Chamber Convenes Regional Roundtable for Priorities

In an effort to encourage regional collaboration, the Metro South Chamber of Commerce recently convened a Regional Roundtable Discussion, bringing together regional town managers, chairmen, and affiliates into one room. The forum provided an opportunity for municipal leaders to connect, share areas of interest and concern, and learn about some of the Chamber’s current regional initiatives. owns in attendance included Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Easton, Halifax, Hanson, Holbrook, Randolph, Stoughton, West Bridgewater, and Whitman. Topics of discussion included water/wastewater supply, business Site Finder services, new regional brand, Economic development, transportation & infrastructure, and more.

Regional Branding Study:
• Commissioned Connelly Partners (agency also contracted by the state) to establish Metro South as recognized entity with positive perceptions
• Region benefits by combining strengths of each community, i.e. resources, attractions
• Towns encouraged to adopt brand, replacing “Metro South”, with their town name (used in conjunction with Metro South logo)
• Marketing ideas: post cards, maps, advertisements, radio & tv spots, speeches

Water/Sewer Study:
•Chamber commissioned UMass Donahue Institute to conduct a study on the creation of a regional  water/sewer authority
• Goal to increase competitiveness and sustainability, achieve greater water-rate stability,  make rates consistent among communities, and improve infrastructure & water quality
• Phase I – Complete: Includes key findings from interviews with local experts, regional water and sewer data for the Metro South region, and similar case studies
• Phase II – Underway: Will focus observations and policy recommendations regarding Metro South water and sewer collaborations

CSX Railyard Study:
• Commissioned UMass Donahue Institute to conduct study of underutilized 35 acre rail yard site in downtown Brockton to determine its best potential use
• Referred to developers & City
• Redevelopment of land will lead to job creation, tax revenue and revival of the area

Metro South SiteFinder:
• Created to connect developers with available commercial properties within the Metro South region.  Also lists spaces for lease.
• Main User Features:
1) Submit a property with full listing info, photos and attachments  2) Search through properties by criteria such as town, size, purpose, etc  3) Submit information on type of property being sought and Chamber will match you
• Towns encouraged to promote website by posting properties,  promoting to developers, and posting sitefinder button with link on town website

Creative Economy:
• Designation received by MA Office of Housing & Economic Development
• Promote arts as a vehicle for economic development through exposure, access to space, access to capital, growing talent, and business support
• Initiatives include connecting manufacturers with artists;  Focus on Job Creation
• Metro South towns encouraged to get involved- submit lists to Chamber of artists and gallery space for collaborative events, promotion, & tourist/business attraction.

Economic Development:
• Supported developments that affect the region, including Downtown  Brockton Regional Higher Education Facility and redevelopment of Brockton Enterprise Block.
• Organized tour of Downtown Brockton to highlight new developments and buildings, with additional tours planned

For more information on any studies, contact Alison van Dam, Vice President Business Development at 508.586.0500 x227, avandam@metrosouthchamber.com.

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