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.

Chamber-led coalition urges Congress to increase federal research funding

The Chamber created and is leading the Business for Federal Research Funding coalition. The coalition is comprised of 57 chambers of commerce and business groups from around the country. The mission of the coalition is to mobilize support among national House and Senate members to secure sustained research funding growth across several areas of the federal budget. Areas include those related to the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security.

Over the past few months, the coalition submitted testimony to the full Senate Appropriations Committee and participated in a DC fly-in to advocate for increased federal research funds.  Most recently, the Chamber asked coalition members to contact their Congressional delegation during the August recess to request their support of individual spending bills or an omnibus bill with a 4% increase in research accounts.

To date, seven appropriations bills with research accounts have passed in the House.  The Senate has also moved a few spending bills through their Appropriations Committee, but they have yet to take a vote on the Senate floor.  Since no FY15 spending bills have cleared both chambers, Congressional leaders may be considering a continued resolution (CR) as a stopgap on these issues.  CRs typically provide funding at a rate based on the previous year’s funding.  Therefore, the coalition will ask Congress to move forward with individual spending bills or an omnibus bill instead of passing a CR, which would provide little or no increase in research funding.

Lastly, we continue our efforts to grow the coalition.  We currently have great geographical diversity among our members and hope to expand the group even further. For more information on the coalition, please visit http://bostonchamber.com/business-for-federal-research-funding/.

InternHub.com still accepting Fall internship postings

intern hubThe Internship Collaborative, a partnership led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, is calling for fall internship postings on InternHub.com.

The Internship Collaborative provides meaningful employment opportunities for students and a talented pool of candidates for employers through Intern Hub, three different events-series, and educational materials.

Intern Hub is a free website open to all students, employers, and college career counselors in Massachusetts. In the spring and summer of 2014, The Internship Collaborative expanded its comprehensive services on InternHub.com to Central and Metro West Massachusetts through partnerships with the Worcester and MetroWest Chambers of Commerce.

More than 7,500 applications have already been submitted by the thousands of local students actively seeking internships on InternHub.com. Many of those students are continuing to look for their fall internship opportunities now, so post yours soon!