Merrimack Valley Means Business

When you hear the words the Merrimack Valley, many of us think Lowell is the center of the Valley and that we hold the exclusive rights to “Market” the Merrimack Valley.

However a group of Mayors and Managers led by Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera have put together a plan to Market their section of the Valley and it is starting to get noticed.

Today’s Boston Business Journal has this story: Merrimack Valley mayors embrace a regional approach to economic development

A Big Part of the story is this:

The Merrimack Valley Mayors and Managers Coalition launched a new version of the “Merrimack Valley Means Business” website earlier this month, with an updated database of the available commercial and industrial properties from Andover to Newburyport. The site was initially launched by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce in 2006, and has since evolved over time to incorporate more cities and towns in the area. The mayors are paying LoopNet, an online commercial real estate service, to ensure the site remains updated.

To help promote the new site, the mayors, through the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, applied this month for $115,000 from the state’s Community Innovation Challenge Grant. The application’s focus on economic development is unusual, as most of the prior winners of CIC grants revolve around municipal services such as schools and storm-water management. It certainly will be competitive: A spokeswoman for the state Executive Office of Administration & Finance says there were 93 applicants for grants from a $3 million pot. Among other things, the eight Merrimack Valley mayors and town managers would use the money to advertise the revamped website, pay for a Merrimack Valley “Guide to Doing Business” and fund a business support team and training sessions.

The website is pretty nice and it will be interesting to see how they do.

It may inspire Lowell to team with Chelmsford, Westford, Tyngsboro, Tewksbury, Billerica and Dracut to form a similar coalition and work together.

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