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Sen. Spilka holding forum on business legislation

Posted by Tom Coakley  March 1, 2010 09:00 AM

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By Jason Woods Globe Corrrespondent

State Sen. Karen Spilka will co-host a public forum Tuesday in Framingham to discuss a bill she has sponsored that would streamline the state's approach to providing aid to businesseses.

Spilka, an Ashland Democrat, said the changes will make more resources available to help businesses already in the state to grow, encourage the creation of new business, and bring businesses to Massachusetts from outside the state.

The bill would streamline state agencies that deal with local and small businesses. According to Spilka, it will work to eliminate duplicate and redundant agencies and processes. The bill calls to merge several state agencies into single locations, creating what Spilka called “one-stop shopping” for businesses.

“Businesses can get a full array of services,” Spilka said. “They can get help with staying and growing, or coming to Massachusetts. We want businesses to stay here or come here, and we want to make it easy.”

The bill, filed by Senate President Therese Murray and Spilka, will also create a Metro West tourism and visitors bureau, highlighting tourism opportunities in the region, while working to keep tourism revenue from Metrowest in the area.

“It’s been far too long that we haven’t had such a bureau,” Spilka said. “There are so many wonderful aspects of this area, and this bill will help to market and promote [businesses and tourism].”

“We will capture more of our metro west dollars,” Spilka said. “Right now most of our hotel taxes go to Boston because we don’t have a tourism bureau; we’ll capture those dollars and reinvest them in Metrowest. That will help us in growing Metrowest and growing jobs as well.”

The measure also would create a partnership between the state and business with an eye toward promoting Massachusetts.

“In creating this marketing partnership, we better coordinate so we can market Massachusetts in many ways,” said Spilka. “We can market Massachusetts, for businesses, the creative economy, tourism, the natural resources. We create one cohesive marketing partnership.”

The economic forum will be held Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.in room 309 of the Justin McCarthy College Center at Framingham State College, 100 State Street in Framingham.

It is jointly hosted by Spilka, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technology and the MetroWest Legislative Caucus. The forum is open to the public.

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