Senator Jason Lewis, appointed to a new Senate Task Force on Strengthening Local Retail, met with members from five chambers Dec. 5 to hear from the small business community. The task force was established by the Senate in September to identify ways to help local retailers become more competitive.
Gathering information directly from small business owners is an early step. The Task Force will address a number of key factors, including: challenges in competing against online sellers; closures of local retail establishments and the impact that has on local economies and property tax bases; initiatives by local retailers to increase their market share; and, how state and local governments can encourage purchasing from local retailers.
Special guest Jon Hurst, President of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) was present along with other elected officials and Task Force members, including Sen. Michael Barrett, Rep. Paul Brodeur and Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan.