Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chamber urges state leaders to freeze unemployment insurance rates in 2012

The Chamber is working with a coalition of business groups for the passage of unemployment insurance (UI) rate relief legislation in Q1 of 2012. The groups have been lobbying state government leaders for such a bill, and this week the Chamber sent letters to House, Senate, and Patrick Administration officials urging them to enact it. The Chamber favors legislation freezing UI tax rates at Schedule E in 2012. Such legislation will help to support Massachusetts’ economic recovery, mitigate an obstacle to new hiring, and improve the overall business climate.

Massachusetts UI costs have long been among the very highest in the nation. Legislation is needed to avert a 31% premium spike or $220 average per employee rate increase in 2012, resulting from a UI rate increase from Schedule E to G that would be triggered under current law. Such a move which would substantially further the state’s cost disadvantage. By freezing UI rates at schedule E, Massachusetts can limit the average 2012 UI tax increase per employee and ensure that employers pay $529M less in UI taxes than they would have otherwise.

In response to advocacy by the Chamber and other leading business groups, the Legislature and Governor froze 2011 rates, delivering nearly $400M in savings to Massachusetts employers this year. Current economic forecasts and Trust Fund projections suggest that Massachusetts can afford to take similar action in the coming months – continuing to freeze rates at Schedule E in 2012 – without jeopardizing fund solvency or beneficiary payments. Doing so would provide immediate cost relief to Massachusetts employers at a time when such funds could be put to better use for hiring, construction, R&D, sales, and other business activities that will help to rebuild the state's economy. The Chamber will continue working, in collaboration with other business groups, to secure UI rate relief legislation in Q1 of 2012.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the Chamber!

Wishing all Chamber members a very happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

LAST CHANCE to Register for our Women's Network Breakfast

LAST CHANCE to register for the upcoming Women's Network Breakfast featuring Sheriff Andrea Cabral!

Don't miss the opportunity to hear from Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral, Esq. who is the 30th Sheriff of Suffolk County and the first female sheriff in Massachusetts’ history.

Date: Thursday, December 1
Time: 7:45 a.m. Registration & Networking
8:10 - 9:15 a.m. Program
Location: Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

See photos from our last Women's Network event with Barbara Reilly, here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Casino gaming legislation brings new industry to Massachusetts

Legislation to expand casino gaming in Massachusetts was signed into law by Governor Patrick on November 22nd. The expanded gaming bill authorizes the construction and operation of three geographically-dispersed destination casinos and one slot parlor, and establishes guidelines for a competitive bidding process for each operation. The Chamber has supported expanded gaming based on the job creation, economic development, and capital investment opportunities that casino facilities could bring to our state. The Chamber’s support for expanded gaming in Massachusetts was informed by extensive research, highlighted by its March 2008 independent study Casino Gaming in Massachusetts: An Economic, Fiscal & Social Analysis.

The anticipated benefits of this bill include driving regional investment and spinoff economic activity, creating jobs at a variety of wage and skill levels, and helping to close state and local budget gaps. In addition, the bill provides funding and regulatory provisions designed to mitigate the unintended social consequences often associated with gaming. The Chamber will continue to support the efforts of government and industry leaders to ensure that the state realizes the economic benefits associated with a measured and thoughtful expansion of casino gaming.

Casinos OFFICIALLY coming to MA!

Today, Governor Deval Patrick signed expanded gaming legislation, making casinos a legal enterprise in the state of Massachusetts. We have been strong supporters of expanded gaming as there promises to be significant job creation and revenue maximization benefits. We applaud the Governor for signing this legislation!

Read more details at State House News.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Did you miss our forum with John Hancock president Jim Boyle?

You can access an entire broadcast of our Executive Forum with Jim Boyle, president of John Hancock Financial, by simply clicking on the link below. During this forum, Boyle spoke about John Hancock's committment to this region and voiced a "call to action" for leaders in Washington.

This is brought to you by our media partner WBUR 90.9FM.

Save the Date: 2012 Pinnacle Awards


SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, January 26, 2012
from 11:45-1:30pm


Boston Marriott Copley Place

REGISTER HERE!

See photos from past Pinnacle Awards HERE.

Casinos in MA & holiday travel on This Week in Business

Yesterday on This Week in Business, Dr. Martin Romitti, Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, joined hosts Paul Guzzi and Mike Nikitas to discuss the economic implication of having casinos in Massachusetts.

In the Briefing Room, David Mackey, the interim CEO of Massport, joins to discuss Logan Airport’s terminal changes, the future of Worcester Airport, and the all-time record high 30 million passengers.



On the Business Beat, NECN business reporter Peter Howe addressed updates on the Occupy movement, the Supreme Court’s decision to consider the President’s healthcare law, the Governor’s trade trip to Chile and Brazil, and thoughts on the future of the NBA season.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Chamber is working for health care payment reform legislation to accelerate cost progress

In recent months, the health care market in Massachusetts has continued to evolve with the development of new tiered network products and new contracts between providers and payers, both of which are slowing the growth of health care costs. Accelerating that progress will be the focus of payment reform legislation taken up in 2012 at the State House.

The House and the Senate are currently working on their own payment reform bills; the Governor filed a bill earlier this year. The Chamber is continuing to work with leaders in the business, health care and government sectors for a bill that shifts health care payments away from the costly fee-for-service model towards bundled or global payments. Such payments enhance the coordination of health care services across multiple providers, and create incentives to deliver care more efficiently. Payment reform legislation should also include measures such as mandate reform that can make health care more affordable for small businesses and individuals buying coverage in Massachusetts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jobs, casinos & development On the Record

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Latoyia Edwards to discuss the state's jobs report for October, casinos coming to Massachusetts, and the development boom in Boston.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Barbara Reilly at our Women's Network Breakfast


Yesterday morning, Barbara Reilly of Arnold Worldwide spoke at a Women's Network Breakfast. Barbara Reilly gave seven steps of advice to the women in the audience, including the need for them to stop attempting to "balance" their home lives and their work lives, and instead to think of them as different pillars on which their life stands. To a very receptive audience, Barbara Reilly explained her journey to the top of her career, and the marketing world in which she works.

Check out more pictures from the event, HERE!


Don't miss the next Women's Network Breakfast featuring Sheriff Andrea Cabral of Suffolk County. It will be held December 1st at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. Registration and networking begins at 7:45am, the program begins at 8:10am.

REGISTER HERE!

Massachusetts Jobs Update: State adds 10,800 jobs

Below are highlights from this month's Massachusetts Jobs Update:
  • State added 10,800 jobs last month, bringing year-to-date job growth total to 45,500. State posted 1.6% job growth last 12 months, outpacing the U.S. rate of 1.2%.
  • State unemployment remained at 7.3%, posting its lowest monthly rate since January 2009 and remaining well below the U.S. rate of 9.0%.
  • Six of 12 regions added jobs last month, led by the addition of 3,300 jobs in the Cape Cod region. 11 of 12 regions added jobs year-over-year with strongest growth in the Greater Pittsfield, Merrimack Valley, and Worcester regions.
  • Education & Health Services (+4,700) posted largest monthly private sector job gain at the state level, followed by Financial Activities (+1,900) and Construction (+1,700).

     

Chamber Welcomes Enactment of Casino Legislation

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today welcomed enactment of legislation to expand casino gaming in Massachusetts, saying the bill brings the promise of creating jobs at a variety of wage and skill levels.

“The Chamber has been a consistent supporter of the gaming bill, motivated primarily by the prospect it brings of creating new jobs in Massachusetts,” said Paul Guzzi, President and CEO of the Chamber. “We applaud the Legislature for passing this legislation, which will also drive regional investment and spinoff activity while helping to close state and local budget gaps. In addition, we are pleased that the bill includes provisions to mitigate the unintended social consequences often associated with gaming.

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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Register Now for the Chamber's Holiday Reception!


2011 Annual Holiday Reception
December 7 -- 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
State Room Boston

60 State Street, 33rd Floor



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Business Editors join This Week in Business

On today's edition of 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 host Paul Guzzi and NECN business reporter Peter Howe to discuss Veteran's Day and a bill passed by the US Senate to help put our nation's veterans to work. The editors also weigh in on the status of the Super Committee's work to trim the nation's deficit, and the damaging October snow storm.


The editors are back in the Briefing Room to discuss Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's return to Boston and to share stories that their own papers are focuing on.



On the Business Beat, Paul and Peter weigh in on the banking crisis in Europe, Occupy Boston fatigue, and the recent presidential candidates debate.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Zuckerberg, Hospital Battle, & Debt, "On the Record"



Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss Mark Zuckerberg's official return to Boston and search for employees, current debt debates, and the hospital battles.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Paul Guzzi talks DC gridlock & Zuckerberg's return to Boston on WBZ Radio


President & CEO Paul Guzzi
Today, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi discussed John Hancock President Jim Boyle's address to the Chamber and remarks on gridlock in Washington; Boston Fed chief Eric Rosengren's comments on the importance of a highly-educated workforce; and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's return to Boston with WBZ NewsRadio's Rod Fritz.
Listen to the audio below.

The interview will play throughout the day on WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Did you miss our forum with Tom Brokaw?

Last week, we held a Government Affairs Forum with television broadcast legend Tom Brokaw. He spoke to more than 300 Chamber members on his new book "The Time of our Lives" and on important issues facing the nation. Follow the simple instructions above to access a complete broadcast of this program on Comcast's local On Demand channel!

We are now accepting applications for BFL & ELI!

The Chamber is now accepting applications for the 2012 class of Boston Future Leaders and Executive Leadership Institute. Please visit our website for more information!

Choose from the following nomination forms:


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

President of John Hancock, Jim Boyle speaks at today's Executive Forum

At this morning's Executive Forum, Jim Boyle, President of John Hancock Financial, explained why a globally successful company like John Hancock stays headquartered in Boston. While only 2% of their business comes from Massachusetts, Boyle explained that they maintain headquarters in Boston because "this is where the talent is."

Boyle then went on to discuss the need for change and the inevitability of change, as well as the current economic and political climate that institutions like his are currently facing. Boyle pointed to the Simpson-Bowles plan for deficit tax reduction, and warned that if the Super Committee doesn't meet their looming deadline, the country will face further loss in public confidence and more economic challenges.

Read more headlines from today's event:
See more photos from this event, here!

Missed this event? Listen to a complete broadcast on WBUR 90.9FM, this Sunday, November 13, at 8pm!

Thanks to Citibank for sponsoring this event!

LAST CHANCE to register for Member Orientation

LAST CHANCE to register for Member Orientation!

New Chamber members, as well as existing Chamber members who are interested in increasing their involvement, are invited to attend this free breakfast meeting!

This informative program will cover all of the opportunities available to you through your Chamber membership. You will leave this breakfast with new ideas for your company, as well as many new contacts.

Date: Wednesday, November 9
Time: 7:45 a.m. Registration & Networking
8:10 - 9:15 a.m. Program
Location: UMASS Club

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tom Brokaw receives standing ovation at our recent Government Affairs Forum



Television Journalist, Author, and Special Correspondent from NBC News, Tom Brokaw spoke to an audience of almost 400 members of the business and government communities at the Chamber on Friday. Brokaw explained to the Chamber's own Paul Guzzi the conversation he wants to have with America, explaining some of the ideas published in his newest book, The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation about America where he discusses "who we are, where we've been, and where we need to go now, to recapture the American dream." This captivating event ended in a standing ovation, and was detailed in the BBJ on Friday.

Read the BBJ's article on our recent event with Tom Brokaw: here!

VIEW PHOTOS FROM FRIDAY'S EVENT.

You will be able to find this event on Comcast OnDemand's local channel shortly!

Don't miss our next Government Affairs Forum with the City of Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino, on Tuesday, December 6th. Register here.

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

Chamber Intern Connect is looking for winter/spring internship postings!



Chamber Intern Connect has already started connecting students and Chamber Members through our online portal! Join your fellow Boston area companies like Northwestern Mutual, Wayfair, Citi, and Reebok, and post your winter/spring internships now!

Register and post with Chamber Intern Connect here!

LAST CHANCE to register for our Executive Forum with Jim Boyle and Member Orientation


LAST CHANCE to register for our Executive Forum with Jim Boyle!

This Tuesday, the Chamber will host Jim Boyle, President of John Hancock Financial Services, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel for an Executive Forum. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Boyle about the importance of continuous change during this difficult economic cycle.

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Time: 7:45am Registration & Networking, 8:10am-9:00am Program
Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

ALSO: Don't forget to register for Member Orientation to learn what opportunities are available for your company and employees through your Chamber membership!

This is a free program for all Chamber members, and will be held at the UMass Club at 225 Franklin St., 33rd Floor on this Wednesday, November 9th at 7:45am.

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!

Fed's Rosengren encourages the use of Chamber Intern Connect


In an article in the Boston Herald today, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren spoke about the current unemployment rate and its disparities within educational attainment and race. As stated in the article, Rosengren dispelled the argument that students aren’t learning the right skills to succeed in the workforce. He also stated, “Those with no high school diploma have less than half the median income, and those with just a high school diploma (no college experience) have about three-quarters of the median income. And those with professional degrees have more than twice the median income.”

As such, Rosengren encouraged the use of Chamber Intern Connect, a program that came out of the partnership between the Fed and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce which connects college students to Boston-area employers.

Read more at: BostonHerald.com

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winners of MassChallenge start-up competition join This Week in Business

On today's This Week in Business, winners of the MassChallenge $1 million start-up competition join host Mike Nikitas and NECN business reporter Peter Howe to share their stories and keys to success, and to comment on the challenges racing small businesses in today's economy.





On the Business Beat, Mike and Peter weigh in on the impact of "Snowtober," Bank of America's decision not to charge debit card fees, the official New Hampshire primary date, and bankruptcy for Filene's Basement.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hiring Veterans, Deficit Committee, and Bullhorn's Job Opportunity Index "On the Record"

Last night, Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi went On the Record with NECN's Mike Nikitas to discuss Governor Patrick's announcement of a task force to promote the benefits of hiring veterans, the deficit committee with the upcoming November 23rd deadline, and the newly announced Bullhorn Job Opportunity Index which found that the number of new job openings in MA has increased 9% so far this year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Paul Guzzi talks "Hire a Veteran," job openings & congressional debt commission on WBZ radio


President & CEO Paul Guzzi
Today, Chamber president & CEO Paul Guzzi discussed the Chamber's Boston's Future Leaders program, the Chamber's involvement in Governor Patrick's "Hire a Veteran Month" initiative, an update on the work of the congressional debt commission, a Bullhorn survey on job openings in the region, and news the Sanofi is moving jobs into Boston with WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby.

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

Missed some of our recent events? No problem!

On October 19, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray spoke to Chamber members at a Government Affairs Forum. In case you missed the event or want to refresh your memory, you can listen to a complete broadcase below that aired on WBUR 90.9FM.

DOWNLOAD the event file here.

On October 20, Vertex CEO Matt Emmens spoke to Chamber members at an Innovation Forum. In case you missed the event or want to refresh your memory, you can listen to a complete broadcast below that aired on WBUR 90.9F.

DOWNLOAD the event file here.

Chamber supports efforts to hire Massachusetts veterans

In early November, the Chamber joined the Patrick-Murray Administration and other business groups and associations to encourage their members to hire veterans in Massachusetts. It is critical that veterans receive re-employment and training opportunities as part of the range of services provided to them when they transition home. The Chamber is asking members to take an active role in providing re-employment opportunities to the dedicated men and women that have served our country.

Unemployment among veterans is disproportionately higher than the civilian population. Yet there are many benefits, including tax credits, available for companies that hire veterans. With 385,000 veterans currently residing in Massachusetts and an influx of veterans expected to return home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Patrick-Murray Administration is focused on educating employers about the value of hiring veterans.

The Chamber will continue to work the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services to provide resources to companies that may have employment opportunities for veterans. For more information about benefits and assistance available to firms hiring veterans, please contact Erin Trabucco, Policy Advisor, at 617-557-3744.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Paul Guzzi speaks at launch of "Hire a Veteran Month"

Earlier today, Governor Deval Patrick declared November 2011 as “Hire a Veteran Month” and announced new initiatives and resources to support the hiring of Massachusetts veterans, while increasing access to health care, transportation, education and housing services. Chamber CEO Paul Guzzi spoke at the event and voiced support on behalf of the business community.

Read more about this initiative here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

LAST CHANCE to register for our Government Affairs Forum with Tom Brokaw!


This Friday, the Chamber will host Tom Brokaw, Television Journalist, Author, and Special Correspondent for NBC News, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel for a Government Affairs Forum. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Brokaw about his latest work and newest book, The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation about America where he discusses "who we are, where we've been, and where we need to go now, to recapture the American dream."

Date: Friday, November 4, 2011
Time: 11:45 a.m. Registration & Networking; 12:10 - 1:30 p.m. Program
Location: Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE!