Hear from MBTA GM Dr. Beverly Scott about the new Commuter Rail contractor

Sunday on This Week in Business, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott joined host Paul Guzzi and NECN’s Business Editor Peter Howe to discuss a number of transportation issues, including the new Commuter Rail operator, late night T hours, CapeFLYER, and more. Watch the interview here.

In the briefing room, Wendy Pierce of Solomon McCown and David Gerzof Richard of Emerson College joined to discuss how social media is changing charity fundraising and the incredible success of the ALS #icebucketchallenge. Watch this interview here.

On the Business Beat, Peter and Paul discuss important issues coming up this fall, including state primary elections on September 9, four November ballot questions, activity on Beacon Hill, and a decision by the US Olympic Committee for the 2024 games.

Chamber welcomes new nonstop flight between Boston & Hong Kong

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today welcomed Cathay Pacific’s announcement that it will begin nonstop flights between Logan and Hong Kong next year.  Appearing at a State House press conference on Friday afternoon, Chamber President and CEO Paul Guzzi made the following remarks:

“We are thrilled to welcome Cathay Pacific to Logan Airport and the Greater Boston region,” said Guzzi. “Direct flights between Boston and Hong Kong will connect two cities that are important financial services centers of their regions, and provides a gateway for our businesses to all of Asia. The new Cathay Pacific flights are the latest outcome of successful efforts by the Governor and others to add direct international flights to and from Logan, a program that has provided improved access to key overseas markets and strengthened our role as a leading destination for business and tourism.”

UMass Lowell partnership with Raytheon & TD Garden renovations on ‘This Week in Business’

Sunday on This Week in Business, Marty Meehan, Chancellor of UMass Lowell, joined Paul Guzzi and NECN’s Peter Howe to discuss the University’s new research partnership with Raytheon and other changes as the school. Watch this segment here.

In the Briefing Room, Amy Latimer, President of the TD Garden, joins to discuss the Garden’s $70 million renovation plan and development projects happening outside the Garden. Watch this segment here.

On the Business Beat, Peter and Paul discuss Governor Patrick’s involvement in Market Basket negotiations, the state’s newly enacted economic development bill, the future of the MA Health Connector, and the ALS Association’s #icebucketchallenge fundraising success. Watch this segment here.

Chamber applauds Legislature and Governor for enacting economic development bill

On August 13, Governor Patrick signed into law an economic development bill designed to strengthen the state’s economy. The bill includes a number of provisions supported by the Chamber, including the creation of a state-level Financial Services Advisory Council, the preservation of current state policy on non-compete agreements, and the modernization of the state-level research and development (R&D) tax credit.

The Chamber proposed the creation of the Financial Services Advisory Council last year as a means to advance the competitiveness and leadership of the state’s critical financial services industry. The financial services industry has long been a pillar of the Massachusetts economy—providing jobs, investments, tax revenues, and significant civic leadership—yet has recently faced growing domestic and international competition.

The Financial Services Advisory Council will advise the Governor and function as a liaison between senior state government officials and key industry leaders. Its goal will be to advance hiring, investment, and the overall competitiveness of Massachusetts’ financial services industry. The Council will convene a minimum of three meetings per year to exchange ideas and develop strategies that leverage existing government resources, personnel, and infrastructure to strengthen and advance the industry.

Additionally, the economic development bill maintains Massachusetts’ policy on non-compete agreements; which the Chamber worked to preserve. Proposals to ban or severely restrict those agreements had been advanced during debate on the bill. Non-compete policy in Massachusetts is well developed, and its usage on a voluntary basis by both employers and employees is well established.

The bill also modernizes the state’s R&D tax credit. The credit had become outdated and cumbersome, penalizing some companies with significant investment in Massachusetts. The bill allows for the election of an alternative simplified credit, which will benefit a greater number of businesses and incentivize new R&D spending.

The Chamber will continue to work with business leaders, other business groups, and state government leaders to implement the bill and strengthen the Massachusetts economy.

Recap of our ‘end of session’ policy conference call

Earlier this week, the Chamber’s policy team hosted an ‘end of session’ conference call to give members an update of a number of timely state and federal issues, including:

  • Overview of 2013-14 Legislative Session – highlighted wins in the areas of transportation finance reform, software sales tax repeal, unemployment insurance rate freeze and reforms, and economic development legislation.
  • Economic Development Legislation – Governor Patrick signed this bill into law on August 13. It includes creation of a Chamber-proposed Financial Services Advisory Council, preserves the state’s current non-compete policy, and creates a new R&D tax credit. Learn more here.
  • Federal Coalitions – gave an update on the Chamber’s two federal coalitions: Business for Skilled Worker Immigration Reform and Business for Federal Research Funding. Learn more here.
  • Ballot Questions – gave an update on Question 3 to repeal the state’s casino law, which the Chamber is opposed to. Also gave an update on Question 1 and announced that the Chamber has joined the Coalition for Safer Roads and Bridges. Learn more here.

Due to technical problems during the call, we are not able to make a recording available. Please contact a member of our advocacy team with questions on any of the issues discussed.