The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce takes an active advocacy role with government on behalf of our member businesses, focused on issues that impact business, and the economy of North Central Massachusetts. As part of our government relations efforts, we actively work to engage with policy makers. Below is an update on some of the more recent government relations activities at the local, regional, state and federal level.
The Chamber has started to engage with the candidates for the 3rd Congressional District currently represented by Congresswoman Tsongas. To date, we have met with candidates Dan Koh and Rick Green to discuss North Central Massachusetts and the priorities of the business community in the region. We also have a meeting scheduled for later this month with State Senator Barbara L’Italian and will be reaching out to the other remaining candidates to schedule meetings over the next few months.
Back in the fall we hosted the economic development advisor and the district director for Congresswoman Tsongas for an economic development tour of the region and highlighted some of the projects the Chamber has supported. Chamber staff also participated in a travel and tourism tour of the 2nd Congressional District hosted by Congressman McGovern.
Prior to the special election, the Chamber staff met with all of the candidates for the Worcester & Middlesex District Senate seat formerly held by Jen Flanagan.
In the fall, we organized a special manufacturing tour for legislative leaders to highlight the importance of manufacturing to North Central Massachusetts as well as legislative efforts to eliminate the inventory tax for manufacturers in order to boost the industry. Attendees on the tour included legislators, economic development officials, business leaders and members of the media.
Earlier this month, we hosted our annual Legislative Briefing to present our economic development priorities to our legislative delegation, and engage them on efforts to shepherd those priorities through the state budget. Over the last year, we have seen more engagement with our legislative delegation, due to concerted efforts to raise the Chamber’s government relations.
In the fall, the Chamber staff met with many of the candidates for city council in Leominster and Fitchburg to engage them on priorities of the business community. Post-election, the Chamber continued its proactive outreach to newly elected public officials engaging them on the
Chamber’s regional priorities.
The Chamber also testified at the annual Fitchburg Property Tax Classification Hearing. The Fitchburg City Council voted in favor of reducing the burden on businesses, moving toward a single tax rate. The Leominster City Council voted to maintain their single tax rate.
In January, we testified at a Fitchburg hearing regarding the renovations to the old City Hall building and we also testified at the Finance Sub-Committee of the Gardner City Council on the issue of tourism funding.
This month, the Chamber also hosted a briefing for the four new city councilors in Fitchburg with several local developers and business leaders to discuss priorities such as tax classification, tourism funding and streamlined permitting.
For more information, please contact Christopher McDermott, Public Affairs Manager at 978.353.7600 ext. 224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.