Beacon Hill Buzz with Secretary Jay Ash

Jay Ash talks economic development

Secretary Jay Ash sat down with state Senator Eileen Donoghue to talk about economic development in Massachusetts. The two discussed the importance of research and development, workforce training efforts, the need for affordable housing, and the billion-dollar economic development bill. Watch to learn what the state is doing to spur economic growth in your community!


Notable items in the economic development bill include:

  • The creation of the Angel Investor Tax Credit, which will incentivize investments in newly formed startups, with an extra incentive to invest in companies located in gateway cities.
  • Updates to antiquated liquor laws that will allow businesses like the Nashoba Valley Winery, Eataly, and Wegmans to both operate a restaurant and retail alcoholic beverages at the same site.
  • Provisions that permit the sale of alcohol on the Monday following a Christmas that falls on a Sunday and after noon on Memorial Day.
  • Reforms to the unemployment insurance system that will give people an additional five weeks to enroll in job training courses and apply for extended benefits.
  • The establishment of a commission to review the impact and feasibility of Massachusetts moving to the Atlantic Time Zone.

Notable bond authorizations in the economic development bill include:

  • $500 million for the MassWorks program, which awards grants to municipalities for infrastructure upgrades that support economic development projects.
  • $15 million for a MassDevelopment program focused on site assembly, site assessment, and permitting.
  • $45 million for the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund to encourage redevelopment at contaminated sites.
  • $45 million for the Transformative Development Fund, which pursues a variety of strategies to revitalize urban areas.
  • $45.9 million for the Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program, which awards grants to career and technical education programs that are aligned with regional economic development goals.
  • $4.7 million for the MassTech Collaborative to create a center for training and development in cybersecurity and data analytics.
  • $71 million to support the participation of Massachusetts’ colleges and universities in National Network for Manufacturing Innovation institutes, which will bolster our innovation ecosystem and nurture companies working with emerging technologies.
  • $6.4 million for the Massachusetts Food Trust, which will provide loans, grants, and technical assistance to food enterprises in low-income communities, combating malnutrition and creating jobs at the same time.

Efforts to promote housing production in the economic development bill include:

  • A $25 million authorization for the Workforce Housing Production Trust Fund, which will leverage profit-sharing to address one of the most pressing issues facing the commonwealth—the creation of workforce housing—in a cost-effective way.
  • The establishment of the Housing Donation Tax Credit, a creative idea that will stretch the value of state dollars and promote the preservation and construction of low-income housing.
  • Reforms to Housing Development Incentive Program that will strengthen the incentive to build market-rate housing in gateway city neighborhoods that developers might otherwise avoid.
  • An option for municipalities to create starter home zoning districts that will be affordable for young people who are preparing to start families.