Biotech vs. Precision Plastics

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Good play on the radio and in the print media subsequent to our piece in the Herald giving Pioneer’s take on the billion-dollar biotech bonanza, excerpted below:

We all want to attract and grow biotech companies. [But] why not focus on financial services, which employs 180,000, or precision plastics, a large employer in Worcester and Springfield? [Why] not focus on the small business sector as a whole, which creates many times more jobs than biotech. Those jobs start people up the economic ladder – and stay in Massachusetts.

The only way to grow and retain jobs and broad prosperity is to improve the business climate by addressing areas of competitive disadvantage like unemployment insurance, permitting, health care and energy costs. Massachusetts has the nation’s highest unemployment insurance rates, commercial rents are sky high and the permitting process – though improving – is onerous.

Now blogs are picking it up. applauds the view that “the first priority should be to create a business climate that favors growth and encourages entrepreneurs.”  The closing line of the blog, however, airs a predictable sense of frustration that the focus on biotech comes at the expense of the plastics industry, calling for improvements in the biz climate that benefit all “not just those with political connections whose business plans might not otherwise get private funding.”

You want to grow key industries?  See Pioneer’s Measuring Up? The Cost of Doing Business in Massachusetts study, done in conjunction with the international consulting firm Global Insight.