Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Boston Public Health Commission
United States Government Pandemic Flu Website
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides a comprehensive fact sheet on the H1N1 virus, here.
The Chamber will continue to keep our members updated on the latest swine flu information as it becomes available, in order to ensure that Greater Boston employers are uniquely prepared to successfully manage a pandemic.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Greater Boston Chamber works to improve the region’s economy and drive job growth, focusing on four goals— strengthening the workforce; making the business climate more competitive; enhancing critical industries; and fixing infrastructure. The Chamber’s agenda includes the following priority issues:
• Workforce Development: Increasing the supply of college-educated workers, and expanding charter schools.
• Transportation: Reforming the way Massachusetts delivers transportation services, and securing new revenues to fill the system’s financial holes.
• Corporate Tax Policy: Ensuring that last year’s corporate tax legislation is implemented in a clear and predictable manner, consistent with legislative intent.
The Chamber is working with business and government leaders to advance these issues, which will have a significant impact on job growth and economic growth in the years ahead.
Headlines from the March 2009 Update Include:
• Massachusetts lost 20,300 jobs last month; posted 3.2% job loss last 12 months, slightly better than US job loss rate of 3.5%
• Massachusetts falls to 189,300 jobs below previous peak; lowest employment since June 2004
• All 12 regions shed jobs last 12 months
• State trade, transportation & utilities jobs ranked 32nd among states last 12 months
You can find previous monthly Massachusetts Jobs Update documents archived on the Chamber's website, bostonchamber.com.
If you have any questions or feedback regarding the Chamber's Massachusetts Jobs Update, please don't hesitate to contact Tim Sweeney, Director of Public Policy, at (617) 557-7357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Guzzi outlined the challenges of protecting private information, while also efficiently conducting business. He also outlines some revisions to the regulations that the business community worked to include.
Read the full piece here.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The clean technology industry is a driver of innovation and job creation here in Massachusetts, even during this time of economic downturn. Governor Deval Patrick and President Barack Obama have both made ‘green jobs’ an economic priority and the Commonwealth seems particularly well positioned to benefit. Already, clean energy firms in Massachusetts account for more than 14,000 jobs – with an annual job growth rate of 20 percent.
The region’s colleges and universities are increasing their research in renewable energy, and the state could see an infusion of federal stimulus money for wind power and efficiencies.
This unique clean technology panel with focus on the future of this industry in Massachusetts and offer Chamber members the opportunity to hear directly from some of the key players in government, development, and venture capital funding. The panel will be moderated by Ian Bowles, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and will feature:
- Tim Healy, chairman & CEO of EnerNOC
- Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, founder & CEO, Boston-Power, Inc.
- Hemant Taneja, managing director of General Catalyst Partners and chairman of the New England Clean Energy Council
To register, please click here.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Chamber will present the following awards:
Distinguished Bostonian Award
- Peter S. Lynch, vice-chairman, Fidelity Management & Research Company
- Linda Whitlock, immediate past President & CEO, Boys & Girls Club of BostonCollaborative
- Gloria C. Larson, president, Bentley University
- Thomas M. Menino, Mayor, City of Boston
- Jack Connors, founding partner, Hill Holliday
In addition, former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret) will be the keynote speaker, delivering remarks on leadership.
“For 100 years the Chamber’s success has been driven by the region’s talented government and business leaders,” said Paul Guzzi, president & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber. “These five individuals have accomplished a great deal for Greater Boston. They have lived up to the ideal of this Chamber, set forth by our first president J.J. Storrow, that the business leaders of Boston could come together to ‘accomplish some good for the welfare of our city and state.’
“We look forward to honoring their significant contributions to our community and the leadership they have demonstrated throughout their careers,” Guzzi continued. “And on an evening dedicated to leadership, we are delighted to hear from one of the greatest military leaders and statesmen of our time – General Colin Powell.”
The event is being chaired by John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction Company.
“I am absolutely honored to chair the Chamber’s special Centennial Celebration, which will pay tribute to the importance of leadership in business and our surrounding neighborhoods,” said Fish. “The individuals we will honor at this year’s Centennial Celebration, along with keynote speaker General Colin Powell, all represent the kind of strong leadership and commitment to giving back that can have the most significant and long lasting impact on our communities. This event will surely be an inspirational and memorable evening for everyone.”
Monday, April 13, 2009
"There is no doubt it is raining - even pouring - and use of reserves to help navigate this crisis is warranted," writes Guzzi. "It is equally clear that we lack an adequate plan for recapitalizing the fund - leaving state government with a significant weakness against future downturns."
Read the full op-ed here.
You can also read the full Chamber proposal for strengthening the fund here.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Scorecard shows that the Massachusetts Fund, measured at 7.2 percent of the total FY 2008 budget, ranked 13th in the nation before this recession hit the state. History shows that that is not enough to protect the Commonwealth against future recessions. Based on the data, the Chamber proposes that all annual capital gains revenues beyond the first $300 million will be allocated to the Rainy Day Fund until this key reserve account has met a specified target level. This proposal provides a larger, more robust stream of funds in growth years to capitalize the Fund, while protecting the state budget from severe capital gains drops during economic downturns.
The severity of the current economic recession has acutely demonstrated Massachusetts’ need for a well-equipped Rainy Day Fund. Before the 2001-2002 recession, the Rainy Day Fund stood at nearly 8 percent of the total state budget. Despite substantial draw-downs over the next two years, Massachusetts had to impose a significant tax increase and large spending cuts to balance the state budget. Before the current recession, the Rainy Day Fund stood at just over 8 percent of the total state budget. Despite that strong position, the Commonwealth has endured painful budget cuts and the prospect of tax increases as the economic downturn has worsened.
“The lesson is clear,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “The Massachusetts Rainy Day Fund has not been strong enough. In each of the last two recessions, a larger Fund would have substantially reduced the need for deep service cuts and tax increases.”
The Chamber proposal would:
- Dedicate capital gains revenues to the Rainy Day Fund by capping the amount of capital gains revenue that is directed to the budget at $300 million per year. This general fund allocation could be phased in, starting at $500 million in the first year and decreasing to $300 million over a four year period.
- Deposit all additional capital gains revenue into the Rainy Day Fund each year until a target of 15% of budgeted revenues is reached.
- Once the fund has reached its 15 percent target, additional capital gains revenues would revert back to the general fund.
In addition to producing a Rainy Day Fund that hits the 15% target within a few years, the Chamber proposal would reduce the Commonwealth’s operating dependence on the unpredictable capital gains revenue stream. The more stable state budget that results, coupled with a larger Fund, will make Massachusetts’ fiscal position stronger than ever.
The Chamber’s Competitiveness Scorecard, published throughout the year, highlights cost and competitiveness issues facing the Massachusetts economy. Each scorecard measures Massachusetts’ competitiveness on a key issue compared to all 50 states, and introduces a policy proposal designed to enhance the state’s competitive position. Future editions of the Scorecard will focus on business cost, workforce development, and innovation issues.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Don’t miss the next Women’s Network Breakfast with Sandra Fedwick, president and COO of Children’s Hospital Boston, on May 14. For event details and registration, click here.