Clifford said small operations make up more than 80 percent of businesses in Massachusetts, and when these enterprises are afraid to move forward, it holds everyone back.
“We need to have that comfort level, that things will not turn sour,” Clifford said.
On April 3, the same day as the Corridor Nine expo, JetBlue’s chief executive arrived at Worcester Regional Airport to announce that the airline would, starting in November, provide daily flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For Worcester Airport Limousine managerureen Raillo, it was another sign that the local economy is on the mend.
“People are flying again,” Raillo said. “We have seen an uptick in business every year for the past four years on the books. We just did our number for March, and I am pleased in how it’s up from last year. . . It’s going to help the economy in the area in general. It gets people excited, that they can do business here and really make it.”
Clifford said that in 2007 the chamber’s membership stood at 750. Today, the number is closer to 600, officials said; which businesses survive often depends on the industry, with health care and technology sectors performing best.
“We have members that are thriving, and then we have members who are seeing a slow uptick,” said Karen Chapman, the chamber’s vice president.
“We’re still out there, we’re surviving. And people want to do business in this region.”
John Swinconeck can be reached at johnswinc@ gmail.com.