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Not only does the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce have a long-standing Economic Development Committee, but it is also one of only a few chambers in eastern Massachusetts that has devoted staff resources directly to economic development activities.

Working from a regional perspective, the most important aspects we address are transportation, business development, and our shared environment.

Transportation

Primary Function - to increase mobility within the region whether by car/truck, train, bike or walking, particularly for commuters, shoppers and freight haulers/movers; to explore multi-modal transportation opportunities; and to "be involved" in transportation efforts of various agencies and entities. The President of the Chamber attends all Transportation Planning and Programming Committee Meetings (twice per month) at the Executive Office of Transportation in Boston and we are the only Chamber with a voting seat on the state's Regional Transportation Advisory Committee. These activities enable the Chamber to influence decisions for improvement and increased funding of our region's transportation infrastructure and networks.

One goal is to have the Route 128 Add-a-Lane project with its bottleneck intersection in Canton (I-95/I-93/University Avenue interchange) constructed on a "Sooner is Better" timeframe. A second goal is the 6-8 year reconstruction of the Rt. 128/Rt. 95 Interchange. The design and environmental work is currently taking place and this first component of the project should be completed within the next year and a half. The Chamber will remain vigilant in moving this project forward in a timely manner.

A third major goal is the completion of a $475,000 Rt. 1/Rt/ 95S Corridor Study to be completed by the state during the next 12 months. The study is a direct result of 2 proposals submitted by the Chamber and will cover the area from Dedham to the Rhode Island border. The Chamber will be actively participating in the Working and Study Advisory Groups overseeing this project. Cognizant of the 6 major developments which may come to fruition in this region (Legacy Place, Westwood Station, expansion of Walpole Mall, Patriot Place, Sharon Commons, and Mansfield Crossing) and the resultant transportation issues which may result, we urge Chamber members' participation in the public comment process associated with this project.

Business Development

Primary Function - to help communities not only secure new businesses for the region, but also to retain existing businesses (such as supporting the growth of current businesses with tax increment financing benefits); promote opportunities for local and regional businesses of all sizes to conduct business with each other within this region; and to "stay informed" of each community's initiatives, and assist where possible.

Based on multiple sources of input, the Chamber strives to make the connections between development and quality of life by investing time, attention and resources to "smart growth." The EPA presents this concept by saying that "smart growth is more town-centered, transit- and pedestrian-oriented, and has a better mix of housing, commercial and retail use. It preserves open space and other natural resources. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution."

The Environment

Primary Function -The Chamber's role is to join with its regional allies to protect and preserve our vital natural resources such as open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas by ensuring clean and plentiful water, clean air, clean land, and appropriate land use for all of our citizens.

Since air quality is of concern to everyone, this Chamber's approach is to focus its efforts on mitigation of transportation congestion issues in the area. Water quantity and availability of clean water are also critical environmental concerns for the communities and businesses that operate within the Neponset Valley. In fact, for some businesses, limited water resources could be considered an economic deficit and the region could potentially lose businesses to areas where water is more plentiful and less costly.
Economic Development is a Partnership

Of course, it should be noted that none of this work and the many accomplishments/successes would be possible without the commitment of the Chamber volunteer leadership and entities that fund our Economic Development activities: the towns of Canton, Dedham, Norwood, Westwood, and Walpole (known as the Regional Working Group - meeting monthly with the Chamber President at the Chamber office); Norfolk County; and many businesses including NSTAR Gas & Electric, Bank of Canton, Dedham Institute for Savings, Norwood Bank, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane, LLP, as well as a host of businesses that contribute anonymously.

To keep the whole region a welcoming location for desired businesses, NVCC provides information to those wanting to locate in Massachusetts. The Chamber has established close ties with state officials and we are always willing to connect interested businesses with municipalities Our Valley is very desirable, with two full-service community hospitals (Caritas Norwood and Milton) a superb regional rehabilitation hospital (New England Sinai), municipal airports, intersecting major highways, intersecting major highways, commuter rail lines and Amtrak stations located right here in the Valley, not to mention lower real estate prices while still in very close proximity to Boston. Businesses have all they need to be successful if they choose to settle in the Neponset Valley.

To learn more, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at the Chamber office.