Sixty percent of business owners haven't been able to make necessary investments over the last couple of years. Entrepreneurs of color were even more likely than white entrepreneurs to report they've been turned down by banks when applying for business loans, Koczela said
MassINC’s survey of 3,243 Massachusetts businesses, mostly with 25 or fewer employees, was conducted from June 30 – Aug. 9, 2022.
And this next item certainly isn’t going make things easier
National Grid power bills are set to rise more than 60 percent from a year ago. Eversource is expected to announce a raise in its electric rates soon too.
“This is the highest increase that I’ve ever seen,” said Helen Burt, National Grid’s chief customer service officer tells CommonWealth’s, Bruce Mohl.
Gov. Charlie Baker said yesterday that the state has reached out to the Biden administration, asking what the federal government can do "to enhance our ability to get through the winter, both in terms of having the power available to heat their homes but also hoping to deal with some of the price issues," Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday, adds Colin A. Young at State House News.
Meanwhile, Lasell thumbs its nose at inflation
After 16 years on the job, Lasell University’s President Michael Alexanderis retiring at the end of this academic year.
But there’s been no quiet quitting on Alexander’s way out.
This week, Alexander announced plans to slash tuition and room and board costs by one-third.
Previously $42,630 a year, tuition will drop to $26,000 beginning for students enrolled in the fall 2023 semester. Room and board will dip from $16,500 a year to $13,500, reports Will Katcher at MassLive.
The goal is to make the Auburndale-based liberal arts institution more accessible to a wider array of students.
“The college search cannot just be about what you think you can afford,” Alexander, said in a video. “It should be about finding the right college, the right community, and the right future for you.”
The average cost to attend a private university is expected to be more than $44,000 next year, excluding room and board, according to U.S. News and World Report. That is up from about $19,000 in 2003.
With two Mass Pike ramps, 216 street signs, 23 crosswalks, 12 traffic lights, multiple bus lines, and connections to six local streets feeding into that precarious intersection in Newton Corner, we may have finally found an actual rigged election. The intersection of Washington Street and Centre Street earned its nickname “the Circle of Death” after the state stuck a turnpike through Newton in the 1960s according to the Globe.
"The rotary’s traffic problems are perhaps best illustrated by the four-lane merge-a-thon that is the bridge east of the hotel standing over the Pike. Four roads, approaching from different angles, feed cars onto the bridge. In less than 200 feet, each car must merge into the lane it needs to drive off the bridge onto Galen Street, Washington Street, or onto the Pike. The bridge on the west side presents a similar four-lane merging challenge and throws in a curve and a grade change," reporter Jessie Scanlon wrote.
Like I said, only third?
Next Wednesday (Sept. 28) at 6:30 p.m. MassDOT will hold a virtual meeting to solicit public input into a proposed project to improve traffic safety and signals for the area.
“Our goal is to identify, evaluate and develop concept level short-term improvement alternatives to address safety and operational deficiencies associated with the roadway and ramp network,” the agency says.
Join our Real Estate Committee on Oct. 6 at noon for a virtual discussion looking at the changes happening now in Wellesley and whether or not this trend is unique to Wellesley or part of something bigger. Register.
Other need to knows
The weather looks great for Watertown’s always-fun Faire on the Square tomorrow (Saturday) from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Saltonstall Park and the areas surrounding City Hall.
Eversource is hosting a webinar for small businesses about how to prepare for storms and emergencies on Thurs. Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. Register.
Highland Avenue in Needham between Webster Street and the I-95 ramps will be closed to through traffic from 7 p.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday morning for paving. There will be detours (and, yes, I’m guessing they did not consider that Sunday is the start of Rosh Hashanah).
Wellesley’s Select Board will consider increasing the minimum square footage for the requirement of a parking and traffic study be increased from 1,200 SF to 2,000 SF. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts about this.
Newton is continuing its ongoing discussion with property owners and managers of commercial and residential properties about 20,000 SF related to the city’s development of a Building Emissions Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO). The upcoming sessions -- Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. and Oct. 25 at 8 a.m. -- will focus on compliance pathways, beginning with options for purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates using Newton Power Choice or market suppliers as the city does for its own electricity accounts. Register
Congrats to Newton-based Boston Showcase Company for winning two national awards at the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association conference in San Diego yesterday. Family-owned since 1913, the company won the Model Workplace Award and the Accomplished Young Industry Leader Award, given to VP of Sales & Marketing Andy Starr.
Pay those taxes now, get some back later
Wondering how much your business, or you, can expect from the state in November as part of that 1986 law requiring that some excess revenue be returned to taxpayers?
Generally speaking, refunds should equal to 13% of your 2021 income tax liability.Use this refund estimator to calculate your return.
In order to qualify for a refund, you must file your 2021 state tax returns on or before the extension due date of Oct. 17. That’s also the deadline to pay any outstanding taxes, writes Alison Kuznitz at MassLive.
Both resident and non-resident filers are eligible for the tax refund, as are fiduciary filers like trusts and estates. Non-residents involved in partnerships are also eligible if taxes are filed on a composite basis.
Individuals and businesses struggling to cover all of their outstanding taxes are able to request payment agreements from the Department of Revenue.
It's all about the churn
We all know there are fewer available workers out there
But did you know the number of working cows is down too?
The U.S. dairy herd contracted last year as farmers’ costs surged. As a result, butter prices have spiked nearly 25%, which is even higher than the 13% average grocery price increase (but behind eggs which are up almost 40%).
The butter shortage is actually a fascinating look at how the supply chain isn’t working. This Wall Street Journal story(free link) explains why.
Crawling for croissants
And in spite of those butter (and egg) prices have you noticed that Newton is in the midst of a bakery renaissance?
Since the early days of the pandemic, the number of bakeries in Newton has doubled, with 15 bakeries sprinkled throughout Newton’s villages, according to the folks at All Over Newton.
Next weekend, the small business marketing firm has come up with an especially sweet idea: They're organizing the city’s first Bakery Crawl, featuring ten participating independent bakeries.