Friday, April 29, 2011

Op-ed in today's Boston Business Journal

Don't miss the op-ed in today's Boston Business Journal authored by Chamber president Paul Guzzi on the importance of retaining talent in our region. The op-ed applauds the state's efforts on their recently launched Mass Stay Here Internship Site and highlights the Chamber's own internship site designed to connect students to employers in the region. Read below:

Internships Key to Retaining Talent
"As the economy starts to improve and local companies begin to add jobs, the Greater Boston business community needs a long-term workforce strategy that will attract and retain employees. Retaining talented students has become the focus of a joint initiative of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston..."

Click here to read the complete op-ed.

On the Record: Mass economy grows 4.2% in Q1

Last night, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss Massachusetts' economic growth of 4.2% in the first quarter, a recently launched state internship website to connect students with employers in the region, the House passage of municipal health care reform, and the House repeal of the life sciences gift ban.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Massachusetts Jobs Update -- March 2011

Highlights from the Chamber's Massachusetts Jobs & Policy Update:
  • State added 3,200 jobs last month. State posted 1.1% job growth last 12 months under revised benchmarks, slightly higher than U.S. rate of 1.0%.
  • State unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.0%, the lowest rate since April 2009 and still well below the U.S. rate of 8.8%.
  • Seven of 12 regions added jobs last month and all 12 regions added jobs year-over-year with strongest growth in the South Coast and Northern Central regions.
  • Leisure & Hospitality (+2,100), Construction (+1,500), and Professional & Business Services (+1,500) posted largest monthly job gains among industries at the state level.

House Votes to Repeal Life Sciences Gift Ban

Chamber supports repeal to ensure competitiveness of region’s world-renowned life science and health care cluster

By a vote of 128-22, the House adopted a budget amendment this week that would repeal the state’s so-called life sciences “gift ban” regulation. The need for reform in this area has become more acute in recent months given the detrimental impacts the regulations presents to our pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care sectors, as well as the forthcoming pre-emption of sections of the law by federal “Sunshine Act” reporting requirements.

Since the industry’s marketing code of conduct or “gift ban” was first proposed in 2008, the Chamber has worked closely with the state and industry leaders to secure improvements that ensure the competitiveness of our world-renowned life science and health care cluster. Our advocacy has sought to the preserve the essential collaboration and information-sharing between academic researchers and pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care industry professionals.

As this issue advances, the Chamber will continue working to promote a favorable regulatory climate for collaborative research and development, medical education, and product marketability in the life sciences.

Municipal Health Insurance Reform Moves Forward

Chamber-supported plan approved by the House

As a member of the Mass Reform First coalition, the Chamber is working with other business and civic groups for municipal health insurance reform. Currently private employers are able to redesign employee benefit packages to help mitigate health care costs, while municipalities cannot due to collective bargaining restrictions. As a result, those costs are wreaking havoc with municipal budgets – increasing pressure to raise property taxes and cut vital services such as education and public safety. The situation is exacerbated by significant cuts in local aid for the 4th consecutive year. Meaningful municipal health insurance reform is needed.

The plan just passed by the House, in its budget bill, provides strong reforms. It ensures that municipal employees will continue to receive excellent health care, and retain more bargaining power than state employees. In the weeks ahead, the Mass Reform First coalition will work with leaders in the Senate, the House and the Patrick Administration for final enactment of municipal health insurance reform.

Chamber Business Tax Reforms Advance in House

Three key tax reform proposals adopted in House FY’12 budget

Key provisions from the Chamber’s business tax reform bill are advancing in the Legislature. The FY’12 House Ways and Means Committee budget bill, released on April 13th, included the following proposals from that bill:

  • Audit Cycle Length: Shorten audit cycles by waiving taxpayer penalties for substantial underpayment of taxes (Ch. 62C, Sec. 35A) if DOR fails to complete an audit within 18 months – providing an incentive for the state to speed up the audit process, which can be quite lengthy and costly for businesses.
  • Tax Policy Development: Require the state to post monthly online reports on tax policies before it takes any action on them – giving taxpayers at least 30 days to vet proposed tax policies and provide input before the policies are finalized. This provision will strengthen the tax policy development site that was launched by the Dept. of Revenue last month in response to the Chamber’s proposal.
In addition to the audit cycle and tax policy development reforms (which were the subject of an April 18th Chamber op-ed in the Boston Herald), a third proposal from the Chamber’s business tax reform bill was adopted on April 25th as an amendment to the House budget:
  • Statute of Limitation Parity: Establish the same statute of limitations for assessments and refunds – addressing an unfair rule that currently exists in which businesses have a shorter period in which to amend a return than the state does to assess a return.
The Chamber will continue working with leaders in the Legislature and Patrick Administration to ensure that these and other important business reforms are included in the final FY’12 state budget. Enactment of this package of reforms will improve Massachusetts’ tax climate and strengthen its reputation among states as an attractive place to do business.

Paul Guzzi on 'Mass Stay Here Internship Site' on WBZ Radio


President & CEO Paul Guzzi
This morning, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi discussed the recently launched Mass Stay Here Internship Site designed to advance the state's efforts to retain college students after graduation by connecting students to employers in the region with WBZ NewsRadio's Greg Jensen.

Guzzi also shared information about the Chamber's efforts to collaborate with the state on this important initiative by launching its own internship site -- http://www.bostonchamber.experience.com/ 

Listen to the audio below. The interview will play throughout the day on WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Chamber's Annual Meeting is ONE WEEK away!

Next Tuesday, May 3, the Chamber will hold its 102nd Annual Meeting & Dinner at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The night will pay tribute to a family of Distinguished Bostonians who have made a lasting impact on the region's business and civic communities. Robert & Myra Kraft and the Kraft Family will be honored for the incredible contributions they have made to Greater Boston.

Annual Meeting attendees will also have the pleasure to hear from the widely acclaimed author and historian David McCullough.

For more details on this event or to register, please click here.

View photos from last year's Annual Meeting on the Chamber's Flickr page.

The Chamber would like to thank Bank of America, State Street, and Suffolk Construction for being Presenting Sponsors of the 102nd Annual Meeting & Dinner.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Latest Women's Leadership Program Workshop at Simmons College

BOSTON, MA - Members of the 2010/2011 Women's Leadership Program gathered at the Simmons School of Management. Click here to download pictures from the workshop.






Last week, members of the Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Program gathered at the Simmons School of Management for a workshop entitled “Negotiating Conditions for Leadership Success”  with Professor Patricia Deyton. This two hour workshop covered the importance of strong negotiating skills in all aspects of your life – both personal and professional. Professor Deyton also emphasized that negotiation is about more than just fighting for the salary you deserve, but also about creating the conditions and support systems which you need to be successful.

Professor Deyton led the group through two negotiating role play activities – a hypothetical case study and a role play of a real life, upcoming negotiation that participants will soon be facing. These role play activities gave program participants the opportunity to try practice their newly learned negotiating techniques!

And, because this is the Women’s Leadership Program, and because Simmons School of Management is a leading provider of management education for women, the group ended the morning with a discussion of how gender plays a role in negotiations.

Even though the group was only able to scratch the surface of negotiations in this short workshop, participants seemed to leave both excited and ready to tackle the big and the small negotiations that they will face. 

The Chamber will soon be accepting nominations for the 2011-12 class of the Women's Leadership Program in May - please check the blog for details.

Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish joins 'This Week in Business'

Yesterday on This Week in Business, John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss the impact of the recession on his company. He also talked about the importance of corporate philanthropy and the Boston Scholar Athlete program that he is involved with.



In the Briefing Room, David Rosenberg, president of Prime Motor Group, joined to discuss the impact of rising oil prices on the auto industry. He also commented on the supply issues created by the disaster in Japan.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe joins to discuss the warning of a potential US credit downgrade from S&P, an upgrade to the UMass football system, and a hiring frenzy at McDonald's.

Friday, April 22, 2011

House budget, UMass football upgrade 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss the upcoming debate around the House budget which includes two Chamber-supported tax reforms, an upgrade to the UMass football system, and the role that Senator Scott Brown continues to play in national fiscal debates.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paul Guzzi on upcoming House budget debate on WBZ radio


President & CEO Paul Guzzi
This morning, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi shared his thoughts on the upcoming Massachusetts House budget hearings and on a recent survey indicating that 8 of every 10 Massachusetts residents are 'concerned' about job security with WBZ NewsRadio's Greg Jensen.

Listen to the audio below. The interview will play throughout the day on WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chamber op-ed in yesterday's Boston Herald

On April 18, an op-ed authored by Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi appeared in the Boston Herald. Read the op-ed below:

Biz tax system needs fine tuning

"Massachusetts is showing signs of economic recovery, with the most recent reports showing job growth and unemployment below the national average. But continued recovery is far from guaranteed, and is affected daily by fiscal, economic and political uncertainties, at home and abroad.

There are steps we can take now to help sustain — and grow — an economic recovery in Massachusetts. We can improve the way our tax system works by speeding up tax audits and expanding input into tax policy changes."

Read more in the Boston Herald.

How federal budget issues may impact the local economy on 'This Week in Business'

Sunday on This Week in Business, Boston business editors Shirley Leung of the Boston Globe, Frank Quaratiello of the Boston Herald, and George Donnelly of the Boston Business Journal join hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss issues around the federal budget and ideas to tackle the national debt--including radical changes to the nation's Medicare system. The editors also weigh in on the recent budget released by the Massachusetts House Ways & Means Committee.



In the Briefing Room, the editors are back to discuss the five year anniversary of Massachusetts health care reform and former Governor Mitt Romney's second presidential bid. The editors also share stories that their own papers are focusing on and make a prediction of news to look for in the week ahead.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe joins Paul and Mike to discuss a recent report by Attorney General Martha Coakley looking at health insurer board compensation, the gender wage gap in Massachusetts, and the business of Marathon Monday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

State adds 3,200 jobs 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss a health insurer board compensation report filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley, and the state's recent job report indicating that Massachusetts added 3,200 jobs in March and that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.0%. Guzzi also commented on his recent trip to Washington D.C. with Governor Patrick to participate in a health care forum at the Center for American Politics.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Paul Guzzi talks state job outlook on WBZ Radio

President & CEO Paul Guzzi
This morning, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi shared his thoughts on the state's recent job numbers and unemployment rate for March with WBZ NewsRadio's Greg Jensen.

Listen to the audio below. The interview will play throughout the day on WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030.





Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Greater Boston Chamber Welcomes Reforms Included in House Budget


The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today welcomed tax reform and municipal health care reform provisions included in the state budget released this morning by the House Ways and Means Committee.
The budget contained two tax reforms supported by the Chamber:
  •  An incentive for the state to shorten the tax audit cycle by waiving certain penalties charged to businesses if the state takes more than 18 months to conduct an audit, and
  •  A requirement that the state post monthly reports on proposed tax policies online before taking any action on them.
“These reforms will help address real challenges faced by businesses in Massachusetts,” said Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Chamber.  “Shortening the audit cycle will help businesses avoid the significant expense that can accompany lengthy audits, while posting tax policies online monthly will give the business community an adequate opportunity to provide input before those policies are finalized.”

The House budget also included provisions enabling municipalities to change health plan features such as co-pays and deductibles without having to go through the collective bargaining process, a reform supported by the Chamber and a broad-based coalition, Mass Reform First.

“Giving local governments authority over the design of public employee health care plans will provide much-needed relief to cities and towns, where healthcare costs are wreaking havoc on municipal budgets,” added Guzzi.  “We are pleased that the Ways and Means Committee has taken this important step toward controlling health care costs and preserving municipal services.”

The Chamber will continue to advocate for the tax and municipal health care reforms included in the House budget, as well as for the range of proposals in its 2011 Public Policy Agenda, which is designed to make Massachusetts a more competitive place to do business and create jobs.  For more information on the Chamber and its Public Policy Agenda, please visit www.bostonchamber.com.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca joins 'This Week in Business: Game Time'

Yesterday on This Week in Business: Game Time, Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, joined host Paul Guzzi and NECN business reporter Peter Howe for a special business of sports show to discuss the Celtics' business model, talent, NBA league issues, and the push for a Bill Russell statue.



On the Business Beat, Paul and Peter discuss the expansion of for-profit health care in Massachusetts, the federal debate over the future of Medicare, Peter Meade's new post at the BRA, and a recent poll indicating that baby boomers plan to work longer.

Friday, April 8, 2011

On the Record: What a federal government shutdown could mean for MA

Last night, Chamber EVP Jim Klocke went 'On the Record' with NECN's Peter Howe to discuss Senate President Therese Murray's comments on health care costs and performance management during a Chamber forum yesterday; possible implications that a federal government shutdown could have on the state; and a recent MassBenchmarks economic prediction saying that Massachusetts recovery will be 'disappointingly slow.'

Photos from yesterday's forum with Senate President Therese Murray

Yesterday, the Commonwealth's Senate President Therese Murray addressed the Chamber's Government Affairs Forum at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Drawing a crowd of more than 300 members of the business community, Senate President Murray discussed her commitment to improving performance management of state government operations. She also received great questions from the audience on the recent nuclear hearing held at the State House, health care costs, and expanded gaming in the Commonwealth.

Click here to view photos from this event.

To hear a complete broadcast of this event,  tune in to WBUR 90.9 FM this Sunday, April 10, at 8:00pm. This event will also be available on Comcast On Demand's local programming.

Read press highlights from this event below:
Don't miss the next forum in the Government Affairs series with State Treasurer Steve Grossman on Thursday, May 12, at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Click here for more information or to register for this event.

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

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Video From Today's Government Affairs Forum with Senate President Therese Murray

Earlier today, Senate President Therese Murray addressed more than 300 Chamber members at the Government Affairs Forum. Watch her entire address below.

Read Senate President Therese Murray's Complete Government Affairs Forum Speech

BOSTON, MA - Senate President Therese Murray addresses the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Forum on April 7, 2011.

Senate President Therese Murray posted a copy of her address to the Government Affairs Forum on her Facebook page this morning. Read the entire speech by clicking here.

We will post video of the Senate President Therese Murray's address - including the audience Q&A - later today. Pictures from the breakfast will also be made available for download on the Chamber's online photo album.

Paul Guzzi's Weekly Interview on WBZ-AM

President & CEO Paul Guzzi
After this morning's Government Affairs Forum with Senate President Therese Murray, Chamber president Paul Guzzi shared his thoughts on the program with WBZ NewsRadio's Greg Jensen. Paul also talks about some of the business stories in the news this week, including Google's donation to the Museum of Science.

Listen to the audio below. The interview will play throughout the day on WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030.



 


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bob and Myra Kraft and Kraft Family: 2011 Inductees into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians


On May 3, the Greater Boston Chamber will host the 2011 Annual Meeting and Dinner one of the largest gatherings of business leaders in the region. 

Each year since 1983, the Chamber has had the privilege of inducting some of Greater Boston's most accomplished leaders into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians. This year, the Chamber will honor Robert & Myra Kraft and the Kraft Family for their outstanding accomplishments as business leaders and their significant philanthropic contributions to the Greater Boston community.

The Kraft Group is privately owned and family-operated, employing more than 5,000 people.  Led by Robert Kraft and sons Jonathan and Daniel, the company does business in more than 80 countries with tens of thousands of customers, and is comprised of manufacturing and distribution facilities, executive office buildings, and sports stadiums located on four continents, including the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. 

Beyond their business ventures, Robert and Myra and the entire Kraft family are committed to giving back through their family foundation and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.  From Myra’s role as chair of the United Way to Robert’s involvement with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and son Joshua’s leadership of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, the family has donated its time and more than $120 million to support education, healthcare, women’s issues, youth sports, and Israeli causes.  Partners HealthCare, Harvard Business School, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Children's Hospital Boston, The Boston Foundation, and Columbia University’s Kraft Center for Jewish Living are just a few examples of institutions that have benefited from the Kraft family’s time and generous philanthropic efforts. 

To read more about our Distinguished Bostonians, click here. To view a complete list of the Chamber’s Academy of Distinguished Bostonians, click here. 

In addition, the Chamber’s 2011 Annual Meeting will feature a very special Keynote Speaker:  Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough. 

Visit the Annual Meeting & Dinner online page to register. Corporate tables are still available.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2011 Small Business of the Year Awards

CALLING ALL SMALL BUSINESSES!

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce will honor the region's top 10 small and growing businesses later this year at the 2011 Small Business of the Year Awards

2011 Applications Due:
Monday, April 25
Click here to download the 2011 Application

Applications for the 2011 Small Business of the Year Awards are now being accepted! Applicants should be a for-profit business enterprise located in Greater Boston with annual gross revenues over $1 million. Click here to download the 2011 application.

Now in its 27th year, the Small Business of the Year Awards will honor the top ten small and high growth businesses that demonstrate achievement in management, workplace excellence, product innovation, and social responsibility and have a commitment to growing here in the Greater Boston region. 

The Small Business of the Year Awards are open to all businesses in Greater Boston who meet the eligibility criteria - regardless of Chamber membership status. If you know of a business worthy of consideration, please help spread the word! 

To be considered, download the application and return the completed form to the Chamber by Monday, April 25.

If you have any questions about the nomination process, please contact Ali Pincus-Jacobs, director of programs.

Boston's Future Leaders Spend a Day at Harvard Business School

As part of the Chamber Leadership Initiative, the Boston's Future Leaders program is in its 7th year of providing the leaders of tomorrow with a platform a platform for professional development and significant opportunities for growth and exposure.

Recently, the 2011 Boston’s Future Leaders class participated in a 1 ½ day program at Harvard Business School entitled “Business Leaders as Social Value Creators.” The 80 members of the 2011 class used case studies on Timberland and Goldman Sachs to explore the important issue of Corporate Social Responsibility and how it can be enacted in today’s business environment. In addition, Professor Dutch Leonard led the class through Ernest Shackleton’s journey to the South Pole as a lesson on leadership in crisis. This case led to a lively discussion on this important and timely topic!

In between case studies and class discussion, participants had ample time for networking over dinner and connecting through small discussion groups. Overall, the 1 ½ days that the 2011 Boston’s Future Leaders class spend at HBS will provide a strong foundation for the rest of the program year.

Next Up… the Boston’s Future Leaders will have a “behind the scenes” look at Gillette/Procter & Gamble and hear from their local leadership team. Later in the year, the group will spend a day at Suffolk University Sawyer Business School on the topic of "Connecting Business and Government."

Nominations for the 2012 Boston's Future Leaders program will be available in September. The program is open to all Chamber member companies.

US economy adds jobs & a look at the real estate market on 'This Week in Business'

Yesterday on This Week in Business, John Hailer, president & CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss recent US job numbers and the strength of the economy, how the company was impacted by the disaster in Japan, and follow up from his trip to London as part of Governor Patrick's trade mission.



In the Briefing Room, Laurie Cadigan, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, and Joe Fallon, managing director of FHO Partners, joined to take a look at real estate market prospects for the spring season. The pair discuss whether or not it's a good time to buy or sell a home or to rent office space.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe joins to discuss a recent decision by Tufts and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to continue board compensation, a potential class-action suit against Wal-Mart, and the official start of baseball season. Go Sox!

Friday, April 1, 2011

State tax breaks & Zipcar's IPO 'On the Record'

Last night, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi went 'On the Record' with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss the decision by Tufts, Harvard Pilgrim to continue board compensation, the state's decision to approve $12 million in tax breaks to a half-dozen companies in Massachusetts, and Zipcar's IPO increase.