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  •  South Shore Chamber’s 
    Forward thinking helps all

    South Shore residents are fortunate to be on the receiving end of a vigorous and forward thinking business community.  Though we’ve long thought so, we’re especially moved to acknowledge the South Shore Chamber of Commerce’s regional leadership following the release on Wednesday of Phase I of what will be a comprehensive 10-month study on the area’s economy.

    The Chamber commissioned the study, titled “Update on Regional Development Plan – The South Shore – Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going and How We’ll Get There,” to determine how best to direct the business landscape. It’s been 15 years since the Chamber’s last such study and it’s especially timely given the post-Great Recession landscape.

    The study was conducted by the Atlanta-based community and economic consulting firm of Market Street Services. Phase I first identified the South Shore’s strengths and weaknesses, and found that as much as the governor touts the strength of the state’s economic engine in comparison to the rest of the nation’s, the South Shore lags behind.

    According to Market Street CEO J. Mack Holladay, not only does the region’s job growth trail the rest of metro Boston, its economy isn’t growing at the robust rates some believed. Much of this is due, Holladay said, to the lack of young people between the ages of 25 and 44 living and working in the area.

    As president of the Chamber Peter Forman noted, however, the area is ripe for growth. In addition to being one of the most livable and beautiful places in the world, the South Shore has one of the best-educated populations.

    Though it serves as a wake-up call, it should be emphasized that this is only the first phase of the study to be completed.

    Yet it’s also an opportunity for communities to participate in the process and help shape the future of the region, something the Chamber has encouraged all along from businesses, public officials and citizens alike. Already key mayors from Quincy, Braintree and Weymouth are now on board, and other communities’ leaders are being enlisted to work with private business interests in developing, and more importantly, implementing any recommendations.

    The Chamber’s steering committee overseeing the study is composed of a group of 30 individuals, and led by Carol Bulman, CEO of Jack Conway & Company; Ken Quigley, president of Curry College; and Bob Rivers, COO and president of Eastern Bank. They deserve special recognition.

    It’s a robust start to what is geared to be a comprehensive development strategy to consolidate regional resources and foster multi-town, private/public partnerships. We look forward to learning more about the study as more data becomes available.

     

    Patriot Ledger  Editorial  9/13/14