Creation of the Baystate Business Link is the type of initiative that winds up on the lower corner of the newspaper business page, and arouses neither passion nor the attention it deserves from most citizens.
All it is is very significant, extremely important and a total win-win. How's that for news?
The initiative announced by Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo results from a partnership by the House and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. It will focus on connecting businesses across the state and encouraging business-to-business relationships and mentoring opportunities.
This will benefit the entire state but is especially significant to Western Massachusetts. It expands the state's economic influence westward at a time Massachusetts faces a crucial test of its ability to translate Greater Boston's growth into a more equitable, balanced economy statewide.
This initiative reflects a growing an overdue recognition by Boston-area businesses and legislators that a healthy state economy cannot be concentrated only in state's eastern corner. There must be growth and potential realized west of Interstate 495 and west of Worcester.
According to Rick Sullivan, the former Massachusetts Energy Secretary Rick Sullivan and now CEO of the Western Mass Economic Development Council, this will at least give Western Massachusetts "a seat at the business table.'' It has the potential to accomplish much more, according to Sullivan, who is part of a working group to advance the project.
Western Massachusetts legislators and business leaders deserve much credit for helping bring this program to fruition. Despite the political difficulty of representing a region with lower popularity, they are getting the ear of leaders in Eastern Mass., who also deserve some plaudits for understanding the need to spread out the state's economic success.
No, Baystate Business Link is not the type of action that leads the nightly news or provokes passion from the electorate. It's "merely" one that will benefit Western Massachusetts and the state in untold ways - and such a result, when one thinks about it, is more than good enough.
Read the article from MassLive here.