Friday, April 30, 2010

Headlines from the April 2010 Jobs & Policy Update

The Greater Boston Chamber publishes the monthly Jobs & Policy update to provide members with insight into state and regional job trends, as well as a snapshot of policy issues that are critical to the region's business community.

March Headlines:
  • State added 7,600 jobs last month; 2nd consecutive month of job growth and largest monthly increase since May 2007. State posted 1.6% job loss last 12 months, slightly less than 1.8% U.S. rate.
  • State unemployment rate fell to 9.3%; first monthly rate decline since April 2007. Mass. rate remains below the U.S. rate of 9.7%.
  • Eight of 12 regions added jobs last month; 11 of 12 regions shed jobs year-over-year.
  • Retail Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+4,300) and Financial Activities (+1,800) posted largest monthly job gains.
Click here to view the April 2010 Jobs & Policy Update.

All of the previous monthly updates are archived on bostonchamber.com.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chamber releases May calendar of events

The Chamber's monthly e-calendar features information on all of the Chamber's upcoming events. Click here to view the May e-calendar.

Highlights from the e-calendar include:
  • A Government Affairs Forum with State Treasurer Timothy Cahill on May 11 at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Click here for more information or to register for this event.
  • A Women's Network Breakfast with Regina Pisa, chairman & managing partner of Goodwin Procter LLP, on May 25 at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Click here for more information or to register.
  • A Boston After Five networking event on May 25 at the Bank of America Pavilion. Click here for more information or to register.
Click here to view the Chamber's complete calendar of upcoming events.

Monday, April 26, 2010

An investigation of Goldman Sachs & how to control health care costs on 'This Week in Business'

Yesterday on ‘This Week in Business,’ Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss financial services reform, an ongoing investigation of Goldman Sachs, and the 2010 census.

Click here to view this segment.

In the Briefing Room, Dr. Gene Lindsey, CEO of Atrius Health, joined to give his perspective on how to control health care costs at both the state and national level. He also discussed his support of insurance rate caps on a short-term basis in Massachusetts.

Click here to view this segment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

'On the Record' - Airlines, Boston Marathon & Life Sciences

Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' last night with NECN's RD Sahl to discuss the impact of volcanic disruption on the airline industry, the economic impact of the 114th Boston Marathon, and the collaboration between life sciences firm Merck and MassBiologics.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

2010 Distinguished Bostonian Profile - Henri Termeer

On May 4, the Chamber will hold its 2010 Annual Meeting & Dinner. During the program, three accomplished citizens will be inducted in the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians. The Chamber congratulates Henri Termeer on his selection as a 2010 Distinguished Bostonian.

Henri Termeer is chairman and chief executive officer of Genzyme Corporation, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. Under his leadership, Genzyme has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 12,000 employees in locations across the globe. Termeer is widely recognized as a pioneer in developing and delivering treatments to patients with rare genetic diseases. His work is the foundation for Genzyme’s success, and today the company is diversified across multiple medical areas.


In addition to his contributions to the biotechnology industry, Termeer is active in the area of humanitarian assistance, policy issues, and innovation in providing access to health care. He serves as director of Massachusetts General Hospital, a board member of Partners HealthCare, and a member of the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School. Termeer is also the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s board of directors, and was appointed to Governor Deval Patrick’s Council of Economic Advisors in 2008. He is the co-chair of the Leadership Council of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative, and serves as chairman emeritus of the New England Healthcare Institute, a nonprofit health policy research organization.


Please join us in recognizing the contributions that Henri Termeer has made to the Greater Boston community. Click here to register for this event.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 Distinguished Bostonian Profile - Flash Wiley

On May 4, the Chamber will hold its 2010 Annual Meeting & Dinner. During the program, three accomplished citizens will be inducted in the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians. The Chamber congratulates Fletcher "Flash" Wiley on his selection as a 2010 Distinguished Bostonian.

Flash Wiley is attorney of counsel at Bingham McCutchen LLP, one of the nation’s largest law firms. He also serves as principal and chairman of the advisory board for PRWT Services, Inc., one of the fastest growing minority enterprises and Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2009 Company of the Year. A practicing attorney for more than two decades, Wiley has worked in the areas of corporate and commercial law, small business development, entertainment law, and real estate.


Early in his career he helped form the Boston-based law firm Budd, Reilly and Wiley that later became the largest minority-dominant firm in New England, and served as senior partner of Goldstein & Manello, P.C. Wiley currently serves as director of The TJX Companies, Inc. and chairman and CEO of The Centaurus Group, LLC. He is the founder of the Governor's Commission on Minority Business Development, and the former president and national chairman of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, Inc. From 1994 to 1996, Wiley served as chairman of the board of directors for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.


A dedicated public servant, Wiley is a benefactor of Crispus Attucks Children's Center, Inc., a founding member of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School Black Alumni Organizations, and overseer of the New England Region Anti-Defamation League. He has received numerous civic and professional awards throughout the years in recognition of his tremendous contributions to the Greater Boston community.


Please join us in recognizing the contributions that Flash Wiley has made to the Greater Boston community. Click here to register for this event.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 Distinguished Bostonian Profile - Regina Pisa

On May 4, the Chamber will hold its 2010 Annual Meeting & Dinner. During the program, three accomplished citizens will be inducted in the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians. The Chamber congratulates Regina Pisa on her selection as a 2010 Distinguished Bostonian.

Regina Pisa is chairman and managing partner of Goodwin Procter LLP, an international law firm with more than 900 attorneys. She is chairman of the firm’s Management and Executive Committees and oversees the Allocations Committee. Under Pisa’s management, the firm is dedicated to helping their clients manage risk, maximize opportunities, and move their business forward. Her practice primarily focuses on the financial services area, representing both banks and investment companies on a wide variety of issues.

Pisa currently serves on numerous boards including Citizens Financial Group, the Boys & Girls Club of America, Massachusetts Women’s Forum, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on various bar associations including the American Bar Association, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars on the financial services and legal industries. She is a member of The Committee of 200, an international network of women business leaders, and was elected to The American Law Institute for her professional achievement and interest in improving the law.

In recognition of her extensive civic work, Pisa was inducted into the YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers in 2005 for her remarkable leadership in her professional and civic life, and received a Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber’s Women’s Network in 2001. Her most recent honors include induction into the Women’s Business Hall of Fame for her strong leadership skills, management abilities, and team-building expertise.

Please join us in recognizing the contributions that Regina Pisa has made to the Greater Boston community. Click here to register for this event.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gambling, health care & the economy 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' with NECN's RD Sahl to discuss the expanded gambling bill that just passed in the Massachusetts House after more than a year of debate, Senate President Therese Murray's plan to control health care costs and provide relief to small businesses, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book findings indicating that the economy is improving, and the drop in Massachusetts' unemployment rate.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chamber announces 2010 Annual Meeting keynote speaker

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce announced today that Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, pilot of “The Miracle on the Hudson,” will be the keynote speaker at the Chamber’s 2010 Annual Meeting & Dinner on May 4 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.


Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III is the pilot and national hero who landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, saving the lives of 155 people. Captain of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sullenberger is an aviation safety expert and accident investigator who has logged more than 19,000 hours of service in the skies during his 40 year career. He and his crew have won international acclaim for their heroic actions, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Click here to read Sullenberger’s complete biography.


“Sully’s leadership during unimaginable crisis shows how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things through preparation, dedication, and will,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “I believe he is the perfect person – at the perfect time – to keynote this year’s Annual Meeting.”


The Chamber will also inaugurate Bank of America Massachusetts President Robert Gallery as the new chair of the Chamber, and pay tribute to three accomplished citizens at the Annual Meeting. These outstanding leaders will be inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians for their significant contributions to the Greater Boston community. The 2010 inductees are:


  • Henri Termeer, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Genzyme Corporation

  • Regina Pisa, Chairman & Managing Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP

  • Fletcher “Flash” Wiley, Of Counsel, Bingham McCutchen LLP & Principal, PRWT Services, Inc.

The Chamber’s 2010 Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 4, at 5:00 p.m. at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. More information on the Annual Meeting & Dinner is available on bostonchamber.com.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Senate President Therese Murray addresses the Chamber

This morning, Senate President Therese Murray addressed more than 300 Chamber members at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. In her address, Senate President Murray spoke of the Commonwealth's dire need to create jobs, and outlined a health care plan to control costs and grant small business relief. She noted that the Senate will consider two pieces of legislation before it takes up the budget next month. The first is a comprehensive plan to provide immediate relief to small business health insurance costs, and the second is a long-term strategy to begin a transition from a fee-for-service payment system to a patient-centered, integrated health delivery system with sustainable cost growth. Senate President Murray is also calling on hospitals and provider networks to offer one-time contributions totaling $100 million to be used exclusively for small business relief. Partners Healthcare has already offered a $40 million contribution.

Click here to view images from today's event.

To hear Senate President Murray's speech in its entirety, tune into WBUR 90.9 at 8pm on Sunday, April 18. Coverage of this event can be found in the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, and State House News.

Don't miss the next Government Affairs Forum with State Treasurer Timothy Cahill on May 11. Click here for more information or to register for this event.

The Chamber would like to thank Bank of America for sponsoring this event series.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Last chance to register for tomorrow's event with Senate President Therese Murray

Tomorrow morning, Senate President Therese Murray will be speaking to the Chamber's Government Affairs Forum at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.

Since being overwhelmingly elected by her colleagues to lead the Senate in March of 2007, Senate President Therese Murray has succeeded in driving a number of legislative initiatives. She was the sponsor and key driver of a health care cost control bill enacted in 2008 that will hold health care providers and insurers to new standards of transparency and modernize the state’s health care delivery system. Murray has also driven passage of laws addressing renewable energy sources and efficiency, the biotech and life science industry, and improvements to our housing, education, and transportation infrastructure. As the former chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Murray’s ability to help guide the Massachusetts economy through difficult times has proven instrumental as we begin to recover from the current recession.


First elected to the Senate in 1992, Murray has long worked to protect the industries of her South Shore and Cape Cod district. She has been a strong advocate for the promotion of local tourism, protection of the environment, and enhanced security at Pilgrim Nuclear Plant and other important facilities throughout Plymouth and Barnstable Counties. Murray previously served as director of the Municipal Women’s Project, community relations consultant for Times Mirror Communications, and founder and treasurer of South Shore Cablevision.


Click here to register for this event or call Seanna Sullivan at 617.557.7346.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Deadline for Small Business of the Year Award nominations extended to April 16

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 Small Business of the Year Awards through Friday, April 16. Visit bostonchamber.com to download a nomination form.

Almost all small businesses are eligible for this honor. Criteria for being honored at the "Small Business of the Year Awards" is simply:

  • For-profit business located in Greater Boston;
  • Gross annual revenues of more than $2 million;
  • Demonstrate achievement in management, workplace excellence, product innovation, and community and social responsibility; and
  • Minimum of three years in operation.

Whether you're a small business owner, or know of a small business or entrepreneur in the region that you think should be considered, we encourage you to download a nomination form. Over the past 25 years, the Chamber has honored numerous small businesses from a wide variety of industries.

We look forward to once again honoring the achievements of small business and the spirit of entrepreneurship at our 26th annual Small Business of the Year Awards on October 14. You can view photography from previous awards ceremonies on the Chamber's online photo album.

If you have any questions on the nomination process, please contact Colleen Yoo, programs manager, at 617-557-7329.

Senate President Therese Murray to unveil a health care proposal in her address to the Greater Boston Chamber

On Wednesday, April 14, Senate President Therese Murray will address the Chamber's Government Affairs Forum at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. According to the Boston Globe, Senate President Murray will be unveiling a proposal that she hopes will resolve the current health care standoff in the Commonwealth. Click here to register for this event.

Boston Globe columnist Scott Lehigh writes:

'Exasperated with spiking small business health care costs, Governor Patrick has declared his determination to regulate health insurance rates — and rejected most proposed premium increases. In reaction, the health insurance carriers have gone to court to battle the governor, and several have balked at enrolling new customers.

Everyone is awaiting the next big political development. And here it is: Senate President Therese Murray will step into the breach when she speaks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, unveiling a proposal she hopes will resolve the great health care standoff.

“It is an alternative to get through the chaos we are in and to try to bring costs down for small business while we work on — and I mean work on and produce — a long-term solution,’’ Murray told me. Although she declined to discuss the details, Murray’s clear aim is to give stakeholders alarmed by Patrick’s approach something to rally around.


“The governor gave them a shot across the bow, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it has become very chaotic,’’ she said. Certainly anxiety runs deep about the high-stakes confrontation.'


Click here to read the full article in today's Boston Globe.


Click here to register for the Chamber's event with Senate President Murray.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chamber's Competitiveness Scorecard highlighted on NECN Morning

Earlier today, the Boston Business Journal's Lisa van der Pool joined NECN Morning to talk about Massachusetts' corporate tax burden. During the interview, van der Pool highlighted the Chamber's recently released Competitiveness Scorecard that ranks Massachusetts' corporate tax burden among the worst in the nation. van der Pool also shared details of the Chamber's "Renew Mass" platform to improve the state's business climate and create jobs.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chamber releases Scorecard: MA corporate tax burden among highest in US

The Greater Boston Chamber today released its third Competitiveness Scorecard, a barometer of cost and competitiveness issues facing the Massachusetts economy and a comparison of how the Commonwealth fares against the 49 other states. Download the full Scorecard here or visit bostonchamber.com.

This edition of the Scorecard focuses on Massachusetts' corporate tax burden and the competitiveness of the state's business climate, and shows that:
  • In FY 2009, Massachusetts' corporate tax burden was the 8th highest in the country. This burden is 39% higher than the national average, and higher than a number of states that compete with the Commonwealth for job growth and business expansion. To cite just a few examples, compared to Massachusetts' corporate tax burden Colorado's is 76% lower, Connecticut's is 63% lower, North Carolina's is 55% lower, and Maryland's is 40% lower. More examples are provided in the Scorecard.
  • In FY 2010, Massachusetts ranked the 4th worst on the Tax Foundation's corporate tax index. The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan, nationally-recognized tax research organization, bases its index ranking on a formula that weighs corporate income tax as well as policies governing net operating losses (NOL), credits, deductions and exemptions, and related tax base issues.

In order to make Massachusetts a welcoming place for business and restore competitiveness, the Chamber proposes its "Renew Mass" economic recovery platform which consists of three proposals to make the state's corporate tax code more competitive, and one proposal to improve the cost and investment climate for startups. The "Renew Mass" platform proposals are as follows:

  • NOL Innovation Incentive -- This proposal will narrow the tax code disparity between cyclical and non-cyclical industries, and ensure that companies are taxed on their average profitability over time by allowing a 20-year net operating loss carry-forward period.
  • ITC Expansion Incentive -- This proposal will make the state's corporate tax code more competitive for manufacturers and R&D companies that invest in Massachusetts by increasing the state's investment tax credit from the current 3% to 5%.
  • Elective Single Sales Hiring Incentive -- This proposal will remove disincentives to job creation in the corporate tax code by giving Massachusetts multi-state companies the option of electing single sales factor tax apportionment.
  • "3 in 3" Investment Incentive -- This proposal will strengthen the capitalization and long-term viability of innovation new companies by creating a new 3% state capital gains tax rate on investments in Massachusetts-based startups held for at least three years.

"Enactment of these four proposals will capitalize on the state's core economic strengths," said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber. "When fully implemented, they will spur the creation of 35,000 to 40,000 new jobs, drive hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital investment, and generate sufficient state and local tax revenues to make the platform revenue-positive in the long term. By improving Massachusetts' corporate tax climate, the state's economy will be on path to long-term competitiveness and prosperity."

Download the full Scorecard here or visit bostonchamber.com.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Flood damage & health care on 'This Week in Business'

Yesterday on ‘This Week in Business,’ Kathy Cook, a public information specialist with the Small Business Administration, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to talk about the scope of the New England floods and how affected businesses can get aid from the federal government.

Click here to view this segment.


In the Briefing Room, Ellen Zane, president & CEO of Tufts Medical Center, shared her perspective on national health care reform, how to better control escalating health care costs in Massachusetts, and the sale of Caritas Christi.


Click here to view this segment.


On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe joins Paul & Mike to discuss the US jobless rate, Speaker DeLeo’s gaming proposal, the outcome of Massachusetts’ bid for Race to the Top funding, and Red Sox opening day.


Click here to view this segment.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gaming, flood damage & health care 'On the Record'

Last night Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' to discuss Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo's outline of legislation to expand gaming and create jobs, flood damage to businesses, and the Division of Insurance's rejection of health care rate increases.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Barney Frank addresses the Chamber

This morning, United States Congressman Barney Frank addressed more than 200 Chamber members at a Government Affairs Forum at the Park Plaza Hotel. In his speech, Congressman Frank detailed the need for financial regulation and told the audience that he expects financial reform to pass soon. He is expecting a bill to pass in the Senate and be signed by the president before Memorial Day. Congressman Frank also touched on the need to reduce the federal deficit. Among other suggestions, he spoke of the need to reduce military spending by 20 to 25 percent. Although he does not want to reduce funding for American soldiers in Afghanistan, he feels that America has overextended itself in the world militarily.

To view images from this event, click here.

Coverage from this event can be found in the Boston Herald, Reuters, MassBeacon, Dow Jones, and The Hill.

Don’t miss the next Government Affairs Forum with Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray on April 14. Click here for more details or to register for this event.

The Chamber would like to thank Bank of America for sponsoring this series.