Mass Business Blog

Providing Perspectives on Massachusetts Business and Economy

Aaron Portnoy to Speak at Worcester Economic Club

The Worcester Economic Club (WEC) announced today that Aaron Portnoy, a world-renowned computer security expert, has been booked as one of its speakers of the 2014-2015 WEC Speaker Series. Portnoy is featured on the July 21, 2014 cover of TIME Magazine’s “World War Zero: How Hackers Fight to Steal Your...

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Worcester, MA Ranked Among Nation’s Worst for Small Bu...

Popular Science writer George Iles once said that hope is like faith holding out its hand in the dark. That is pretty much how the small business community of Worcester feels after two recent surveys. One of the surveys, which was conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in partnership with professional services directory thumbtack.com,...

Aaron Portnoy to Speak at Worcester Economic Club

The Worcester Economic Club (WEC) announced today that Aaron Portnoy, a world-renowned computer security expert, has been booked as one of its speakers of the 2014-2015 WEC Speaker Series. Portnoy is featured on the July 21, 2014 cover of TIME Magazine’s “World War Zero: How Hackers Fight to Steal Your Secrets.” In today’s era of privacy concerns...

Are Employee-Owned Companies the Future of Business in MA?

Boston-based Harpoon Brewery announced last week that 48% of the company will be sold back to its employees by August 1st, forming an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that will act as a trust for all of Harpoon Brewery’s employees. Harpoon is one of the larger craft breweries and, with a steady annual growth of 12%, is expanding market...

Has the Massachusetts Economy Turned the Corner?

With one of the worst hit economies in the United States during the banking crisis of 2008, Massachusetts has had a long slog of it during recent years. However, certain statistics seem to indicate that the economy of the state is turning around. Currently under 6%, Massachusetts has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States....

Boston’s Real Estate Market – Too Hot for Startu...

As far as commercial real estate markets go, Boston is among the best in the country. According to real estate research firm Reis Inc., the retail-vacancy rate fell 10 basis points in the past three months, and the city is now tied with Austin as the 12th best in the nation. What does this mean for start-ups who want a piece of the thriving...

Massachusetts Tax Holiday – Setting Up for Boom or Bus...

A two day tax holiday is being promoted in Massachusetts in an attempt to increase sales and drive the economy. It is the belief of many, both in government and in the business community, that this small break in taxes will increase sales and be beneficial to the economy. However, not all business owners are sure if they are in favor of this type...

Are Non-Compete Clauses Fair?

An increasing number of employment contracts are including a non-compete clause, and that has sparked a legitimate debate. Most non-compete clauses say that a person cannot work for a company in a similar industry for one to two years after leaving their employment. Is that fair? Let’s look at both sides of the argument. A Non-Compete...

Should Cape Wind Receive $150 million Federal Loan Guarantee...

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it will grant a $150 million loan to advance the Cape Wind energy project in Massachusetts, provided backers can secure an additional $2.6 billion in financing. If successfully built, Cape Wind will consist of 130 wind turbines capable of producing 360 megawatts of electrical power. The project has...

Should Partners HealthCare System be Allowed to Acquire More...

A three week comment period has been ordered by a Suffolk Superior Court Judge before a final ruling permitting or denying a settlement between Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and the giant Partners Healthcare System. The proposed deal allows Partners Healthcare to expand in size by acquiring three hospitals while hiring more...

Did the $525,000,000 Massachusetts Poured Into Biotech Gener...

Yes? No? Maybe? The state of Massachusetts has spent $525 million encouraging the development of the state’s biotech industry, just over half of the $1 billion budgeted for this purpose. This public investment is being applied to grants, tax breaks and business loans for companies planning on moving to Massachusetts or expanding their...

Is Refugee Resettlement Good for Mass. Businesses?

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the effectiveness of refugee resettlement programs that the federal government employs to settle refugees in the United States. Earlier this month, Dominic Sarno, mayor of the Massachusetts city of Springfield, wrote to prominent Massachusetts politicians urging a moratorium on resettlements in...

Should the New Pro Soccer Stadium be in Boston?

The New England Revolution is on the search for a new stadium to call home, and Boston might just be it. While some soccer fans are eager to see this stadium come to town, especially as the sport becomes increasingly popular in American society, others are saying that the city already has enough traffic and congestion. Building the stadium in...

Mass Raises Minimum Wage to Highest in U.S.

In the aftermath of the Obama administration’s failure to garner sufficient support for a federal minimum wage increase, some states are taking action on their own – including Massachusetts. State Governor Patrick has signed a measure that would raise the state’s minimum wage to eleven USD hourly by year 2017. Although this will...

Northborough-based Aspen Aerogels (ASPN) Closes Above IPO Pr...

Aspen Aerogels, a Northborough-based company specializing in aerogel insulation, has had their stock price rebound. With products used throughout the energy sector for everything from heat buffering to cryogenic insulation, Aspen Aerogels put out an initial public offering (IPO) on June 13th, 2014. Their initial opening price was $11.00 on 6.67...

Massachusetts Named in Top 3 Lowest CO2 Emitters per Unit of...

Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York were named the three lowest emitters of CO2 per unit of economic output this month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The announcement was made in conjunction with the release by the Environmental Protection Agency of new rules designed to encourage states nationwide to reduce their carbon...

President Obama to Speak at High School Graduation

In an effort to draw attention to an educational success story as well as highlight the need for continuing development of a manufacturing and technical workforce, President Barack Obama will be speaking to this year’s Worcester Technical High School graduating class this afternoon. “The school’s combination of rigorous academics and hands-on...

Great Wolf Lodge Provides Jobs for Central Mass

Great Wolf Resorts’ first New England Location will be one of the biggest providers of new jobs in the region, reported the Boston Business Journal. The Wisconsin-based operator of hotels with indoor water parks is targeted to open its Fitchburg location on June 1. Great Wolf invested $66 million in the project, including the acquisition of a...

A Snapshot of Mass. Manufacturing Translates Across State

By Bill DiBenedetto, President, Lampin Corporation In October the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation released a study on advanced manufacturing in the Berkshire region of the Commonwealth. Although Lampin is located in nearby Blackstone Valley, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, the environment of the Berkshires is similar...

Ivy Corset Building in Worcester Increases Energy Efficiency

With lighting costs being a significant percentage of energy costs, it’s important for buildings to update outdated and energy-wasting luminaires. Access Fixtures achieved energy savings for the historical Ivy Corset building in Worcester, Mass by retrofitting six wall packs on the front of the building.  The renovated brick factory building once...

What are the latest internet scams to beware of and how can ...

Guest Post From Sarah Hewitt Be sure to follow Sarah on twitter @SarahHewitt52 Internet scams will exist as long as scammers continue to be inventive. Fraud prevention teams work extremely hard investigating internet fraud but once one scam has been brought under control a new, more inventive one will arise. For this reason it’s important to stay...

Coghlin Companies Manufacturers Explosive Detector

Implant Sciences Corporation contracted Coghlin Companies to manufacture a handheld explosive detector. The Quantum Sniffer QS-H150 was used at Queen Elizabeth II birthday party in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this June. Coghlin Companies was chosen because of their ability to scale production and test highly sensitive products. The product needed had...

220% Revenue Increase of Access Fixtures LED Products

LED lighting is continuing to grow. Access Fixtures reports LED product sales are up 220% year over year comparison for the first half of 2013.  While the price of LED lighting is decreasing, LEDs are simultaneously advancing in energy efficiency, light output, module life and versatility. The rapid progression of LED lighting is known as Haitz’s...

Worcester Pride Parade and Festival September 7th

Tim Murray, President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce will be the first ever grand marshal at the annual Gay Pride Parade in Worcester. The parade in scheduled for Saturday, September 7, 2013. Worcester Pride is organizing the event which unifies the Central Massachusetts LGBTQ community. Tim Murray states, “I am proud to...

Creating Jobs in August

While August created a lower number of jobs than July, an addition of 176,000 is still a step in the right direction. According to payroll processor ADP, which measures employment using payroll data, jobs have been created largely in the goods producing and manufacturing industries. Yahoo Finance had predicted that 210,000 jobs would be produced...

The Importance of Online Marketing Partners

A key component for small businesses to grow its market share and bottom line is online marketing. Small businesses must decide whether to embark on online marketing internally or to have a partner take over. Many small businesses become frustrated with the process of online marketing even though they see the importance of it. Below are 5 reasons...

Mass Business Blog Announces the Launch of their Website

Mass Business Blog announced the launch of their new website for Massachusetts Businesses and consumers. The website allows Massachusetts businesses to post guest blogs about the latest activities of their business, trends in their industry or other relevant news about their business or industry. Submitting a guest blog to Mass Business Blog is...

Worcester on the Affordable Care Act

Recently a panel was held in Worcester to discuss health care reform. Secretary of administration and finance, Glen Shor acted as the keynote speaker and spoke positively on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He claimed it would help break down barriers to health care, along with assisting Massachusetts in receiving extra federal Medicaid...

Millbury competes for state’s only casino

Recently, representatives from Mass Gaming & Entertainment LLC (MGE) unveiled their plans for a $200-million slots parlor on McCracken Road in Millbury. The plan will compete with other towns in Massachusetts for the state’s only slots parlor, including nearby Leominster. With traffic already a major concern due to the Shoppes at Blackstone...

Massachusetts Firms Look to WIN-911 to Raise the Alarm

Austin, Texas is pretty far away from the rolling hills and rocky shores of Massachusetts, but a Texas firm is supplying some of the top Massachusetts companies with a software product that protects their assets and, in some cases, even saves lives. Companies such as Raytheon, EMC, Boston Scientific, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Biogen all have...

Millions in Massachusetts State Tax Credits To Life Science ...

The 2012 Mass Tax Credit Transparency report revealed that about $17 million was awarded to life science companies. In total $159.2 million in state tax credits were issued this year, with 11% going to life science companies. The $17 million was distributed to 28 different companies to improve life science research and investments The largest...

MassWorks Infrastructure Program Enters New Round

Applications opened earlier this summer for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program – a program available for eligible public entities in need of funding to support economic development and job creation. The program opens a short window (September 3, 2013 – September 13, 2013) for entities to submit their applications for grant...

A Family Legacy Drives the Future

After 128 years in business, the contract manufacturing firm, the Coghlin Companies knows what they are doing. Four generations of the firms have dedicated themselves to meeting the needs of companies bringing products to market quickly and cost-effectively. As a global source for contract manufacturing, the Coghlin Companies is helping clients...

Offshoring vs. Reshoring

Choosing where to manufacture your goods is an important part of a company’s business model. Many companies choose to to manufacture their products offshore in Asia because low labor rates made offset the increased transportation costs. However, labor prices across Asia, especially in China, are rising, making the gap between narrowing the gap...

Access Fixtures Q&A: Is LED Lighting Worth It?

Imagine every application that requires lighting in your commercial facility. Can’t wrap your head around it? Needless to say, lighting can be a huge percentage of your annual energy costs. Energy efficient lighting like LED wall packs or LED bollard lights from Access Fixtures can make a significant difference in your energy bill. Surprisingly,...

Synthetic Slate Roofing Maintains Curb Appeal of Classic Mas...

Neponset Valley Construction, a leading roofing company based in Norwood, Mass., recently completed a new roofing project on a Natick home. After the homeowners and their roof battled the harsh winter storms, they wanted a new roof that would stand up to the toughest and harshest conditions, that’s when they hired Neponset Valley Construction....