The Chamber recently unveiled its Public Policy Agenda for the new fiscal year–outlining the Chamber’s legislative priorities on issues important to businesses and the advancement of North Central Massachusetts. The agenda was developed to serve as a blueprint for the Chamber’s government affairs efforts and were reviewed and approved by the Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors. The agenda can be found online at www.NorthCentralMass.com.
The Chamber continues to be active on the local level, monitoring legislation and advocating on behalf of members. In Fitchburg, the Chamber testified at the annual tax classification hearing and successfully secured an unprecedented eight point reduction to the property tax shift. This move towards a single rate reduces the impact on commercial and industrial property owners and makes the city and region more competitive. The Chamber will also advocate in Leominster for the city to maintain its single tax rate and in the Town of Clinton for a reduction in their dual tax rate.
Fitchburg’s license commission also recently held a public hearing in regards to proposed regulations on BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) establishments. The Chamber submitted a letter opposing the current proposal and articulating the concerns of many local businesses. Energy costs, the EMAC assessment and Ballot Question 1 were also issues that Chamber staff were involved with over the Fall.
In other news, the Chamber plans to reconvene its Manufacturing Taskforce to continue its efforts to improve the workforce pipeline and improve the business climate for this important industry for the region. The Chamber will be compiling the recommendations from the taskforce and issuing a final report after the first of the year. The report is intended to help the Chamber and private sector work more effectively with government at all levels to ensure that the region has a competitive workforce and can support our local manufacturers.
In the coming months, we look forward to turning back towards the state as we convene our annual Legislative Briefing to organize efforts on Beacon Hill to address a number of crucial issues for businesses in the region.
If you run a business in North Central Massachusetts and wish to make your voice heard on any of these issues, please reach out to Christopher McDermott at 978.353.7600 ext. 224 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear what’s important to you!