Will I see you tomorrow?
The Charles River flows from our communities into Boston.
But what happens down river has a enormous impact on what happens economically, environmentally and culturally in our municipalities.
Today we congratulate and wish Michelle Wu the very best as she is sworn in as Boston's history-making mayor. Her success is essential to our success.
Will I see you tomorrow?
I wish we were meeting in person tomorrow at 10 a.m. for our our annual Fall Business Breakfast.
Next year, right?
But that shouldn’t detract you from making time to join us for our virtual conversation with our featured guest: Dr. Robert Langer.
Not sure who he is? Simply put, Langer is one of the most decorated scientists in the world. He also has a lot to do with why we can even start planning in-person events in 2022.
NPR called Langer "a modern-day Thomas Edison.” Forbes called him one of the 15 innovators worldwide who will reinvent our future. Time Magazine calls him one of the 100 most important people in America.
Langer, who cofounded Moderna and hundreds of other companies, is one of the scientists responsible for mRNA, the active ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine.
He’s also a co-owner of a hair care company with Jennifer Aniston whose products are based on discoveries at Langer Lab at MIT and holds over 1000 other patents.
And he's a Newton guy.
In addition to our fireside chat with Langer and NBC10's Latoyia Edwards, we will have a short-but-important discussion with the presidents of our two local hospitals: Dr. Errol R. Norwitz, from Newton-Wellesley Hospital and John M. Fogarty, from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Needham.
The two hospital executives will discuss how they and their employees weathered the pandemic and what we all need to know about the months ahead.
You'll be helping a good cause too: All registration proceeds support the chamber's "Nourishing" program which purchases meals from local restaurants for residents facing food insecurity. (Can't attend tomorrow but want to help? Register for the event and we'll send you the video link.)
Thanks to Needham Bank and the our other event sponsors for making our Fall Business Breakfast possible.
Hope to see you on Zoom tomorrow (leave your camera on at the beginning so we can see you).
Infrastructure bill takes away employer-favored tax break
At long last, the infrastructure bill was signed by President Biden yesterday.
It includes $1 trillion to fix crumbling bridges and roads and by expanding broadband internet access to millions of Americans, among other projects, including at least $9 billion for needed projects in Massachusetts.
But the legislation also means an early end to a lucrative tax credit that was one of the few remaining sources of COVID relief for business owners, reports Andy Medici for the BBJ: The Employee Retention Credit.
The ERC has been a life saver for many businesses, in many cases returning to tens of thousands of dollars from the IRS in return for keeping workers on the payroll.
The ERC was scheduled to expire at the end of this calendar year. But the Infrastructure bill instead ends the credit Oct. 1, 2021, or one quarter earlier than originally planned.
And losing the Q4 ERC could be really hard for some businesses that were depending on the credit to get through 2021.
While small-business owners cannot claim the credit for the Q4, they can still retroactively claim it for 2020 and 2021.
Other Need to Knows
- The Trader Joe’s in West Newton will go before the licensing board tonight to seek a wine and beer license (Anyone know if they still sell Two Buck Chuck?). Also on the same agenda are applications for two popular restaurants that already have locations in Greater Boston: The Friendly Toast coming to the Shops at Chestnut Hill and Fuji going to Trio in Newtonville.
- Wellesley College is reopening its campus to visitors starting today (Tuesday). However the popular walk around Lake Waban will no longer be available after the Hunnewells informed the college and the town that they will not be reopening their portion of the lake path to the public. Swellesley Report has the details.
- Needham resident Gretchen Cook-Anderson has been named to the newly created role of executive of LabCentral Ignite, an effort designed to help diversify the biotech field, the BBJ reports. Cook-Anderson appears on the Chamber’s 50 Most Influential Business People of Color in the Western Suburbs list.
New hire bonus program still has funds in Newton
A reminder that Newton Hires, the program that can pay up to $1,000 in bonus to qualified new hires who take jobs in Newton sill has funds available. Bonuses may even be available retroactively.
The program was funded by Mayor Ruthanne Fuller using ARPA dollars. There is no cost to employers.
The BC Heights news site has an excellent update here. Added details and downloadable flyers for your employees in both English and Spanish are here.
Email Devra Bailin if you have questions.
Overrides set in Wellesley
Wellesley will hold a special election Dec. 7 to consider debt exclusion tax overrides to build two new elementary schools.
Construction of a new Hunnewell Elementary School and a new Hardy Elementary School were approved at Special Town Meeting last month. Warrant here.
Want to know how much your property taxes will increase if approved? Use this tax impact estimator to estimate the maximum annual property tax impact of these building projects. Calculations are based on Fiscal Year 2021 assessed values. Since Wellesley does not have a dual tax rate the increases would apply equally to residential and commercial property owners.
UI trust fund deficit may not be as bad as we thought
For months, I’ve been writing about a looming $7 billion unemployment insurance deficit that, without help from the state, will otherwise be covered by businesses.
But last week the Baker administration said it doesn’t know the exact balance of the UI trust fund.
However, it appears its financial status is better than lawmakers and we'd been led to believe. Bruce Mohl at Commonwealth has more.
And now some news from your chamber
A valued member of our chamber team is moving on.
Our Director of Member Engagement Tiffany Zi Hua Chen has accepted a position as an account executive at MORE Advertising, a highly-regarded Watertown firm known for its work particularly in the nonprofit and social justice sphere.
This is an amazing opportunity for Tiffany. But a big loss for us.
In her four-and-a-half-years Tiffany has become an essential member of our team, truly setting a high bar for customer service; database management; event planning and execution; webinar events; support of our restaurant, nonprofit and DEI committees; executing our social media presence; and so many of the other elements – large and small -- that have been essential to our success.
Above everything else, she always brought an unshakable, positive, can-do, attitude to every conversation and interaction. Her last day will be Dec. 10.
I’m sure you will join me in thanking Tiffany for all she has done for the businesses and nonprofits in our communities and wishing her the very best.
The good news is that while Tiffany will no longer be part of our operations team, MORE Advertising is a long-time chamber member. We can all expect to see Tiffany as an active participant at chamber events for years to come.
The other good news is, this means your chamber is now hiring: We’ve posted the job description here. Please share with your network and help us find our next fabulous team member.
That’s today’s need to knows unless you need to what the cool kids are wearing these days instead of AirPods
Greg Reibman (he, him)
Charles River Regional Chamber
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