HANOVER – Representatives from the South Shore Chamber of Commerce brought their vision of the region’s economic future to Hanover Wednesday night.
Town officials and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership arranged the presentation so the chamber’s efforts to spur economic development could be discussed. The event was held at the John Curtis Free Library
“Our entire 2030 South Shore economic plan looks at attracting more businesses and a broader mix of businesses than we’ve had in the past,” South Shore Chamber President and CEO Peter Forman said. “What we are looking at is: What does it take to attract those businesses?”
Business leaders on the South Shore are starting to wage war on the big-lot zoning that’s so common in many of their towns.
The South Shore Chamber of Commerce Thursday issued a housing agenda aimed at building dense housing at or near train stations and ferry docks, retail centers, even underused office parks.
Chamber chief executive Peter Forman tells me the organization needs to expand beyond its typical bread-and-butter work of hosting events and promoting commercial development. Getting more housing, particularly in walkable neighborhoods, is crucial to recruiting younger workers and keeping talented longtime residents around. Towns will suffer, Forman says, if they cling to the old way of doing business: the one-acre homes and the resistance to multifamily projects, particularly those that mean more kids.
For Rockland Trust chief executive Chris Oddleifson, who is helping lead the chamber’s effort, the problem hit home last year when his bank (which sponsors this newsletter) was recruiting an executive from Texas for a key position who ended up walking away from the offer. The reason? The high cost of housing in the area.
The chamber can’t change zoning rules, of course, and it’s not a housing developer. But the organization can champion policies at the State House, and individual projects back home. It’s one of the state’s biggest business groups. Its leaders have a loud voice, a voice they’re not afraid to use.
Jon Chesto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @jonchesto.
By Jon Chesto, The Boston Globe
Published on September 21, 2017
South Shore Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Peter Forman said the area has been ‘a bit behind’ other regions in finding ways to attract younger workers and families.The Chamber is releasing a “Housing 2017” report on Sept. 21.
QUINCY – The South Shore is struggling to attract young professionals and young families, and the obstacles include a shortage of the kinds of housing they’re looking for, and not enough affordable places to live.
That’s one of the main points of a “Housing 2017” report that’s being released Thursday morning by the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
The report – part of the Chamber’s “South Shore 2030” study – will be shared with business leaders at a Chamber breakfast at Lombardo’s in Randolph.
“The South Shore has a more serious challenge than other parts of the Boston area,” Chamber president and CEO Peter Forman said in a Patriot Ledger interview. “If the region is going to be serious about competing economically, we’ve got to be serious about what it takes to do that, and that includes housing.”