bring together the best minds locally and globally to develop a blueprint for success here in Massachusetts. And we will follow it.” Finally, the governor praised the veterans of Massachusetts but noted that “too many of our returning heroes struggle to find good jobs. So we’ll be proposing a $4,000 tax credit for businesses hiring and retaining an unemployed veteran.” Here is the full text of Governor Baker’s address.
Massachusetts Senate Hosting Commonwealth Conversations 2017
The Massachusetts Senate is hosting its annual Commonwealth Conversations, a state wide listening tour of grassroots forums designed to connect state legislators directly with constituents to hear their ideas, concerns and suggestions. The series kicks off on Tuesday, January 31 in the Metro Boston region, and continues through Tuesday, April 11 in the North Shore region. See full schedule below. The Massachusetts State Senate is “bringing Beacon Hill to you with Commonwealth Conversations 2017,” said Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, who called the initiative “part of the next step in our ongoing efforts to make your government even more responsive and accessible to you.” Here is a schedule of the upcoming forums: Date Region January 31 Metro Boston February 7 South Coast February 28 South Shore March 7 Southeast March 14 Central Mass March 21 Northeast March 28 Western Mass April 4 MetroWest April 11 North Shore
Massachusetts “Open for Business” Initiative Offers New Approach to the State’s Real Estate Properties
In October 2015, Massachusetts launched a unique business opportunity initiative called Open for Business, which challenged agencies across state government to find the “highest and best use” of real properties and assets that are entrusted to the Commonwealth. The purpose, according to Governor Charlie Baker, was to protect natural resources, create economic opportunity, build housing, manage these lands with professionalism and creativity, and to generate appropriate revenue from leases and other partnerships. Governor Baker said, “This is an opportunity for the private and nonprofit sectors to partner with the Commonwealth as we look to support job creation, affordable housing, renewable energy, capital investment in state buildings, and otherwise manage the lands and buildings that are entrusted to us. We believe the best ideas won’t come from within government; they will come from the private sector, from local leaders, and from community stakeholders.” Last week Governor Baker briefed reporters about the progress that has been made through the Open for Business initiative, including the sale or lease of 22 state-owned pieces of land and the identification of 80+ potential projects. When these first 22 projects are fully executed, they will generate: $413 million in revenue 1,556 new housing units 260 new jobs 100,000 square feet of commercial space $8.2 million in annual property tax payments to cities and towns As the administration looks for “better and smart or more sophisticated use” of state property, officials expect that the collaboration with the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, as well as private developers, will help the program will also help increase affordable and market-rate housing stock while expanding job opportunities. For the first time, assets that are owned by different agencies are being aggregated in one place, regular inter-agency meetings are streamlining the process, and progress is being tracked. Since the Open for Business program launched, it has been expanded from 42 properties to 85 potential projects across 41 cities and towns.
Massachusetts Rated the Most Innovative State in America by Bloomberg
Massachusetts is again rated the number one state for innovation in the United States by Bloomberg, edging out California for the second straight year. The Bloomberg U.S. Innovation Index rated each of the 50 states on a 0-100 scale across these six metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) employment; science & engineering degree holders; and patent activity. Bloomberg reported that Massachusetts “gained ground by churning out more science and engineering graduates and producing jobs in those industries even though it had less technology company density than in 2015.” In addition, Bloomberg wrote, “Ranking leader Massachusetts has enjoyed a faster recovery from the last recession than most states and now boasts a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, leaving it tied for second-best in the country. That compares with a 4.6 percent national average.”
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Economic Development Incentives for 19 Projects
EDIP participant AHEAD USA, located in Dartmouth designs and manufactures headwear, apparel and accessories for golf and other industries. This week the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved the participation of 19 projects in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 626 net new jobs and retain 891 jobs across Massachusetts, while leveraging $283 million in private investment. The EACC quarterly meeting was held in Boston on December 13, 2016. Governor Charlie Baker said his Administration “is supporting job growth and vibrant communities by creating a business climate that supports private investment and long-term growth.” The EDIP “complements our substantial investments in the state’s talented workforce, and is an important part of how we encourage companies to create jobs and expand in the Commonwealth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the approved incentives “demonstrate the diversity of the Commonwealth’s economy. From technology and the life sciences, to manufacturing and food processing, we are growing regional economies, and helping businesses deliver new growth.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development said the EDIP “helps foster prosperity across Massachusetts. These job creation incentives are a smart investment in ourselves, and in our future.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said the approved awards “will help create jobs and deliver business expansion, from Dartmouth to Holyoke. These targeted investment opportunities will help support workers, families, and communities throughout the Commonwealth.” Eleven of the awarded projects this quarter are manufacturing companies, and 12 are located in Gateway Cities. The EACC has approved 121 economic development projects since January 2015. These projects will lead to the creation of 6,456 jobs, the retention of 13,188 existing jobs, and will leverage roughly $2.4 billion in private investment. Additionally, the EACC has assisted 54 manufacturing companies and 60 companies in Gateway Cities during this period. See list of 19 projects here. The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
SBANE SUPPORTS Massachusetts-based Manufacturing Companies
The Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) recently awarded a total of $225,000 in matching grant funds to 31 manufacturing companies across the Commonwealth. Currently in its eight year, and fifth consecutive funding year, SBANE’s Manufacturing Matching Grant Program is an opportunity for small and medium-sized Massachusetts-based manufacturers to hire private consulting expertise to assist with finance, marketing, accounting, government procurement and other business tasks. This competitive, one-time matching grant program is funded through an appropriation in the state budget and is overseen by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. Over the last eight years, SBANE has allocated $1,637,500 in public funds to approximately 189 manufacturing companies that support 9,420 jobs in Massachusetts. Here are some success stories from the program. “The impact on manufacturers who have utilized the program has been extremely beneficial,” said SBANE President Robert Baker. “These matching funds have helped companies make completely necessary improvements to their business operations.” “Manufacturing is an important sector in the Massachusetts economy,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade. “As small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the Commonwealth seek to grow or restructure, these grants give them the necessary resources to succeed.” For more information on this program, or other ways SBANE helps small businesses, please visit our website at SBANE.org
BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION EMBARKS ON ISRAELI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MISSION
Governor Charlie Baker and the New England-Israel Business Council (NEIBC) are leading an economic development mission to Israel this week designed to bolster the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness in cybersecurity and digital health. Massachusetts has a thriving digital health ecosystem, with nearly 300 innovative companies and 10 digital health innovation programs and accelerators, including an initiative announced by Governor Baker earlier this year. Cybersecurity continues to be one of the major economic growth drivers between Israel and the Commonwealth’s robust research, investment, capital and talent sectors. Governor Baker said the mission provides “opportunities to exchange ideas and showcase all Massachusetts has to offer, from a highly-educated and talented workforce, to top tier universities and a vibrant venture capital sector, as these startup Israeli businesses seek a home away from home to expand and create new jobs in the Commonwealth.” The Massachusetts-Israel business connection is already strong. According the NEIBC’s 3rd edition economic impact study, Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts booked over $9 billion in revenue in 2015 – nearly 4 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – and employed 9,000 workers. The study also found that the growth rate of Israeli companies in Massachusetts is four times that of the Massachusetts economy as a whole. The administration is partnering with the New England Israel Business Council (NEIBC), with the support of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) to host the mission at no cost to taxpayers. Nearly 40 private sector partners are participating, along with staff from the Baker-Polito Administration.
MASSECON HONORS MASSACHUSETTS COMPANIES FOR JOBS, FACILITY GROWTH, AND INVESTMENT
Photo (L-R): Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade Nam Pham, State Representative Paul Brodeur, Governor Charlie Baker, Representative Paul J. Donato, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ash and State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. MassEcon held its 13th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards luncheon recently to recognize 14 companies making outstanding contributions to the Massachusetts economy in 2016. Over 400 people attended the ceremony, which was held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel with Citizens Bank as the presenting sponsor. Governor Charlie Baker praised the companies for their “commitment to growing the Massachusetts economy and an ability to deliver on their investments. Thank you for choosing to grow your business in Massachusetts, the state looks forward to your continued success.” Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon thanked the companies, “for staying and growing here, and for their confidence in the future of the Commonwealth.” Since January 2015, the winning companies added more than 1900 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $354 million, and expanded their facilities by more than 1 million square feet. The winners, drawn from across the state, ranged in size and industry, including manufacturing, biotechnology, medical devices, food, and technology. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development & International Trade, praised MassEcon for “representing business development throughout the entire state, from Boston to Westfield and from Lawrence to New Bedford. These awards validate the Baker-Polito Administration’s promise to grow the economy from one corner of the Commonwealth to the other.” This year’s 14 winning companies were selected after site visits and a reception with their competitors and judges in September. The reception enabled senior executives from the companies to present their attributes in the categories of job growth, facility expansion, investment, and community impact. Shire, a leading global biotechnology company based in Lexington, received a Gold Award. In accepting the award, Perry Sternberg, head of Shire’s US Commercial operations, announced that the company will occupy 343,000 additional square feet in Cambridge starting in 2019. Chris Doughty, owner of Capstan Atlantic of Wrentham, another Gold award winner, said his company is adding jobs in Massachusetts because of “the skilled and trained workforce. The state over time has become more and more business friendly.” Jeff Burbank, founder and CEO of NXStage of Lawrence, another Gold award winner, said the Team Economic Impact Awards evaluation process gave him a welcome new perspective on business. “This has given us a chance to meet other businesses and entrepreneurs from the Commonwealth,” he said. Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts, said, “Supporting the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards is part of Citizens Bank’s commitment to strengthening communities where we live and work.” Find out more about MassEcon. THIRTEENTH ANNUAL TEAM MASSACHUSETTS ECONOMIC IMPACT AWARD WINNERS Region Gold Silver Bronze Central Bristol-Myers Squibb Devens Acacia Communications Maynard Woonsocket Glass Fabricators Whitinsville Greater Boston Shire Lexington Autodesk Boston IBM Watson Health Cambridge Northeast NxStage Medical Lawrence TraceLink North Reading Hoff’s Bakery Malden West Prolamina Westfield Jarvis Surgical Westfield PV Sullivan Supply Chicopee Southeast Capstan Atlantic Wrentham HTP New Bedford
Massachusetts Awards $85 million in MassWorks Grants to 33 Communities
Jackson Square Infrastructure Improvement Project in Jamaica Plain, Boston. (Photo courtesy of The Community Builders) This week the Baker-Polito Administration completed the 2016 MassWorks Infrastructure Program awards, making a total of 34 grants to projects in 33 communities across the Commonwealth. These grants fund a range of infrastructure improvements designed to unlock local economic development priorities, enabling the immediate development of more than 2,200 new multi-family housing units, and generating $1 billion in new private investment. Governor Charlie Baker called MassWorks, “a powerful, flexible tool that helps communities deliver on their economic development priorities. By forging strong partnerships between the state, local communities, and the private sector, these investments will grow the economy, unlock new job growth, and strengthen cities and towns across Massachusetts.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the grants “empower cities and towns to drive economic revitalization at the local level. Municipalities will use MassWorks funds to unlock smart growth housing, improve their downtowns, build walkable neighborhoods, support tourism, and attract large-scale commercial development.” Secretary Jay Ash of Housing and Economic Development, said, “From Gateway cities to rural communities, MassWorks infrastructure funds are stimulating new growth, attracting $1 billion in new private investment. This year’s MassWorks awards, in thirty-three communities, from North Adams, to Worcester, Salem, and New Bedford, showcase our commitment to promoting strong communities and strong regions, across the Commonwealth.” Secretary Kristen Lepore of Administration and Finance said, “Our capital plan reflects an approach grounded in maintaining and modernizing our existing assets and making targeted investments for the future. MassWorks provides an important infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation.” The 2016 competitive grant round generated 114 applications, requesting $287 million in public infrastructure grant funding. Since its inception in 2011, the MassWorks Program has invested over $419 million through competitive grant rounds, in 215 projects, throughout the Commonwealth. In August 2016, Governor Baker signed An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569) to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million over the past two fiscal years. Here is a breakdown of the 2016 MassWorks awards. Photo: (L to R) Frank Shea, executive director, Urban Edge; Elizabeth Malia, Massachusetts state representative; Bart Mitchell, president and CEO, The Community Builders; Sonya Chang-Diaz, Massachusetts state senator; Richard Thal, executive director, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC); Governor Charlie Baker; Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh; Chrystal Kornegay, undersecretary, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; Matt O’Malley, Boston city councilor; Jay Ashe, secretary, Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development; Jeffrey Sanchez, Massachusetts state representative; Sheila Dillon, chief and director, Department of Neighborhood Development; John Barros, chief of economic development, City of Boston; and Brian Golden, director, Boston Planning & Development Agency.
Massachusetts Supports Small Business Saturday
Cities and towns across Massachusetts are participating in the annual Small Business Saturday taking place on Saturday, November 26, 2016 First launched by American Express in 2010 and supported by the U.S. Small Business Association (USSBA), the annual celebration of small businesses across America occurs each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Forbes Magazine estimated about 95 million shoppers across the country spent $16 billion dollars on the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year. In Massachusetts, there are thousands of shopping opportunities categorized by region, city and town, shopping district or type of merchandise. Check out regional chambers like North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the Yarmouth, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce or cities like Salem, Boston, New Bedford and Pittsfield. For shopping districts in Boston’s neighborhoods, check out the SoWa Shop Saturday in Boston’s South End, or West Roxbury’s Main Street district. To find local supporters of Small Business Saturday in your locality, go to the American Express Shop Small page and plug in your zip code. You can also follow on twitter @smallshop. To find out more about starting a small business in Massachusetts, visit the Office of Business Development. For information on visiting Massachusetts for the holiday seasons, go to MassVacation.com.
MassChallenge Presents $1.5 Million to World’s Most Promising Startups
MassChallenge™ recently announced $1 million in prize money to 16 of the world’s highest impact startups at the 7th annual Boston Awards. In addition to this funding, CASIS & Boeing also allocated $500,000 to three startups to fund research projects on the International Space Station. The event took place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the city’s Seaport District, not far from the Massport headquarters. Over 1,500 people attended, including leaders from business, government, academia and community organizations. The assembled crowed heard on-stage pitches from the top 26 companies being considered for the awards, and also heard from Governor Charlie Baker and Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya. “The great genius in MassChallenge is the notion of being able to accelerate ideas into something much bigger,” said Governor Charlie Baker, who also praised “the finalists, disruptors, big thinkers and entrepreneurs who will push innovation forward. “MassChallenge has an enormous impact about what people think about our brand and about Boston,” the governor said. See the full list of winners here. “I’m so proud to announce this year’s winning startups, which have leveraged our global network of resources, mentors, partners, and more to truly change the world,” said Scott Bailey, Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston. He also praised “startups and key players across the ecosystem who have made a commitment to work together in order to create enormous impact.” MassChallenge also celebrated passing a milestone of accelerating over 1,000 alumni, bringing the total to 1,211. In total, these 1,211 startups have raised over $1.8 billion in funding, generated over $700 million in revenue, and created 60,000 direct and indirect jobs. Notable alumni include Gingko Bioworks (Boston, 2010), Handy (Boston, 2012), Localytics (Boston, 2010), Cambridge Bioaugmentation Systems (UK, 2015), and Turo (Boston, 2010). “We have come a long way since 2010 when we ran our first accelerator in Boston,” said John Harthorne, Founder and CEO of MassChallenge. “We now have accelerators in five countries and growing, and have helped accelerate over 1,200 startups. “They are truly making an impact on the world – addressing some of the world’s biggest problems through innovation and creating jobs of the future. This is only the beginning and I’m excited to watch what our alumni continue to accomplish in the years to come.” Visit MassChallenge for more information.
STEP Grants Help Massachusetts Export Companies Market Themselves Overseas
Caption: President Cathy Rocheleau welcomed Nam Pham and Mark Sullivan and other state and local officials to Rocheleau Tool & Die Company for the Step Grant Announcement. (Photo courtesy of Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise) Earlier this month, federal and state officials announced a new round of grants to help small businesses in Massachusetts expand and help market their export activities overseas. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP) awarded $504,478 in funds to Massachusetts, which added a matching contribution of $168,159 for a total of $672,637. The STEP grant is being administered through the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI), the Office of Business Development (MOBD) and the Massachusetts Export Center (MEC). The announcement was made at the Rocheleau Tool & Die Company in Fitchburg, a company that has had success in expanding its business to South America. Cathy Rocheleau, president of Rocheleau Tool & Die, welcomed state and local officials to the plant and later gave a tour of the manufacturing facilities. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said the funds “will support the growth of small businesses, whether they are new to exporting, or seeking to expand their export activities. I look forward to continued partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration, as we work together to spread economic growth across the Commonwealth.” The STEP grants provide reimbursements to eligible Massachusetts small businesses for qualified export-promotion expenses. Supported activities may include trade show participation, overseas marketing, and localization services and subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Participating small businesses are also required to secure matching private funds. Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, said the grant is available to small businesses across Massachusetts. “The funds are awarded on a competitive basis, and a well-planned international business strategy is critical for a grant award,” she said. Mark F. Sullivan, Executive Director of MOITI, said last year’s STEP grants were shared with over 60 Massachusetts small businesses to enhance their opportunities in the global marketplace. “We look forward to continuing that success with this year’s grant round,” Sullivan added. Also attending the event was Robert H. Nelson, district director of SBA’s Massachusetts District Office, Roy Nascimento, executive director of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale. MOITI and MEC are currently accepting grant applications from businesses, and a free STEP grant webinar is being presented on November 18 and December 14, 2016.
14 GROWING MASSACHUSETTS FIRMS NAMED WINNERS OF MASSECON “IMPACT” AWARDS
Congratulations to the fourteen companies being honored for their outstanding contributions to the state’s economy at the 13th annual Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards this fall. MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, is presenting the awards at a luncheon on November 22, 2016 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor. The companies were selected on the basis of job growth, facility expansion, investment, and community involvement since January 1, 2015, according to MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges who made site visits to various companies and held a reception for all of the finalists at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “Massachusetts is fortunate to have an involved, diverse and generous business community, and we are happy to recognize these exceptional leaders today. Maintaining strong relationships between public and private sectors is crucial to long term economic growth, and providing community access to job opportunities across the Commonwealth.” “MassEcon is thrilled to celebrate these companies for their commitment to expanding in Massachusetts,” said Houston. “Their investment and job growth stimulates benefits throughout the Commonwealth, and we are excited to publicly honor the achievements of these outstanding corporate citizens.” “Citizens Bank is committed to strengthening the communities we serve and are proud to help celebrate those who share in that commitment,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “The Impact Awards recognize and congratulate diverse businesses that are thriving because they have invested in Massachusetts and created jobs for its citizens.” 13th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Award Winners Region Gold Silver Bronze Central Bristol-Myers Squibb Devens Acacia Communications Maynard Woonsocket Glass Fabricators Whitinsville Greater Boston Shire Lexington Autodesk Boston IBM Watson Health Cambridge Northeast NxStage Medical Lawrence TraceLink North Reading Hoff’s Bakery Malden Southeast Capstan Atlantic Wrentham HTP New Bedford West Prolamina Westfield Jarvis Surgical Westfield PV Sullivan Supply Chicopee See description of each winning company here.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Economic Development Awards to help businesses create jobs
Caption: U.S. Bedding Inc. in Fall River This week the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 13 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to leverage $708 million in private investment, while creating 1,299 new jobs, and retaining 3,686 jobs throughout Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker said the EDIP “combines private investments with targeted public incentives to unlock business growth and support dynamic local economies throughout the Commonwealth.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “Today’s investments will provide job opportunities for current and future residents, and will drive long-term growth for Massachusetts.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, and Chair of the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, praised “life sciences, technology, and manufacturing companies that have built their businesses around the talent and opportunities the Commonwealth provides. EDIP allows us to invest in these companies, helping to keep jobs and private investment in Massachusetts where they support our residents and communities.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said “EDIP allows Massachusetts to invest in our businesses in an effective and accountable way. Targeted business development tools allows us to realize the potential growth in businesses throughout the Commonwealth.” Five of the awarded projects this quarter are manufacturing companies, and five are located in Gateway Cities. APPROVED PROJECTS Manufacturing Retention Projects Golden Cannoli Shells, Inc. (Chelsea) US Bedding, Inc. (Fall River). Job Creation Project Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Cambridge Expansion Projects Broadway Hotel LLC (Chelsea VCA Inc. / Alloy LLC (Northampton Local Incentive-Only Projects Martin Development LLC (Amesbury) Pfizer, Inc. (Andover). Rosev Dairy Foods, Inc. (Chelsea) Stationery Factory LLC (Dalton) New Bedford Urban Renaissance II, LLC (New Bedford) William Green, Inc. (Shelburne) Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Inc. (Walpole) Curtis Industries, LLC (West Boylston) The EACC has approved 102 economic development projects since January 2015. These projects will lead to the creation of 5,830 jobs, the retention of 12,297 existing jobs, and will leverage more than $2 billion in private investment. Additionally, the EACC has assisted 44 manufacturing companies and 48 companies in Gateway Cities during this period. The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available at Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
Baker-Polito Administration Launches Drought Emergency Loan Fund
Due to the unprecedented drought conditions in Massachusetts this summer, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have announced a Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund to assist the state’s farms and agriculture-related small businesses affected by these conditions. Farms and small businesses impacted by the drought can apply for micro-loans of $5,000 to $10,000 from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), which will make up to $1 million in loan funds available, according to state officials. “This new loan fund will provide affordable working capital loans to small businesses, including family farms grappling with a downturn in business caused by this prolonged drought,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Additionally, we are activating all of our business development channels, to remind consumers that Massachusetts farmers markets and farm stands still have top-quality produce for sale, and they have our full support.” MGCC is responsible for funding the loan, managing the loan portfolio, collecting payments and overseeing all decision-making regarding loan approval. “We are pleased to offer support to struggling family farms and related businesses hit hard by the drought,” said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. “Our team will provide prompt review of each application and work to help local farmers in need.” “This financial support will help farm-related businesses regain financial stability and recover from lost revenue due to the drought,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Investment. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of Massachusetts experienced ‘severe drought’ conditions this summer, while a few places reached ‘extreme drought’ status. In August, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, issued this information about the drought conditions in portions of Massachusetts. Officials estimate the Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund will run through November 2016. For more information and an online application, visit MassGCC.com or call 617-337-2803.
Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.9 Million in Seaport Economic Council Grants
(Seaport Economic Council in front of the Pilgrim Hall Museum) This month the Seaport Economic Council awarded $2.9 million in competitive grants to grow the blue economy and support job creation in coastal cities and towns. The funding will unlock increased economic activity and growth in Chelsea, Fairhaven, Quincy and Swampscott, while supporting technological innovation and education opportunities through Bunker Hill Community College, the John Adams Innovation Institute and the University of Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts leads the world’s blue economy and our administration is committed to supporting its regional growth in the Commonwealth’s 78 coastal communities by investing in education, planning, and research efforts. The important investments by the Seaport Economic Council in technological research and development will ensure Massachusetts maintains a strong employment base in the blue economy of the future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said the grants “will help communities plan for growth and leverage their unique economic assets to support job creation and business expansion. Funding marine infrastructure improvements and educational programs supports small business growth and ensures residents can access the skills they need for employment in the maritime economy.” Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk said the state’s blue economy “encompasses everything from part-time scallopers to artists and underwater vehicle designers. Supporting municipal planning efforts, infrastructure improvements, and educational programs will help ensure that these communities retain their diverse and strong economies.” The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August 2015, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast. Grant Recipients Bunker Hill Community College – $450,000 Bunker Hill Community College will partner with College Bound Dorchester to foster awareness of the maritime economy sector among Boston’s youth, and will ensure that students gain the necessary skills and certificates – including carpentry, woodworking, electrical, and plumbing skills – to engage in maritime trades. Chelsea Harbor Plan – $120,000 The City of Chelsea will prepare a Municipal Harbor Plan to allow for greater flexibility in waterfront development. This planning process will support Chelsea’s development of a strategic path to achieve its waterfront goals and objectives. Fairhaven Union Wharf Improvements – $950,713 The Town of Fairhaven will use funds to construct Phase 2 of the West Wall Union Wharf Bulkhead Replacement and Improvements. The Wharf is within the Designated Port Area and is currently used by commercial scallopers, draggers and lobster boats. Improvements will allow the Wharf to accommodate additional commercial fishing, charter fishing, and public safety dockage. John Adams Innovation Institute – $147,500 The Seaport Economic Council will partner with the John Adams Innovation Institute to implement the Council’s Innovation Grants Program in a way that maximizes successful investment in innovation-based economic development projects. Quincy Maritime Center – $225,000 The City of Quincy will use grant funding to complete permitting, engineering, geotechnical services, and architectural designs for the Hough’s Neck Maritime Center Building. Swampscott Harbor Plan – $50,000 The Town of Swampscott will undertake a harbor plan, integrating harbor and waterfront initiatives with existing town plans and developments. The plan will focus on identifying and prioritizing necessary coastal infrastructure improvements, evaluating proactive actions to address storm surge and sea-level rise, and encouraging the economic development of the historical waterfront. University of Massachusetts Boston Urban Harbors Institute – $89,569 Significant economic growth potential exists in the Massachusetts seafood economy, but coordinated strategies and investments are required to realize this potential over time. The Urban Harbors Institute will research the details of these approaches and their applicability to the on-the-ground conditions in Massachusetts’ fishing ports. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – $612,250 The project draws upon four leading marine and robotics technology organizations to develop new approaches to provide autonomy for unmanned underwater vehicles and prove their usefulness on key missions. This will be done in a collaboration between students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Northeastern University, and private research companies. This research and development will move the marine robotics sector forward, while engaging and educating students. This program will also provide key new research infrastructure, two undersea robots, for university research. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship –$250,000 The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will upgrade its Mechanical and Prototyping Laboratory and Technology Venture Center to attract, support, and retain marine technology startups in southeastern Massachusetts. These facilities will leverage CIE’s experience working with marine technology startups, expanding on a successful program that has already spun out five marine technology firms into established Massachusetts businesses.
MASSECON ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR 13TH ANNUAL ECONOMIC IMPACT AWARDS
MassEcon has selected eighteen companies from across the state as finalists for the 2016 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, which recognize companies that make an outstanding contribution to the Massachusetts economy. On on September 14, the finalists will present one-minute elevator pitches describing their growth in the Bay State to a panel of judges and business leaders at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP in Boston. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, is the featured guest at the event. The finalist companies range in size and are drawn from different industries including, manufacturing, biotechnology, medical devices, technology, and education. MassEcon selected the finalists based on their job growth, facility expansion, and investment since January 1, 2015, as well as other criteria including community involvement. Together this year’s finalists have added over 2,000 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $450 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 1.5 million square feet since January 2015. “We are thrilled to recognize Massachusetts companies that contribute so much to the Commonwealth’s success,” said Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon. “The range of industries and regions represented by this impressive group of companies demonstrates the collective strength of our state.” Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor of the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. “Supporting the Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards is part of Citizens Bank’s commitment to strengthening communities where we live and work,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “These awards recognize businesses across Massachusetts that are investing in their communities, and creating jobs. Citizens Bank congratulates all the finalists on their success and we look forward to celebrating with them on September 14th.” Finalists compete on a regional basis (West, Central, Southeast, Northeast, and Greater Boston), and a gold, silver, and bronze winner will be selected from each region. MassEcon is announcing the winners in October and recognizing them at its annual awards luncheon on November 22nd at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston’s Seaport District. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, MassEcon serves as the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Governor Baker Signs Economic Development Legislation in Massachusetts
Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed comprehensive economic development legislation into law, providing up to $1 billion in new investments in communities, workforce training, and innovation across Massachusetts, and deepening the state’s economic competitiveness. The new economic development law, An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H. 4569), advances job creation by expanding the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to building a skilled workforce and connecting residents to economic opportunities, strengthening community and housing development efforts, and investing in the emerging technologies that will underpin the Commonwealth’s economic future. Governor Charlie Baker said the legislation “unleashes valuable opportunities for investments in the development of revolutionary new technologies and community-based innovation, connecting every region of the Commonwealth to the innovation economy. “By pairing those investments with a growing commitment to workforce development in high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, computer science, and robotics, we will deepen our efforts to build the nation’s most competitive workforce,” the Governor continued. “I am proud this bipartisan legislation will support the growth of our state’s nationally-leading innovation economy, and help develop the jobs of tomorrow.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said the legislation provides “a robust set of tools that will allow state government to partner with communities, and advance our common goals. By providing critical funds for public infrastructure, site cleanup, and Gateway City redevelopment, this legislation will unlock local and regional economic development priorities, and connect citizens across Massachusetts to economic opportunity.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the legislation “reflects the collaborative spirit that drives our economic development efforts. It is the result of more than a year of conversations with scores of legislators and administration officials, as well as thousands of conversations with business leaders, municipal officials, educators, community advocates and other stakeholders. And it reflects our shared vision of creating economic opportunities, economic prosperity, and economic mobility throughout the Commonwealth.” An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development is organized around four main themes: community development, workforce development, innovation, and economic competitiveness.
Massachusetts Celebrates Farmers’ Market Week, August 7-13
Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed August 7-13, 2016 “Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week” “in recognition of the positive contributions Massachusetts’ farmers’ markets have on agriculture and public health in the Commonwealth.” Read the Governor’s Proclamation here. The week-long event coincides with the 17th National Farmers’ Market Week as the United States Department of Agriculture celebrates the nation’s thousands of farmers’ markets. Governor Baker said that farmers markets in Massachusetts “create economic vitality for hundreds of farms and food producers while supporting local communities. I urge all Massachusetts residents to visit their local farmers’ market this week to buy some fresh, local produce and support our hard-working farmers.” Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito said, “Farmers work hard all year long to deliver high-quality, nutritious products to residents living in cities and towns all across Massachusetts. We are proud to recognize the farmers’ markets which help ensure community camaraderie and the continued viability of family farms.” Matthew Beaton, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) said the state’s farmers markets have “helped to sustain many of our family farms and are an important tool in helping to preserve thousands of acres of our state’s farmland.” Massachusetts hosts approximately 248 summer and fall farmers’ markets and 40 winter farmers’ markets across the Commonwealth. At nearly $48 million, Massachusetts ranks 5th in the nation for direct market sales and 3rd in the nation for direct market sales per operation. Direct market sales account for 10 percent of the state’s total sales of agricultural products. John Lebeaux, Commissioner at Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR), called August “an ideal time to recognize farmers’ markets as we are entering Massachusetts’ peak harvest season in the coming weeks.” DAR compiles an annual list of Massachusetts farmers’ markets, listing days, locations, times, and opening and closing dates for each market. Here is an interactive map of farmers’ markets statewide. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism maintains a culinary calendar of food-related activities taking place in Massachusetts throughout the year.
Massachusetts Adds 1,287 acres of Public Land in Northfield
(Photo of Northfield State Forest courtesy of Glenn Minshall) The Baker-Polito Administration and The Trust for Public Land announced that the state has purchased 1,287 acres of land within Northfield and Warwick from Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH), an independent boarding school located in Gill, Massachusetts. The land will be protected for public use and will immediately become part of Northfield State Forest. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will manage the parkland. Governor Charlie Baker said the conservation of this land “will preserve precious natural resources for wildlife habitats, provide recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy, and create additional access for people to foster a love for nature.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “By protecting land within our state’s communities, we are ensuring that people from every corner of the Commonwealth have tremendous access to public green spaces to utilize for years to come.” Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said, “The purchase of 1,300 additional acres for the Northfield State Forest ensures that generations to come will be able to enjoy this natural resource for outdoor recreation.” Located in the heart of the Connecticut River Valley, the land provides a picturesque backdrop to downtown Northfield and the Connecticut River National Scenic Byway, a Federal Highway Administration designation. It is also key to completing a protected habitat corridor from the Quabbin Reservoir to the Connecticut River. The project has been endorsed by the Northfield Board of Selectmen and the Northfield Open Space Committee. The Northfield State Forest is located in Franklin County and is also located along the Mohawk Trail Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said the Baker-Polito Administration will “continue to examine opportunities that will not only conserve and protect vital natural resources, but will also increase access for people of all abilities to enjoy.” The Trust for Public Land has been working for several years with NMH, the Town of Northfield, and the DCR to bring this complex purchase to fruition. This sale represents the first phase of a multi-phase process. Later phases will focus on conserving an additional 330 acres around the Grandin Reservoir, which serves as the primary drinking water supply for 300 households in Northfield. Northfield Mount Hermon currently owns and operates the East Northfield Water Company, which manages that water supply. Kevin Essington, Massachusetts Director for The Trust for Public Land, said that communities across America “are seeking to protect places that strengthen their shared identity and sense of place, and this addition to Northfield State Forest is beloved and will be protected forever.” The land was bought for $2.5 million utilizing funds from the Massachusetts Landscape Partnership Program, the DCR land acquisition capital budget, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Acres for America Program. The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. For tourist information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Economic Development Awards for 18 Projects
This week the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 18 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 855 new jobs and retain 2,958 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $199 million in private investment. Five manufacturing companies and seven projects located in Gateway Cities were among the EACC approved projects this quarter. Governor Charlie Baker said that Massachusetts has “a robust, pro-growth business environment, and our administration is committed to maintaining and improving the Commonwealth’s business ecosystem. Through targeted business development tools like the Economic Development Incentive Program, we will continue to support sustainable, long-term growth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the EDIP “unlocks private capital investment and job creation across Massachusetts. Creating the optimal environment for job growth is crucial to stimulating new growth, and lifting up every community in Massachusetts.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the EDIP “allows us to make effective and accountable investments in the Massachusetts businesses. These investments have ripple effects beyond specific beneficiaries. The local job creation we support spurs regional business growth and an improved quality of life throughout the Commonwealth.” Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham said the projects approved in this quarter “demonstrate the diversity of the Massachusetts economy. By deploying targeted, cost-effective incentives, we are encouraging new growth in information technology, medical device manufacturing, and hospitality, and spurring job creation from Beverly to North Adams.” Here is a list of the 18 projects. Since January 2015, the EACC has approved 88 economic development projects, creating 4,557 jobs, retaining 8,607 existing jobs, and leveraging more than $1.4 billion in private investment. During the Baker-Polito Administration, the EACC has assisted 39 manufacturing companies and 44 companies in Gateway Cities. The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available at Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
MassEcon Annual Conference Highlights Massachusetts within a Global Economy
Caption: Michael Dolega, Director and Senior Economist at TD Economics and panelists. Photo Credit: Janet Stearns. More than 130 leaders from across Massachusetts gathered at the Newton Marriott Hotel in early June for the 2016 MassEcon Annual Conference, whose theme was Connecting Massachusetts to the Global Economy. An informative and insightful conversation took place that assessed the state’s current and future outlook for success in a globally connected world. Featured speaker Michael Dolega, Director and Senior Economist at TD Economics, made these observations pertaining to the state’s economy in the global context including: • Massachusetts stands to benefit from high value-add goods exports in the high-tech, health care, machinery, and chemical markets, due to strong human capital and intellectual property protections. • Massachusetts is well positioned to gain from persistent expansion in service exports which has doubled in value nationally since 2005 and accounted for $25 billion in Massachusetts last year. • Current free trade agreements cover 31% of Massachusetts goods exports, but pending deals such as the TPP and TTIP, this share could increase by 33%, removing sizeable tariffs that make Massachusetts products more expensive and less competitive. Following the presentation, Dolega was joined by moderator Curt Nickisch (Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review) and panelists Lorraine Attridge (Fast Trak Leader at GE Healthcare Life Sciences), Colin Gillespie (President of LEGO Education North America), Charles Gray (Vice President and General Counsel at Teradyne), and Paula Murphy (Founder and Director at the Massachusetts Export Center), for further discussion and Q&A with audience members. The dialogue covered a variety of topics ranging from doing business with Iran to the impact of the current election cycle to the significance of non-compete clauses. The panelists emphasized the many strengths of the Massachusetts economy, including: • World renowned education institutions which consistently produce high caliber talent • Openness to foreign leaders, workers, and businesses • Innovative environment • Recent increase in direct international flights to and from Logan International Airport in Boston The panelists also highlighted areas of improvement for the state, including further investment to modernize the infrastructure; additional encouragement to mid and small sized companies to establish headquarters in the state; and ensuring that protectionist regulations regarding employees do not obstruct the Commonwealth’s continuous goal of becoming a world class economy. During the Q&A, Dan Griggs, a TD Bank Market President, raised the issue of non-compete clauses and their impact on business. In response, Charles Gray disagreed with those who cite the presence of non-competes (agreements that prevent employees from using information gained from employment to establish a competing business effort) as a reason for business success. Gray referenced, that in large part, the impact of non-competes depends on the individual market, which can mitigate their overall impact. In addition, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) Executive Director Mark Sullivan conveyed to the audience the role his office could play in helping connect Massachusetts businesses to the global economy. Sullivan also emphasized the availability and attractiveness of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities, offering his office’s assistance to any individuals or companies interested in exploring the opportunities in these locations. Thank you to all who attended the 2016 MassEcon Annual Conference, and a special thank you to our featured speaker, panelists, moderator and sponsor TD Bank.
Baker-Polito Administration Opens New Round of MassWorks Infrastructure Awards
The sixth annual round of MassWorks Infrastructure Program is underway, with online applications available on June 3. The competitive grant program invests in projects in local communities that can leverage private funding and open up areas to further residential, commercial, or industrial development. It is a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking funding to support housing, economic development and job creation. In addition, the Program supports municipalities with a population of 7,000 or less that may seek grants for roadway improvements to enhance public safety. Governor Charlie Baker called MassWorks funding “a critical part of our support for cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. The legislature’s reauthorization of MassWorks through our economic development bill will allow us to continue its success in helping communities unlock potential opportunities for job creation and economic growth.” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “The Massworks infrastructure award program allows us to support local solutions, creating jobs and helping communities to prepare for success.” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash called MassWorks investments “an important part of our work to grow businesses, create jobs, and build housing throughout the Commonwealth.” Public entities must submit their applications between August 22 and September 2. The 2016 grant round will support housing and commercial growth opportunities that contribute to the long-term strength and sustainability of Massachusetts, with a particular emphasis on projects that support the production of multi-family housing in appropriately located mixed-use districts and projects that support economic development in weak or distressed areas. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Economic Development Bill, An Act to Provide Opportunities for All (H. 3983) authorizes an additional $500 million in capital funding over the next five years for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, allowing the Administration to award funds in the next round and in the future. The 2016 application, guidelines, FAQs and other relevant materials are available at MassWorks. Applicants will have access to previous MassWorks grant round submissions. All decisions will be rendered within approximately eight weeks after the September 2 application deadline. In total, the MassWorks Infrastructure Program has invested over $333 million to over 181 infrastructure improvement projects across the Commonwealth during the past five grant rounds. These public investments have leveraged millions of private dollars and created thousands of new housing units and jobs.
Cruiseport Boston Boosts Tourism and Marine Economy in Massachusetts
Tourists are pouring into Massachusetts by sea in record numbers, thanks to the burgeoning cruise industry and Boston’s rapid rise as a new destination for this lucrative audience. Earlier this month, Massport celebrated the 30th anniversary of Cruiseport Boston at the Black Falcon Pier in South Boston. It was a chance to look back at Boston’s illustrious maritime traditions and to preview some of the great things on the horizon for Cruiseport Boston. According to Massport, this operation provides over 950 direct jobs and generate nearly $80 million in economic impact, as well as $25 million in annual local, state and federal tax revenue. In 2016, Massport estimates that 320,000 passengers are expected to come through the port on 114 ship calls. CEO Thomas P. Glynn called the 30th anniversary “an exciting milestone for not only Massport, but for the cruising community and the entire region. “Cruiseport Boston has grown into a well-established launching point for quality cruises, whether you’re heading to Canada or Bermuda,” Glynn said. “In the meantime, the industry is recognizing Boston as a significant embarkation port, in part because of our engaged cruising community. This will help keep Massachusetts among the top 10 states benefitting from the cruise industry.” A highlight of the week-long celebration included inaugural visits by two mega cruise ships: on Wednesday, May 18, Disney Magic, a 984 feet long, eleven deck cruise ship that carries 2,400 passengers came to Boston; followed on Friday, May 20 by the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, which carries 4,180 passengers and is the largest cruise ship ever to land in Boston. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development and International Trade, said the bustling cruise traffic is compatible with the Baker-Polito Administration’s vision to strengthen the maritime industry in all 78 seacoast cities and towns in Massachusetts. “A thriving waterfront increases commerce, produces jobs, and supports tourism, which is the third largest industry in Massachusetts,” said Pham. The addition of the Disney Cruise Line and Anthem of the Seas will likely broaden the customer base of tourists who disembark in Boston, since many of them will be seeing Massachusetts for the first time. Twenty-nine cruises — to destinations including Bermuda, Canada and Europe — are set to start in Boston. Another highlight of the week occurred when officials unveiled a series of murals painted by the schoolchildren of South Boston. One of the murals honored Ray Flynn, the former US Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston. In 1986, Mayor Flynn established the Marine Industrial Park along the waterfront, which was widely credited with reviving the industrial port and preserving blue-collar jobs. This year the park was renamed the Ray Flynn Marine Park. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, more than 24 million passengers are expected to sail in 2016. Here is the 2016 Schedule at Cruiseport Boston. Here is information on the Seaport Economic Council.
PaxEast 2016 Taps into Massachusetts Creative & Innovation Economies
At first glance, this year’s annual PaxEast 2016 gathering at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston resembled a gigantic costume ball, replete with fictional and virtual characters from video games, movies, comic books and the far reaches of someone’s imagination. Massachusetts has a stake in the $67 billion gaming industry, which helps to fuel the state’s creative industries and innovation economy. Tens of thousands of gamers, investors, retailers and experts attend PaxEast each year, supporting the local tourism and hospitality industries. PaxEast is also a valuable stage for aspiring entrepreneurs and game developers to find a ready audience to view new products. One of the most popular elements of the show is the Pax East Indie Showcase, described as “a collection of the best indie games you’ve never heard of available on mobile platforms.” Timothy Loew, executive director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi) noted the top local video game companies on the Expo Hall floor, included Harmonix, Proletariat, The Deep End Games and The Molasses Flood among a number of others. Numerous Massachusetts schools exhibited, including Becker College in Worcester; Elms College in Chicopee, Mount Ida College in Newton and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). “Each year the Boston-area game scene, like PAX East, gets bigger and more exciting,” Lowe says. “With more people playing more games on more devices in more places than ever before, I already can’t wait until the next PaxEast in 2017.” To learn more about the state’s Video Gaming opportunities, contact Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi). Here is a schedule of upcoming conventions in Massachusetts. For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
MassEcon Event Welcomes New Companies from Around the World
Photo Caption: MassEcon hosts Corporate Welcome Reception at Genzyme for 19 companies new to Massachusetts. Company leaders are pictured with Governor Charlie Baker, EOHED Secretary Jay Ash and MassEcon Executive Director, Susan Houston. Photo by Janet Stearns. This week MassEcon held its 8th annual Corporate Welcome Reception at Sanofi Genzyme headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. Over 100 private sector leaders and senior state officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, were on hand to welcome the representatives from thirteen companies and six airlines to Massachusetts. The sector and geographical diversity of the group speaks to all that Massachusetts has to offer to companies seeking a foothold in the state’s innovation economy. The new companies represent a wide variety of industries including life sciences, education, energy, manufacturing, online retail and transportation. And they come from all parts of the United States and the world. International companies originating from Canada, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Sweden,Turkey and the United Kingdom were represented along with domestic companies with corporate origins in California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, New York and Washington. In his welcoming remarks, Governor Baker said, “Massachusetts’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, talented workforce and commitment to success has put the Commonwealth on the map as a place for businesses to grow and thrive. As we continue to build partnerships with our communities and the private sector, we welcome these companies from around the nation and the globe and look forward to the opportunity to encourage more businesses to call Massachusetts home, create jobs and bolster our economy.” According to MassEcon, the companies are adding 1,600 new jobs to the Commonwealth. MassEcon Chairman Brian Cohen said the companies at the event “represent impressive additions to the Commonwealth’s business community, and we look forward to their having a productive, successful, and long-standing relationship with the Commonwealth.” The 13 companies include Amazon in Fall River; Applied Photophysics in Beverly; Avigilon in Somerville; Olink Bioscience in Watertown; Sunrun in Marlborough; ERD Metal in Avon; Eli Lilly, IBM Watson Health, Philips, and WuXi AppTec in Cambridge; and General Electric, Harmon.ie, and LEGO Education in Boston. In addition, six international airlines that have recently launched non-stop flights to and from Boston’s Logan International Airport were among the honorees. They include AeroMexico; El Al Israel Airlines; Norwegian Air Shuttle; Qatar Airways; Scandinavian Airlines and WestJet Airlines. MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston said the popular annual event “is our way of saying thank you for choosing the Commonwealth. It is also an opportunity for us to connect these companies with the robust network of resources Massachusetts has to offer.” MassEcon is a private non-profit entity that serves as the state’s private sector partner in promoting Massachusetts as the premier choice for business growth.
Boston Marathon Showcases Massachusetts at its Finest
(Photo Courtesy of the Boston Athletic Association) This weekend, Massachusetts welcomes the world for the 120th running of the Boston Marathon, considered one of the premier athletic competitions in modern history. Over 30,000 runners from the United States and 98 other countries are expected to compete on Monday, April 18, 2016, according to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). Up to one half million fans will line the 26.2 mile route that passes through eight cities and towns from Hopkinton to Boston, cheering on the spirit and determination of the runners. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Office of Business Development, said the Boston Marathon “underscores the community spirit of our local business and tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants and retail shops. It also provides a welcomed economic boost, especially for small businesses located in cities and towns along the route.” “The Boston Marathon is one of the most iconic sports traditions in the world,” said Francois Nivaud, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. “Thanks to press coverage by over 200 media outlets, the Marathon helps our tourism industry showcase the unparalleled beauty, culture, history and spirit of Massachusetts.” Activities leading up to the Marathon include the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, taking place Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center at 900 Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay. On Saturday, April 16, the BAA is holding a 5K race, starting and ending on Boston Common, with over 10,000 entrants, including 600 from outside the U.S. Pat Moscaritolo, President and CEO of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, estimates that marathon activities will bring an estimated $188.8 million (USD) in spending impact to the region. “All of us in the Boston area visitor industry look forward each year to the Boston Marathon and the remarkable spending impacts this historic event brings to our community.” The Boston Athletic Association launched the Boston Marathon back in 1897, after one of its members, Arthur Blake, competed in the marathon at the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896. At the 1897 Boston Marathon, 15 runners ran, compared to 30,000 runners in 2016. “Massachusetts is proud of its championship sports culture, ranging from amateur, youth and collegiate programs to our acclaimed professional sports teams,” said Shannah McArdle, Director of the Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office. “The Boston Marathon highlights the competitive and generous spirit of both the sport and the people of Massachusetts.” For information on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com. To find out more about Massachusetts sporting activities throughout the year, visit Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office.
Bountiful Massachusetts Celebrates Agriculture Day
(Assabet Valley culinary arts students with Governor Charlie Baker at Agriculture Day) Locally-grown food took center stage this week as Massachusetts celebrated Agriculture Day at the State House. The annual event is a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Promotion Board, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets. Governor Charlie Baker attended the event, and encouraged Massachusetts residents “to support our local farmers and food producers and purchase Massachusetts grown and produced products whenever possible.” The Baker-Polito Administration declared April 5, 2016 as Massachusetts Agriculture Day, and honorary citations were presented to the Eastern State Exposition (The Big E) in recognition of its centennial celebration this September, and Norfolk Country Agricultural High School in recognition of its 100 year anniversary. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that by declaring Massachusetts Agriculture Day, “we hope to recognize and raise awareness of the importance of our many farmers and food producers.” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton called Agriculture Day “a great opportunity to discuss issues specific to the agricultural industry, which is a vital part of the state’s economy and provides clean, healthy food to Massachusetts residents.” There are approximately 7,700 farms in Massachusetts maintaining almost 523,000 acres of open space. These farms employ some 28,000 workers and contribute about $492 million to the state economy. Massachusetts is ranked fifth in the United States for direct market agricultural sales, according to the Division of Agricultural Markets. Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux said, “Together with many of our agricultural partners, we gather to recognize accomplishments, identify challenges and prepare for a successful growing season.” Agricultural Day awards were presented to State Representatives Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville), Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) and Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation President Edward Davidian said, “We are looking forward to a productive year working with our growers and state representatives to strengthen and maintain our agricultural heritage.” For the concluding reception in the Great Hall, culinary students and instructors from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Program prepared and presented a “Taste of Massachusetts” menu, using products donated from approximately 40 farms and food producers across the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism maintains a culinary calendar of food-related activities taking place in Massachusetts throughout the year.
Massachusetts Plans for 400th Anniversaries in Cities and Towns
(EOHED Secretary Jay Ash and the Plymouth 400 Board of Directors. Image Credits: Denise Maccaferri Photography) History matters in Massachusetts, as evidenced by the Massachusetts 400 Forum held in Plymouth last week, where 150 state and elected officials, tourism leaders, educators, cultural activists and international representatives gathered to make plans for some exciting milestones fast approaching. Hosted by Plymouth 400, Inc., the all-day forum featured presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions about how Massachusetts can capitalize on the opportunities on the horizon for cities and towns approaching their 400th anniversary. These include Plymouth (1620), Quincy (2025), Salem (2026), and Boston (2030), as well as various other cities and towns in Massachusetts such as Gloucester, Hull, Chelsea, Swampscott and others. See list of Massachusetts cities and towns and year of origin. State Senator Vinny deMacedo welcomed the participants to his district, noting the international flavor of the forum, with participants from the UK and Netherlands. Also on hand were officials from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, a worldwide group of people who trace their lineage to the original Pilgrims on the Mayflower voyage; and leaders of the Wampanoag Tribe, the indigenous people who were already settled here when the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) was the keynote speaker at the forum. He praised the work of the Plymouth 400 group and said the upcoming anniversaries provided an opportunity to celebrate the entire Commonwealth, while also elevating the state’s tourism industry. “We are ready to engage in a discussion about how we look at tourism as the major economic engine that it is,” Ash said. While much of the anniversary events will focus on the state’s history, heritage and culture, attendees were also excited about the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship/MARS project, which “aims to design, build and sail the world’s first full-sized, fully autonomous unmanned ship across the Atlantic Ocean.” Representing the cities and towns were Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Mayor Tom Koch of Quincy, Selectmen Chair Kenneth Tavares of Plymouth, and Tourism, Culture and Sports Director Ken Brissette of Boston. Also represented at the meeting were the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Massachusetts Development and Plymouth County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400, said, the Massachusetts 400 initiative was developed “to unify the state in commemorating our collective histories. By bringing these communities together, we will not only ensure the greatest possible economic impact, we will also ensure through cross promotion that the increased tourism and visibility is sustained for years to come.” For more information, visit Massachusetts 400 Forum.
Governor Baker’s Hydropower Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support
(EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton speaks about Hydropower Generation) The Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to diversity Massachusetts’ energy portfolio by procuring cost-effective hydropower generation received support last week from three former secretaries of Energy and Environmental Affairs: Maeve Vallely-Bartlett, Rick Sullivan, and Ian Bowles. The three former officials met with Governor Charlie Baker and current Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton to discuss the need to stabilize New England’s electricity rates, meet the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) goals and provide ratepayers with a clean, cost-competitive alternative to coal and oil generation. Governor Baker said the endorsement of the former secretaries “is illustrative of the pressing need to address Massachusetts’ rising energy costs, increase electricity grid reliability and reduce carbon emissions to meet the Commonwealth’s energy and environmental goals.” Secretary Beaton said the legislation “strikes an important balance between climate and environmental awareness, and the Commonwealth’s need for clean, reliable, cost-effective generation resources.” In July, the Baker-Polito Administration filed Senate Bill 1965, An Act Relative to Energy Sector Compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act, to require Massachusetts utilities to jointly, and competitively, solicit long-term contracts for clean energy generation resources and associated transmission together with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) For more information, visit Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Governor Baker Addresses the National Society of Black Engineers in Boston
Governor Charlie Baker gave a welcoming address to the National Society of Black Engineers conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Thursday, March 24, 2016. This is the 42nd annual conference of the NSBE, which draws over 11,000 delegates from across the country and around the world. The theme of this year’s conference is “Engineering a Cultural Change.” Here is a full BSBE conference agenda for the week. In his welcoming remarks, Governor Baker, said, “It is very special for us that you chose Massachusetts, as we do consider ourselves to be a national leader in education, engineering, science and medicine.” In Massachusetts, Baker said, “We basically live by our wits, that’s always been what’s made us special and what’s made us great. In this day and age, when competition is global and everybody is competing, having an edge with respect to talent and education and what I would call capacity to play makes an enormous difference.” Video Courtesy of Antonio Caban/State House News Service Here is a schedule of upcoming professional conferences and meetings taking place in Massachusetts.
BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION GRANTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARDS FOR 12 PROJECTS
(Photo: Aegis Energy Service is increasing its workforce as it expands operations in Holyoke.) The Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 12 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These economic development projects are expected to create 393 new jobs and retain 1,026 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $133 million in private investment. Here is information on the 12 projects. Governor Charlie Baker said his administration “is committed to fostering a pro-growth business environment in Massachusetts, and fostering job growth across the state. These job-creation incentives give our businesses another tool to reach their full potential in the Commonwealth, encouraging long-term, sustainable economic growth, and catalyzing significant investments that benefit our workforce.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the incentive program “benefits communities across the Commonwealth, by tying incentives to job growth and investment goals. These incentives spur sustainable growth that strengthen cities and towns, and encourage further investment from our businesses.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, called the incentives “another tool to connect residents across the Commonwealth to well-paying, long-term job opportunities.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development called the EDIP credits “a cost-effective tool for encouraging community investment, across a variety of sectors. These incentives generate significant private investment job growth.” This quarter, the EACC approved economic development incentives for three manufacturing companies, and ten projects located in Gateway Cities. Since January 2015The EACC has approved 72 economic development projects. These projects will create 3,722 jobs, retain 5,733 existing jobs, and leverage more than $1.17 billion in private investment. Since 2015, the EACC has assisted 34 manufacturing companies and 37 companies in Gateway Cities. The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
New England Food Show Highlights Culinary, Hospitality and Agricultural Riches
Food Demononstration at SnapChef at NE Food Show There was excitement in the air – not to mention the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee, oven baked bread, or local seafood sizzling on a pan with garlic and butter – at the recent New England Food Show, held at the spacious Boston Convention & Exhibition Center last week. The annual gathering was a reminder of the robust restaurant, food service and hospitality industry here in Massachusetts, and throughout the region. On the exhibit floor, over 280 companies shared innovative new food and beverage products, demonstrated the latest restaurant equipment technology, and talked with thousands of participants winding their way through the smorgasbord of culinary delights. Cooking demonstrations by well-known chefs and a culinary cook-off brought excitement and glee to the audience. Governor Charlie Baker was a key note speaker, and he praised the food industry for its commitment to growth and development, and for embracing technological advances. He said that successful communities in Massachusetts, particularly in small cities and towns, have strong restaurants and retail establishments that bring visitors and residents into the downtown main streets. In addition to the exhibit floor activities, hundreds of industry professionals attended workshops, ranging from marketing plans and new technology to workforce development and business expansion. The Show is organized each year by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, which formed a new partnership with the National Restaurant Association for this year’s show. A sampling of Massachusetts companies exhibiting at the New England Food Show this year includes Rockport Specialty Seafood of North Reading, Snap Chef of Boston, Radiand USA Kitchen Equipment of Waltham, Murphy’s Knives of Ayer, Boston Gourmet Chefs of Framingham, Sid Wainer & Son of New Bedford, and Harpoon Breweries of Boston. The 2017 New England Food Show is scheduled for February 26-28, 2017. For more information, visit Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
MASSACHUSETTS AWARDS $21 MILLION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONSTRUCTION
(Photo by Nichol Figueiredo, Town of Framingham Public Information Officer) On Friday, March 11, 2016, the Baker-Polito Administration announced more than $21 million in affordable housing awards, including $10.6 million from the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund (HPSTF), to create 312 new units of supportive housing for homeless individuals and families, veterans, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Here is a list of the awardees. Governor Charlie Baker said the awards “will help ensure that the complex needs of homeless individuals and families are adequately met, putting recipients on the path to self-sufficiency and independence.” The grant recipients were announced by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay at Tribune Apartments, an existing, historic, 53-unit building for the elderly in downtown Framingham in need of significant rehabilitation. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “Connecting individuals and families to the education, skills training, and childcare they need will support their long-term stability, improve their economic prospects, and will make the Commonwealth stronger.” Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development, said, “The detrimental effects of homelessness and instability on children and families is well documented. Mitigating or solving these effects will help to build strong residents, families, and communities across the Commonwealth.” The Baker-Polito Administration has implemented a holistic approach to reducing homelessness through early intervention and wraparound services for homeless and at-risk populations, as well as through the creation of affordable rental housing for homeless and at-risk families and individuals. support these efforts by financing the construction of affordable housing with integrated support services. Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund (HPSTF) awards provide flexible funding for supportive housing low-income families and individuals in the Commonwealth, particularly those who are homeless and most at risk of becoming homeless. The comprehensive support services, including education, skills training, childcare, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and comprehensive case management, aim to ensure that individuals and families do not fall back into homelessness. The Administration augmented HPSTF awards by awarding supportive housing projects with 91 project-based vouchers from the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program. The rental vouchers will allow homeless and very low-income households to move into long-term housing.
Massachusetts Promotes its Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP)
Small businesses have a new advantage in working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thanks to a recent enhancement to COMMBUYS, the state’s online procurement system. Beginning on February 29, 2016, all participants in the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP) will be more easily identified by agency buyers looking to use small businesses in Massachusetts. At the same time, small businesses now have the search capacity to identify agency bids that specifically seek small businesses. William McAvoy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Supplier Diversity Office at the Operational Services Division, says the enhancement “helps small businesses to more easily locate bidding opportunities. The new search feature makes good business sense, underscoring small procurement bids on behalf of buyers who have SBPP spending benchmarks, and highlighting these opportunities for the small business community.” The Small Business Purchasing Program was established to increase the Commonwealth’s spending with participating small businesses. SBPP participants are provided special consideration when agencies procure non-construction commodities and services with total values up to $150,000.* For the 2016 fiscal year, the SBPP spending benchmark is 3.3% of each department’s discretionary budget. Visit the OSD website for Program details. The goal of SBPP is to increase state spending with enrolled MA based small businesses and to provide simple and easy access to info and resources that assist the small bus community. Apply online for SBPP membership during COMMBUYS vendor registration by answering the prequalification questions. Use the COMMBUYS Vendor Registration job aid for guidance or, if you are already a COMMBUYS vendor, file for SBPP designation using the How to Complete or Renew SBPP Registration: Guidance for Seller Administrators job aid. Here’s the information you should have on hand to simplify the SBPP application process: • FEIN or SSN associated with the business; • Tax Form Type used when filing your latest Massachusetts taxes; • Number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees reported to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA); • Year and Quarter of your latest DUA filing; • Gross annual revenue using three-year average of your most recent Department of Revenue tax filing. Non Profit and Not for Profit entities should use gross operating budget. Exclude commas and dollar sign when entering the information. Learn more about SBPP via our webcast, or contact the COMMBUYS Help Desk at 1-888-627-8283 or COMMBUYS@state.ma.us.
Massachusetts Celebrates Maple Month
Governor Charlie Baker has declared March “Massachusetts Maple Month” in an effort to support the Commonwealth’s many maple producers and encourage Massachusetts residents to purchase locally-produced maple products. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Massachusetts is home to approximately 300 maple syrup producers, including many who are open to the public throughout the sugaring season. Last year about 75,000 gallons of maple syrup worth more than $4.3 million was produced across the Commonwealth. Governor Baker called the maple syrup industry “a time-honored Massachusetts tradition,” adding, “I encourage residents to support our local maple syrup producers and purchase delicious Massachusetts maple products.” Approximately $1.9 million in revenue is generated by maple farms, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, country inns, and other attractions in farm communities. Additionally, Massachusetts sugar makers steward more than 15,000 acres of woodland. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito called maple syrup “not only the first agricultural crop of the season but also one of the most important. By declaring March as Massachusetts Maple month, we hope everyone will take part in recognizing the importance of the Commonwealth’s maple producers.” Tapping maple trees in Massachusetts can start at the end of January and continue through April. For prime sugaring, nights must be below freezing and days must be above freezing. Everything from the weather, soil, and genetics of the tree can affect maple syrup flavor. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton called maple syrup “an inherently sustainable agricultural product because healthy, well-maintained trees can be tapped for over 100 years.” In 2015, Massachusetts ranked 12th in exports for maple syrup totaling just over $282,000, with South Korea being the state’s top trading partner, according to the Massachusetts Export Center. Earlier today, John Lebeaux, Commissioner of Agricultural Resources, joined local and agricultural officials at Stonegate Farms in Conway for a ceremonial sugar maple tree tapping. The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association (MMPA) holds its 3rd Annual Maple Weekend March 19 to 20, featuring open house events at over 45 sugarhouses, and special maple menus at participating restaurants made with 100% pure Massachusetts maple syrup. Go to the MassGrown website and click on maple for a complete listing of maple sugar houses or www.massmaple.org. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has a roundup of Maple Sugaring activities in Massachusetts.
Seaport Economic Council Announces Grants for Ten Massachusetts Communities
(Photo: Mass Maritime Academy) This week the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced $5.15 million in grant awards to support the maritime economy by facilitating economic growth, supporting coastal infrastructure and increasing educational opportunities. Dartmouth, Gloucester, Harwich, Hingham, Nahant, New Bedford, Plymouth, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth all received grants. The projects include infrastructure improvements that focus on long-term resilience, planning efforts that can unlock significant economic growth potential, and research that can make clean energy more affordable for coastal communities. Governor Charlie Baker said the administration “is committed to helping coastal communities achieve sustainable growth by supporting the thousands of residents that drive our marine economy. Investing in community planning, infrastructure improvements, and locally directed actions that meet our standards of resilience and sustainability will keep these communities strong while supporting the Commonwealth’s economy.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chairwoman of the Seaport Economic Council, said the grants “will help coastal communities unlock economic growth and job creation on their waterfronts and beyond. The investments made will support local jobs and reinforce Massachusetts’ leadership in diverse sectors of the maritime economy, from commercial fishing to clean energy generation.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “The maritime economy has driven economic growth and job creation in Massachusetts since its foundation. These grants help ensure that our coastal communities have diverse and strong economies.” Kirk is Vice Chair of the Seaport Economic Council and former Mayor of the port city of Gloucester. The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August 2015. Its mission is to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities. while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast. Grant Recipients Cape Cod Commission – $180,000 The Cape Cod Commission will use Seaport Economic Council funding to develop a plan for maritime economy expansion. This plan will focus on leveraging existing strengths, including a well-developed research community and a long history of entrepreneurship, to create regional economic growth and increase the number of non-seasonal skilled jobs. Dartmouth – $1,000,000 Dartmouth’s grant will allow the town to purchase a parcel on its Upper Harbor for development as a welcome center, addressing a community-identified need for public waterfront access. The area will provide educational and recreational opportunities, and will complement the Town’s investment in Padanaram Village by drawing people to new restaurants and local businesses. Gloucester – $151,000 Gloucester’s grant is focused on sustaining and improving the 40 percent of the City’s economy that relies on fishing, processing, shore-side services, and related businesses. It will allow to city to exhibit its seafood locally, regionally and nationally, and will support a branding campaign for “Gloucester Fresh Seafood.” Funding will also help the Fishermen’s Wives Association to procure additional contracts for Gloucester’s seafood with restaurants and institutions. Harwich – $1,000,000 Harwich’s Seaport Economic Council grant supports the town’s efforts to repair the East Dock of the Municipal Marina. This includes significant repairs to the dock’s basic infrastructure, and the replacement of 74 boat slips. The investment supports residents and local businesses. Hingham – $700,000 The Seaport Economic Council’s grant will allow Hingham to build a Maritime Center on Bathing Beach that will support local recreational, commercial, and educational activities. It will allow the town the more effectively promote the Hingham Farmer’s Market and related events, will facilitate boat and paddleboard rentals to residents and tourists, and will provide space to highlight Hingham’s rich history. Massachusetts Maritime Academy – $1,000,000 Funding for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will support the Pier Extension for Marina Dockage. This will increase the Academy’s capacity to deliver effective training, support educational opportunities, and partner with educational institutions to perform research and development. It will also allow the Academy to provide secure dockage for federal and state emergency response vessels. Nahant – $410,000 The Seaport Economic Council grant to Nahant will reconstruct and stabilize protective walls around Tudor Wharf, to protect the livelihood of Nahant’s commercial fishermen and lobstermen. It will also replace the aging boat ramp and improve associated areas used for boat and equipment storage, support their recreational and commercial use. New Bedford – $250,000 The grant will support planning efforts on the New Bedford waterfront and help identify opportunities for investment in infrastructure and site improvements. This will supplement efforts by the City to reduce barriers to private development along the waterfront and draw new business and jobs to New Bedford. Plymouth – $219,322 Seaport Economic Council funding will help Plymouth to finalize engineering and permitting on its proposed Maritime Facility, and develop a harbor plan. As the second busiest state port and boat ramp in Massachusetts, Plymouth has the potential to leverage untapped economic growth in its harbor and build on a previous Seaport Economic Council Planning Grant awarded in 2009. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – $239,898 The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will use Seaport Economic Council funding to support research and development in wave energy. The research has the potential to dramatically reduce manufacturing and deployment costs associated with traditional wave energy generators, making devices smaller, easier to use, and more cost effective. Here is more information on the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council.
Massachusetts is one of 17 states to join the Accord for a New Energy Future
This week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker joined 16 other governors from around the nation in a bipartisan effort to promote clean energy, clean transportation choices and a modern electrical grid. Over 127 million Americans are represented in the participating states. The Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future provides participating governors with a platform through which their states can collaborate, learn from one another, and leverage partnerships in energy planning and policy making. Governor Charlie Baker said the Accord “highlights the tremendous opportunities to create a shared clean, affordable and resilient energy future. Massachusetts will continue to lead the way on clean energy, energy efficiency and the adoption of innovative technologies such as energy storage. These efforts, and our legislative proposal to bring additional hydroelectricity and other renewable resources into the region, will ensure we meet our ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets while also creating a stronger economy for the Commonwealth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the Accord “allows us to collaborate with like-minded governors to create innovative clean energy policy and ensure a stronger national energy future. Joining the Accord reaffirms our commitment to diversifying the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio, supporting new energy technologies, and meeting our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.” Senior advisors to the participating governors will convene shortly to discuss initial steps to pursue their shared priorities and commitments contained in the Accord. Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said the Accord allows “clean energy leaders to strengthen our economy, protect public health and natural resources, and increase energy security. This new commitment builds on the Commonwealth’s forward-thinking leadership in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy, and addressing the pressing threat of climate change.” The Baker-Polito Administration has been working to stabilize and reduce the cost of energy for residents and businesses, strengthen the clean energy economy in Massachusetts and help meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements set forth under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Through the filing of hydropower and solar legislation, the Administration hopes to diversify Massachusetts’ energy portfolio and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. The Administration’s 2016-2018 energy efficiency plan, recently approved by the Department of Public Utilities, sets nation-leading savings levels for both electricity and gas and is estimated to achieve $8 billion in economic, environmental, and energy benefits. The Administration also launched a $10 million Energy Storage Initiative to support the continued growth of renewable power generation and make Massachusetts a national leader in the deployment and effective use of innovative energy technology solutions. Last month, Governor Baker added $2 million in funding to the state’s electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by increasing the use of zero emission vehicles in Massachusetts. A recent update to Massachusetts’ Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 concluded that the Commonwealth is well-positioned to meet, or exceed, a greenhouse gas reduction goal of 25% by 2020 through the full implementation of the Baker-Polito Administration’s energy policies. The Administration’s commitment to action on climate is also demonstrated by signing the Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Commitment, endorsing the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (Under2MOU) and joining Eastern-Canadian Premieres and New England Governors in signing a climate change resolution calling for a 35-45% greenhouse gas reduction, below 1990 emission levels, by 2030. Click here to access the full text of the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future.
Mark Sullivan to Head up Mass Office of International Trade & Investment
On February 8, 2016, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development welcomed Mark F. Sullivan as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI). “Mark brings a wealth of international business experience to this role,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “We look forward to his contributions, as we strengthen our international office in their work with the global business community.” “Growing the Commonwealth’s economy requires strong partnerships with international companies” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development. “Mark’s leadership will enhance MOITI’s ability to attract investment from the international business community, and open overseas markets for Massachusetts companies.” “The Commonwealth is home to a growing number of international companies,” said Mark Sullivan. “I look forward to serving the people of Massachusetts, as MOITI works to unlock new opportunities for trade and growth.”
Governor Baker & Mayor Walsh Announce Joint Community Redevelopment Venture in Boston
As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s “Open for Business” Real Estate Asset Leveraging (REAL) Strategy, state and city officials announced a joint venture with Veolia North America to explore the strategic redevelopment of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) District 6 Headquarters and Veolia facility in downtown Boston. The 5.5 acre parcel at 185 Kneeland Street, bordered by Chinatown, the Leather District and South Station with the Ink Block developments nearby, offers the potential for up to 1.5 to 2 million square feet of redevelopment. MassDOT’s District 6 Headquarters will be relocated or replaced and a scaled-down version of Veolia North America’s steam plant will be included as part of the redevelopment. Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh each spoke about the importance of this collaboration as a way of stimulating economic growth and development, job creation and the addition of more open space and affordable, workforce and transit-oriented housing. Here is a video of the announcement. Governor Baker said the project “is a valuable avenue to building stronger communities and opportunities for the people of Massachusetts. We look forward to working together with Mayor Walsh, Veolia, the City of Boston and its residents to optimize this land’s impact and contribution to the neighborhood and city at large.” Mayor Walsh thanked Governor Baker “for his willingness to assess the inventory of State-owned land in the City of Boston and identify parcels that, if developed, could help the City achieve its long-term housing and planning goals.” MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said the project “will enhance the vitality of the surrounding neighborhood and spur economic growth in the adjacent business district while generating own-source revenue that MassDOT can reinvest in our transportation system.” First announced in October, 2015, the “Open for Business” Real Estate Asset Leveraging (REAL) Strategy identifies unused or underutilized Commonwealth properties for redevelopment for affordable or market-rate housing, job creation, reduction in government expenses, increased revenue for the Commonwealth as well as local communities, capital investment in state properties, and open recreational space. Over 40 near-term opportunities throughout Massachusetts and across state agencies and authorities were first highlighted for public-private partnerships, of which seven are currently under agreement. The first public input session for the MassDOT District 6 Headquarters project is being held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 in the 1st Floor Conference Room at 185 Kneeland Street. Comments can also be submitted by email to James.A.Kersten@state.ma.us.
Massachusetts Files Economic Development Legislation Providing “Opportunities for All”
The Baker-Polito Administration filed legislation this week entitled An Act to Provide Opportunities for All. The bill outlines investments of up to $918 million in capital funding for local infrastructure, Brownfields site cleanup, Gateway Cities development, development site assembly and site readiness, smart growth housing, workforce development, emerging technologies, and community-based innovation. In broad terms, the legislation seeks to advance job creation and economic growth by empowering communities and regions to reach their potential, expanding workforce development efforts to close the skills gap and connect residents with economic opportunities, and investing in emerging technologies to set the stage for future job growth across the Commonwealth. Read the press release here. Governor Charlie Baker called the legislation “a platform for growth and prosperity across the Commonwealth,” and said, “Strong communities, a highly-trained workforce, and our commitment to welcoming emerging technologies will ensure Massachusetts’ continues to have a pro-growth business environment providing economic opportunities for all.” Lieutenant Governor Polito said, “Community development and revitalization have been priorities of ours since day one, and this bill will provide new investments and tools to enable and leverage private development toward that goal.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “Massachusetts’ greatest asset is its brainpower, and this legislation provides the state’s innovators with the tools they need to create the next generation of jobs in technology and in advanced manufacturing.” An Act to Provide Opportunities for All is organized around four foundational themes: preparing communities for success, a new Massachusetts Innovation Initiative, workforce development, and economic competitiveness.
Governor Baker Announces $83.5 Million for Career Vocational Technical Education
The Baker-Polito Administration is ramping up its support of career vocational technical education, with $83.5 million worth of new initiatives being proposed between the Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget recommendation and new capital grant funding. “With too many good-paying jobs going unfilled, we are pleased to announce this critical investment in our career and technical schools,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our proposal will make it possible for more students to explore a pathway to success through stronger partnerships with our schools and local businesses in the Commonwealth.” The funding in the FY17 budget will be coupled with a substantial capital grant program for vocational equipment that further aligns the administration’s investments with local economic and workforce development needs and employment partnerships: 1.$75 million over five years: new capital authorization to fund grants for equipment to expand and improve career technical education programs, building on a $9.2 million Skills Capital grant program announced this year. 2.$7.5 million: work-based learning grants, including nearly doubling support for school-to-career connecting activities to $5.5 million, and doubling support for Dual Enrollment to $2 million, to expand and replicate STEM-focused early college career pathways, including middle school curriculum and workplace experience and learning. 3.$1 million: new Career Technical Partnership Grants, funded through federal Perkins Act grant funding, to strengthen relationships between vocational schools, comprehensive high schools, and employers. The initiatives have come from the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, which was created by executive order on February 25, 2015 to align education, workforce and economic development strategies across the state. Governor Baker tapped Education Secretary James Peyser, Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker, II, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash, who have been engaging with business leaders and educators around the state to find ways to create partnerships between the employer community, the state workforce system and education in order to open up more job opportunities around the Commonwealth. Governor Baker said the Skills Cabinet is working together “to create an approach and a strategy to skill building and skill development, recognizing that this has an enormous role not just in economic development but human capital development,” adding that this approach provides “a path for people to find a career that works for them.”
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Delivers State of the Commonwealth Address, January 21, 2016
Governor Charlie Baker gave his first State of the Commonwealth Address on Thursday, January 21, 2016 from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Here is a written version of Governor’s Baker’s address.
Massachusetts Launches Comprehensive Digital Health Initiative
(Governor Baker at Children’s Hospital. Photo & video courtesy of State House News Service) Last week, Governor Charlie Baker joined public officials and business leaders from the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP) at Boston Children’s Hospital to announce a comprehensive public- private partnership designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s digital healthcare industry. Governor Baker said the Baker-Polito Administration “is committed to making Massachusetts a national leader in digital health by partnering with private industry, convening key stakeholders and addressing market gaps. This emerging industry cluster has the potential to become a powerful driver of job creation across the Commonwealth, while also unlocking new advances in improving patient care and lowering health care costs.” Digital health is an emerging industry cluster identified by the Commonwealth’s economic development plan signed by Governor Baker on December 23, 2015. The digital health market is emerging rapidly, and has potential to create multiple positive effects on the state’s economic bottom line by creating jobs, attracting investment, and developing solutions, which improve healthcare delivery and ultimately can help contain healthcare costs. Known as digital health, or eHealth, the sector spans a variety of technologies such as electronic health records, consumer wearable devices, care systems, payment management, Big Data analytics and telemedicine. The fast-growing sector represents about a $32 billion market opportunity over the next decade, according to Goldman Sachs. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, “Strong public-private partnerships are what make our City, and our region, more competitive in the global economy. We know that the digital healthcare industry is Boston’s future, and I thank our state and private sector partners for their support.” To support digital health startups, the City of Boston, Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI), and MACP announced the establishment of a digital health innovation hub. The initiative will provide space, programming and strong industry network for digital health startups and will serve as a Boston “hub” for the industry. Programming through the hub will be managed and operated by MassChallenge. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said Massachusetts is in a unique position “to become global leaders in the digital healthcare sector. I am proud that the House’s past two economic development bills have supported eHealth programs because I believe this industry presents rich opportunities for Massachusetts.” Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, who led MACP’s Digital Health Initiative, said that Massachusetts, “With the strengths of our universities, academic medical centers, and life sciences companies, is uniquely positioned to succeed in digital healthcare and I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will make it happen.” Governor Baker and Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, have designated the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) as the state’s implementing agency. Established in 2008 by the Legislature as a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, an economic development agency, MeHI works to promote and accelerate the use of digital healthcare, such as electronic health records and health information exchange. Governor Baker announced today that he will file legislation to expand MeHI’s efforts to include digital healthcare cluster development activities. “This initiative begins in Boston, but it’s a statewide effort, and we see real opportunities for growth in communities across the Commonwealth, including Springfield and Worcester, Lowell and other places,” Governor Baker said at the press conference.
Massachusetts Farms Receive Grants to Strengthen Infrastructure
Five Massachusetts farms have been awarded $400,000 in total grant funding for infrastructure improvements through the state’s Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. Established in 2009, the APR Improvement Program (AIP) is funded by the federal Farm and Lands Protection Program and is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR). The program also provides recipients with technical and business planning assistance to identify the best use of funds to improve farm infrastructure and productivity. The five farms include: Burnetts Farm in Adams, receiving $50,000 for barn expansion Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, receiving $100,000 for dairy infrastructure improvements Nourse Family Farm in Westborough, receiving $75,000 for farmstand renovation and plantings The Kitchen Garden in Sutherland, receiving $75,000 for produce packing and storage building Westport Rivers in Westport, receiving $100,000 for grapevine propagation facility Governor Charlie Baker praised Massachusetts’ “vibrant agriculture industry, which provides fresh, healthy food for the Commonwealth’s residents. These agricultural investments help create jobs and make Massachusetts’ farms more competitive in the national and global marketplace.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that grants “will ensure that land protected for agriculture continues to support commercially viable farm businesses for current and future generations of Massachusetts farmers.” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton thanked the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting “the valuable economic and dietary contributions of commercial farmers who are committed to keeping their land in agriculture.” Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux said, “Reinvesting in these farms has enabled these businesses to keep up with the changing dynamics of modern agriculture and demands of today’s consumers.” Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said, “Investments in our farms help meet the demands of consumers for fresh local food while also supporting our growing agricultural industry and tourism.” Since 2009, AIP has provided more than $3.5 million in total grants (average $66,509 per farm) and $330,150 in technical assistance (average $6,229 per farm) to Massachusetts APR farms that own a combined total of more than 7,000 acres of protected farmland. Here is more information about AIP. For more about the state’s culinary destinations, visit the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism‘s Culinary Tourism page.
Massachusetts’ Economic Development Plan Offers Opportunities for All
Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito endorsed and signed the Commonwealth’s economic development plan, a strategic policy document to guide the administration’s economic development strategy. Read an online copy of the economic development plan here. Governor Baker called the plan “an important statement of our administration’s priorities and values. It creates a framework for connecting residents across the state to economic opportunity, and for unlocking new business growth by pressing Massachusetts’ competitive advantage on a number of fronts.” Lieutenant Governor Polito said, “Our administration has prioritized community development across the Commonwealth. This economic development plan reflects our commitment to promoting vibrant communities, and spurring new growth, from Cape Cod to the Berkshires.” The plan is the result of one year of robust public engagement. The Baker-Polito administration hosted fourteen public listening sessions across the state, and engaged in thousands of conversations with residents, business owners, municipal officials, state legislators, academic experts, and industry officials. The Governor’s Economic Development Planning Council unanimously endorsed the plan on December 9. The key priorities of the plan include: • supporting workforce development strategies that close the skills gap, and connect citizens to economic opportunity; • promoting vibrant communities and regions; • advancing the development of key industry clusters, and harnessing cluster development to drive job growth in the Commonwealth’s regions; and • sharpening the Commonwealth’s competitive position through regulatory reform, and efforts to lower key business costs, such as energy costs. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash said, “Over the past year, I have met with residents, business owners and local officials, in communities from Williamstown to Provincetown. I am proud that their priorities and aspirations are reflected in this economic development plan, which will advance prosperity for citizens, growth for businesses, and vitality for communities.” Massachusetts law requires that each new gubernatorial administration publishes an economic development strategy within a year of taking office. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development will use the policy framework set by this plan to develop and shape specific initiatives that will respond to issues, themes, and priorities highlighted in this plan.
Massachusetts Approves 17 projects to increase job growth and business expansion
(Caption: OYO Sportstoys, Inc. has created a series of New England sports figures) Last week the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 17 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 1,008 new jobs and retain 1,291 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $487.1 million in private investment. Governor Charlie Baker called the funding “a tool for companies across Massachusetts to realize growth and expansion opportunities. Expansion and hiring incentives are cost-effective investments for the Commonwealth to expand a business friendly climate, and to catalyze significant, sustained economic growth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the program “strengthens our businesses and communities and helps sustain growth from Boston to the Berkshires.” Since January 2015, the EACC has approved 60 economic development projects that in total will create 3,329 jobs, retain 4,707 existing jobs, and leverage more than $1 billion in private investment. This year, the EACC has assisted 31 manufacturing companies and 27 companies in Gateway Cities. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the Baker-Polito Administration “remains dedicated to supporting communities and businesses across Massachusetts as they grow and prosper.” Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham the EDIP ensures that “Massachusetts has a wide range of competitive sectors – from distribution to manufacturing and high-tech. This broad business base lays a foundation for sustained economic growth and prosperity.” The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available on the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. Approved Projects Expansion Projects: Associated Environmental Systems Inc. (Acton) — Since 1959, Associated Environmental Systems has designed and manufactured test chambers that range in size from small bench top chambers to large environmental rooms. AES has developed a loyal customer base from the fields of aerospace, pharmacology, electronics, automotive, semiconductors, and computers. AES plans to invest more than $3.1 million in a new facility in Acton, which will double the company’s manufacturing, administrative office, and R&D showcasing space, while allowing it to create 65 new jobs and retain 47 jobs. The Town of Acton approved a 5-year Special Tax Assessment (STA), valued at $126,750. The EACC Board approved $236,500 in investment tax credits. KROHNE, Inc. (Beverly) — KROHNE is a worldwide supplier of innovative measurement solutions for the process industry. Since its founding in 1921, KROHNE has opened 17 production facilities in 12 countries, with 3,500 employees. The company primarily serves the chemical and petrochemical, food and beverage, water and wastewater, oil and gas, marine, power, paper, metal, and pharmaceutical industries. Some of KROHNE’s customers are Dow Chemical, BASF, Foxboro, Honeywell, Coca-Cola, Siemens, and Solvay. KHRONE is making a $20 million investment to purchase a 95,000 square foot facility, which will create 54 jobs and retain 45 jobs, and allow for onshoring of 3 manufacturing lines currently located overseas. The City of Beverly approved a 10-year Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) agreement valued at $111,615. The EACC Board awarded $320,000 in investment tax credits. Webco Chemical Corporation (Dudley) — Since its founding in 1956, Webco has produced cleaners and specialty chemicals for a wide variety of manufacturers and distributors. Currently, Webco blends and packages over 2,000 different liquid and powder cleaners and specialty products, which are then sold to buyers in an array of industries. The company plans to add 30,000-45,000 square feet to its existing building to increase its manufacturing space. Webco will invest $6.9 million, create 15 new jobs and retain 53 employees. The Town of Dudley has approved a 10-year TIF, valued at $80,388.The EACC awarded the company with $136,000 in investment tax credits. Cold Chain Technologies, Inc. (Franklin) — Cold Chain Technologies manufactures thermal packaging solutions. CCT originally made thermal packaging solely for seafood shipment, but has since evolved to create highly engineered products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Currently, CCT operates in three different buildings, located in Holliston. In order to support the company’s robust growth and make its current operations more efficient, CCT plans to consolidate and expand to a new site in Franklin, and create 55 jobs. The company plans to spend $12.5 million on this project and will be retaining 135 jobs. The Town of Franklin has approved an 11-year TIF, valued at $149,087. The EACC Board awarded CCT with $550,000 in investment tax credits. International Container Company, LLC (Holyoke) — International Container Company has served the solid waste industry in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region with high quality products for nearly 20 years. The company specializes in roll-off, hook-lift, and front and rear load containers, as well as a variety of special application containers including rolling roofs, square and octagon style breakaway boxes, self-contained and stationary compactors, recycling containers, flat beds, and custom containers. ICC plans to construct a 10,400 square foot addition to its existing building in Holyoke to increase its manufacturing space. In addition, the company intends to purchase approximately $300,000 to $500,000 of equipment to support the increase rate of output that the new addition will provide. The City of Holyoke approved a 5-year TIF, valued at $30,546. The company, which is expected to create 5 new jobs and retain 45 jobs, was awarded $62,500 in investment tax credits by the EACC. OYO Sportstoys, Inc. (Marlborough) — OYO Sportstoys, Inc. is a local manufacturing company that produces mini-figure toys that resemble famous athletes. The company has agreements with the MLB, NFL, NCAA, and NHL and their players associations to produce toys featuring their star players. OYO plans to expand to include soccer, basketball, and other sports. The company currently leases a 30,000square foot facility in Acton. Due to increased demand, OYO plans to invest $8,000,000 and relocate to a 65,000square foot facility in Marlborough. This leased space will serve as a manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters. The company, which expects to create 100 jobs and retain 95 jobs was awarded $480,000 in investment tax credits. Additionally, the company received a 10-year TIF from the City of Marlborough, valued at $140,853. New England Ice Cream Corporation (NEICC)/Ginsberg Taunton Properties, LLC (Norton) — NEICC is a full-service ice cream distributor, specializing in ice cream, slush, beverages, fresh dairy, and snacks. NEICC serves a wide range of customers, including retail chains, ice cream shops, restaurants, hotels, casinos, recreational organizations, hospitals, and educational institutions. The company’s portfolio was enhanced when it was selected as the exclusive distributor in Southern New England for the Unilever ice cream portfolio, which includes Ben & Jerry’s, Bliss Bros., Gifford’s, Breyers, Popsicle, Good Humor, Klondike, and Hood. Due to increased demand, NEICC plans to invest $10 million to relocate and consolidate its Taunton and Avon operations into a new 65,000 square foot facility in Norton. The new building will serve as the corporate headquarters, warehouse and distribution center. This project is expected to create 20 new jobs and retain 85 jobs. The Town of Norton approved a 15- year TIF with a 15-year personal property tax exemption, valued at $1,041,980. The EACC board awarded $100,000 in investment tax credits. Falvey Linen Supply, Inc. (Springfield) — Falvey Linen Supply is a family-owned and operated commercial laundry business headquartered in Cranston, RI. The company, founded in 1929, currently employs more than 280 people. Falvey Linen Supply plans to spend $8.6 million to purchase and renovate an abandoned building in Springfield, in order to open a second laundry production facility and create 125 jobs. The City of Springfield approved a 5-year TIF, valued at $139,572. The EACC board awarded $625,000 in investment tax credits. Boise Cascade Company dba Boise Cascade Building Materials Distribution, LLC (Westfield) — Boise Cascade Company distributes building materials, such as lumber, studs, and plywood, composite decking, trim, engineered lumber, roofing materials, and siding, on a wholesale basis to lumberyards, home centers, industrial accounts, and other retail businesses across the country. The company’s Westfield branch, which opened in 1999, primarily serves customers in Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. The company, headquartered in Boise, ID, plans to develop 7.5 acres in Westfield, and build an 85,000 square foot warehouse storage facility and a 12,000 square foot sales office. The company will invest $7,955,000, create 9 new jobs, and retain 79 jobs. The City of Westfield approved a 5-year TIF, valued at $226,057. The EACC board awarded Boise Cascade Company $67,500 in investment tax credits Local Incentive Only Projects: Commercial Yard, LLC / D.W. Clark, Inc. (Brockton) — Commercial Yard, LLC is the land owner and affiliate of D.W. Clark, Inc., a metals manufacturing business with facilities in East Bridgewater and Taunton. D.W. Clark, Inc. was founded in 1902 as a foundry business. Over the years, it has grown into a specialty metals manufacturing business and has successfully updated its operations to meet the standards of the defense, aerospace, power generation, power transmission, extractive, manufacturing, communications, and shipping sectors of the global economy. The company is expanding its capacity in several segments of the metals manufacturing business and will entirely gut and renovate the former LeBaron Foundry site in Brockton. The company will invest $6,000,000 and create 25 new jobs. The City of Brockton approved a 15-year TIF, valued at $1,152,318. EMD Millipore Corporation (Burlington) — EMD Millipore Corporation, the global life sciences business of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, offers solutions and services for research, development, and production of biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug therapies. EMD Millipore serves as a strategic partner for scientists, engineers, and researchers around the world and has a portfolio of more than 60,000 products. The company currently leases and maintains its life science business office in Billerica, MA and occupies other locations in Bedford and Danvers. Due to increased customer demand, EMD Millipore needs to relocate and consolidate its Billerica operation and portions of its other Massachusetts locations in a new facility, located in Burlington. The company is investing $165 million in this project and will be retaining 400 employees in the Commonwealth. The Town of Burlington approved a three phase, 15-year TIF, valued at $3,112,032. Demoulas Super Markets, Inc. / 40 Federal Street Realty Holdings (Lynn) — Demoulas Super Markets, Inc. (DSM) operates 75 supermarkets and 3 distribution centers across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, employing approximately 25,000 people. DSM provides high quality groceries at the best prices, while serving as an anchor to other retail development in various communities. The company plans to redevelop a vacant and contaminated 16.3 acre parcel in downtown Lynn. The project, which is expected to cost $22 million, will include the renovation of an existing abandoned factory building to accommodate a Market Basket supermarket, development of additional retail and/or office space, and infrastructure upgrades to improve traffic congestion in the area. The project will create 75 jobs. The City of Lynn approved a 20-year TIF and a 5-year personal property tax exemption, valued at $3,699,300. Shuster Corporation (New Bedford) — Shuster Corporation, founded in 1916, is a New Bedford-based multi-national supplier of industrial bearings and power transmission products. Shuster also offers supply chain management solutions. The company was purchased in 2007 by Motion Industries. Shuster Corporation plans to spend $140,000 to renovate and move to a new 65,000 square foot space in New Bedford, in order to expand its product lines and customer base. By leasing this property, the company will double its current warehousing and office space. The company plans to hire 4 new employees and retain 35 existing positions. The City of New Bedford approved a 5-year STA, valued at $169,914 Alnylam U.S., Inc. (Norton) — Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company that develops novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. Alnylam focuses on genetic medicines, cardio-metabolic disease treatments, and hepatic infection disease treatments. Several therapeutics are now in late stages of development and Alnylam is preparing for commercial production and launch. The company plans to spend $100 million on a new facility in Norton, machinery, and equipment, in order to control a significant portion of its production capacity. The company plans to create 220 new jobs. The Town of Norton approved a 13-year TIF, valued at $7,055,246. Horner Millwork, North Atlantic Corp. (Somerset) — Horner Millwork is a distributor and manufacturer of windows, doors, kitchens, stairs, millwork, and commercial building products. The company plans to purchase new machinery, including a Woodworking CNC, a CNC Door Manufacturing Machine, and reaching and ancillary supporting equipment. Horner Millwork will also expand its current facility by 20,000 square feet and create 2 floors of new manufacturing and warehouse space. Lastly, the company plans to install a 1 megawatt solar energy facility in order to reduce its carbon footprint. The company, which is expected to spend $7 million and create 15 jobs, while retaining 272 existing positions, received a 12-year TIF, valued at $647,568 from the Town of Somerset. CNR MA Corporation and CNR Springfield LLC (Springfield) — CNR MA Corporation and CNR Springfield LLC are affiliates of China CNR Corporation, a leading company that manufactures and refurbishes rolling stock. Its products include high-speed multiple units, locomotives, passenger coaches, and other rail transportation vehicles, machinery, and equipment. CNR MA Corporation was recently awarded a major contract to provide new Red and Orange Line trains for the MBTA. They will spend $107 million to develop a 213,000square foot facility in East Springfield, which will include an assembly plant and associated track, parking areas, office space, and other accessory and ancillary uses. The company, which is expected to create 150 jobs, will receive a 10-year TIF from the City of Springfield, valued at $9,847,580. G & G Medical Products, LLC (Ware) — G&G Medical manufactures and distributes disposable incontinent products. Currently, the company’s products are manufactured in China. G&G plans to spend $1.5 million to purchase American Disposables and move its manufacturing operations from China to Ware. This project is expected to create 71 jobs. The town of Ware approved a 10-year STA, valued at $42,106.
Boston’s Haymarket is a Massachusetts Treasure
(Caption: Vendor at Haymarket in Boston, photo courtesy of Trip Advisor) by Nam Pham Having lived in Boston area for 30 plus years, I have often served as unofficial tour guide for friends and family members from all across the US and from overseas. I am often asked “what is your personal favorite place in Massachusetts?” It used to be a difficult question to answer because Massachusetts is blessed with so many great places. You want to stroll on beautiful beaches to wash away the stress of life, or watch gorgeous sunsets and sunrises? We have them, just a few minutes away, at Castle Island in South Boston, Squantum Point in Quincy, or anywhere up and down the coast. You want to hike over hills and mountains? From Blue Hill Reservation to Mount Monnadock, you can stroll leisurely in the woods or give yourself a real workout. And check out the Mohawk Trail to see the amazing fall foliage. You want to explore arts & culture? Visit any of our world class museums, from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and Worcester’s Art Museum to the Clark Museum and Mass MoCA in Western Massachusetts. You want chic shopping and international brands? Just check out Newbury Street and Copley Place in Boston’s Back Bay, or head down to Wrentham Outlet Village for real bargains. Sports? We are the State of Champions. Basketball and volley ball were invented here. Yet despite these wonderful attractions, I have to say my favorite destination is the Haymarket in Boston, the oldest open air market in the country. Situated between the North End or Little Italy and Faneuil Hall, the Cradle of Liberty, Haymarket is a living museum of America, where hard work and diversity, two bedrocks of American life, still intertwine and matter. It is as thriving and bustling as the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a few hundred years ago. Have I told you that you can also get fresh fruits and vegetables for a fraction of supermarket prices? Haymarket goes back to the early 1700s, notes local historian Nancy V. Weare, when “salt hay from Cape Cod and North Shore farms was being sold at Haymarket Square in Boston. In fact, that is how Haymarket Square got its name. By the 1820s, Haymarket had become the central place in Boston for local farmers and fishermen to sell their products to the hungry and bustling ethnic population that flooded the city in the 19th and 20th centuries. I first discovered Haymarket in 1981 when my graduate school classmate took me there. As a poor and hungry grad student, any time someone told me about a bargain I would jump right on the opportunity. When I got to Haymarket, I felt like I was back in a village market in Vietnam right in the middle of downtown Boston. I was surrounded with colors, yellow oranges, red tomatoes, green lettuce, white onions, and purple plums. I was consumed by the sounds of sellers and the fragrance of flowers and foods. People were literally sucking fresh oysters and clams for a buck. And even with the budget of poor students, we walked back to the T with two backpacks and four shopping bags filled with goodies that would feed a dozen hungry students for a week. Many visitors have likened Haymarket to the old-fashioned open air markets of Europe and Asia, where each week brings different surprises and there is always a bargain to be had. New waves of immigrants sell products that often seemed exotic and especially delicious. Over the years, the hawkers have slowly become more Asian and less Irish or Italian, though you can still get a tasty slice of pizza for $2 at Haymarket Pizza. These days you can also find Middle Easter and African spices and specialties for sale there. Even today, I can still travel back in time and feel a part of a community. Many Fridays, I like to walk up and down the stalls of Haymarket, just take in the sights, sounds, and smells. The Haymarket is open every Friday and Saturday year-round from dawn to dusk. It remains a throwback to earlier times, with vendors hawking their wares, making bargains with local buyers, and posing for pictures with tourists. Run by the Haymarket Pushcart Association, it is a place where small businesses thrive while contributing to the local economy. Massachusetts produces a bounty of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish and dairy products that are readily available at local farmers markets, agricultural fairs and town squares. Our farmland accounts for over 523,000 acres of open space. Here is a map of all farmers markets, fairs, and agricultural events in Massachusetts. In addition to farmers markets, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has compiled a Culinary Calendar for visitors and residents wishing to savor local food and beverages.
Massachusetts Holds annual Export Expo in Boston
(Caption: Kevin J. Wolf speaking at the Export Expo in Boston on December 11, 2015) Over 250 participants attended the Massachusetts Export Center annual Export Expo last week in Boston. Business owners, investors and regulatory officials came to learn the latest news on export control policy trends, recent sanction developments, and views on free trade expansion. Keynote speaker Kevin J. Wolf, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, spoke about recent regulatory developments and the outlook for export regulatory policy in the near future. Paula Murphy, director of the Mass Export Center, presented Wolf with a Citation from Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, in recognition of Wolf’s “leadership of the Export Control Reform Initiative and dedication to enhancing the competitiveness of the Massachusetts export community.” Ambassador Robert Holleyman, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, spoke about the recent landmark passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the outlook for free trade. Other speakers at the Export Expo included Frank Boudra, Sanctions Compliance Officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Gregory Smith, Regional Director of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.; Kristen Rupert, Executive Director of the AIM International Business Council; and Omari Wooden, Assistant Division Chief, Trade Regulations, at the U.S. Census Bureau. The Expo also featured expert speakers from private industry, including representatives from Massachusetts exporting firms such as Teradyne, Vicor Corporation, H.C. Starck, Avid Technology and Ocean Spray. Participants also learned details about the STEP (State Trade & Export Promotion) grant, which provides reimbursements to eligible businesses for export-promotion expenses up to $8,500 through a grant provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The STEP grant is administered in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment and the Massachusetts Export Center. The Massachusetts Export Center’s mission is to help companies throughout the Commonwealth achieve success in global markets, thereby contributing to economic growth in the state. It provides a variety of targeted, high-impact services throughout the year.
Massachusetts Awards $1.5 Million for Advanced Manufacturing Training
(Caption: On December 3, 2015, Governor Charlie Baker announced training program grants at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute.) Photo by Joanne DeCaro Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $1.5 million in Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Workforce Development Grants, aimed to train Massachusetts residents looking for work and connect them with manufacturing companies seeking skilled workers. Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement at the Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, where he was joined by members of his administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, along with manufacturing leaders, training specialists and educational organizations. These grants, awarded to 10 workforce development teams across the Commonwealth, provide precision manufacturing training to unemployed and underemployed Massachusetts residents. The training grants target demographic groups that experience chronically higher rates of unemployment, and groups that are historically underrepresented in the manufacturing sector, including veterans, African Americans, Hispanic or Latino Americans, and women. Governor Baker said that Massachusetts “continues to be a national leader in advanced manufacturing, and the sector is an important component of the state’s overall economic health.” He said the grants will “help connect residents to good-paying jobs, while meeting the increasing demand for a skilled manufacturing workforce.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “Partnerships between educational institutions and the business community are important for successful workforce training programs. The partnerships demonstrated by these grants will ensure the needs of those looking for work and the manufacturing community are aligned.” The Baker-Polito Administration’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, convened in February 2015, aims to close the skills gap and connect citizens to jobs by making workforce development efforts more employer-centric, and by identifying and bringing to scale successful training and education models. The Workforce Skills Cabinet is coordinating the implementation of the precision manufacturing training grants. The Cabinet is chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Ronald L. Walker II, and comprised of the Secretary of Education, Jim Peyser, and the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Jay Ash. 2015 Advanced Manufacturing Training Program Workforce Development Grant Award Winners Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Pittsfield Center for Manufacturing Technology, Woburn City of Somerville E-Team Machinist Training Program, Lynn Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Greenfield Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, New Bedford Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Worcester Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, Lawrence Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Springfield Tech Foundry, Springfield
Massachusetts Honors Companies for Jobs, Facility Growth and Investments
Congratulations to the winners of MassEcon’s 12th annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, which recognized 18 companies for their contributions to the state’s economy. Over 400 business leaders attended the awards ceremony in Boston. Keynote speaker Governor Charlie Baker said the winning companies “demonstrated a shared vision of economic prosperity by expanding better jobs and building stronger communities across all regions and industries of the Commonwealth.” (Governor Charlie Baker addresses the audience at Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards ceremony) Since January 2014, the winning companies from across the state, ranging in size and industry, including manufacturing, life sciences, information technology, and travel, have added 2,700 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $346 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 1.7 million square feet, according to MassEcon. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon praised the companies “for staying and growing here, and for their confidence in the long-term future of the Commonwealth.” Among the winners was Massport, which won the Global Leader Award for its success in expanding commerce connections with the rest of the world. Through its airport and seaport facilities, Massport has helped to generate trade, tourism and travel, which accounted for $15.1 billion in total economic impact this year. Here is a list of 2015 MassEcon Economic Impact Award winners in alphabetical order. Find out more about MassEcon here. For more information about Massachusetts’ economic development plans, visit Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
Shop Local in Massachusetts This Holiday Season
(Caption: A Child’s Garden, Northampton. Photo by Lynne Graves) by Nam Pham This holiday season, I am heading down to Quincy Center to do my gift shopping, then over to Fields Corner in Dorchester. And I may even talk a trip to Boston’s Downtown Crossing and Chinatown. My plan is to buy my holiday gifts locally, as a way of supporting the businesses who keep our Main Streets, Gateway Cities and neighborhoods vibrant and strong throughout the year. Earlier this week, Governor Charlie Baker joined the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) and business leaders at Faneuil Hall to kick off the #BuyinMA campaign, a concerted effort to get Massachusetts residents to buy local this season. “Our local retailers play a big part in making our cities and towns great,” Governor Baker said. “Let’s keep it that way by doing as much of our holiday shopping here in Massachusetts over the next month.” With over 600,000 retailers in Massachusetts, accounting for one in five jobs, there is no shortage of places to go in the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth. Many of these are small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. Jon Hurst, president of Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said, “When you buy in Massachusetts, you are supporting local employers, their employees, local tax revenue and local investments in communities and the economy.” The holiday season represents 20% of annual retail sales, and that is why December is an important month for stores and small businesses. Massachusetts retailers posted a 3.4 percent increase in holiday sales last year, and there have been five consecutive year-over-year gains during the period, according to RAM. We hope we can make it six consecutive years in 2015. Buying local does not mean you cannot find international or exotic items. Massachusetts local businesses come from all over the world and have products from all corners of the globe. You can easily get exquisite silk scarfs from India or Vietnam, or intricate wood carving from Africa or Central America or warm lamb wool sweaters from Ireland or Australia, to name a few. Just visit your Main Street stores in places like Abington, Burlington, Cambridge, Chinatown, Fields Corner, Lowell, Somerville, Northampton or Worcester – you will find everything you need. US Congressman Tip O’Neill of Cambridge famously said that ‘All Politics Is Local.’ This season, let’s make sure that all shopping stays local too.
Seaport Economic Council Announces $6.6 Million in Grants to Support Massachusetts Coastal Communities
(Port of New Bedford) The Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council has announced $6.6 million in economic development and infrastructure grants funding to Chatham, Gosnold, Marshfield, New Bedford, Quincy, Salem, Saugus, Salisbury, Winthrop, and the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative. The grants will support pier, port, and boardwalk improvements focused on long term economic and physical resilience, and a tidal energy testing initiative in the Cape Cod Canal, while advancing the maritime economy in a diverse set of coastal communities. Here are details on the grant awards, which were announced on November 20, 2015. Governor Charlie Baker said the grants “showcase our Administration’s commitment to advancing sustainable growth in communities of all sizes. We will continue to partner with coastal communities to support blue jobs, partnerships with public education, maritime planning efforts, and coastal infrastructure projects that meet standards of resilience and sustainability, and to ensure they are able to play a robust role in the Commonwealth’s economic future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chairwoman of the Seaport Economic Council, said that enhanced waterfronts “will create jobs and drive growth for residents” while helping to “prepare communities for growth, support resilient infrastructure and local economies, and unlock further job creation.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Vice Chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said, “The maritime economy has driven job creation, and economic development in Massachusetts’ for centuries. The investments we are making will continue Massachusetts’ national leadership of this important sector of the economy.” Kirk is former Mayor of the port city of Gloucester. The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast.
International Diplomats and Trade Officials Tour Western Mass to Explore Partnership Opportunities
(Tour of the Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke) This week, the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) led a bus tour of international diplomats and trade officials from 12 countries and regions to explore economic development and entrepreneurship initiatives in Western Massachusetts. The tour took place on Tuesday, November 17, and included stops at Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield, the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke and Yankee Candle Company in South Deerfield. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, and Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, led the tour and discussed the Baker-Polito Administration’s initiatives to support job growth, workforce development, and entrepreneurship in Gateway Cities and throughout Western Massachusetts. “It is essential that the benefits of international investment and trade extend across the Commonwealth, and this trip makes the consular corps aware of the great opportunities and workforce readily available in Western Massachusetts,” said Pham. “Massachusetts is a hub of international business and commerce and the entire state has something to offer to the global economy.” “Entrepreneurship does not just exist in Cambridge or Boston, but across the entire Commonwealth,” said Stebbins. “Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield is quickly becoming a regional hub for start-up companies, and this tour is one way to ensure that international entrepreneurs look beyond route 128 when deciding where to launch their business.” “Western Massachusetts holds many opportunities for international firms and investors,” said Rick Sullivan, Executive Director of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, which supported Tuesday’s tour. “We look forward to working with the consular community to welcome more business leaders to the region.” The Consular Corps of Massachusetts consists of 60 career and honorary diplomats who represent their respective countries in the New England region and promote cultural and economic ties. “This tour was a great chance to learn about the region and about economic development and partnership opportunities beyond Boston,” said Ambassador Songjun Ohm, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Boston. “Our job is to facilitate relations between Massachusetts and our home countries, and this tour was a great chance to expand our network and explore new areas for collaboration,” said Fionnuala Quinlan, Consul General of Ireland in Boston. “This initiative is a helpful way to promote and expand access to the vibrant consular community in Massachusetts and increase international partnerships,” said Hunter Richard, Senior Manager of Business Development at MOITI.
46 Massachusetts Communities Receive $85.6 Million in MassWorks Awards To Build Infrastructure
On Wednesday, November 4th, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined local officials at a MassWorks grants announcement for the City of Lowell. (Photo by Joanne Decaro) The Baker-Polito administration has announced $85.6 million in MassWorks Infrastructure Awards for 46 communities across the Commonwealth. These awards support infrastructure investments that drive economic development and job creation, including downtown revitalization, helping to create more than 1200 units of multi-family housing across the state. Here is a list of the 46 communities receiving 2015 MassWorks Awards. Governor Charlie Baker described MassWorks as “proably the most flexible and powerful tool that state government has to partner with local communities – around both economic development and downtown development.” Governor Baker said, “Targeted infrastructure investment helps leverage community and businesses assets to create jobs and grow regional economies,” adding that MassWorks, along with Community Compacts and the Urban Agenda, “are a vital part of our economic development plan.” By targeting investments in infrastructure such as roadways, streetscapes, and water systems, MassWorks helps to advance and prepare communities for new housing and economic development opportunities. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “MassWorks infrastructure funding catalyzes growth in our cities and towns by building a foundation for sustainable development. This foundation, combined with a focus on leveraging existing assets, allows communities to aggressively pursue economic opportunities” Kristen Lepore, Secretary for Administration and Finance said that the 40% increase in MassWorks funding allows the program to make “critical investments across the Commonwealth, including many important local projects orchestrated by the Community Compact Program.” Jay Ash, Secretary for Housing and Economic Development, said, “Targeted investments in infrastructure, local capacity, and community partnerships are the core of our economic agenda – and will help our communities succeed regionally and globally.” Juan Vega, Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs, said “Our economic development plan will support closely-tailored development projects funded through the Urban Agenda grant program and MassWorks to support locally-directed, effective, development.” The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation through strategic investments in public infrastructure. The 2015 grant round generated 101 applications for more than $245 million in infrastructure requests. The Baker-Polito Administration’s 2016 capital budget increases funding for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program by $20 million. Each year, the program allocates 10 percent of the awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects. The MassWorks Program has invested over $357 million across the Commonwealth since the first competitive grant round was held in September 2011. More information is available at the MassWorks website.
Massachusetts STEP Grant Applications for Exporters
(Photo Courtesy of MassPort) Local companies looking to increase export sales of their goods and services may be eligible to apply for a Massachusetts State Trade & Export Promotion (STEP) grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Applications are being accepted for consideration from November 2, 2015 to January 4, 2016. The grants are being administered by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (“MOITI”), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (“MSBDC”) and the Massachusetts Export Center. State officials suggest that interested companies take a free, 90 minute webinar about the STEP grant program, scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 20 and Thursday, December 17. Register for webinar here. Here is information on the STEP grant announcement made in September 2015.
Congratulations MassChallenge Class of 2015
(Caption: Pianist Brockett Parsons Performs at the 2015 MassChallenge Awards. Photo by Joanne Decaro.) Over 1,500 entrepreneurs, philanthropists, corporate executives and public officials attended the 6th annual 2015 MassChallenge Awards, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston. It was a banner night for the Commonwealth’s innovation and entrepreneurial community, as 128 finalists vied for $1.5 million in non-diluted grants. Governor Charlie Baker praised the competitors for creating “a bigger, better and different way of thinking about what is possible.” MassChallenge Boston Managing Director Scott Bailey said, “Tonight is what it’s all about – great startups and a room full of people who helped get them there.” In the end, four companies were named $100K Diamond Winners, and 12 were $50K Gold Winners. An additional 10 startups were named In-Kind Silver Winners, and two companies were selected to receive the CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space. Here is a list of the 2015 MassChallenge winners. The competition was as competitive as ever in 2015, noted MassChallenge officials, with over 2,250 startups applying to join MassChallenge accelerators in Boston and London. A highlight of the evening was a live performance by musician Brockett Parsons, who played a circular keyboard assembled by MC Finalist PianoArc. The winners join an esteemed group of alumni, which includes 835 companies from around the world. Since 2010, startups accelerated by MasChallenge have raised $1.1 billion in funding, generated $520 million in revenues and created 6,500 jobs.
Massachusetts Is Hosting Supplier Diversity Series To Engage Small Businesses
(Caption: In February 2015, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to bolster diversity in state government. He is joined by the Black & Latino Legislative Caucus.) The Baker-Polito Administration is hosting five Supplier Diversity Regional Series events across the Commonwealth to engage small and diverse business enterprises with private buyers, educational institutions, medical facilities and state agency and municipal procurement officials. The series is being coordinated by the Governor’s Office of Access and Opportunity (OAO) along with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) and Operational Services Division (OSD). “Increasing the Commonwealth’s supplier diversity starts with opportunities like these to strengthen our partnership and engagement with small and diverse businesses in their communities throughout Massachusetts,” said Governor Baker. “We encourage anyone interested in the Supplier Diversity Series to join our administration in the coming weeks to learn more about the state and local business opportunities available for small and diverse enterprises.” The series is slated to take place each spring and fall. They will offer networking opportunities for buyers to meet small and diverse business owners, as well as capacity-building workshops designed to aid in awareness and competitiveness to win procurement opportunities. “Our goal in convening major private and municipal buyers (with) small and diverse businesses is to become a leader in supplier diversity,” said Jabes Rojas, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of Access and Opportunity. “We look forward to the opportunities and discussions this bi-annual series will offer.” In February, Governor Baker signed Executive Order No. 559, elevating the Office of Access and Opportunity to the Governor’s Office under the direction of a Deputy Chief of Staff to further the administration’s priority of increasing diversity and inclusion within state government employment and procurement. The Executive Order also established a cross-administration Steering Committee for Access and Opportunity to coordinate best practices. The first Supplier Diversity Series took place October 27th in Lawrence, and the next four events are coming up in November. Over 700 exhibitors and attendees have registered to date. November 3, 2015 Worcester Supplier Diversity Series College of Holy Cross Details and Registration November 5, 2015 Roxbury Supplier Diversity Series Reggie Lewis Center Details and Registration November 13, 2015 New Bedford Supplier Diversity Series Fort Taber Community Center Details and Registration November 18, 2015 Springfield Supplier Diversity Series UMASS Center at Springfield Details and Registration The mission of the Office of Access and Opportunity is to foster non-discrimination and equal opportunity irrespective of race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or express, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran’s status or socio-economic background. The Office of Access and Opportunity was first created by Executive Order 519 in January 2010 and was further modified by Executive Order 527 in February of 2011.
Massachusetts Celebrates Lobster Day at the State House on October 8
(Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism — Lobsters & Seafood Flickr Page) By Phyllis M. Cahaly Have you ever seen a 175 year-old lobster that weighs 39.5 lbs.? If not, then stop by the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, October 8, 2015, which Governor Charlie Baker has officially proclaimed as National Lobster Day in Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Lobster Day takes place at the Grand Staircase from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. In addition to promoting the lobster industry, the event also connects local fishermen with their legislators to discuss important issues on regulations and topics both on- and off-the water. Each year, lobstering in Massachusetts yields an average of $70 million dollars in economic impact to the Bay State. The average landings in Massachusetts over the last 3 years is 15 million pounds of lobster per year. Plus, lobstering touches a variety of support service industries, including marinas, mechanics, bait dealers, marine supply stores, lobster dealers, processors, restaurants and trap purveyors. Lobstering in Massachusetts accounts for more than 3,000 fishing jobs with at least 1,100 active lobstering permits at any given time. Many of today’s lobstermen are proud to be part of a family tradition that goes back five or six generations. The seafood industry is an integral part of the Massachusetts economy. The Massachusetts Export Center reports that lobsters accounted for over $192 million in exports, while total seafood exports topped $478 million in 2014. In August, the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) revitalized the Seaport Economic Council to propel economic development in the state’s 78 coastal communities, from Fall River and New Bedford up to Gloucester and Salisbury Beach. The Council will focus on strengthening the state’s maritime economy through fishing, tourism, shipping, clean energy and marine science. On Lobster Day at the State House, officials are handing out free lobster literature on how to eat a “Homarus Americanus”, (The American Lobster) and their nutritional value. The Silent Chef Company of Scituate is serving up free lobster bisque samples, while the New England Aquarium its featuring its multi-colored live lobster displays. Fishermen and dealers from the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association dealers and fishermen are holding a free raffle to win live lobsters. When the Pilgrims and Puritans first arrived in the Bay State in the early 17th century, lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans used them as fertilizer in the fields and as bait for fishing. Today, you can find lobsters all around Massachusetts at your favorite restaurants and local distributors. Make today a Lobster Day! For information on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com. (Phyllis M. Cahaly, CMD, is Director of Specialized Marketing at Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.)
MASSACHUSETTS PROMOTES MANUFACTURING SECTOR IN OCTOBER
Massachusetts celebrates its manufacturing industry throughout October with a series of events and initiatives to support the Commonwealth’s 7,000 manufacturing companies and their 250,000 workers. You can find a full schedule of activities, which includes tours, seminars and open houses, by visiting Amp it up!, the state’s advanced manufacturing program. Among the highlights of Manufacturing Month in Massachusetts. The Baker-Polito Administration proclaimed October 2015 as Manufacturers Month, stating that “Manufacturing is important not only as an economic driver of our state, but also as a key generator of innovation, product development and employment potential.” On Friday, October 2, National Manufacturing Day, the Baker-Polito opened the application process for the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program’s Workforce Development Grants. These grants will fund programs that provide training to unemployed and underemployed individuals, including veterans, minorities and women, for precision manufacturing programs. Here is more information about applying. Governor Charlie Baker said it is important to recognize “the contributions that manufacturing companies and workers make to the well-being, health, safety and prosperity of the Commonwealth and to support the continued growth of this sector by helping to train new workers for available positions.” Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, said, “Employers frequently tell us that a shortage of skilled workers keeps them from hiring and growing. These training grants will help us connect citizens across the Commonwealth to good-paying jobs, while enabling economic growth.” On Monday, October 5, MassChallenge hosts a MADE@MassChallenge Hardware Startup Showcase which will introduce the manufacturing community to the 2015 MassChallenge hardware startups as well as up-and-coming companies from the Wentworth Institute of Technology. On Friday, October 16, the Massachusetts Export Center holds a briefing on Best Practices for Export Compliance Program Development and Management. It is a must-attend for any manufacturers interested in exporting its products. On Monday, October 26, the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium hold a forum to discuss manufacturing issues such as innovation, workforce training and funding. On Wednesday, October 28, the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) hosts the New England Manufacturing Showcase to present the unique products and capabilities of its members. In August 2015, the Baker-Polito administration made two announcements to underscore its ongoing commitment to advancing manufacturing in Massachusetts. The first was a partnership between MIT, Quinsigamond Community College, and the Commonwealth in support of the Integrated Photonics Institute in Manufacturing Innovation. The second was that Massachusetts would be a partner in the nation’s Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. The partnership includes UMass/Amherst, MIT, UMass/Lowell, Harvard and Northeastern, along with private sector companies. The Manufacturing Innovation Institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a federal competition sponsored by the US Department of Defense that seeks to advance manufacturing by connecting academic researchers with private firms. Here is more information about Massachusetts’ Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMP it up!).
Massachusetts Supports 13 Companies in Job Growth & Business Expansion
(Caption: Sid Wainer & Son, Specialty Food Distributors, New Bedford) The Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) recently approved 13 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), the state’s investment tax credit program for businesses. These projects range from manufacturing plants and distribution centers to high tech and bio products and are expected to create 717 new jobs and retain 935 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $172.6 million in private investment. Governor Charlie Baker called the incentives “a cost-effective part of our push to make Massachusetts business friendly, and to catalyze significant, sustained economic growth across the Commonwealth.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the EDIP program “strengthens our businesses and communities, and helps sustain growth from Boston to the Berkshires.” The 42 economic development projects EACC has approved since January are expected to create 2321 jobs, retain 3416 existing jobs, and leverage $548 million in private investment. Of these projects, 22 are manufacturing companies and 19 are companies located in Gateway Cities. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said these types of investments help “create job opportunities for hardworking residents while growing the state economy.” Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham said the broad business base of the companies “lays a foundation for sustained economic growth and prosperity.” See list of projects below, and read fuller details here. Expansion Projects (EP): DesignWerkes, Inc. (Amesbury) Somerset Industries Inc. (Lowell) Friendly Fruit, Inc. dba Sid Wainer & Son (New Bedford) Enhanced Expansion Projects (EEP): International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) (Cambridge) Manufacturing Retention Projects (MRP): Jessica’s Brick Oven, Inc. (Methuen) Parallel Products of New England, Inc. (New Bedford) Local Incentive Only Projects: Mortillaro Lobster, Inc. (Gloucester) JimBob Realty LLC / Carmart LLC / Two Fathers LLC (Greenfield) LFB USA, Inc. (Marlborough) Globus Medical, Inc. (Methuen) New England Die Cutting, Inc. (Methuen) Darn It!, Inc. / 88-90 Hatch Street (New Bedford) 150 Blackstone River Road LLC (Worcester) The EDIP is one of the most effective tools for helping businesses to grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. More information about the EDIP is available from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
Massachusetts Officials Hear from Local Communities on Economic Development
(l-r: Richard Dalton, Jay Ash and Nam Pham at Roxbury Community College Forum. Photo Courtesy of Pamela Green) The Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has been holding listening sessions in cities and towns across Massachusetts, seeking input from small businesses, municipal officials, community leaders and other stakeholders about the state’s economic development strategy. At a recent a forum at Roxbury Community College in Boston, over 60 business owners, community advocates, educators and residents attended the two hour session. They shared their suggestions, critiques and questions with Jay Ash,Secretary of EOHED, Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, Juan R. Vega, Assistant Secretary for Communities & Programs and Dick Dalton, Boston Regional Director of Business Development. A number of public officials attended and spoke at Roxbury Community College, including Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Representative Liz Malia, Representative Jeffrey Sanchez and Representative Russell E. Holmes. Others included former Senator Diane Wilkerson, former Representative Richard Rouse, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, and staff from the office of Mayor Marty Walsh. When the sessions were launched in June, Secretary Ash said, “Addressing business and community needs directly requires a significant continued engagement, and a concerted effort to understand concerns and craft effective solutions. I look forward to continued partnerships with local officials, businesses, and non-profits as we work together to grow our economy and provide every resident with the opportunity for training and employment.” Assistant Secretary Pham said the listening sessions offered “the opportunity to talk through complex issues and look at potential solutions with a wide range of well-informed stakeholders. The ideas we heard will help us grow the Massachusetts economy.” Massachusetts law requires the secretary of Housing and Economic Development to draft a comprehensive economic development plan within the first year of a new gubernatorial administration. Secretary Ash has committed to grounding the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development strategy in public dialogue, and in regional opportunities. These regional listening sessions are part of a six-month economic development planning process, and serve as a first step in drafting the statutorily-required plan. Upcoming listening sessions are schedule to take place on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at Bay State College in Middleboro at 8:00 a.m., and at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield at 1:30 p.m. Contact Maria Marasco at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the Middleboro event, and Debra Boronski at email@example.com for details on the Pittsfield event.
September is Massachusetts Apple Month, Proclaims Governor Baker
(Apple picking, Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick. Photo by C. Holland) Governor Charlie Baker today declared September to be “Massachusetts Apple Month.” Today’s announcement coincides with New England Apple Day and is an effort to support the Commonwealth’s many apple growers. “We are proud to recognize Massachusetts as a regional leader in apple processing and distribution and that our agricultural partners are working together to strengthen and expand the apple industry,” said Governor Baker. “By declaring this month ‘Massachusetts Apple Month,’ we encourage everyone to support our vibrant agricultural industry in order to strengthen consumers’ awareness of Massachusetts grown produce.” “Apples are an important part of our local food system, and we are thankful to have a strong industry here in Massachusetts, with producers and processors who are forward thinkers, using advanced environmental technology and conservation practices,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “I urge everyone to support Massachusetts’ apple growers this month by purchasing apples and other produce grown locally.” Massachusetts boasts more than 140 varieties of apples grown in the state, including local favorites such as McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Gala and Honeycrisp. According to the United States Apple Association, apples contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and are excellent sources of fiber, natural plant-based anti-oxidants and the mineral boron – which promotes healthy bones. “We are honored to recognize Massachusetts apple growers who work hard to produce this nutritious and delicious. Our apple growers are committed to caring for the land, preserving open space, and implementing best management practices,” said Commissioner John Lebeaux, Department of Agricultural Resources. “I encourage residents to take advantage of the many great local varieties apple growers produce by visiting Massachusetts orchards, farm stands and farmers’ markets across the Commonwealth.” With approximately 340 apple orchards in Massachusetts on over 4,000 acres of land, the Commonwealth yielded over 28 million pounds of apples worth $20 million in 2012. Visit DAR’s farm finder to find information on Massachusetts apple orchards, pick-your-own apple farms, farmers’ markets, and roadside produce stands. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism recently issued a blog on upcoming food festivals, farmers markets and agricultural fairs in Massachusetts. You can also find a year round round culinary calendar on MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Receives $500,000 to Support International Trade
The Massachusetts export community got good news this week with the announcement of a $500,000 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) federal grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, joined SBA officials, business leaders and export companies at the Massachusetts State House to make the announcement. The grant will increase the Commonwealth’s international presence by helping to fund small business export activities such as trade show participation, overseas marketing and localization services, and subscription services from the U.S. Department of Commerce. “Partnering with the SBA to increase exports and access to international markets will bring prosperity home for workers and employers, while increasing the worldwide availability of our state’s cutting-edge products,” Ash said. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a statement, “SBA’s STEP program ensures local resources are available to help small businesses tap global markets. By funding states and their export development partners, the SBA is delivering the tools and resources required for small businesses to launch their services and products abroad. With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, SBA’s STEP program ensures that America’s small businesses can succeed in the 21st century global economy.” The grant is being administered by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Export Center (MEC), a specialty center of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC). Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said, “Supporting new-to-export and export-expanding businesses is part of our dedication to growing Massachusetts’ businesses nationally, and internationally.” U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton said, “Expanding markets for American-made products abroad boosts paychecks and grows our economy here in Massachusetts. As a member of the Small Business Committee, I’ll continue working to give our small business owners the tools to do what they do best: create quality products and services and good jobs in our communities.” Kristen Rupert, Executive Director of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts International Business Council, said, “For many Massachusetts companies, especially manufacturers, future growth will come from international markets. The STEP grant will be critical to removing export barriers for local firms.” Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, said, “We are delighted to be part of the Massachusetts STEP team and look forward to helping many small businesses accelerate their export growth through the STEP program.” Hunter Richard, Manager of Business Development at MOITI, said, “The STEP grant is another great resource for new-to-export small businesses to expand their footprint in the global marketplace.” In previous years, Massachusetts small businesses offset the costs of export promotion activities through the STEP program and received an average rate of return of $12 for every $1 of grant funding. An Amesbury-based science company used part of its $10,000 STEP grant in 2012 to participate in ARABlab, a science trade show in Dubai. As a result, the company secured $100,000 worth of business within two months after attending ARABlab. A manufacturer in North Attleborough was able to increase its presence in Brazil in Brazil by funding three Gold Key missions with the US Department of Commerce in 2011 as well as translating its sales and marketing materials to Portuguese. Massachusetts will contribute $166,667 in matching funds to the program, and receiving firms will be required to leverage private money together with the grant funds to ensure that taxpayer money is spent efficiently and effectively. In October, MOITI and MEC will begin soliciting applications to participate in the STEP program. For more details, contact Hunter Richard at 617-973-8532 or hunter.richard@MassMail.State.MA.US
Mass Export Center Staff Awarded Industry Certificates for Export Knowledge
Photo: Nam Pham, Julia Dvorko, Paula Murphy and Kathleen Kinahan-Newell Three senior staff members at the Massachusetts Export Center recently earned their Certified U.S. Export Compliance Officer (CUSECO) designation, the industry standard for professionals working as export compliance practitioners in the private sector. The Center is part of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC)Network . Paula Murphy, Director of the Mass Export Center, Kathleen Kinahan-Newell, Trade Compliance Manager and Julia Dvorko, Central MA Regional Director, were awarded their credentials this summer from the International Import Export Institute (IIEI). To receive the certification, they each took a rigorous four-hour 200 question exam to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the U.S. State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and, to some extent, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR). “It is a great advantage for Massachusetts companies to have such experienced and knowledgeable staff to guide them in the highly competitive export industry,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development. “I congratulate Paula, Kathleen and Julia for their professional dedication, which is good for the export community and for the Massachusetts economy.” “It is a nation-wide first for a team of professionals working for a small business development center or state government international trade entity to achieve this level of proficiency and demonstrated export regulatory competence,” said Murphy. “We look forward to putting these skills to good use and helping even more Massachusetts businesses to enhance their export compliance and competitiveness.” Here is more information about the Massachusetts Export Center.
MassEcon Announces 21 Finalists for Annual Economic Impact Awards
MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, has announced the 21 finalists for its 2015 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. This year’s finalists represent a diverse set of companies all across the Commonwealth. They range in size and are drawn from industries such as manufacturing, life sciences, hospitality, technology, and food and beverage. Together this year’s finalists have added over 1,500 jobs to the Commonwealth, invested over $394 million, and expanded their facilities by nearly 2 million square feet since January 2014, according to MassEcon. Each of the finalists will present a one-minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges on September 16, 2015 at Nutter McLennen & Fish LLP in Boston. Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary for Technology and Innovation at Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, is the featured guest at the event. Now in its 12th year, the Impact Awards are based on the job growth, investment and facility expansion of Massachusetts companies. Winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October and recognized at an awards luncheon on November 24 in Boston. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon, said “We are delighted to recognize the businesses in Massachusetts that contribute so much to our state’s success. The diverse set of industries and regions represented by this impressive group of companies demonstrates the overall strength of our Commonwealth.” Here is the list of finalists for the 12th Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards: WEST Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing – Lee Kennametal – Greenfield Mohawk Fine Papers – South Hadley SOUTHEAST Joseph Abboud Manufacturing – New Bedford LaFrance Hospitality Company- Wareham South Shore Millwork, Inc. – Norton NORTHEAST Aspen Technology – Bedford Bake’n Joy Foods – Ayer Energi – Peabody Jabra – Lowell Southwick – Haverhill CENTRAL GE Healthcare – Marlborough Great Wolf Lodge – Fitchburg Jack’s Abby – Framingham SanDisk – Marlborough Simplivity – Westborough GREATER BOSTON Baxalta – Cambridge Carbonite – Boston CarGurus – Cambridge LogMeIn – Boston Trip Advisor – Needham Read more about MassEcon here.
Massachusetts Officials Increase Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to Help Working Families
Over 400,000 working individuals and their families in the Bay State got welcome news this week, when Governor Charlie Baker enacted a 50% increase in the Massachusetts Earned Tax Credit (EITC). The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Stan Rosenberg and other stakeholders at the signing ceremony at the Massachusetts State House. Governor Baker said, “Since day one, Lt. Governor Polito and I have been clear about our priorities to make Massachusetts great and extend the benefits of a growing economy to more individuals across the Commonwealth. I’m grateful for the leadership of Senate President Rosenberg and Speaker DeLeo who along with their colleagues, worked with us to increase a tool as effective as the Earned Income Tax Credit in support of our families who need it most.” The bill increases the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 15% to 23% of the federal EITC, extending the maximum state credit from $951 to $1,459 and meaning as much as $500 in additional support for those who are eligible. Lt. Governor Polito called the increase “an important step toward economic growth and building stronger communities in Massachusetts.” Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said the measure “gives a tax break to those who need it the most while helping us address the growing problem of income inequality.” Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said the increase “will reinvigorate our work to achieve economic equality.”
MassWorks Program Helps Communities Invest in Infrastructure and Economic Development
This week the Baker-Polito administration highlighted its ongoing commitment to MassWorks, a state program that helps Massachusetts municipalities improve local infrastructure in order to create jobs and spur local development. Governor Charlie Baker praised MassWorks for “the vital role it serves in our communities. Investments in local infrastructure and community-based economic development efforts are key to the continued growth of the Commonwealth.” In its 2016 capital budget, the Baker-Polito administration has increased funding for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to $75 million, a $20 million increase from the previous capital budget. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said MassWorks is a key part of “deepening partnerships between the Commonwealth and its municipalities. By partnering with cities and towns to make strategic infrastructure investments, we will ensure the strength of all our communities.” The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support economic development and job creation. MassWorks makes strategic investments in public infrastructure that leverages private investment in jobs and smart growth housing. Since 2011, MassWorks has awarded over $287 million for public infrastructure projects in 102 communities across the Commonwealth. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, called MassWorks “an important tool to help us prepare our communities for success. We will continue to leverage MassWorks to help municipalities create jobs, meet local housing needs, and unlock smart economic development projects.” On Wednesday, August 5, Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Ash toured CitySquare, an ambitious redevelopment of Worcester’s downtown core that was unlocked by MassWorks infrastructure funds. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation and Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Applications for the 2015 MassWorks Infrastructure Program are being accepted between Monday, August 24 and Friday, September 4, 2015. Here is information on how to apply.
Governor Baker Announces $26 Million in Community Development Block Grants
Governor Charlie Baker Announced the CDBG Awards at the Massachusetts State House on July 15. The Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded 33 Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) totaling $26 million to 65 communities in Massachusetts. These funds help municipalities provide housing, infrastructure improvements, childcare vouchers, and other services to residents. Here are details of the winning projects. Governor Charlie Baker said the grants, along with increased local aid, represent “an investment in our cities and towns that will reap benefits across the Commonwealth. Helping municipalities identify and solve local problems with local solutions ensures that funding is spent efficiently and effectively.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito noted that the grants are “an incredibly effective vehicle for improving communities for those who live and work in them.” The CDBG awards distributed in this round will fund housing rehabilitation for more than 300 units, as well as infrastructure improvements from Truro to West Springfield. They will also support a community center in North Adams, a domestic violence prevention task force in Russell, Chester, Huntington, and Middlefield, and childcare vouchers in Dennis, among other projects. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “Improving our workforce through increased mobility and training will help grow and sustain our economy in a targeted, effective manner through programs like the Community Development Block Grants.” Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development Chrystal Kornegay called the CDBG program an “opportunity to address housing needs through coordinated local action.” The CDBG program is a federally funded, competitive grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). It is designed to help small cities and towns meet a broad range of community development needs. Qualifying cities and towns use the grants for housing, community, and economic development projects that assist low and moderate-income residents, or by revitalizing areas of slum or blight. In Massachusetts, the state CDBG program has distributed $237 million through more than 300 grants in the last seven years.
Baker Administration Cabinet secretaries look to replicate job training model
(Caption: John S. LaFrancis, professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Springfield Technical Community College, discusses precision manufacturing with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Education Secretary James Peyser.) Photo by Colleen Quinn. It is nearly impossible to talk about manufacturing without the topic very quickly turning to workforce development, and the difficulty manufacturers have finding skilled workers. A group of manufacturers in the Pioneer Valley this week described to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and three Baker administration Cabinet secretaries who are focused on workforce development, the problems they face attracting, recruiting and training competent workers. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker, II, Education Secretary James Peyser, and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash toured the Smith & Wesson Technology Applications Center to learn how business leaders, regional employment board officials and educators are working together to create a talent pool for local manufacturers. They are boosting employment, and growing their companies. Facing an aging workforce, manufacturers said they realized they need to create their own pipeline of skilled workers. Nationally, half of the workforce in manufacturing is 55-years-old or older, and 38 percent of those workers say they plan to retire in the next 10 years. Millennial-generation workers have shied away from the manufacturing industry because of outdated misconceptions that manufacturing jobs are dirty and dingy, company owners said. Advanced manufacturing in the aerospace, defense, and biotechnology industries are booming in the region. Many large companies no longer offer apprenticeship and internship programs that were once the source for talented workers. Lt. Gov. Polito said manufacturers, educators and workforce officials in western Massachusetts are “connecting the dots.” Steve Grande, president of Meridian Industrial Group Inc. – a precision machining company – said local manufacturers realized they could not grow if they did not find an innovative way to fill jobs. Educators and regional workforce boards started by asking local employers what skills they want graduates to have to fill the needs of their business today and in the future. With the help of state grants, they then developed technical training curriculum at the Smith & Wesson Technology Applications Center at the Springfield Technology Park. “Gov. Baker often reminds us, when you find something that’s working, do a whole lot more of it,” Lt. Gov. Polito said. Baker administration officials toured the training center to see if the model could be replicated around the state. Since February, Secretaries Walker, Peyser and Ash have worked together on the Workforce Skills Cabinet to find ways to bridge the gap between companies looking for skilled workers and people who need a job. Secretary Ash said the Baker administration is identifying ways to have an impact on job creation and workforce development around the state. Secretary Walker said the collaboration between manufacturers, educators and the regional employment board is the type of demand-driven model the Workforce Skills Cabinet hopes to replicate statewide. Secretary Peyser asked if there was a “secret sauce” to the success in the Pioneer Valley. David Cruise, president and CEO of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, said the key for them was to stay focused on the end goal. “The bottom line is job creation and economic development,” Cruise said during a roundtable discussion with Lt. Gov. Polito and the three Cabinet secretaries. “And it’s getting folks that are not in the labor market with the skills they need to get working, to earn a living wage, buy a home, send their kids to school, be good citizens; do the things we need to build-out the middle class.” - Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Labor & Workforce Development
Massachusetts Listening Sessions on Economic Development Draw over 700 Residents
Lively Discussion at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester Over 700 business leaders, elected officials and community representatives from across Massachusetts came out in full force recently for a series of six listening sessions conducted by the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. The half day sessions were simultaneously conducted in Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, Springfield, West Barnstable and Worcester on June 25, 2015. Topics included talent retention and workforce development, competitiveness and regulation, and zoning and infrastructure. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said that “Addressing business and community needs directly requires significant, continued engagement, and a concerted effort to understand concerns and craft effective solutions. I look forward to continued partnerships with local officials, businesses, and non-profits as we work together to grow our economy and provide every resident with the opportunity for training and employment.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, called the listening sessions “thoughtful and useful,” adding, “It was a rare opportunity to talk through complex issues and look at potential solutions with a wide range of well-informed stakeholders. The ideas we heard will help us grow the Massachusetts economy.” The purpose of the sessions was to get business and community input for a comprehensive economic development plan EOHED will begin drafting in the coming months. Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, called the discussions “lively and thought-provoking,” adding that they “will prove to be invaluable in shaping the Commonwealth’s economic development plan.” Massachusetts law requires the secretary of Housing and Economic Development to draft a comprehensive economic development plan within the first year of a new gubernatorial administration. Secretary Ash has committed to grounding the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development strategy in public dialogue, and in regional opportunities. These regional listening sessions began a six-month economic development planning process, and serve as a first step in drafting the statutorily-required plan. Regional Directors from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development include Jon Golnik (Central Mass); Peter Milano (MetroWest and Merrimack Valley); Debra Boronski (Western Mass); Dick Dalton (Greater Boston), Maria DiStefano (Northeastern Mass) and Maria Marasco (Southeastern Mass).
Massachusetts Helps Local Companies Expand Workforce and Physical Plant
Jack’s Abby Brewing is expanding in downtown Framingham Massachusetts’ Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) recently approved 16 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These projects are expected to create 606 new jobs and retain 879 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $197.8 million in private investment. Among the approved projects are eight manufacturing companies and two projects located in Gateway Cities. The EACC also approved seven locally-directed economic development projects, showcasing municipalities’ efforts to control their own economic growth. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said the projects in the EDIP program “help build a framework for future growth and development across the Commonwealth. Effective, targeted investments cultivate local companies, create new jobs for our residents, and grow our economy.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development, said, “Massachusetts is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and expanding businesses. These incentives are an investment in job opportunities for our residents, and long-term sustainable growth in our future.” Expansion Projects (EP) Jack’s Abby Brewing LLC (Framingham) Advanced Cable Ties, Inc. (Gardner) New England Peptide, Inc. (Gardner) Markley Boston LLC and Markley Management, Inc. (Lowell) Future Foam, Inc. (Mansfield) D.C. Bates Equipment Co. Inc. (Mendon) Consigli Construction Co. Inc. (Milford) 1A Auto Inc. (Pepperell) Capstan Atlantic (Wrentham) Local Incentive Only Projects New England Natural Bakers, Inc. (Deerfield) Elm Development LLC (Dracut) H-Donuts Dracut, Inc. d/b/a Heav’nly Donuts (Dracut) Globe Composite Solutions, Ltd. (East Bridgewater) Berkshire Innovation Center (Pittsfield) Lamson and Goodnow, LLC (Westfield) Brandywine Farms, Inc. (Winchendon) Art Robert, Director of Economic Development for the Town of Framingham, said, “The Jack’s Abby expansion does more than drive more manufacturing into our Downtown. The company’s long-term commitment returns an idle manufacturing building to productive use and boosts Downtown’s attractiveness to visitors and investors.” Read more about the projects. In partnership with local towns and cities, the EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses, and is one of the most effective tools in helping businesses grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. The EACC has approved 29 economic development projects since January, 2015. These projects will create 1604 jobs, retain 2481 existing jobs, and leverage $375.8 million in private investment. The EACC has assisted 16 manufacturing projects, and 10 projects in Gateway Cities this year. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. Learn more about the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP).
Massachusetts Cabinet Secretaries Discuss Economic Development at MassEcon Conference
(L-R: Stephanie Neal-Johnson, Stephanie Pollack, Matthew Beaton, Jay Ash, Geri Denterlein and Susan Houston). Photo courtesy of MassEcon. Recently over 200 business leaders, academic executives, and public officials from across the Commonwealth gathered at the MassEcon annual conference in Newton to engage with cabinet secretaries on housing, economic development, energy, environmental affairs, transportation, labor, and workforce development. The centerpiece of the conference was a panel of the four economic development secretariats from Governor Charlie Baker’s Administration. Panelists included Secretary Jay Ash, Housing & Economic Development; Secretary Matthew Beaton, Energy and Environmental Affairs; Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Transportation; and Undersecretary Stephanie Neal-Johnson, Labor and Workforce Development. Susan Houston, Executive Director of MassEcon, said her group was “honored to convene the key players who will influence the Commonwealth’s economic future. Promoting economic development requires the commitment of a full team that spans agencies and offices, and this cabinet clearly demonstrates a collaborative ethic.” Geri Denterlein, President of Denterlein, served as moderator. For ongoing details on Massachusetts’ economic development activities,visit the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.
MassVentures Wins National Tibbetts Award for Driving Innovation in Massachusetts
PHOTO: Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures; Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Office of Business Development; and Javier Saade, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation. Congratulations to Boston-based MassVentures, one of just three organizations across the United States to receive the 2015 Tibbetts Award for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). MassVentures was recognized for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Targeted Technologies (START) program, which has awarded $6 million to 27 Massachusetts technology companies over the past three years. Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Chair of the MassVentures board, praised START for providing “a diverse group of high-tech companies with the resources and guidance they need to reach their potential and enjoy sustained growth. START is catalyst for our innovation economy and sends a resounding message to high-tech businesses around the world that we are creating a supportive and productive environment in which these companies can thrive.” Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures, said, “By helping companies utilize their SBIR/STTR Phase II funding to grow employment and stimulate innovation, the START program shows that the Commonwealth will not sit idly by while high-tech companies wait for capital to help commercialize their technologies. It is critical that we continue to work with entrepreneurs and actively demonstrate the state’s commitment to these industries.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said, “The emphasis that MassVentures has placed on small business development has been vital to making Massachusetts a world leader in innovation. This administration is privileged to have such an adept investment team working to assist these developing companies.” Bird and Pham attended the awards ceremony at the White House. The award is named for Roland Tibbetts, acknowledged as the father of the SBIR program, and is presented to companies, supporting organizations, and individuals which have leveraged, or helped others leverage, SBIR/STTR investment to generate measurable value to their firm or the nation. In addition to the three organization winners, the SBA also recognized six individuals and 23 small businesses, including Aspen Aerogels Inc. of Northborough. The keynote address at the awards ceremony was delivered by Massachusetts resident and NASA flight engineer Catherine “Cady” Coleman, an accomplished scientist and astronaut noted for her six month expedition to the International Space Station. In addition to helping high growth companies increase employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across Massachusetts, START brings together an ecosystem of companies, expert reviewers, service providers and company advisers. Companies receiving START awards during the first two years of the program have grown revenues by 20%, and have used, or will use, their START grants to secure an additional $24,000,000 in funding.
Massachusetts Welcomes Aeromexico direct air service between Boston and Mexico City
This week Massachusetts officials welcomed Aeromexico’s new direct air service between Boston and Mexico City, citing enhanced opportunities in business, tourism and educational exchange between the two places. The new service launched on Monday, June 1, 2015 between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Mexico City’s Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez. Governor Charlie Baker said the new route opens up connections to 16 major cities in Latin America including Buenos Aires, Lima and Bogota, adding “it not only opens doors for business, but it lets our diverse residents and visiting students easily connect to their families.’’ With daily service every day (except Tuesday), Aeromexico flight 699 leaves Boston at 4:20 p.m. and arrives in Mexico City at 8:42 p.m. Flight 698 leaves Mexico City at 9 a.m. and arrives in Boston at 3:05 p.m. The Boeing 737-700 airplanes have 124 seats, including 12 seats in the Aeromexico Clase Premier Business Class cabin. Anko van der Werff, Aeromexico Chief Revenue Officer, called Boston “a city of great importance for Mexico and Latin America because of its global economic potential and extensive academic offerings that draw many students from Mexico and Latin America every year.” Officials said the market between Boston and Mexico City, combined with the airlines’ other 45 destinations in Mexico and Central America, represents over 492,000 passengers and $134M in ticket revenue annually. As a member of the SkyTeam Airline Alliance, Aeromexico partners with Delta and other partner airlines to use Boston Logan International Airport as a gateway to Europe. Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn said the two cities have much in common. “Like Boston, Mexico City is a place that honors its significant history, it is a cultural and political hub for its people, has a large concentration of universities, and it is a city that celebrates its diversity.” Last year, more than 40,000 Mexicans traveled from Mexico to Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. Patrick Moscaritolo, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the new service “will mean more visitors and significantly more spending from Mexico and Latin America for our city and for our hotels, restaurant, attractions and retailers.” The local visitor industry could see as much as $54 million in new spending thanks to Aeromexico’s new service. Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says Mexico is currently the Commonwealth’s third largest export partner. In 2014, Massachusetts exported $2.3 billion worth of goods and services to Mexico, while importing $3.6 billion from Mexico. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go MassVacation.com.
Federal Small Business Recovery Loans are Available in Massachusetts, Says Governor Baker
Massachusetts small businesses and non-profit groups hurt by the harsh winter can apply for low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), thanks to an appeal Governor Charlie Baker made to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this month. “The impact of unprecedented temperatures and snowfall is still being felt on main streets throughout the Commonwealth where extreme weather and crippled public transportation hindered day-to-day operations and the ability of customers and employees to get to work, frequent their local businesses or provide critical services,” said Governor Baker. “As we continue to work with state and federal disaster officials and pursue public transit reforms, these low-interest loans are key to providing economic recovery assistance to Massachusetts’ small businesses and non-profits.” Up to $2 million in low-interest loans for working capital needs are available to qualifying entities impacted by winter weather conditions between January 26, 2015 and February 22, 2015 in Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties, at rates of 4.00% for small businesses and 2.625% for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. “After an especially trying winter with record snowfall and freezing temperatures, many of our small businesses and non-profits are still struggling to make up for the lost opportunities and activity,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We encourage those who are eligible to pursue the resources being made available by the Small Business Administration to aid in the recovery of the economic vitality of our cities and towns across the Commonwealth.” Eligible organizations or businesses are encouraged to visit the SBA’s secure Electronic Loan Application (ELA) website, to apply, or to download an application from SBA.gov. Completed applications should be submitted no later than February 15, 2016 to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. Further information and assistance is available from the SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
MassEcon & Governor Baker Welcome New Companies to Massachusetts
(Photo by Janet Stearns, courtesy of MassEcon) Massachusetts continues to attract new companies from around the world, as demonstrated by MassEcon’s 7th annual Corporate Welcome Reception, held recently at the Genzyme Corporate headquarters in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The event attracted more than 150 leaders from the private sector and senior state officials, led by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and his economic development team of Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development and Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development. “Massachusetts’ innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, talented workforce and commitment to success have put the Commonwealth on the map as a place for businesses to grow and thrive,” Governor Baker told the assembled guests. “As we continue to build partnerships with our communities and the private sector, we welcome these companies from around the nation and the globe and look forward to the opportunity to encourage more businesses to call Massachusetts home, create jobs and bolster our economy.” The companies range from both start-ups to established businesses, and their locations of origin include China, Mexico, Turkey, Sweden, Ireland, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Hampshire, South Carolina, New York, California and Massachusetts. They represent a variety of industries such as life sciences, technology, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, transportation and will add more than 2,000 jobs to Massachusetts. “This event is our way of saying thank you for choosing the Commonwealth,” MassEcon Executive Director Susan Houston said. “It is also an opportunity for us to connect these companies with the amazing network of resources Massachusetts has to offer. While there’s no magic formula for attracting and retaining business in the state, fostering a welcoming environment is essential.” Among the new companies attending the MassEcon reception: Baxter of Cambridge Cathay Pacific Airways of Boston CNR-MA of Springfield Cohealo of Boston Corbus Pharmaceuticals of Norwood Cryptzone of Waltham Driblet of Cambridge GE Healthcare of Marlborough Hainan Airlines of Boston Jabra of Lowell Mohawk Fine Papers of South Hadley Primark of Boston Pulse Secure of Westford Schneider Electric of Andover Turkish Airlines of Boston Unitrends of Burlington. Find more information about MassEcon here.
Massachusetts Celebrates Agriculture Day at State House
(Boston City Hall Farmers Market, Courtesy of Mass Office of Travel & Tourism) The Massachusetts State House resembled a bustling farmer’s market today, as the Commonwealth’s diverse community of small farmers, food purveyors, farming cooperatives, seafood associations, academic programs and advocates gathered for the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Day. Nearly 600 people attended the celebration, including 45 exhibitors who showcased the rich bounty of food and beverage produced in Massachusetts. It was an opportunity for legislators and public officials to meet with one of the state’s most enduring and productive communities. Governor Charlie Baker used the occasion to announce that he was adding an additional $1 million to the popular AgEnergy Grants Program over the next two years. “A vibrant agricultural community in Massachusetts is essential to building healthy communities and a stronger economy across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “As we celebrate the impact agriculture brings to our economy and history today, the expansion of the AgEnergy Grants will help our Commonwealth’s farmers address their energy needs and increase their future opportunities for competitiveness in the global marketplace.” Governor Baker was joined at the event by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, and Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. Agriculture Day was organized by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, along with the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, which was recognized with a citation from the Governor for 100 years of service. On hand was an abundance of locally harvested and produced items, ranging from oysters, cranberry juice and maple milk to cheese, honey and fruit pies. And culinary students from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlboro prepared and served a variety of dishes made from Massachusetts products, such as turkey, lamb, root vegetables, honey and local cheeses. The farming industry in Massachusetts generates nearly $490 million in revenues, maintaining about 525,000 acres of open space. There are about 7,755 farms, employing 12,000 workers, according to Mary Jordan, Director of the Division of Agricultural Markets at the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says that the state generated over $1 billion of food and agricultural exports in 2014. Nationally, “Massachusetts is number one in scallops, number one in cranberry juice and number three in seafood exports in 2014,” according to Murphy. Tourists also appreciate the state’s agricultural riches. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has developed a handy overview of culinary activities for visitors, including this culinary calendar of food festivals and fairs.
Massachusetts Supports Job Growth and Business Expansion
Caption: Blount Fine Foods in Fall River is expanding its headquarters and creating jobs Massachusetts continues to create new jobs and spur business growth across the state. This week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved 13 projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). These Massachusetts projects are expected to create 998 new jobs and retain 1,602 jobs, while leveraging approximately $178 million in private investment. See press release. Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, said the projects “will help build the framework for a new wave of growth and revitalization in our local communities (while) creating new jobs for our residents, strengthening our economy and showcasing Massachusetts as a great place to start and grow and a business.” Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary for Business Development, said, “One of the ways to build and sustain a job creating economy is by supporting businesses that are looking to expand here in Massachusetts. Through these incentive packages, we are investing in job opportunities for our residents and enhancing long-term economic growth for our future.” Among the approved projects are eight manufacturing companies and nine projects located in Gateway Cities, including a new $54 million Amazon facility in Fall River and Freetown announced by Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Here are full descriptions of the approved EDIP projects : Manufacturing Retention & Job Growth Projects (MRP) Blount Fine Foods Corp. (Fall River) HTP, Inc. (New Bedford) Jen-Coat, Inc. (Westfield) Tell Tool, Inc. (Westfield) Enhanced Expansion Project / Job Creation Project Amazon.com, LLC (Fall River & Freetown) Expansion Projects Argotec, LLC (Greenfield) UFP Technologies (Newburyport) WGM Fabricators, LLC (Northbridge Distron Corporation (Plainville) Job Creation Project (JCP) Amadeus North America, Inc. (Waltham) Local Incentive Only Projects Marcotte Ford Sales, Inc. / 1025 Main Street, LLC. / 933 Main Street, LLC. (Holyoke) One Marston LLC/ ALX Enterprises LLC (Lawrence) Due North Hospitality, LLC (Pittsfield) In partnership with local towns and cities, the EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses and is one of the most effective tools in helping businesses grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. Since 2010, 235 projects have received approval from the EACC, leading to commitments to create 17,110 new jobs and retain 47,004 existing jobs. EDIP incentives have leveraged over $6 billion in private investment since 2010. The EACC has assisted 126 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 108 projects in Gateway Cities. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications. Learn more about the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP).
Snow Storm Loans Help Massachusetts Small Businesses
Massachusetts is stepping up to assist small businesses affected by the harsh and debilitating snow storms this past winter. On February 27, 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a one million dollar snow storm loan fund to help small businesses regain financial stability and recover from lost storm revenue. The first loan of $10,000 was awarded this week to Down Home Delivery, a Southern Cuisine delivery and takeout service in Dorchester, which lost significant business in February due to the parking and delivery difficulties the successive storms created. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito presented the award, and she was joined by Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey and other local officials. “Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy and it is important that we help ensure their longevity by lending a helping hand when they need it most,” Lieutenant Governor Polito said in an earlier statement. “We are confident that our entire economy will continue to recover from one of the toughest winters we have seen in decades.” Here is a video of the event. Video Courtesy of Mctv Network The loans are being administered by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, which is providing micro-loans ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for small businesses located in communities most impacted, particularly Boston and the state’s 26 Gateway Cities. The program will run through May 2015. Apply to the Massachusetts Storm Loan Fund here. Find out more about the Massachusetts Office of Business Development by calling 617 973-8600.
Massachusetts Launches Workforce Skills Gap Cabinet
(Caption: HED Secretary Jay Ash,Governor Charlie Baker, LWD Secretary Ron Walker and Education Secretary Jim Peyser) Massachusetts is launching a new initiative to bridge the workforce skills gap across the Commonwealth so that employers can find the type of skilled workers they seeks, today and in the future. This week, Governor Charlie Baker established a Workforce Skills Cabinet, chaired by Ron Walker, the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, and comprised of Jim Peyser, Secretary of Education and Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “A talented workforce and growing economy are inseparable and Massachusetts has an opportunity to capitalize on both by ensuring our workers have the skills to meet the needs of employers in the 21st century economy,” said Governor Baker in a press release. Since regions across the state have different work skill needs and gaps, one task of the Workforce Skills Cabinet is to develop goals, objectives and metrics that are ultimately implemented region by region. To that end, the Cabinet will recommend to the Governor ways to improve alignment among state policies, programs, resources, job readiness and vocational and educational opportunities. As an example, Baker cited the aerospace industry in the Pioneer Valley, which he said was booming. “They have a thousand jobs or more, open at any given time, for skilled workers. The key word here is ‘skilled’ workers.” The Director of Education and Workforce Development, a jointly funded position in the Executive Office of Education, will be elevated to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and coordinate with the Governor’s Office, the Workforce Skills Cabinet, and with external groups. “We need to better connect business to the entire workforce development system which includes workforce investment boards, career centers, community colleges and voc-tech schools,” said Secretary Walker. “The Cabinet will be the vehicle to drive the conversation and action across the three Secretariats to analyze labor needs and expand talent pipelines for the jobs employers need to fill.” The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) applauded the new initiative, stating that “The inability to locate and hire skilled employees was by far the top concern expressed by Massachusetts employees last year….The skills issue crosses almost every industry, from manufacturers in the Pioneer Valley to software companies in Boston’s Innovation District to research and engineering firms on the North Shore.” The Workforce Skills Cabinet plans to meet with businesses, schools, government agencies, career centers and job seekers in the coming months, and report back to the Baker-Polito Administration this summer with recommendations.
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