Chamber Leads on Regional Initiatives

The Metro South Chamber of Commerce and the Metro South Regional Economic Development Organization (MSREDO) have made substantial progress on a number of regional initiatives this year that will help promote the economic vitality of the Metro South region by competitively positioning the region and spreading awareness of the region’s value proposition.

• Brockton Fairgrounds Land Use Study:  The Metro South Chamber of Commerce has contracted Dan Hodge, former research director of the UMass Donahue Institute, to conduct a study of the 65 acre Brockton Fairgrounds.  The Brockton Fairgrounds was the site of the $677 million Mass Gaming & Entertainment destination casino proposal recently rejected by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.  Hodge is now investigating alternative uses for the primarily dormant land. Among the industry sectors being researched for use are life sciences, entertainment, law enforcement agencies, and secondary tribal land held in trust.

• Life Sciences:  The Chamber/MSREDO continues to encourage towns to achieve higher levels of bio-ready designations and promotes development ready sites and regional assets to attract life science companies. The Chamber will host Travis McCready, CEO of the Massachusetts Life Science Center at a Good Morning Metro South program in October.  The Chamber will also be distributing the CONNECT study investigating a Life Science Training & Education Center  in Taunton, as well as the South Coast Life Science study to establish an Advanced Biomedical Manufacturing Training Center in New Bedford.  Both studies were developed using market research of Metro South.

• Creative Economy: The Chamber, designated as a Massachusetts Creative Economy Network leader, continues to support job creation through the arts.  The Chamber/MSREDO connects artists with manufacturers to develop new products and revenue streams.  The Chamber/MSREDO recently met with Steve Torrey & Associates, the developer of the Stacy Adams Cultural Arts Center at 33 Dover Street, to discuss marketing of the 84 creative economy workspaces and gallery space at the Center.  The Chamber/MSREDO also helps to market the Enso Flats/Enso Gallery space.

• Promoting Metro South:  The Chamber/MSREDO has hosted 6 “Community Day Visits” in Avon, Brockton, Easton and West Bridgewater.  During these day long tours, elected officials and Massachusetts Office of Business Development representatives visited Metro South businesses to meet with the business owners that drive the region’s economy. The Chamber/MSREDO also participated in numerous co-op advertisements with the Southeastern Massachusetts Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as well as the Plymouth and Bristol County Development Councils, updated the Brockton Information Boards and will be redesigning and printing 15,000 copies of the Metro South Regional Map.

• In Addition:The Chamber/MSREDO has assisted over 70 companies with site location, referrals and permitting for projects representing an investment of over $143 million and the creation of over 550 jobs.  The Chamber/MSREDO successfully advocated for lower commercial tax rates in Brockton and in Avon (over the past 3 years).  The Chamber/MSREDO also continues to distribute the CSX Rail yard Land Study,Regional/Water Sewer Authority Study, and Metro South Branding study as well as information on the SEED Corp Brockton Micro-Loan Program and commercial site-finder; all products of MSREDO initiatives. Look for updates on all of these projects and more in future Action Report newsletters.

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