Rep. Dykema Convenes Regional Economic Developmen​t Discussion

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Tuesday Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) convened the regional economic development committees from across the 8th Middlesex District of Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Southborough and Westborough for a discussion of how local towns and the state can work together to grow the MetroWest economy and create jobs.

“Each of the communities in the district have active initiatives around economic development. I thought it would be helpful to bring the groups together to share ideas and information, and to get a better understanding of the common concerns each town faces and how the state can help,” said Representative Dykema.

The aim of this consortium is to provide local economic development committees with state resources, encourage dissemination of this information in the five member communities, and provide a forum for economic development committees to raise issues of concern to the attention of legislators.

“This was an exceptional forum and opportunity to learn from each other on how best to retain and attract business,” said Christopher Robbins, Economic Development Team from Southborough. “Working together at all levels is critical for strengthening the economic vitality of our communities and reducing the residential tax burden. As the state is now working to reduce business regulations it is now the turn of local boards to work collaboratively with business in streamlining the permitting process. It is important that we create centers and cultures of customer service in our town halls where all taxpayers are welcomed, helped, thanked and encouraged to invest in our communities.”

“As a small business owner in MetroWest and a member of the Holliston Board of Selectman, I am very appreciative of Rep. Dykema taking the lead on bringing together local business owners and municipal leaders to share their experiences and challenges as we all work together to keep the economic engine of MetroWest moving forward,” said Jay Marsden, Chair of the Holliston Board of Selectmen and member of the Holliston Business Association. “I look forward to sharing some of the State resources discussed with the Holliston Economic Development Committee, to help them carry out their mission of bringing more business to Holliston.”

The group was presented an overview of the 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan, a regional plan based on information provided by the towns that will allow the state to prioritize infrastructure funds in areas that the towns support for growth. Arthur Robert, Regional Director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, explained the agency’s role in working directly with businesses to help them “say yes to MetroWest”.

“As the region’s public-private economic development council, the 495/MetroWest Partnership applauds Representative Dykema for convening these municipalities’ economic development committees to discuss common interests and needs,” said Paul Matthews, executive director of the 495/MetroWest Partnership. Municipal volunteers and officials in Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Southborough and Westborough are doing a tremendous job on economic development during some very challenging times, and so this discussion provided a great opportunity for them to share best practices and potential collaborations.”

Other topics raised by representatives from the towns included reviewing permitting processes, the importance of outreach from town officials to prospective, new and existing businesses, and the need for investment in infrastructure to support growth.