2014 Lobby Day: A Focus on Small Business at the State House

On Wednesday, April 16th, MACDC held its Annual Lobby Day at the State House with over 200 CDC board members, staff and community supporters joining us for meetings with elected officials and a lunchtime speaking program. This year’s Lobby Day focused on returning the Commonwealth’s Small Business Technical Assistance program back to its pre-recession funding level of $2 million in annual support, as well as increasing funding for the Mass. Rental Voucher Program and fully recapitalizing the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund (For more information, please review MACDC’s 2014 State Policy Priorities).

The highlight of the day was hearing from House Speaker, Robert DeLeo, who talked about the important role that CDCs play in expanding economic opportunity across the Commonwealth.  He recounted recent legislation that has been enacted in support of community development, including the Housing Bond Bill, Brownfields Redevelopment funding and, of course, the Community Investment Tax Credit.  Speaker DeLeo was introduced by Rep. Sarah Peake who used the opportunity to promote her proposed amendment to the House budget that would provide $2 million for Small Business Technical Assistance.

Indeed, much of the day was focused on Small Business, so our other lunchtime speaker was the cofounder of Chequessett Chocolate and Cafe, Josiah Mayo, who talked about how his local CDC, the Community Development Partnership, helped the company get started last year in Truro.  MACDC was also pleased to welcome State Senator Jamie Eldridge as the judge of the CDC table top displays our members set up to highlight their past projects and current programs.  The winners of this year’s competition where: First Place: The Neighborhood Developers; Runners Up: North Shore CDC and NOAH.

Highlights from the day included:

  • MACDC member organizations met with 61 elected officials
  • MetroWest Collaborative Development, a placed-based CDC paired with Accion, a state-wide organization to meet with seven legislators to discuss the value of  the Small Businesses Technical Assistance Program as well as the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund
  • Speaker of the House, Robert Deleo, affirming his confidence that the Commonwealth will raise the minimum wage this year
  • State Representative Sarah Peake somewhat guiltily acknowledging that prior to a dinner party, she and her wife ate all of the chocolate they had bought at Chequessett Chocolate before they could share it with their guests!

Check out photos from the day on Facebook!

Check out tweets from the day.