Depending on the source, you might get the impression that the Massachusetts economy is in desperate need of repair. The Forbes list ranks the Commonwealth No. 18, due to high taxes, and high labor, energy and housing costs. On the flip side, the New England Economic Partnership reports that the state has posted "…impressive gains in employment, wages, and consumer spending, outpacing the nation as a whole."
According to the report, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped to 4.5 percent, which is below the national average of 5.4 percent. Also, growth in wages and subsequent increased consumer spending bodes well financially for the state.
Massachusetts ranks third when it comes to quality of life, thanks to its top-notch colleges and universities – the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts represents 12 member universities and colleges in the Greater Worcester area – numerous opportunities for cultural, artistic and recreational activities and a strong hospital network system.
If you ask any of the businesses spotlighted in Worcester Business Journal's 2016 Business Profiles issue, they would agree with the overall positive economic outlook. The theme of growth runs throughout each profile, regardless of industry. From financial institutions, technology firms and service businesses to fitness companies, solar enterprises and hospitality venues, revenue, staff, products/services and clients reflect an upward trend.
Readers will be familiar with some of the businesses profiled in this year's edition. As usual though, there are some new and exciting enterprises included. Niche Hospitality's Michael Covino goes back to his physical therapy roots with the launch of a state-of-the-art fitness performance training center and a Framingham-based company provides top brand fitness equipment and service to all customers, including many professional athletes.
A Nichols College graduate brings his business skills to a successful IT services company, while the locally known Protector Group highlights its acquisition by the Marsh & McLennan Agency. And, an environmentally aware and enthusiastic team is focusing its experience, education and skills on developing sustainable housing in the region.
While some challenges remain, the Central Massachusetts economy is generally stable. TheWorcester Business Journal offers kudos for continued success and sustained growth to all the businesses that contribute to this positive fiscal climate.
Project Editor, Business Profiles