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?”
Three key objectives were discussed: creating a stronger economic climate, improving the town’s infrastructure and getting younger people into the town’s workforce.
Forman said the chamber “looked at the entire South Shore region and we saw an overall need to increase housing. We are hoping every town starts looking at our economic development plan to figure out what their assets are and what they can capitalize on to draw more businesses to the area, to make the area more inviting for businesses and residents.”
He said the area would benefit from a younger demographic and from retaining the older people who might otherwise move to Cape Cod or Florida after their children are grown.
He also said local communities are continuing to zone land to meeting the housing demand from 40 years ago, not today.
“We aren’t doing enough building and zoning to attract the housing that younger people are looking for today,” Forman said. “The biggest opportunity we have is the restoration of mass transit and rail to the South Shore. That creates a lot of opportunity for housing near those areas that can attract a lot of people working in Boston that are priced out of that market but still want to be near mass transit.”
For the town to attract new businesses, it will need to make zoning changes, Town Planner Peter Matchak said.
“It really starts and needs to be championed by the residents of Hanover, but it can be organized by us (town officials),” Matchak said.
By Adam Silva, The Patriot Ledger
Published September 28, 2017