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Study: Most Businesses That Chose Massachusetts Would Do So Again

WATERTOWN — A large majority of companies that chose Massachusetts as a place to expand their business would do it again, primarily based on its innovative economy, industry clusters, and skilled workforce, according to “Choosing Massachusetts for Business: Key Factors in Location Decision Making,” an 18-month study commissioned by MassEcon, a non-partisan economic-development organization, and conducted by the UMass Donahue Institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research group.

A statewide survey of businesses that had expanded within Massachusetts found that more than three out of four (77%) would choose to locate or expand here again, if faced with the same decision, and 64% rated the state as a “good” or “very good” place to do business. Nearly all of the surveyed companies (96%) cited the state’s high-quality workforce as a key factor in choosing Massachusetts. According to survey respondents, the top three strengths of doing business in Massachusetts were workforce, superior industry clusters, and the community environment.

“This report is a valuable tool for us to use to measure our successes in creating a business environment that supports employer growth and uncover opportunities to strengthen collaboration across the state to help our cities and towns increase jobs and investment,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “I look forward to the solutions that we can implement with our partners across business, nonprofit and government sectors to improve the business environment for the benefit of all Massachusetts residents.”

The comprehensive study was drawn from a multi-faceted survey and in-depth interviews of nearly 90 companies that had expanded or relocated within Massachusetts over the past 10 years.

“We are heartened by the validation of Massachusetts as an outstanding location for business expansion,” said Susan Houston, executive director of MassEcon, “but equally important, this study tells us that we can’t be complacent. For Massachusetts to maintain — and grow — its leadership position, we must continue to nurture our key assets and address the challenges that could undermine our economic competitiveness.”

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