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MA Biz Winners and Flops

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


The Massachusetts economy currently has some hot spots -- as well as some real weaknesses.

Taking a number of considerations into account, GoLocal will take a monthly look at trends in the business environment, reporting on who is driving success and which companies are the economic engines. We will also probe the flops and those policies that stagnate growth and the economy.


State Revenue:  Numbers came in far ahead of anticipated projections. The extra $500 million is being looked at to fund highways and restore cuts.  There is not much discussion about tax cuts with the extra $500 million.

MA Real Estate Market: The Boston Metro area has been back for more than a year, but now the entire state -- and Worcester County -- is realizing the positive results on all key indicators, such as price, time on market, and houses under agreement. 

According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, the number of single-family homes put under agreement in April was up 32.8% compared to the same time last year (5,948 homes in 2013 from 4,478 homes in 2012).

This is the most homes that have gone under agreement in any month that the Association has available data (starting in January 2004). New England as a whole and Massachusetts' economy always thrives when the real estate market is streaking.

Worcester's Museum Community: This array of great facilties and collections is going through some transition, but it should never be forgotten what a tremndous asset they are to central Massachusetts. Most major cities would be proud to have the collection that grace Worcester. The Higgins collapse is disappointing, but the integration of the collection into the Worcester Art Museum is a great move, and the city continues to see great things at the EcoTarium and other cultural attractions. 


Chief Executive Magazine Ranks Massachusetts 47th for business - the fourth worst in the country. The ranking is low for a range of factors, with the Commonwealth's regulatory environment being identified as one of the worst in the U.S.

Some of the CEOs quoted in the ranking report said:

“If I were designing Hell for a company, I couldn’t do as good a job as Massachusetts has. We will be leaving the state within the next year.”

“We are moving out of CA, MI, MA and NY in 2013 and terminating our employees there. The regulatory and tax environment has become untenable.”

“Massachusetts is returning to the state of Taxachusetts, thanks to Governor Deval Patrick and the overwhelming Democratic party majority in both houses of the Legislature.”

Massachusetts Gaming Commission:  While the announcement that it has picked University of Massachusetts Amherst's School of Public Health and Health Sciences to perform a $3.64 million research effort may sound like a good policy, the rest of the strategy is incoherent. Southeastern MA is now the wild, wild east for who will get a license. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe was supposed to get a license -- and now it is open for all bidders.

Worcester is now considering a slot parlor firm out of Chicago. A Baltimore firm is now proposing a $200 slot parlor in Boxborough - selectman have shot it down the first time around.

Nearly everyday there is a proposal or a change in strategy -- and a continuous void in a business strategy in the Commonwealth. While both of the casinos in Connecticut are in serious financial disrepair, and Rhode Island's Twin River is expanding to table games, Massachusetts needs a comprehensive strategy on gaming.


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