MBR's Competitiveness Task Force

MBR Principles and Priorities 2017
Competitiveness Principles 2014
Massachusetts Tax Guides
Massachusetts Legislature

Roundtable Participates in State House Innovation Day with Members Dell, Google, Verizon, Raytheon, UMass & MassTech

Roundtable Teams with MassTech Collaborative on Cyber Talent Initiative
MBR Ad Hoc Committee on Innovative Business Models Meets at Babson in Boston
Governor Charlie Baker Talks Workforce, Infrastructure, Housing & Transportation with Roundtable Members at Fidelity Investments
Working with the Massachusetts Business Roundtable to Highlight Shire's Workforce Development Efforts
Roundtable Launches 8th Annual Jobs Summit with Workforce Solutions Group
Roundtable Joins The Boston Club for Important Discussion on Developing Diverse Leaders in the 21st Century
Roundtable Joins Business Groups Advocating for Change to Independent Contractors Law
Roundtable Thanks Senate for Passing Workforce Training Legislation to Strengthen Talent Pipeline
MBR Partners with Korn Ferry, National Association of Corporate Directors for “Building an Effective Board” Discussion
Roundtable Members Headlining Annual Jobs & Workforce Development Summit at Devens
MBR Partners with New England Council for Special Event Promoting Trade Opportunities
Roundtable Competitiveness Task Force Meets at PwC
Roundtable 2016 Annual Report Highlights Collaboration and Partnerships for Public Policy Impact
Roundtable Participating in Speaker Robert DeLeo’s Bay State Business Link
MBR Works with Legislature, Business Groups on Bill Governing Non-Competition Agreements
Making Massachusetts More Competitive
MBR Works with Legislature, Business Groups on Bill Governing Non-Competition Agreements
MBR Opposes Expanding Access to Confidential Tax Information
MBR Joins Business Groups Opposing Bill to Expand Access to Confidential Tax Information
Statement from MBR Commending the Legislature for Its Vote to Repeal the Computer Services Tax

Revenue Commissioner Names Diverse Coalition of Citizens to Advise DOR on Tax Administration

Revenue Department Reports Progress on Regulatory Reforms

Roundtable Hosts Meeting with Chairmen & Members of the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development

Roundtable Testifies for Increased Flexibility in Workforce Training at Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development Hearing
New Employer Assessment Joint Letter
MBR Hosts Second Working Session with Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development
MBR Teams with Haynes & Associates for Roundtable Conversation with Georgian Ambassador David Bakradze
Survey Shows Businesses Having Trouble Filling Positions, New Hires Less Prepared for Workforce
Bill on Non-Competition Agreements Does Not Pass Legislature
Roundtable Advocates for Economic Development Bill That Supports Voc. Tech, Hiring & College Savings Incentives
MBR Works with Legislature, Business Groups on Bill Governing Non-Competition Agreements
Roundtable Conversation on Globalization, International Trade with Drew O’Brien
Roundtable Supports Major Priorities Contained in Economic Development Legislation
Roundtable Supports Pay Equity Legislation Signed by Governor Charlie Baker
Roundtable Advocates for Economic Development Bill That Supports Voc. Tech, Hiring & College Savings Incentives
MBR Testimony on Economic Development
MBR Statement on House Pay Equity Legislation

U.S. News & World Report released its rankings of all 50 states in 2017 naming Massachusetts as the top state in the country. It ranked Massachusetts number one in education, number two in health care and number five in overall economy. While this is terrific news, there is no time to rest on these accolades. As Roundtable member companies know, Massachusetts is not in a simple competition with the other states—the competition is global, the pace of technological change is accelerating, and the pressure to adapt quickly is more intense than ever. Young workers—'millennials'—are demanding new and different behavior from their employers in how they engage in the community, employ technology, design the workspace, and treat both people and the planet, further adding to this pressure. Moreover, uncertainty at the federal level, specifically proposals to reform the federal tax code and overhaul health care, may have a profound impact on the state’s competitiveness.

The Massachusetts Business Roundtable believes that the state must continually evolve and strengthen the underlying conditions for growth in its diverse ecosystems to compete effectively in the global marketplace. In doing so, public policy should be guided by the following principles:

  • Massachusetts’ Economy is a Complex, Delicate Ecosystem. For many employers, Massachusetts is a great place to do business, for others the economy can be quite fragile. Taken together, the state provides a complex ecosystem of employers of different sizes, industries and sectors that rely on each other to innovate, share ideas, and provide supply chain relationships. This mutual dependence supports economic development, growth and innovation. To maintain and improve upon this vibrancy, the state must recognize that impacts felt in one link of the supply chain reverberate throughout the entire supply chain. Adoption of public policies that are broad-based, predictable and fair to all industries will ensure the state’s long-term economic health.
  • Costs Matter. The cost implications on job creators must be given every consideration in the development of public policy. It must be recognized in today’s technology driven economy, investment can be made anywhere, jobs can be placed anywhere, and consumer spending for goods and services can be spent anywhere.
  • Prioritize Education and Workforce Development. Massachusetts’ talent is its greatest competitive advantage. Strengthening that talent pipeline, and ensuring quality educational experiences, aligned with employer needs, provide the skilled workforce necessary to meet employers’ needs.
  • The Needs of Both Employers and Employees Must be Considered. Public policy impacts both the employer and the employee. Both must be considered as policy is made that impacts the state’s competitiveness in key priority areas such as education, transportation and energy, but also in promoting both a tax and regulatory environment that promotes innovation and is conducive to job creation and economic growth, as well as fairness, equality and diversity in the workplace.
  • Commitment to Regional Equity. The Commonwealth is a diverse economy with regional differences, strengths and challenges. Policy makers must be mindful of the differences among regions of the Commonwealth when developing public policy. Regional equity is essential to ensure that the entire Commonwealth has access to the tools and resources necessary to thrive.
  • Invest in Infrastructure. Transporting that workforce to and from work safely and reliably, as well as having access to diverse talent pools in different regions and moving goods and services effectively, must be priorities for state public policy.

Policy Priorities
To guide the Roundtable’s advocacy on these core principles, the Board establishes specific policy priorities to address the opportunities and challenges facing the Commonwealth. With the start of a new legislative session at the State House and a new administration in Washington, there are several specific policy priorities under consideration:

  • Federal Tax Reform. The federal government is considering significant reform of the federal tax code, including the corporate rate, changes to itemized deductions, and the border adjustment tax. MBR will work with the national Roundtable, state business roundtable colleagues from around the country, and other partners to address the impacts of these potential changes on the state’s competitiveness.
  • Tax Increases on Earnings. The Roundtable is opposed to the proposal to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to add a surcharge on income over $1 million for several reasons including the impact such a tax would have on the state’s competitiveness, especially hurting small businesses, the lack of certainty over the expenditure of the increased revenues and the bad precedent it sets making tax policy by amending the Constitution.
  • Workplace Initiatives. The Roundtable will engage in policy conversations on issues impacting the workplace, such as requiring employers to provide paid family & medical leave and increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, by bringing a solutions-oriented approach that balances the impacts on employers and employees.

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