BOSTON – House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, on Wednesday announced the formation of Baystate Business Link, a new business mentoring program in Western Massachusetts.
DeLeo announced the new initiative — a partnership between the House and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce — in a morning speech to the Chamber of Commerce.
“Baystate Business Link will concentrate on connecting businesses across the state, highlighting B2B (business-to-business) opportunities and encouraging mentorships,” DeLeo said, according to his prepared remarks.
A working group to advance the effort will include former Massachusetts Energy Secretary Rick Sullivan, who is now CEO of the Western Mass Economic Development Council; Scott Bailey, managing director of MassChallenge, an accelerator for start-ups; and Jack Healy from MassMEP, a group that assists Massachusetts manufacturers.
DeLeo said the group will “help weave together untapped potential in Massachusetts.”
DeLeo framed the new initiative as part of an effort by lawmakers to improve the economy outside of Greater Boston. “Let’s leverage our existing successes so that energetic entrepreneurs, promising students and small but worthy businesses outside of Boston are no longer overlooked,” DeLeo said.
Sullivan said the working group will develop a dialogue with Boston-businesses that are looking to grow. For example, businesses looking for a company to do manufacturing, run call centers, provide data functions or fill other parts of their supply chain could find businesses in Western Massachusetts to fulfill some of those roles.
“Our priority is to look to make links between the Boston business community, which is booming, and looking to make connections to western Massachusetts to be able to grow business opportunities for western Mass.,” Sullivan said. “At least give western Massachusetts a look and give us a seat at the business table to make the case as to why investment in western Mass. would be good.”
Read the full article at www.masslive.com.