Western Mass. business community go one-on-one with state lawmakers

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Economic development, workforce development, and healthcare issues are just a few of the issues drawing the western Massachusetts business community to the Beacon Hill Summit in Boston on Wednesday.

The Springfield Chamber of Commerce organizes the annual event every year, as a way to bring business leaders and state lawmakers under the same roof to discuss issues impacting western Massachusetts.

Jeff Trapani of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce told 22News, they hear from business owners in western Massachusetts, then bring those concerns to lawmakers.

Trapani said one of the biggest concerns they’ve heard about lately is the rising cost of healthcare. “With respect to healthcare, I think some of it has to do with bringing down the premium costs and how to do that with the model we have in Massachusetts, and also addressing some of the legislation that has been proposed,” he said.

Costs aren’t just a concern for small businesses, they’re also a major concern for nonprofit organizations.

Judy Matt, the President of the Spirit of Springfield told 22News, several nonprofit organizations in the area rely completely on sponsorship, which is why state grants can help out tremendously. “People have been cutting back, so they need to find a way to raise revenue, and when you’re a nonprofit, you need to find sponsors. I don’t want to say the sponsors are dwindling, but they’re being approached by so many people, and there are finite resources,” she said.

The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce organizes the Beacon Hill Summit every year. The event has become the largest regional business summit at the State House.

22News is a proud sponsor of the Beacon Hill Summit.