Monday, October 31, 2011

Wayfair CEO joins This Week in Business to discuss the growth of internet-only shopping

Yesterday on This Week in Business, Karl Case, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Wellesley College, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas. Case spoke about his belief that the nation’s housing market is flat, but could be worse.



In the Briefing Room, Wayfair Co-Founder & CEO Niraj Shah joined to discuss the rebanding of CSN Stores to Wayfair. Wayfair is one of the largest online retailers of home goods in the country. Shah also discussed his company's model, and the growth of the internet-only website.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe discussed President Obama’s student loan expansion plan, the Alexandria Center building project in Central Square, Governor Patrick’s trade trip to Brazil, IBM’s first female CEO, and the loss of Theo Epstein to the Cubs.

Join us for a conference call!

Please join our Public Policy Team for a conference call outlining:

The Chamber’s Fall Legislative Agenda
Wednesday, November 9
10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

The Chamber is hard at work on your behalf. Learn about the legislative landscape and our current priorities, including:

  • Tax Issues
                -- Chamber Tax Legislation
                -- DOR Reforms
                -- Tax Expenditure Commission

  • Economic Development
                -- Shadow Bill
                -- Waterfront Development

  • Preview of 2012
                -- Health Care Payment Reform
                -- Unemployment Insurance Costs

Please RSVP to Mary Kay at mkay@bostonchamber.com or simply dial in on Tuesday using the following information:

Conference Call Number: 1-888-394-8197
Conference Call Passcode: 922402

 We hope you will join us!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chamber working on tax issues on behalf of members

The Chamber is engaged in a number of tax policy issues with direct impact on the competitiveness of the state’s business climate.

Tax Expenditure Commission – The FY’12 state budget created a state government-led commission to evaluate and make recommendations on state tax, credits, deductions, and exemptions over the coming months. The commission met for the first time this past week to outline its goals and begin its work. The Chamber will continue to work with the commission to ensure that its work reflects the perspectives of the employer community and the need for a competitive business tax climate.

NOL Carry-Forward Tax Policy – The Chamber offered testimony at an October 27th Revenue Committee hearing in support of its bill to extend to financial institutions and utilities the ability to carry their losses forward for up to 20 years. Allowing these industries to carry their losses forward will improve the competitiveness of two key sectors of our economy, enabling them to pay taxes on their average profitability over time rather than on the boom-bust years.

DOR Guidance on Tax Policy Changes – The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) released draft guidance this month on tax changes contained in the FY’ 2012 state budget. Among those tax changes covered in this document are three tax administration reforms filed by the Chamber. The reforms are designed to 1) shorten the audit cycle length, 2) establish the same statute of limitations for assessments and abatements, and 3) provide taxpayers with earlier notice about potential tax policy changes being considered by the state before it takes any action on them. DOR regularly issues guidance documents to provide an explanation of statutory changes to tax policy, and an opportunity for public and practitioner comment on the regulatory implementation of such changes. The Chamber has worked with senior DOR officials since the enactment of these tax changes in order to ensure their proper implementation.

Greece’s debt, John Olver, & MassChallenge "On the Record"

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss European leaders reaching a deal to restructure Greece’s debt, the retirement of long-time Congressman John Olver, and the newly announced seventeen MassChallenge winners.

Chamber supports free trade agreements

The Chamber joined with a coalition of business groups in promoting the passage of three important U.S. free trade agreements (FTA) signed into law by President Obama this month. The coalition sent support letters to House and Senate leadership to advance trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama. The passage of these trade agreements will open important new export markets for Massachusetts companies in a variety of industries including technology and innovation sectors, by eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services; increasing regulatory fairness through improved transparency and accountability, and; providing strong protection for intellectual property.

The Chamber has long supported federal policies designed to expand Massachusetts companies’ access to international markets. This spring, the Chamber hosted a senior U.S. State Department official at a meeting of its public policy committees on the topic of building support for the three then-pending trade agreements. In addition, the Chamber has lobbied the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to support these and other proposed trade agreements in recent years in an effort to promote the region’s long-term growth and competitiveness in the global economy.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paul Guzzi talks GDP & MassChallenge on WBZ radio


President & CEO Paul Guzzi
Today, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi discussed the nation's Q3 GDP growth, the winners of this year's MassChallenge competition, and Freddie Mac CEO Ed Halemen's recent comments on the foreclosure crisis with WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby.

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


Chamber Testifies on H 2560

Tim Sweeney of the Chamber testified today in front of the Joint Committee on Revenue, supporting H 2560, an act to extend net operating losses to banks and utilities. As part of his testimony, Tim explained that this bill would give companies in these industries the same ability to utilize losses as is currently provided to business corporations in Massachusetts, and all industries in most U.S. states. The Chamber believes this bill will create a more stable and competitive tax climate and will level the playing field for these two key Massachusetts industries.

Massachusetts Jobs Update -- September 2011

Below are highlights from our September 2011 jobs update:
  • State shed 2,300 jobs last month, bringing year-to-date job growth total to 37,900. State posted 1.5% job growth in the last 12 months, outpacing the U.S. rate of 1.1%.
  • State unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.3%, posting its lowest rate since January 2009 and remaining well below the U.S. rate of 9.1%.
  • Four of 12 regions added jobs last month, led by the addition of 10,700 jobs in Greater Boston. Nine of 12 regions added jobs year-over-year with strongest growth in the Greater Pittsfield and Worcester regions.
  • Information (+5,200) posted largest monthly private sector job gain at the state level, followed by Profession & Business Services (+1,500), and Education & Health Services (+500).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Access Lt. Gov. Tim Murray's address to the Chamber on Comcast OnDemand!

ATTENTION ALL COMCAST SUBSCRIBERS! Last week's Government Affairs Forum with the Commonwealth's Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray can now be viewed on Comcast OnDemand's local channel. Follow the simple instructions above to water this terrific program!

Globe Publisher Chris Mayer joins This Week in Biz to discuss launch of bostonglobe.com

Yesterday on This Week in Business, Barry Bluestone, Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Politics at Northeastern University, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss the recent Massachusetts job numbers and to talk about the health of the regional economy. He also shares details of a new collective bargaining framework that he has been working on.



In the Briefing Room, Boston Globe Publisher Chris Mayer joins to discuss the evolution of the newspaper industry and the recent launch of bostonglobe.com.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe joins to discuss retail closings at Lowe's, the Gap, and Filene's Basement. He also weighs in on changes at the US Post Office and enrollment figures at Massachusetts' public colleges and universities.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Learn more about Little Sprouts on NECN!

Our 2011 Small Business of the Year, Little Sprouts, was featured on New England Business Day last night on NECN. Check out the interview below.

Jobs, Vertex growth, energy efficiency & transportation "On the Record"

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Latoyia Edwards to discuss recently released state jobs data, Federal Reserve Beige Book survey findings, Vertex CEO Matt Emmens' address to the Chamber, Massachusetts' national energy efficiency ranking, and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray's $50 million transportation project.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paul Guzzi talks state jobs numbers on WBZ Radio


President & CEO Paul Guzzi
Today, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi discussed the state's most recent jobs data, Vertex CEO Matt Emmens' remarks at a Chamber forum, the Federal Reserve Beige Book survey & Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray's transportation announcement with WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby.

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


CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Matt Emmens speaks to Chamber on innovation and pharmacy


This morning, Matt Emmens, CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, addressed Chamber members at an Innovation Forum. Emmens spoke about some of the best practices of Vertex as a worldwide innovator in pharmaceuticals, alongside the difficulties faced by the industry. The Chamber would like to thank Weber Shandwick for sponsoring this event.

VIEW PHOTOS FROM TODAY'S EVENT.


Don't miss our upcoming Executive Forum with Jim Boyle, President of John Hancock Financial Services, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel on Tuesday, November 8th. Register here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray speaks to Chamber on transportation agenda

This morning, the Commonwealth's Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray addressed Chamber members at a Government Affairs Forum. With more than 300 people in attendance, Lieutenant Governor Murray spoke about the Administration's committment to the state's transportation infrastructure. He also announced the Commonwealth's approval of $50 million in funding for public infrastructure improvements at Fan Pier.

VIEW PHOTOS FROM TODAY'S EVENT.

To listen to a complete broadcast of this forum, tune into WBUR 90.9FM at 8:00pm this Sunday, October 23. You can also find this event on Comcast OnDemand's local channel.


Don't miss our next Government Affairs Forum with Tom Brokaw, television journalist, author, and special correspondent for NBC News, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel on Friday, November 4. Register here.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Business editors weigh in on "Occupy" Boston

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 joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss the "Occupy" protest movement across the nation.



In the Briefing Room, the editors are back to discuss the business implications of the NBA lockout and they share stories that their own papers are focusing on.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan, the release of the iPhone 4S, and the Blackberry service outages.

Chamber Testifies on the Shadow Bill

This afternoon, the Chamber's Jim Klocke and Erin Trabucco were present at the State House for a hearing on H.1169, An Act Protecting Sunlight in Certain Parks.

The Chamber is concerned about the negative impact H.1169 will have on development in Boston. H.1169 would block important development projects by prohibiting construction or redesign of many structures that would cast a new shadow on a number of public parks in and near downtown Boston. The language of the bill prohibits all new shadows between the first hour of sunrise or 7am and the last hour before sunset. As a result, any development or redevelopment project that casts a slight shadow for only minutes beyond the designated time frame during the shortest days of the year could not be built. Many potential projects would be blocked – resulting in lost jobs, lost property taxes, and less housing.

Additionally, H.1169 would set a bad precedent for ceding local municipal control to the Commonwealth. Local authorities are best suited to weigh the needs of the community while making decisions on proposed development projects. New development projects may be used to bring much needed revenue to cities and towns. City officials should be able to determine whether or not the benefits of a proposed project outweigh any negative impact. For example, property taxes collected from new construction may be used to maintain public parks. Under this legislation, a proposed project that could bring much needed revenue to the city and directly benefit public parks may not be built if it cast a slight shadow on one of the named parks. Such shadows include even those that would go unnoticed by park visitors, and those that would have no detrimental effect on the growth or longevity of the parks.

The Chamber is also concerned about the potential impact H.1169 will have on the environment. If development height is limited, development will be spread out, leading to less open space. Additionally, this bill could limit new housing developments. An expansion of available housing within the city would lead to less traffic congestion as more people will be able to walk to work or utilize public transportation.

Executive Leadership Institute



This morning, the 2011 Executive Leadership Institute met for a briefing at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Martin Feldstein, the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and Former Chief Economic Advisor to President Reagan, spoke on the U.S. economy and prospects for near-term growth.

The Executive Leadership Institute is an opportunity for a select group of senior executive business leaders from a wide array of the region's leading industries to engage in high-level discourse and learning on the critical issues of innovation, leadership, and globalization and how they impact businesses in Greater Boston in the 21st century.

Click here to view a complete set of photos from this event.

In collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, we thank our sponsor, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chamber working to preserve & enhance state-level housing production policies

The Chamber is working to preserve and enhance state-level housing production policies in an effort to strengthen Massachusetts’ ability to attract and retain talented workers, and improve the quality of life for those who live and work here.

Chapter 40B – The Chamber offered testimony at an October 11th Housing Committee hearing in support of Chapter 40B, a valuable state-level affordable housing production law. Massachusetts’ future economic growth will be impacted by its ability to maintain an adequate supply of housing that a) workers of all income ranges can afford, and b) is sited near job locations. The Chamber urged the committee to oppose legislation that would weaken or undermine this important housing law.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit – The Chamber also worked with CHAPA (Citizens Housing and Planning Association) to help secure a temporary increase in the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in the supplemental budget bill. The bill, signed by Governor Patrick last week, increased the LIHTC cap by $10M in each of the next two years. This increase will promote private investment in the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing, and will leverage significant federal HUD awards for two key projects in Greater Boston region.

CHAMBER LAUDS JOBS BENEFITS OF CASINO LEGISLATION

Press Release:
CHAMBER LAUDS JOBS BENEFITS OF CASINO LEGISLATION

Boston, MA (October 13, 2011) – The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today reaffirmed its support for legislation passed by the Massachusetts Senate to expand casino gaming in Massachusetts, saying the bill brings the promise of creating jobs at a variety of wage and skill levels.

“As we have stated consistently throughout the debate on this issue, the Chamber believes the gaming bill will drive regional job growth, investment, and spinoff economic activity across Massachusetts, while helping to close state and local budget gaps,” said Paul Guzzi, President and CEO of the Chamber. “We applaud the Senate for passing this important legislation and hope the Conference Committee will move quickly in sending a final bill to the Governor.”

The Chamber’s support for expanded gaming in Massachusetts has been informed by extensive research, highlighted by its March 2008 independent study Casino Gaming in Massachusetts: An Economic, Fiscal & Social Analysis. Based on these findings and related research, the Chamber has used the following criteria to evaluate proposals to expand gaming in the Commonwealth:
• Job creation – promoting immediate job preservation and longer-term job creation;
• Revenue maximization – generating substantial short- and long-term licensing fees and gaming tax revenue to the state;
• Tourism impact – capitalizing on the state’s existing visitor base while providing economic stimulus and revitalization to regions across the state; and
• Social impact – mitigating and helping to address the unintended social consequences often associated with expanded gaming.

“As an economic development organization, we are particularly pleased by the law’s prospect of creating a variety of new jobs,” added Guzzi.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Highlights from our Small Business of the Year Awards!








Yesterday, we hosted our 2011 Small Business of the Year Awards where we honored ten outstanding small businesses. During the event, honorees shared advice for other small businesses looking to grow in today's economy, talked a bit about the work of their own company, and shared their definitions of success. The event was emceed by NECN's Mike Nikitas.

View our event photo gallery on Boston.com and check out this Boston Globe article.


Thanks to our event sponsors: CBIZ Tofias, Sovereign Bank, and The Boston Globe.

On the Record: Chamber honors top small businesses

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Latoyia Edwards to discuss the Massachusetts Senate passing casino legislation, the Chamber's Small Business of the Year Awards, and the "Occupy" Boston protests.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don't miss tomorrow's Small Business of the Year Awards!

It's time! Our 2011 Small Business of the Year Awards luncheon is being held tomorrow at 12pm at The Colonnade Hotel. We hope you will join us in celebrating 10 outstanding small businesses and the impact that they have on Greater Boston's business and civic community. REGISTER HERE!

Our 2011 honorees are:
  • Little Sprouts *Our 2011 Small Business of the Year*
  • Baystate Financial Services
  • Burtons Grill
  • Charles River Apparel
  • Enzymatics
  • Get In Shape for Women
  • Hollister
  • IdeaPaint
  • Lupoli Companies
  • WHERE, Inc.
Learn more about our honorees HERE.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jobs data, Steve Jobs' legacy & Occupy Wall Street on "This Week in Business"

Sunday on This Week in Business, Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist for IHS Global Insight, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss the latest national jobs data and other economic indicators.



In the Briefing Room, Alan McKim, Chairman, President & CEO of Clean Harbors, joined to discuss the growth of the company and their work cleaning up some of the nation's largest disasters.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe weighs in on the legacy of Steve Jobs, the Occupy Wall Street protest, and the NBA lockout.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs, Mass. State Taxes, & Raytheon's Gift "On the Record"

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss the somber death of the courageous Steve Jobs. He also discussed taxes in Massachusetts, up 9% as of September, and Raytheon's $1 million gift to the Museum of Science.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

John Fish speaks to Boston's Future Leaders class

Yesterday, the Chamber’s Boston’s Future Leaders group had the opportunity to gather with members of the Chamber's Board of Directors for our annual “Leaders Connect” Luncheon. Our future leaders sat at tables with board members and had the opportunity for networking, connecting and informal mentoring opportunities.

In addition, John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. joined the group as the keynote speaker. John’s remarks were focused on the idea of taking advantage of the economic crisis to turn it into an opportunity to change the way that you do things, take risks and think differently. John encouraged the group to think about the following question as they continue on their own paths to leadership: What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Click here to view photos from this event.

Chamber testifies at hearing on child care unionization legislation

Yesterday, the Chamber’s Erin Trabucco testified before the Joint Committee on Public Service in opposition to H.1671, An Act to Improve Quality in Early Education Care Centers. H.1671 creates a statewide bargaining unit for center-based child care employees and directors. All child care centers that have at least one contract for subsidized care or receive a public subsidy are subject to the provisions of this bill. This legislation would make the Department of Early Education and Care the management party, removing actual employers from the collective bargaining process. For the purpose of bargaining with the Department of Early Education and Care, private employees would become state employees. The passage of H.1671 would set a bad precedent by subjecting private employers to overreaching governmental controls.

This bill would create unnecessary interference in center based child care settings and initiate bad public policy. Additionally, H.1671 creates a disincentive for centers to provide subsidized care as this legislation only applies to centers with at least one subsidized child. Mandating bargaining on matters such as retirement benefits and health benefits would drive up costs and reduce the amount of available slots at child care centers.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

LAST CHANCE to register for our Women in Media Panel!

This Thursday, the Chamber's Women's Network will host a "Women in Media" panel discussion at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from this accomplished panel, and get first-hand perspectives on the significant role that women play in various facets of the media industry. The panel will also discuss the evolution of media and the positioning of women, share their personal career experiences, and discuss the importance of shaping the next generation of female leaders within the industry.
 
This event will feature:

Moderator
Suzanne Bates
CEO, Bates Communications
Author, Discover Your CEO Brand, Speak Like a CEO, and Motivate Like a CEO

Panelists
Lisa DeSisto
Chief Advertising Officer, The Boston Globe
General Manager, Boston.com

Latoyia Edwards
Primetime News Anchor, NECN

Laura Fitton
Founder, oneforty.com
Co-Author, Twitter for Dummies

Candy O’Terry
Radio Personality, MAGIC 106.7
Co-Host, Exceptional Women

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Paul Guzzi named one of BBJ's Power 50

The Boston Business Journal recently released it's "Power 50" list, a list of the region's most influential business people in 2011. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR OWN PAUL GUZZI for making this year's list--which will be featured in a special supplement in the BBJ's October 28 issue.

Click here to see this year's Power 50.

BPS Superintendent Carol Johnson joins This Week in Business

Yesterday on This Week in Business, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson joined host Paul Guzzi and NECN business reporter Peter Howe to discuss proposed changes to the national No Child Left Behind law and how they will impact the city's schools.



In the Briefing Room, Joeseph McLaughlin, senior research associate at Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies, joined to discuss the center's recently released report that paints a picture of the real unemployment landscape in Massachusetts and across the country.


On the Business Beat, Paul and Peter discuss some of the big business stories on the week, including Boeing's 787 Dreamliner coming to New England, Bank of America's new fee, and Friendly's bankruptcy filing.