Sen. Lesser Testifies in Support of his High-tech Economic Development Bill for Gateway Cities

State Senator Eric P. Lesser delivered testimony to the Joint Committee on Revenue in support of his bill to stimulate high-tech entrepreneurship in Springfield, Chicopee and other Gateway Cities. The bill, entitled An Act to promote high-tech job growth in gateway cities and filed by Lesser in January, offers a 10 percent tax credit to investors who fund high-tech small businesses located in Gateway Cities. To receive the tax credit, the investor must choose a small company with 75 percent of its employees working in Massachusetts.

“This tax credit will level the playing field for entrepreneurs in Gateway Cities, encouraging investors to look for opportunities in all parts of Massachusetts,” Lesser said. Senator Lesser also submitted written testimony to the committee.

Senator Lesser cited Springfield-based organizations such as Tech Foundry, Bay State Health’s TechSpring, Valley Venture Mentors and River Valley Investors as “leading examples of a startup ecosystem that Senate Bill 1507 will support, nurture and grow.”

Massachusetts’ post-recession economic recovery has long outpaced the national average, but not uniformly across regions. As of April, the unemployment rate in Springfield was 7.6 percent, compared to 3.7 percent in Boston and 4.7 percent statewide.

“It is important to support new opportunities in all corners of our Commonwealth,” Lesser said. “I believe this tax credit is exactly the type of targeted and innovative initiative that will foster the type of broadly shared high-tech growth so essential to a prosperous future.”

An electronic copy of Senator Lesser's written testimony is below.