Senator Lesser Votes to Promote Economic Development; Secures Bond Authorization for Springfield Innovation Center Expansion

BOSTON – On July 14th, Senator Lesser secured $200,000 in capital authorization for DevelopSpringfield’s revitalization project of the Springfield Innovation Center on Bridge Street. Senator Lesser’s amendment, co-sponsored by Senator James Welch, was adopted as a part of the Senate’s sweeping Economic Development bill. “Springfield has seen growth in the technology sector thanks to groups like Venture Valley Mentors, TechFoundry, TechSpring, and others,” Senator Lesser said. “The construction of the innovation center on Bridge Street is an essential part of that growth. This would provide even more entrepreneurs with a place to nurture and grow their businesses.”

DevelopSpringfield’s Innovation Center provides space and resources to help launch new tech businesses. The Innovation Center (SIC) will be the cornerstone of downtown Springfield’s newly designated Innovation District. CEO Jay Minkarah hopes that, with the proper funding and support, the SIC will help top-notch entrepreneurs to “grow up, get bigger, and land right here in Springfield.”

Sen. Lesser’s appropriation, once authorized by the Governor, would be used to expand the SIC, allowing it to host more businesses. Combined with the other development around the renovated Union Station, investment in the Innovation Center presents a unique opportunity to bolster Springfield’s economy and create new high-tech jobs.

Senator Lesser has fought for the innovation economy as a member of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. He sponsored legislation for a tax credit for investors in high-tech small businesses that locate in Gateway Cities, and has secured funds for computer science and high-tech manufacturing programs in Western Massachusetts high schools.

The bill will now be reconciled with the House version and sent to the Governor’s desk.