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Newton, Needham, Watertown, Wellesley

Business owners' latest dilemma

Business owners' latest dilemma

Thanks to you -- our members -- for making us one of Massachusetts' largest chambers. One decade ago, we didn't even crack the BBJ's annual top-25 chambers list. We're No. 6 in the latest annual survey
It's our honor to serve you and to stand alongside so many remarkable Bay State business associations. 

Business owners' latest dilemma 
The rising costs of just about everything has put our businesses and nonprofits in a difficult position.
In fact, when we surveyed our members earlier this month, three out of four respondents told us inflation was their No 1 business concern heading into the fall.
For business owners raising prices is always a gamble.
Increase prices too much, or too fast, and risk losing customers. Raise them too little, or too slowly, and risk losing your livelihood.
With each price change comes another dilemma: Should I call attention to my need to raise my prices? Or just increase them and hope no one notices?
“Businesses, like consumers, have little to no experience in dealing with this type of inflation today — there’s no playbook,” Mark A. Cohen, director of retail studies at the Columbia Business School tells Charlotte Cowles at the New York Times. “The last time consumer prices skyrocketed in the United States was in the late 1970s.”
“If a brand is very cavalier about a price increase, then customers feel like they’re being taken for a ride,” adds John Zhang, a marketing professor at the Wharton School.
Zhang recommends companies explain why their actions benefit customers.
“If a brand says, ‘My costs have increased, and for me to stay in this business to serve you what you want, I have to increase my price,’ then the customers are going to be more receptive.”
I’d be interested in learning how your company is coping with rising costs -- and how your customers are responding. I’ll keep your responses confidential.

Still no word on UI relief and other business needs
We’re about a week away from when the state’s commissioner of revenue must report on the net tax revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The Baker administration expects the rosy report will trigger Chapter 62F, a state law that would mandate the return of some $3 billion in excess revenues to tax payers.
Amidst fears that legislators might try to block the rebates, at least two groups say they’re ready to sue state officials if they refuse to comply with the law, reports Alison Kuznitz at MassLive.
The looming rebate debate also held up approval of an $4 billion economic development bill that included many urgent business needs, including $300 million for unemployment insurance as well as reforms to the state’s estate taxes.
Also included are $500 million in various housing initiatives, $200 million for small-business assistance and $75 million to help businesses run by people of color. There's also $500 million for local water and sewer projects and other environmental infrastructure.
Even once the rebate question is settled it’s not certain if -- or when -- our vacationing Legislature might return in 2022 to take up parts of the unpassed bill.

Here's something we haven't done all summer
The chamber’s Coffee Connect -- originally scheduled for this morning at Linden Square in Wellesley -- has been postponed until tomorrow (Weds.) at 9 a.m. due to the possibility of a rare meteorological phenomenon known as rain.  RSVP. 

Wu covets Newton’s electrification slot
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu signaled last week that she'd be willing to bump Newton or one of nine other municipalities from participation in a pilot program that would ban the use of fossil fuels in new and major renovations of homes and commercial buildings.
And that could happen if the Garden City fails to meet the affordable housing requirements required under the state pilot program rules, writes Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth.
To qualify for the pilot, communities have up to 18 months to either meet its 40B “safe harbor” threshold (something Newton has failed to accomplish since 40B became law in 1969), or meet the terms of the state’s new MBTA Communities Law.
Of the 10 communities that have already signaled their interest in the fossil fuel building ban, Newton, Arlington, and West Tisbury don't yet meet the affordable housing rules. Acton, Aquinnah, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, Lexington and Lincoln have.
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller says the city is reviewing its 40B numbers.
Newton is also engaged in a process to rezone its village centers that could simultaneously meet the MBTA Communities requirements, a process that as John Hilliard in the Globe explains will enter a community engagement phase next month.
But we're talking about Newton, where all things related to zoning and housing are never certain

Other need to knows Another Celtic will unlace his sneakers in Wellesley

Welcome to newly acquired point guard Malcolm Brogdon who is the latest member of the Boston Celtics to become a Wellesley home owner, according to the Swellesley Report. 
Current residents include President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and star forward Jaylen Brown
?Ray Allen, Danny Ainge and Gordon Hayward are among past residents.
Then again, Wellesley will forever be tarnished by the whole Dee Brown thing

That’s Need to Knows for today, unless you need to know if taping your mouth shut can save your marriage.

Be back Friday.  See you at Linden Square tomorrow.
Greg Reibman (he, him)
Charles River Regional Chamber

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