Today, the Massachusetts Senate Task Force on Strengthening Local Retail unanimously approved its final report. The Task Force was charged with assessing the economic health of the Massachusetts retail sector, and identifying challenges and opportunities facing retail communities.
“I’m grateful for the policymakers, business owners and advocates who came together to work on this essential report,” said Senator Jason Lewis, a member of the task force. “These findings reaffirm our commitment to downtown revitalization, Main Street storefront restoration, and strong state-local partnerships for economic development. I look forward to continued advocacy for these priorities in the State Senate.”
The Task Force, chaired by Senator Michael Rodrigues (D- Westport) and Senator Vinny deMacedo (R- Plymouth), held a series of regional public meetings, hearing directly from retail employers and employees. The Task Force issued a set of findings, reflecting the testimony of retailers, information presented by industry experts, and an examination of current policies and mandates.
Members of the Task Force also included Senator Mike Barrett (D- Lexington), Senator Julian Cyr (D- Truro), Senator Kathleen O’Connor-Ives (D- Newburyport), and Senator Don Humason (R- Westfield).
The retailers appointed to the Task Force included Judith Herrell, owner of Herrell’s Ice Cream in Northampton; Peter Kavanaugh of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Dartmouth; Barry S. Rotman, Board Chair of Rotmans Furniture in Worcester; Malcolm Sherman, a retail consultant with expertise in turning around struggling businesses; Christopher Carlozzi, Massachusetts State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business; John Cahill of Maestranzi Bros.; and Christopher Connolly, President of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association.
The remaining appointees included Jim Carvalho, Political Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445; Harris Gruman, Executive Director of the SEIU Massachusetts State Council; and Jon Hurst, President of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.