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April 23, 2018

Worcester chamber pursues regional economic development strategy

File photo Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Timothy Murray.

With a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and other local business groups and public officials will create a regional approach to economic development.

The chamber and its affiliate chambers, Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, Worcester Business Development Corp. and and Congressman Jim McGovern’s office will collaborate on creating a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) designed to foster economic development in the region.

The CEDS will be regional and serve the entire area so as not to serve any one community at the expense of another. Instead, the CEDS will be a set of plans, policies and initiatives to be implemented by communities of all sizes but also fit a particular community’s needs. 

According to the chamber, the total cost of the CEDS is $90,000, and the grant was just over $40,000. 

The plans prepared by the chamber and other groups will serve as the region’s economic development plan for the next five years.

Areas with a CEDS can quality for federal economic development assistance and will be looked upon favorably by other government grant-giving agencies, the chamber said.

“In turn, that will contribute to the economic vibrancy of our entire region,” the chamber said in a press release last week.

The group is holding a public meeting to solicit input at 2:30 p.m. May 1 at the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce at 670 Linwood Avenue in Whitinsville.

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