|Rausch vs. Dooley: A conversation with the candidates|
Providing accurate and timely information about what matters in Franklin, MA since 2007. * Working in collaboration with Franklin TV and Radio (wfpr.fm) since October 2019 *
Monday, October 17, 2022
Rausch vs. Dooley: A conversation with the candidates
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Looking for a Job? Consider stopping at the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets - May 19
Full-time & part-time positions available at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets retailers & restaurants. The United Regional Chamber of Commerce members will also be tabling on the turf area to promote local business's hiring. Come with your resume for on the spot interviews & more.
Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 4 PM
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
|Looking for a Job? Consider stopping at the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets - May 19|
Friday, December 3, 2021
Botera Ribbon Cutting officially opens for business on Grove St
Last week, the United Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed new member, Botera, a recreational cannabis dispensary at 1256 W. Central Street, Suite 6, Franklin https://boterama.com/. The Franklin store is the second Botera; joining the first store, which is at 747 Centre Street in Brockton.
Botera offers high-quality cannabis products in a comfortable, welcoming, and customer-focused atmosphere for adults 21+. The budtenders at Botera will help each visitor to enjoy a personalized cannabis experience. Visitors are assigned a personal budtender who has been trained to answer questions, educate them about Botera's unique products, and provide tailored recommendations based on their needs and anticipated results.
|Left to right: State Representative Shawn Dooley; URCC Board Member Charlie Miller of Business Solutions Advisory Group; State Representative Jeff Roy; Jack Patel; Botera owner Chirag Patel; URCC Board Member Zach Patten of Oak Grove Insurance; David Webster, GM of the Franklin Botera store; URCC Board Member Kate Hyde of Springhill Suites by Marriott in Wrentham; Derek Cameron of URCC member 3805 Productions; Franklin Assistant Town Manager Alecia Alleyne; and URCC President Jack Lank.|
President & CEO
The United Regional Chamber of Commerce
310 South Street
Plainville, MA 02762
"People Do Business With People They Know"
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
20 Reasons to Not Implement a Dual Tax Rate
20 Reasons to Not Implement a Dual Tax Rate
- A dual tax rate raises no additional money for essential Town services. NONE WHATSOEVER. The total tax levy in any city or town in Massachusetts is set by “Proposition 2 ½” regulations and the level of new growth in a town. Again, the total amount of overall tax dollars raised does not change in any way under a dual tax rate system.
- When property valuations increase overall, the dollar tax rate is lowered. Noting an often increasing valuation every three years, residents can become fearful that their overall tax bills will increase dramatically and in proportion to the amount their assessed value has been raised. However, this is not the case. The tax rate is, of necessity, lowered when this happens, as a direct result of the higher valuations, due to a fixed set total tax levy end amount. Indeed, in the last fifteen years in Franklin, the real value of the average single-family home in Town has more than doubled (from $175,000 to 385,000, or about 200%). Yet the tax bill of the average single-family homeowner has only increased by about 50% (from $2,406 to $3,530).
- Of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, only about 100 or so, at any given time, have a dual tax rate in effect. There are many reasons why less than 30% of towns and cities in the state opt for a dual tax rate, some of which are detailed here.
- There is a known statistical ratio of number of for profit businesses to number of taxable residential units that should trigger a close look at whether a dual tax rate starts to make sense or not for a certain community, which is 30% business to 70% residential. Only if a town has reached the well-documented 30% level, and has among its major business taxpayers businesses that are difficult to move - such as power plants, or vast shopping malls - only then does it make sense to consider a dual tax rate. Franklin meets neither of these criteria.
- The current tax system is already neither fair nor equitable for businesses, for businesses pay toward such items as the Town’s school system and trash pick-up services, which they do not use. Residents have always received a greater value, dollar for dollar, from their tax payments, and still do so even now. Going to a dual tax classification system would further increase the inequity, would be a great injustice, and additionally continue to skew the ratio of payments made to services and benefits received.
- Under a dual tax rate system, because there is a ratio of approximately 80 homeowners per every 20 businesses in Franklin, homeowners would only see a small decrease in their taxes, whereas businesses would see a raise of some four times that, due to the 4 to 1 ratio.
- Over time, a dual tax rate may well decrease the amount of money available to the municipality for essential Town services, because it is a strong disincentive to local economic development, which is the real backbone of the overall tax base.
- Almost all local professionals and businesses have already suffered greatly from the poor economy nation-wide.
- Businesses and professionals have many costs of doing business that are invisible to the consumers, such as ever-increasing insurances costs (for property, errors and emissions, and health insurance coverage); licensing fees; innumerable additional taxes and fees; etc., on all levels, town, state and federal.
- In fact, Massachusetts is now known as one of the worst states, and many say the worst state, to do business in within the nation.
- If you look around Town, you will see many underutilized buildings and vacancies in our office parks and our Downtown; vacancies that are often of a long-term nature. You do not, however, see many houses vacant for long; houses turn over relatively quickly in Franklin, despite higher home values.
- A split tax rate is a significant sign to new and existing businesses that a Town is not “business-friendly”. It is often one of the first, if not the first, question that new businesses ask when looking to locate in a particular town.
- Conversely, a split tax rate is also an incentive to build more residential homes in a Town, which further increases the demands and burdens on a Town’s resources, such as the schools; whereas business growth adds to the tax base without utilizing a lot of these already limited resources. Overcrowding of schools is only one impact, although one of the most visible, of adding more homes in a town.
- Franklin does not face competition solely from other in-state communities to attract and retain necessary professionals, businesses and retail operations. In fact, many states in the country “court” our existing businesses and offer special incentives for them to relocate there. Furthermore, many businesses are moving entirely to other countries, whose governments are also courting them, such as Mexico, India or many of the Asian nations, where the cost of labor and other normal costs of doing business are so much lower. It is a fallacy to think that companies cannot or will not “jump ship”. They have and will.
- Some 80% of U.S. businesses are considered “small” businesses. Over 85% of United Chamber of Commerce members have five employees or fewer; and many are family run. Yet, because of triple-net leasing, unless a business or professional owns their own building (and most do not) they would most likely not be exempted from paying the burden of an increased dual tax rate under a split tax system. Also, even If they do own their own building, but do not solely occupy it, or do not meet other strict requirements, they might well have to pay the higher tax rate. The often cited “exemption for small business” - sometimes mentioned by proponents of a dual tax structure as a panacea for smaller businesses - goes only to those who meet certain low numbers of employees or low business values.
- Going to a dual tax rate can initiate a viscous cycle. Because business taxes are based differently from residential taxes (which are based on real estate property values), when the value of a business goes down – which it often does because of a higher tax rate – the commercial/industrial property tax base itself erodes, resulting in less and less tax dollars emanating from businesses. It is important to note that due to the nature of the commercial tax structure - which is mandated by law - the real value of the very entity that the commercial taxes are determined by often then decreases, and can continue to decrease, each year under a split tax rate system. As the overall commercial tax base erodes, it is entirely possible that the entire tax base could slowly erode with it, yet the need for critical municipal services, including police, fire and school departments, is still strong. Ultimately, home values can suffer over the long term, as a town becomes known as a less desirable place to live. While a dual tax format may seem as though it is a good way to temporarily “spread the pain” or “soften the blow” of increasing residential taxes, in the long term, it generally is not.
- Families in Franklin utilize local stores, businesses or professionals, who could then be forced to increase their pricing of goods and services to help combat their payment of any extra taxes. Town residents, in turn, would then pay more for these items. Ironically, the cost of these goods or services often has no tax deductibility, whereas property taxes do.
- Many area families are employed by local businesses, and employees suffer when their employer suffers, usually through loss of income and/or benefits.
- The vast number of local companies contribute greatly to our local youth and civic programs currently. Yet, when they are struggling to exist, they often cannot afford to give generously; and, if they are out of business, or have moved out of town, they will not be here to give anything at all.
- Assessed real estate values have escalated only because the true worth of residential property values in Town have escalated sharply. Home equity is a real and viable asset to homeowners, and companies doing business in our Town should not be penalized because of this; the values of their businesses have traditionally not gone up in times of a sluggish national marketplace, but rather down.
Friday, May 21, 2021
This Saturday: Job Fair at URCC Member Plainridge Park Casino
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"
An excerpt from Senate President Karen Spilka's remarks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, April 13, 2021:
"I have been particularly struck by the statistics on the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on women in the workplace. Before the pandemic, women in Massachusetts were participating in the workforce at increasing rates, surpassing the national rate by 2019 – but the pandemic has brought women back to where they were after the 2009 recession. In fact, the percentage of women participating in the U.S. labor market in October 2020 was the lowest since 1988.
It is clear to me that if we wish to have a full and equitable recovery, we must take a close look at the factors that affect women’s employment, at every level and in every sector, and one clear factor that we must address is caregiving. In the same way that we learned to diversify our sectors after the last recession, we are now learning that we must support and strengthen the caregiving sector in Massachusetts so that we can support working families across the Commonwealth.
Almost exactly one year ago today, I appeared before this Chamber, in what was your first ever virtual forum, if you can believe it, and declared that childcare was as important to our infrastructure as roads and bridges in getting people back to work. The struggles of the past year have borne this out, which is why I have pushed the Legislature to begin to address the need for childcare, including providing for emergency childcare for essential workers, increasing rates for early education providers, and dedicating $40 million for a new reserve to cover parent fees for those receiving subsidized childcare. We also established the Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission to review childcare funding and make recommendations on policy changes to expand access.
With the promise of over $500 million in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan, we are well-poised to make more strides in making childcare more accessible and affordable, and I look forward to working with all of you to dedicate our best thinking towards tackling this problem, both in the public and private sectors.
But childcare is just one piece of what many are calling a “caregiving crisis”–a storm that has been brewing on our horizon for a few years, but which COVID-19 has turned into a full-blown tsunami. Many people, mostly women, who work in non-caregiving professions, but are sandwiched between aging parents and growing children, have dropped out of the workforce in alarming numbers to care for those who rely on them, while too many Black and brown women who work in caregiving professions have been crushed by the job losses of the economic downturn, with devastating results for their families and communities. As we all feel the squeeze of this caregiving crisis, is it any surprise that we are facing a mental health crisis as well?
But this is Massachusetts, my friends, and I know we can do better. "
|"a rare opportunity—and a responsibility—to reimagine the path towards what I call “back to better”"|
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Health Connector for Small Business Presentation Offered in Franklin
|Health Connector for Small Business|
Pre-registration is required. Register online at www.newenglandbusiness.org/events. Contact Sophia at email@example.com or 781-890-9070, ext. 221 with questions.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Eat, Drink and Shop Local Holiday Extravaganza - Nov 30
Date: November 30, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST
Interested in being a retail or food vendor? Want to have your looks walk the runway? See link for more info and sign-up forms.
Download, complete and send back to kbrown@MilfordChamber.org or call us at 508.473.6700.
299 Creek Street
Kelley Brown, Director of Programs & Services
Send an Email
$25 per person
|Eat, Drink and Shop Local Holiday Extravaganza - Nov 30|
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Milford Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Plans for the 28th Annual Auction Spectacular & Gourmet Dinner
The event includes both live and silent auctions, several chances to win prizes and a gourmet dinner featuring more than 40 area restaurants and eateries. The Annual Auction Spectacular is the MACC’s largest fundraiser, helping to advance the organization’s mission of fostering a positive business climate in the 10-town area it represents.
The MACC Auction Spectacular & Dinner Buffet draws more than 300 attendees each year. There, attendees enjoy a fast-paced evening bidding on items that range from the practical to the exotic. Popular auction items like a Zulu Nyala African Safari, autographed sports memorabilia and tickets to various professional sporting events will be back, as well as several new items. Included in this year’s offerings is a four-day stay at a Sonoma Wine Country winery as well as a five-day Cape Cod escape.
“There is such a huge range of items available to bid on. There’s definitely something for everyone whether you’re bidding on an item for yourself or one that you’ll give as gift,” said MACC president & CEO, Laura O’Callaghan. “It’s fun to watch folks bid against each other when there is an item they want and our auctioneer Dick Ferruci, multi-media account executive at Myfm 101.3, keeps everyone entertained throughout.”
The gourmet dinner buffet is a much anticipated part of the evening, featuring signature dishes from the area’s finest restaurants, eateries and local assisted living communities, along with a cash bar. Offering a spread from passed appetizers to carving stations and delicious entrees to desserts that satisfy any sweet tooth, the dinner buffet is a smorgasbord for every taste.
“Year after year the dinner buffet gets rave reviews! It’s a wonderful showcase of the depth of culinary talent we have in our area and we can’t thank our participating food donors enough,” O’Callaghan said.
The MACC’s Annual Auction Spectacular and Dinner Buffet is always a sold-out event and those interested in attending are reminded to reserve their seats now. A single ticket is $30, two or more ticket is $25 each and a reserved table of ten is - $225. Call the Milford Area Chamber of Commerce at 508.473.6700 or register online at MilfordChamber.org or http://bit.ly/2wMZYo1.
About the Milford Area Chamber of Commerce
For 90+ years, the Milford Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) has been the voice of business in a ten town area representing hundreds of businesses of all sizes and all industries in Bellingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millis, and Upton. By fostering a pro-business climate, the MACC helps to attract, retain and grow business while providing vital advocacy, engagement and connections for its membership. Visit MilfordChamber.org.
|Annual MACC Auction and Gourmet Dinner|
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Milford Area Chamber of Commerce preps for its 27th Annual Dinner and Auction - Nov 19
O’Callaghan stated; “Every year since 1989 our community has come together to share an evening of fun, excitement and delicious food to help the Chamber fund the important work it does for the Greater Milford area residents and businesses. The venue and format changed a few years ago and now all the food is generously prepared and donated by local restaurants, caterers and businesses. The array of dishes that are available is an absolute feast and our guests discover new, local places to try as a result. It’s a win/win for everyone.”
“The Milford Area Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that performs vital business referral functions as new residents move into town, assists local small business with training, insurance and benefits information for its employees, advocates for its members at the State House and at the national level and provides dozens of networking activities for its members throughout the year. We are the voice of the business community in Milford and the surrounding nine towns. We cannot survive without the support of our membership and our community and we are grateful for the support we receive as a result”, O’Callaghan added.
This year’s auction will include more than 100 silent auction items; items donated by businesses throughout the area. These include golf foursomes, electronics, home furnishings, wine baskets, toys, autographed sports memorabilia, merchandise and a variety of services and more. There are also more than 30 live auction items that will provide the highlight of the evening, as well as the majority of laughs.
“Celebrity Guest Auctioneer” Dick Ferrucci from WMRC radio will resume his yearly position on the gavel and 2016’s lineup of items are among the best the Chamber has ever received. In addition to the African Safari trip the Chamber has successfully auctioned for the past seven years they’ve added a trip to Ireland, airline tickets to anywhere in the USA, sporting event packages, getaways to Maine, Rhode Island and more! The 50/50 raffle winner will also be drawn that evening.
For more information, to purchase tickets, see a complete list of available auction items or even make a donation to the Chamber, visit www.milfordchamber.org, call them at 508.473.6700 or stop by their offices at 258 Main Street, Suite 306.
The Milford Area Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1922 and will mark its 95th year of service in 2017. Its mission is to connect businesses and professionals by bringing them together for a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas, information, products and services. The Chamber advocates for the business community, promotes economic development, and enhances the quality of life throughout the area. The Chamber serves the communities of Bellingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millis and Upton.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
In the News - DelCarte, affordable housing, yard sale, Taste of Region
Franklin council wants more info on dam projectfrom The Milford Daily News News RSS by Ashley Studley, Daily News staff
Franklin celebrates addition of affordable senior housing (with video)
Franklin Federated Church sets annual yard sale
Sample taste of the region at Franklin event
Friday, September 3, 2010
Chamber of Commerce updates
1 - EXECUTIVE EXPRESS-O SEPT. 10
The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, 42 Union St., Attleboro, is hosting the next Executive Express-O meeting on Fri., Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 8:55 a.m. This month’s topic is “Perfecting Your Elevator Speech. Generate Interest, not Boredom!" The seminar is free to attend, but registration is requested. Register by calling 508-958-3681 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Future dates of Executive Express-O are Oct.1 and Nov. 12. Executive Express-O is sponsored by The United Regional Chamber of Commerce and Vistage.
2 - CHAMBER HOSTING TWO GRANT WORKSHOPS
The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting two grant workshops on Thurs., Sept. 9 at its Attleboro office, 42 Union St. Admission is free. Register by calling 508-222-0801.
The first workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The workshop will explain The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Express Program. The Training Fund Express Program is accepting applications from organizations with 50 or fewer employees in Massachusetts that contribute to the Workforce Training Fund via DUA/UI investments. Training funded by this program should address the priorities of the fund which include projects that will result in job retention, job growth or increased wages and for projects where training would make a difference in the company's productivity, competitiveness, and ability to do business in Massachusetts.
The second workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to noon and will explain The Department of Industrial Accident's Office of Safety and Health Education's Training Grants and how to apply for them. Last year, a number of Chamber member organizations attended this meeting, applied for these grants and received them. Grants are considered for any type of safety training. Examples are, but are not limited to, ergonomics, crisis prevention, work zone safety, OSHA, and aging workforce topics.
The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, business support organization serving the communities of Attleboro, Bellingham, Blackstone, Foxborough, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Wrentham.
Note: I joined the Chamber in 2009. This membership has been beneficial because it has helped me understand what it takes to do business in Franklin which in turn I think has helped me share what matters in Franklin.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Congressman McGovern on Healthcare Reform
Friday, November 21, 2008
In the news - Financial Planning, Downtown Partnership, chambers unite, schools reduce paper
In its ongoing efforts to create a three-year financial forecast for the town, the Fiscal Planning Committee last night considered the School Department's future.
The committee kicked around the possibility of regionalizing services with nearby towns, and member Stephen Whalen asked whether anyone has thought of asking the teachers union to agree to a moratorium on step increases (but keeping cost-of-living increases) now that "times are really tough."
"If we're asking taxpayers to make sacrifices, maybe we could ask our employees to make sacrifices" to reduce the chances of their colleagues getting laid off, he said.
Committee member and Town Council Vice Chairwoman Deborah Bartlett argued that teachers would just leave Franklin for other districts.
Matt Kelly, another member from the School Committee, whose wife is a teacher, said the big question teachers always ask during budget season and when layoffs loom, is whether they have the seniority to keep their job.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
For my live reporting from this meeting check the notes here
Now that the town-commissioned statue has been unveiled at Franklin's relocated historical museum, the Downtown Partnership is preparing to beautify downtown on Sunday and start a merchants subcommittee to help breathe life into the center of town.
The new merchants committee, spearheaded by three businesses, Jane's Frames on East Central Street, ArtBeat on Summer Street, and Fitness Together on Main Street, will have a special event every third Thursday of each month, likely starting in January, said Jane Curran, a partnership member and owner of Jane's Frames.
"We want to have the 'third Thursdays' to encourage the public to come and see what's going on in downtown," which may include discounts and special promotions, Curran said.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
Help decorate downtown Franklin Sunday, 11/23/08 from noon to 4:00 PM
Franklin's United Chamber of Commerce is merging with the Attleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, which members of both organizations hope will expand their clout and marketing reach.
The two had been discussing a merger for the past few months, as the United Chamber found itself in a tight financial situation and searched for a partner.
Attleboro's president, Jack Lank, will become president of the newly formed and re-named United Regional Chamber of Commerce, which will span more than 800 businesses in 14 towns along Interstate 495.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
The refrigerator doors at students’ homes may appear more barren these days as school administrators try to distribute fewer hand-outs and disseminate more information through the Web.
Several school officials who send newsletters via e-mail and post grades online said recently they are looking to be both environmentally friendly and cost conscious.
Margaret Cole, a mother of three students in Bellingham schools, says less paper has come home this school year so far, although she still sees her "fair share."
With two children attending South Elementary School last year, she said she received duplicates of every hand-out.
"I would love to see more notices and homework assignments put online," Cole said. "It helps me monitor (their work) and makes it so much easier."
Read the full article in the Gazette here