How has your community navigated the COVID 19 pandemic? Chelmsford had an immediate response to utilizing their network of connectivity in getting information out to the community as quickly as possible. Making myself readily available for conference calls, zoom meetings, video discussions, answering questions and sharing as much information as soon as I receive it. Needless to say, there were no set office hours during the pandemic. Using my network to state agencies, regional organizations, local associations enables fast communication without duplicating efforts and info exchange. Our local access television department, Chelmsford Telemedia (CTM), has been extraordinary at creating a direct feed of information to the community. CTM has also supported the municipality with video conferencing to include large numbers of people for public meetings as well as newly created television segments. We have the ability to provide a “NewsFlash” from our web-site that alerts followers of important information that is also simultaneously updates to social media. Continual inter-departmental video meetings and open communications kept the municipal team in a full-functioning mode while the Town Hall was closed to the public to ensure public health and safety. Our IT department was very responsive to keep everyone connected!
What is the most exciting economic development project for your community in 2020? We are working closely with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development on $200,000 earmark funding provided to support the Chelmsford Cross Roads at Rte. 129. Creating a business attraction package for our available space is a high priority in recruiting companies to the corridor, including incentives, municipal support, regional agencies and local organizations in offering a strong network for resources and programming.
• Triton Systems, a R&D innovative life science company, expanding from an existing Chelmsford location to a larger facility within the Cross Roads at Rt 129. We are very excited to be working closely with Triton during their renovation and fit-up for operations by the end of 2020.
• dataCon has moved in and is open for business on the Rte. 129 corridor. This company is embedded in electronics manufacturing and prototyping which provides even more industrial diversity to our business base. The town is proud to promote and support dataCon within the Cross Roads.
• Close negotiations with Camoin 310, Ltd. in contract agreement for economic development support following on from their site readiness grant completed through MA Development in 2018. We are hopeful to re-hire Camoin in moving forward on their recommendations for the Cross Roads towards a full business attraction program.
• Chelmsford is one of the few new recipients of the Attorney General’s Office for small business COVID-19 relief grant funding. We will be offering increments of $1,000 for each applicant towards the $35,000 available in support of re-opening and marketing needs for our small businesses.
What do you like the most about doing business in the M3 region? As a municipality, the availability of support for new initiatives and partnerships! We are always pursuing concept ideas for creative problem solving, technical assistance to advance our businesses, and now in particular for crisis management of COVID-19. Networking is vital in making new connections, utilizing resources, creating new programming and the M3 region has strong leadership in industries, local government and State level government to collectively influence positive changes together.
What M3 Coalition networking opportunities do your community and businesses in your community participate in? As many as possible, if not all of them! There is high value in M3 Coalition membership beyond direct introductions and updates. The staff of M3 are interested and responsive to provide full support wherever possible! Webinars and presentations are covering current topics and providing useful information to include reference materials. Suggest a topic and they are interested!