Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Boston- When the State Senate adopted a bill to support Massachusetts businesses last week, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) secured two amendments to make the bill stronger and more effective.

On Thursday, the Senate voted unanimously to approve legislation filed by Senator Eileen Donohue (D- Lowell) and co-sponsored by Tarr to assist business making products in Massachusetts. The so-called “MassMade” bill, S178, generally charges the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) with developing tools that can help the state’s manufactures and others.

Tarr amended the bill in two ways:
• First, to expressly include those producing food and beverage products (such as those in the fishing industry, farming, and brewing and bottling) in the scope of those targeted in the bill, • Second, to direct the MOBD to examine the feasibility of developing a web-based platform to facilitate the exchange of information between Massachusetts business about their products and services, as a means to develop a trade network between them.

“Companies making products in our state are a tremendous asset and we need to support them as much as possible,” said Tarr. He added, “In moving forward with this important initiative, we must include the many businesses that are responding to strong demand for locally grown and harvested fish, produce.”

Tarr went on to say that “by making an electronic platform for these local business to talk to each other, we can create a virtual marketplace for trade between them that maximizes sustainability and capture growth potential.”

The legislation requires the MOBD to establish the MassMade program to promote business that are headquartered and produce consumer products. The program would feature a website offering an online directory, freely accessible to business and the public. The website will provide business information, product descriptions, contact information, and website details; and as a resource for consumers by offering search capabilities for consumer products based on criteria including product type, retailers, business locations, and product price.

Senate bill 178, now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. ###