Port of New Bedford. Photo courtesy of New Bedford…
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.
Massport Announces Boston-Shanghai Direct Route on Hainan Airlines
The Silk Road between Massachusetts and China is becoming more widely traveled, as officials unveiled a new direct route air service between Boston and Shanghai on Hainan Airlines. The service begins on June 20, 2015, a year to the day that Hainan launched its Boston-Beijing direct route. Officials said the fledgling Boston-Beijing route was so successful that an expansion to Shanghai made sense. The announcement was made on Wednesday, February 18 at the Massachusetts State House, where Governor Charlie Baker joined Pubin Liang, managing director of Hainan Airways for North America, Thomas P. Glynn, CEO and President of Massport and other public officials and business leaders. In a news release, Governor Baker said the initiative to expand international flights out of Boston’s Logan International Airport “enables Massachusetts to engage with the rest of the world. To be world class you need to be connected with the world and Massachusetts is world class. ‘’ Liang called Shanghai “an important commercial city,” noting that “expanding trade between New England and China has grown this market exponentially, enhanced by the new reciprocal ten year visas between the two countries recently put into place.” Glynn said the new route “speaks volumes about the great success Hainan has had in Boston since starting nonstop service to Beijing last June. ’’ He praised “the business community and Massport’s Asia Task Force for their support in making Hainan’s Boston venture such a success.’’ Kristen Rupert, executive director of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, told the gathering that for her 5,000 members, comprised of both service and manufacturing companies, “It really makes a difference to meet your prospects and your clients face-to-face” and that the Boston-Shanghai direct route was atop the wish list of AIM members. Service to Shanghai Pudong Airport will start on June 20, 2015 with two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliners three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with afternoon times. The flight from Pudong to Boston’s Logan Airport leaves in the morning, also on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The plane holds 222 passengers, including 34 business class seats. Connections with Hainan’s airline partners, including JetBlue in its Boston hub, allow travelers to connect to and from the new service from points throughout the U.S. and Canada. The new Boston-Shanghai route complements Hainan’s existing nonstop Boston-Beijing service, which will increase to daily flights on May 1, 2015. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. In addition to the Shanghai, Logan Airport is starting new international routes to Port-au-Prince, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Tel Aviv in 2015.
Broadband for All in Massachusetts
(Image Courtesy of Axia MassBroadband 123) Massachusetts intends to achieve total broadband access in all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth, thanks to today’s announcement by the Baker-Polito Administration to give $50 million in existing capital funding to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). MBI is the state entity designated to extend high-speed Internet access to homes, businesses, schools, libraries, medical facilities, government offices, and other public places across the Commonwealth. It is a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “Providing high-speed broadband access to all cities and towns is not only a matter of basic fairness, but it is an essential part of building stronger communities and a stronger economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker, adding that “high-speed broadband service is critical in today’s digital world.” Currently, 45 towns in western Massachusetts lack residential cable or broadband access, relying instead upon DSL or dial-up technologies. And other Massachusetts towns have high-speed Internet access in just part of the town, not the entire community. “With this funding, we are one step closer toward closing the digital divide that continues to hinder residents and businesses in Western Massachusetts.” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. The funds will be used to catalyze additional municipal and private investment, and will support innovative, sustainable, locally-led projects. “Despite the current budget deficit, the Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to investing in our regional economies, and creating partnerships that empower communities to be great,” said Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “I applaud Governor Baker’s decision to release these funds,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “We are fully committed to creating long promised access to high speed internet for the businesses, students, and residents of our region.” “This is the beginning of the end of the digital divide in western Massachusetts,” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing. “Connecting all of our residents will create jobs and help the region’s economy thrive.” “Our rural communities must have high-speed broadband in order to function in the modern world and to compete in today’s economy,” said Representative Stephen Kulik. The commitment “moves us significantly closer to building the network and finishing the job.” Eric Nakajima, Director of MBI, thanked the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting efforts to “deliver high-speed broadband connections to the households and businesses in unserved areas of Massachusetts. This funding will help us make the construction of these ‘Last Mile’ networks a reality.” Learn more about Massachusetts Broadband Institute here.
Governor Baker Proclaims Valentine’s Week to Boost Massachusetts Small Businesses
Governor Charlie Baker declared February 14-21, 2015 to be Valentine’s Week in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, encouraging residents to visit and support “local retailers, restaurants, and small and family businesses.” The proclamation comes in the wake of a difficult winter that has “taken a toll on small businesses that depend on an uptick in reservations and activity around Valentine’s Day.” Governor Baker made the announcement with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, and local business leaders including Jon Hurst, President of Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Bob Lutz, President of the Mass Restaurant Association, and Dave Andelman, President of the Mass Restaurant and Business Association. Here is the full text of the Proclamation: Whereas the recent, unprecedented snow fall has taken a tremendous toll on the retailers and restaurants in local cities and towns across the Commonwealth; and Whereas access and travel to businesses has been difficult for both patrons and workers; and Whereas Saturday, February 14 is officially Valentine’s day, a day when many purchases and reservations are traditionally made; and Whereas the people of the Commonwealth are generous and caring; and Whereas the spirit of Valentine’s Day is the expression of kindness, friendship and support and need not be limited to just one day Now, Therefore, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim the week of February 14 to February 21 to be VALENTINE’S WEEK And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to participate fittingly in its existence by extending the spirit of Valentine’s Day through the entire week by visiting and supporting local retailers, restaurants, and small and family businesses. Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this thirteenth day of February, in the year two thousand and fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-ninth. ###
Seasonal direct flights between Boston & Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Starting in June
Caption: Gifrants, Haitian folk musician, performed at Logan Airport announcement of service to Haiti. (Photo: Courtesy of Massport) Boston’s Logan International Airport continues to expand its outreach around the world and across the nation, as Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced JetBlue’s new direct routes this summer to Port-au-Prince, Haiti as well as Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Sacramento, California. Making the announcement were Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn, David Clarke of JetBlue Airways and other officials. “The Commonwealth has always been a place where cultures have come together to prosper and the international growth of these new routes at Logan fosters this in the 21st century,” said Governor Baker, who recognized Massport and Logan Airport “for identifying new markets to expand options out of Boston.” Mayor Walsh noted that the expansion of direct flights out of Boston allows the city “to attract more tourists and more business to the City of Boston, creating stronger connections with the global community.” He added that the expansion of these flights reflects “this City’s international reputation for top notch culture, institutions, shopping, and restaurants.” Boston has the third largest Haitian-American community in the United States, so the new air service is being celebrated in both Massachusetts and Haiti, according to State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. “The direct route from Boston to Port-au-Prince will not only help our Haitian residents maintain relationships with their families, but will support and strengthen new partnerships and business opportunities as well.” The new service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP) launches on June 17, 2015 and operates through September 5, 2015, with flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays. “More than 43,000 people traveled by air between Boston and Port-au-Prince last year and that market has grown 41% in three years,” said Glynn. “This new service will help connect the region with an important vibrant nation that was once home to many of us.” In addition to the Boston – Port-au-Prince service, JetBlue also begins seasonal, nonstop flights from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY) and Sacramento, California (SMF) this summer. Service from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard launches on June 17 and operates daily through September 7, complementing JetBlue’s existing summer seasonal service from Boston to Nantucket. The new Sacramento service launches on June 18 and operates four times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Haiti marks Logan’s 43rd international destination, part of a concerted effort to expand Massachusetts’ profile as a global destination for tourism, commerce and education. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. In addition to the Haiti connection, Logan Airport is starting new international routes to Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mexico and Tel Aviv, Israel in 2015. Find out more about Boston’s Haitian community by reading the Boston Haitian Reporter.
MassChallenge Launches 2015 Startup Accelerator Programs in Boston, Jerusalem and London
Governor Charlie Baker Addresses MassChallenge gathering. (Photo by Mark Steffen) Boston’s Innovation District was abuzz this week as several hundred entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials attended the launch of the 6th MassChallenge Startup Accelerator competition. This year’s announcement took place simultaneously in Boston, Jerusalem and London, which officials say is an indication of Massachusetts’ success in exporting innovative ideas. Billed as the world’s largest accelerator, the MassChallenge program selects about 200 startups each year to participate in four-month accelerators in Boston and London, where they receive a variety of support, ranging from free resources and office space to mentorship and access to global networks. A final group of finalists also compete for millions of dollars in cash awards to help build their companies. According to MassChallenge, anyone with an early-stage startup can apply for the awards, from any industry and from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports. Applications for these programs are open from February 11 through April 1, 2015. Entrepreneurs can apply here. In Boston, Governor Charlie Baker delivered a keynote at MassChallenge headquarters, expressing ongoing support for entrepreneurship in Massachusetts and praising MassChallenge as a global leader of innovation-driven economic development. “As a massive engine of job creation and economic growth, entrepreneurship makes Massachusetts great,” Baker said. “MassChallenge has an outstanding track record of attracting great startups and talent to the Commonwealth,” adding that the UK and Israel affiliates offer “proof that Massachusetts’ own unique brand of innovation is the standard for helping entrepreneurs launch and grow all over the world.” MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne said the concurrent launch in three cities “demonstrates the potential for our international network,” adding that “more entrepreneurs will gain access to the resources they need, with no equity taken.” Scott Bailey, managing director of MassChallenge Boston, announced several new initiatives, including alumni, industry and international committees to provide value to MassChallenge programs. And he welcomed several new MassChallenge sponsors, including Bühler, PepsiCo, Bose, Boehringer Ingelheim, Aetna, and Smith & Nephew. And finally, MassDevelopment is supporting the imminent launch of MADE@ MassChallenge, a makerspace for current and former start-up clients of MassChallenge. Slated to open March 10, 2015, the 5,000 square foot space with hardware and prototyping capabilities will provide entrepreneurs with expert training, equipment and office spaces with no equity taken. “MassDevelopment is thrilled to announce a grant of $200,000 to help to launch MADE@MassChallenge,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “This funding will stimulate innovation by early-stage entrepreneurs and build on the partnerships between entrepreneurial companies and manufacturers in Massachusetts.” Find out more about MassChallenge here.
Massachusetts Senate Conducting “Commonwealth Conversations” in February & March
The Massachusetts Senate has launched a state wide listening tour called Commonwealth Conversations, a series of grassroots forums designed to connect state legislators directly with constituents to hear their ideas, concerns and suggestions. The series kicked off on February 4, 2015 in Western Massachusetts, and continues on Wednesday, February 11 with a public forum in Central Massachusetts being held at 6:30 p.m. at the UMass Medical School – Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building in Worchester. Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg noted recently that “the best ideas are often found not within these halls but in our neighborhoods and our coffee shops, in our board rooms and union halls, in our office break rooms and at our family tables.” In a video announcing the Commonwealth Conversations, Senate President Rosenberg was joined by Senator Bruce E. Tarr, Minority Leader of the MA Senate, and Senator Michael. J. Rodrigues, Chair of the Commonwealth Conversations. Senator Tarr said, “These forums are part of an effort to make your government even more accessible and responsive to you. State Senators from around the Commonwealth will be listening to what you have to say, and working hard to make sure they carry your voices and your ideas back to Beacon Hill.” “So that’s where your Senators will be over the next few weeks,” Rosenberg continued, “listening to your ideas, and following up on our promise of shared leadership with the people of the Commonwealth.” Here is a schedule of the upcoming forums: February 23 / North Shore February 25 / South Shore March 2 / Metro West March 4 / Metro Boston March 11 / South Coast March 18 / Southeast For more information, visit Commonwealth Conversations web site, and follow on Twitter #MAConvos.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Plan to Close FY15 Budget Gap
(Photo: Mike Deehan/ State House News Service) Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced a series of proposals to close the Fiscal Year 15 (FY 15) budget gap recently identified by the Administration. The fixes include a combination of the Governor’s 9C authority to adjust Executive Branch spending, as well as legislation for additional spending reductions, non-tax revenue adjustments, and other one-time fixes. As originally promised, the plan does not raise taxes, cut local aid, or draw down on the state’s Stabilization Fund. The total budget imbalance addressed for FY 15 was adjusted slightly, from $765 million to $768 million due to updated tax data and other factors such as last week’s winter storm. After today’s proposal, spending for FY 15 is still a 7.7% increase over FY 14. Here is a video of today’s press conference, courtesy of the State House News Service. Read the full press release. For more information about the Baker-Polito Administration, visit Office of the Governor.
Governor Baker Announces Compact to Strengthen Municipal Partnerships
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today signed his first Executive Order, creating the Community Compact Cabinet, to elevate the Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns in all communities of the Commonwealth. Chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, the Community Compact Cabinet will allow the Governor’s Office to work more closely with leaders from all cities and towns. The announcement was made at the Massachusetts Municipal Association 36th Annual Meeting & Trade Show, taking place at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston. “Karyn and I both served as selectmen in our hometowns and clearly understand the important challenges encountered in our local communities,” said Governor Baker. “I am pleased to sign this Executive Order which gives cities and towns a real seat at the table in our Administration. State and local government are tightly intertwined and with Karyn at the helm of the Community Compact Cabinet, our Administration will be better equipped to respond to their needs and create safer, stronger communities across the Commonwealth.” “This is a critical first step in the right direction for our Administration,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “I look forward to championing this effort throughout the Commonwealth to partner with our hardworking municipalities and pave the way for better and brighter opportunities in our schools and communities.” About Executive Order: • Empowers Lieutenant Governor Polito to be a champion for municipal issues across state government • Restructures the Department of Revenue to include a new Senior Commissioner for the Division of Local Services, reporting directly to the Commissioner • Creates a Community Compact Cabinet that will work toward mutual accountability, work to reduce red tape, promote best practices, and develop specific “community compacts” with local governments. • These community compacts will create clear, mutual standards, expectations, and accountability for both the state and municipalities as we seek to create better government for our citizens. This Executive Order will revoke and supersede Executive Order 537, which was invoked under the previous Administration in September 2011 and relegated municipal affairs to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. Next week, Lt. Governor Polito will kick-off a statewide tour to meet with local mayors and address ways to strengthen partnerships in our communities. Polito will discuss the $100 million in new Chapter 90 funding that was released on the Administration’s first day in office to fund local road and bridge repairs for every city and town in the Commonwealth. The Baker Administration has pledged to protect local aid, funding for the homelessness and the Department of Children and Families.
Charlie Baker Becomes Governor of Massachusetts on January 8, 2015
(Photo Courtesy of State House News) Charlie Baker was sworn into office as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Governor Baker delivered his inaugural address to the joint session of the Massachusetts state legislature at the State House in Boston. Here is the text of Governor Baker’s remarks. Karyn Polito was then sworn in as Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth. Here are Lt. Governor Polito’s remarks. Governor Baker joins an illustrious list of governors from Massachusetts that dates back to John Hancock (1789-1793). Contact the Governor’s Office here, and follow Governor Baker on twitter.
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority Meetings to Generate $610 million economic impact in 2015
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has a full slate of major meetings and conventions booked for 2015, which are projected to bring more than 900,000 attendees to Boston, generating 615,000 hotel room nights and $610 million in economic impact. James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, says, “In 2015 we will welcome some of the world’s most important events to Boston – many of them repeat customers. Their desire to come to our convention centers and our city is a testament to our world class facilities, our top notch sales and customer service teams, and Boston’s standing as a premier convention destination.” The MCCA convention season is already underway, with the Allied Social Science Association’s Annual Meeting at the Hynes, which ran from January 2-5, followed by the “Let’s Be Great” Inaugural Celebration for Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Events expected to generate the largest hotel room nights in 2015 include: • 49,115 American Diabetes Association (June, BCEC) • 29,900 Experimental Biology (March, BCEC) • 26,520 Heart Rhythm Society (May, BCEC) • 27,960 Leading Age (November, BCEC) • 25,080 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (April, BCEC) • 25,050 American Chemical Society (August, BCEC) • 23,265 NAFSA Association of Internal Educators (May, BCEC) • 19,280 Allied Social Science (January, Hynes) • 19,235 American College of Physicians Internal Medicine (April, BCEC) Among the major conventions returning to Boston this year are the Yankee Dental Congress with 26,700 attendees (January 29-31) and New England Grows with 16,000 attendees (February 4-6). BCEC will again host popular public events such as the New England International Auto Show (January 15-19), the Boston RV & Camping Expo (January 17-19), and the New England Boat Show (February 14-22). Other notable events in 2015 include the New England Region Volleyball Association’s Pre-Qualifier in March, which will transform the BCEC’s exhibit halls into nearly 20 regulation-sized volleyball courts; the return of PAX East Expo in March, the largest video gaming conference in New England; and the International Association of Convention Centre’s (AIPC) Annual Conference and General Assembly at the Hynes in July. AIPC is the industry association for professional convention and exhibition center managers worldwide. “We have a busy year with much hard work ahead of us,” says Rooney. “We will be focused on executing exceptional events for our customers, and working simultaneously on our expansion and hotel development efforts in the South Boston Waterfront. It’s an exciting time for the MCCA, and we look forward to sharing more successes throughout the next year and for many years to come.”
EDIP projects support 18 Massachusetts companies in job growth and business expansion
(Photo from Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta Company in Haverhill) The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved eighteen projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) at its quarterly meeting this week. These projects are expected to create 1,696 new jobs and retain 4,491 existing jobs, while leveraging over $342 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across Massachusetts. Among the approved projects are seven manufacturing companies and eight projects located in Gateway Cities. The EDIP program is considered one of Massachusetts’ most effective programs to help businesses grow, offering tax credits and other incentives to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and in creating new jobs. Michael Hunter, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Business Development, says that “supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives,” adding that such investments “make our communities strong in the long term.” Below are the projects approved at the EACC meeting. Read a full description of each project here. Manufacturing Retention Projects (MRP) Golden Fleece Manufacturing Group LLC dba Southwick / Brooks Brothers Group, Inc. (Haverhill) Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta Company (Haverhill) Easypak, LLC (Leominster) Hoff’s Kitchen Co. Inc. (Malden) Expansion Projects (EP) Archgrove Hospitality, Inc. (Amesbury) LogMeIn, Inc. (Boston) Hudson Lock (Hudson) Potpourri Group, Inc. / PHI Acquisitions, Inc. (Littleton) AMT BioProducts Corp (New Bedford) Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. (South Hadley) Job Creation Projects (JCP) Fiksu (Boston) Wayfair, LLC (Boston) Demandware (Burlington) SimpliVity Corporation (Westborough) Local Incentive Only Projects - (Note: the following projects applied to the EACC solely for approval of their local Tax Increment Financing or Special Tax Assessment Agreements and will not receive an EDIP Investment Tax Credit): M.S. Walker, Inc. (Dedham) GE Healthcare (Marlborough) 21 East Living LLC / Bourne Avenue Capital Partners (North Attleboro) Martignetti Grocery Co., Inc. / Sixty Cross Street LLC / Martignetti Corp. (Taunton) Fore more information about the EDIP and the Local Incentive Program, contact the MOBD regional representative in your area.
Green Communities Thrive in Massachusetts
(Photo Courtesy of PV Squared in Greenfield, MA) Massachusetts is getting greener, and that is great news for the cities and towns across the Commonwealth seeking to cut energy costs that ultimately save taxpayer dollars. Just last week, state and local officials announced that 13 more municipalities received the state’s coveted Green Community Designation. The 13 new communities include Ashburnham, Belmont, Dalton, Dudley, Everett, Goshen, Halifax, Lanesborough, Millville, Pembroke, Upton, Warwick and Wellfleet. That brings the total to 136 green communities, more than half of the state’s 351 cities and towns. The Green Community Designation and Grant program is run by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EOEE), which rewards communities that meet five clean energy benchmarks: • Provide as-of-right siting in designated locations for renewable/alternative energy generation, research & development, or manufacturing facilities. • Adopt an expedited application and permit process for as-of-right energy facilities. • Establish an energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce energy use by twenty percent (20%) within five (5) years. • Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles • Set requirements to minimize life-cycle energy costs for new construction by adopting the new Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Stretch Code. In addition to recognizing the new communities, Governor Deval Patrick released the program’s first ever progress report , which indicates that seven communities already in the program have achieved a 20 percent reduction in municipal energy: Arlington, Belchertown, Cambridge, Natick, Palmer, Springfield and Sutton. “Today, we mark a significant milestone, with more than half the Commonwealth’s population now residing in a Green Community,” said EOEE Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “These 136 communities have committed to locking in energy savings, protecting our environment and saving municipal energy dollars.” Green Communities grants have already supported more than 500 completed projects across the Commonwealth, projected to deliver annual energy cost savings of nearly $4 million. Once they receive the Green Communities designation, cities and towns are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that advance both municipal and state clean energy goals. Grants awarded so far assist an array of projects across the state, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, weatherization at schools and municipal buildings, installation of high-efficiency street lights and a host of energy efficiency upgrades. Here is a video of Green Community participants. The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently named Massachusetts number one for energy efficiency for the fourth consecutive year. In 2007, Massachusetts had just over 3 megawatts each of solar and wind capacity installed. Today there are 699 megawatts of solar installed, with a goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020. The Commonwealth has installed 107 megawatts of land-based wind and is poised to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Here is how to become a green community in Massachusetts.
Annual Export Expo Showcases Massachusetts’ Access to Global Markets
(Photo from 2013 Export Expo) By Paula Murphy Export competitiveness is critical to the health of the Massachusetts economy, and the state’s export growth has accelerated in recent years as local businesses actively pursue new global markets. In the first six months of 2014, our exports grew at an impressive 7%, outpacing the national export growth of 3% for the same time period. In order to stay on that upswing, we want Massachusetts businesses to have access to the resources and information they need to succeed in this competitive arena. To that end, we are delighted to host our fifth annual Massachusetts Export Expo on Tuesday, December 9 at the State Transportation Building in Boston. The Export Expo provides a forum for exporters to connect with public and private export resources available in Massachusetts while learning about issues that impact their day-to-day operations. Workshops and roundtable discussions throughout the day address a wide range of export related topics. An exhibit area showcases global freight and transportation companies, trade and business groups, legal and computer services and federal, state and local agencies. And our networking reception at the end of the Expo is a great way to solidify business connections made during the day. This year’s keynote speaker is Peter Harrell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions. Mr. Harrell will discuss the rapidly evolving sanctions environment, including sanctions involving Russia, Iran and other foreign countries, as well as the outlook for sanctions policy development in the near future. Harrell is one of several distinguished speakers who are participating in the Workshops and roundtable discussions. Other speakers include Susan Anthony, Director of the Global Intellectual Property Academy of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to discuss critical strategies for protecting intellectual property globally; Bernadette Quirk and Michael Smith of U.S. Customs & Border Protection, to discuss new Customs outbound changes and requirements impacting exporters; representatives from leading Massachusetts exporting firms such as adidas Group, AMETEK Aerospace, Analog Devices, CIRCOR International, Draper Labs, Teradyne, Thermo Fisher Scientific and others; as well as global trade experts from leading banks, law firms, forwarding firms and others. The potential for growing Massachusetts’ exports business continues to expand in 2014, thanks to newly-launched direct air freight service between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Beijing, Istanbul and Dubai. We welcome you to attend the Massachusetts Export Expo and learn about the terrific opportunities for Massachusetts companies. You can register here.
Massachusetts Supports Its Creative Economy
Western Massachusetts will soon have the largest contemporary art museum in the nation, thanks to an ambitious expansion taking place at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCa) in North Adams. Phase III of the expansion is underway now, and when it is completed in 2017, the museum will have doubled its gallery space to 250,000 square feet. That is exciting news for the museum, which opened in 1999 on the site of a 19th century mill complex and has gained a global reputation for showcasing large-scale works of art by some of the world’s leading artists. Nearly 120,000 visitors attend exhibits at the museum each year. The $55 million expansion phase got a welcome boost recently when Governor Deval Patrick joined state and local officials, museum leaders and the arts community to announce $25.4 million in state funding. The grant is funded through the Governor’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Capital Plan. The museum has already raised $13.5 million of $30 million in private contributions. “Through funding our creative industry infrastructure, we are continuing to create a more vibrant place for our students to learn, our families to live and our businesses to grow,” Patrick told the audience. Here is a short video on MassMoCa. Governor Patrick has been a strong proponent of the state’s creative industries, which employs over 100,000 people and has a $1 billion economy impact each year. The expanded Mass MoCa will solidify the museum’s link to the North Adams downtown business district through new biking and pedestrian pathways and bridges. That in turn will be good for the tourism industry. “This project will not only attract more visitors to the Berkshires every year, but will also help keep them here longer,” said Joseph Thompson, director of Mass MoCa. Mass MoCa is just one of the excellent art museums in the northwest corner of Massachusetts; others include the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Williams College Museum of Art. Here is a list of museums throughout Massachusetts. Governor Patrick’s FY 2015 Capital Plan also provides $15 million for the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund to help increase investments from both the public sector and private sector to support the sound planning and development of cultural facilities across Massachusetts. The Patrick Administration has invested nearly $70 million in the Massachusetts creative sector in projects in 118 cities and towns since 2007.
Massachusetts Champions New College Campus in City of Brockton
The City of Brockton is about to get a college campus, thanks to the Downtown Brockton Higher Education Collaborative. And that is great news for this proud Gateway City, long known as the City of Champions. Earlier this week, Governor Deval Patrick gathered with state and local officials, educators, businesses and residents to discuss this one-of-a-kind new campus center to be located at 229 Main Street at the corner of Belmont Street. The campus will serve about 1,000 students each year; they will benefit from the educational resources of three state schools: Massasoit Community College (MCC), Bridgewater State University (BSU) and the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB). Finegold Alexander + Associates is the architectural firm that will convert the long-vacant building into the new college center. The existing building dates back to 1927. The $21.5 million, state-funded project is part of Governor Patrick’s strategy to invest in education, innovation and infrastructure as a way to stimulate economic development. Along with the educational opportunities and access being offered to local residents, the new campus will offer online education materials that use effective and innovative learning technologies. The project itself will create nearly 250 construction jobs and permanent educational jobs. Proponents expect that the new campus will stimulate the revitalization of downtown Brockton, and that small businesses will flourish as a result. It will also increase pedestrians in the downtown area. Funding for the $21.5 million project, which is being spread over five years, was included in Governor Patrick’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 – 2019 Capital Investment Plan. During the Patrick Administration, the Commonwealth completed or has under construction projects at every one of the states’ 29 public campuses. In September, Governor Patrick officially opened a new University of Massachusetts Center in downtown Springfield, designed to expand educational opportunities in the Pioneer Valley. The Patrick Administration has also been committed to closing achievement gaps where they are most persistent. The Governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda provides targeted and differentiated support to English Language learners and better prepares high school students for career success. The agenda utilizes tools provided by the 2010 Achievement Gap Act, a sweeping education reform bill that gives educators the resources they need to dramatically improve student outcomes.
Massachusetts Launches Partnership to Connect Startups with Established Manufacturers
(Caption: Greentown Labs Executive Director Emily Reichert, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Secretary of EOHED Gregory Bialecki, MassDevelopment CEO Marty Jones, Principal at Tyson Associates Mitch Tyson, and MassMEP Director of Operations Jack Healy) Photo Courtesy of Greentown Labs A new partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the advanced manufacturing industry, and the innovation collaborative space movement will create new synergies that can connect local startup companies with manufacturers. The partnership includes MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency; the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), an organization seeking to strengthen the state’s advanced manufacturing sector; and Greentown Labs in Somerville, one of the state’s success stories in creating innovative collaborative space for mixed-uses. Officials say the partnership will help startups to achieve their potential, manufacturers to increase their access/exposure to the latest technological trends, and the Commonwealth to grow its manufacturing sector. Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development spoke at the announcement, and noted that the combined efforts of these three groups “will help emerging manufacturers take their ideas from concept to company.” Emily Reichert, PhD, CEO of Greentown Labs, described Greentown Labs as “a community of entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest energy and environmental challenges….we want our companies to know they have many options to stay and grow their businesses here in Massachusetts.” Marty Jones, President and CEO of MassDevelopment, said, “Working with Greentown Labs and MassMEP, we will make sure that clean-green companies not only continue to come up with their ideas in Massachusetts, but that they will build their companies in the Commonwealth.” Jack Healy, Director of Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, said, “The strength of the manufacturing base in Massachusetts benefits the Greentown Labs’ start-ups as they move from bench-top ideas to larger scale commercial success.” “Greentown and MassMEP will develop a network and best practices for both startups and manufacturers through a series of educational workshops and collaborative projects,” according to a blog post by Micaelah Morrill, program manager of the manufacturing initiative. This project will launch with a pilot involving 40 companies that will lead to a broader program. The new partnership is a continuation of manufacturing initiatives launched during the Administration of Governor Deval Patrick, including the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, which Bialecki says “focused unprecedented attention and resources on this critical innovative sector.” In October, Massachusetts celebrated National Manufacturing Day throughout the week with a series of events across the Commonwealth that highlighted the manufacturing industry.
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(Photo courtesy of State House News) The Baker-Polito…
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