The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


Spreading the entrepreneurial bug at the Sandbox Summit


Many Gateway Cities are promoting entrepreneurship as a way to foster home-grown businesses that will diversify and grow their local economies. From students looking for a start in the world of enterprise to retiring seniors seeking a second act, entrepreneurship can give Gateway City residents a pathway to greater economic well-being.


Communities can do a lot to spread the entrepreneurial bug and support the creative of ideas of their residents. The Merrimack Valley Sandbox is deeply involved in these efforts in the Gateway Cities of Lawrence and Lowell. We've learned from our experiences over the past few years, as well as from our colleagues working to advance entrepreneurship in other communities around the globe.


Next month, we are teaming up with the Commonwealth to spread this knowledge at the Sandbox Summit 2014. This two-day conference in Lowell will bring together government economic development officials, venture capital investors, accelerator program directors, and entrepreneurs from across the nation. The conference will feature top keynote speakers, including Gov. Deval Patrick, and 12 panels, as well as three pitch contests for entrepreneurs seeking funding to advance their concepts.


The Summit is a great opportunity for Gateway City leaders to learn from their peers and to connect with entrepreneurs and investors looking to bring innovation and opportunity to their communities. We hope you will join us.


- David Parker, Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Sandbox





Writing for the Standard Times, Steve Urbon captures the voices of South Coast leaders calling for an economic development bill with a strong focus on Transformative Development in Gateway Cities.




Chris Cooney, president and CEO of the Metro South Chamber of Commerce, and John Merian, chairman of the Brockton 21st Century Corporation, call for a larger commitment to a Gateway Cities Transformative Development Fund in an opinion column published by the Enterprise.


A key player has pulled out of the effort to revitalize the former GE site into the Pittsfield Innovation Center.


Communities along the MBTA Red Line, including Quincy, are launching a Life Sciences Corridor Initiative to attract biotech companies to the entire region, rather than pitting city against city.


The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development designated New Bedford's housing authority as a high performer.


Elected officials in Chicopee lay down an ultimatum with hotels housing homeless families to install sprinkler systems and bring the buildings up to code.




The Taunton Daily Gazette picks up the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's recent report on early education, which estimates that the cost of universal pre-kindergarten in Massachusetts would be approximately $1.5 billion.


The Brockton's new school superintendent unveils a three to five year strategic plan for the district.


The Standard Times reviews the progress and changes being made in the New Bedford public schools administration and recommends steps for the future.


Fall River examines the possibility of extending the early college high school programs, acornerstone of the Gateway Cities Education Vision, but inadequate funding from the state concerns the school department.


After teachers' vote of no confidence in New Bedford school superintendent Pia Durkin, the community reacts by coming out in support for Durkin's work.


Claremont Academy in Worcester was awarded a $75,000 innovation planning grant from the Patrick administration.


A college graduate from Lynn is urging all undocumented high school students to pursue college, the Item reports.




MassDOT unveils plans to construct a waterfront district kiosk in Fall River that will serve as a connection between visitors and the city's cultural destinations.


Governor Patrick announces a $2.75 million grant for the creation of a public park in Lawrence.




The new Lynn commuter ferry service makes it maiden voyage, the Item reports.


The Gateway Cities of Brockton, Quincy, Lynn, Salem, Haverhill, and Fall River receive grants under the first year of MassDOT's new bicycle and pedestrian safety awareness and education program. Fall River received $38,000 - the largest grant of any city. And Quincy gets an additional $461,000 in federal highway safety funds to improve bike and pedestrian safety within the community.




Three New Bedford companies are chosen to assist in the geographical survey for the Cape Wind project.


Salem Power Station shuts down its final coal boiler as the facility prepares to close and make way for a gas-fired plant, the Salem News reports.




The state gambling commission rejects Boston's bid to be considered a "host community" for the proposed casinos in both Revere and Everett.




In Fitchburg, the City Council unanimously appoints ten new members to the city's Youth Commission that advocates on issues that impact the youth population in Fitchburg.




Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong endorses Maura Healey in her candidacy for state attorney general. Maura Healey puts out her platform for corrections reform.


Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera files a $78 million budget that holds property taxes flat, hires 10 more police officers, and cuts total spending by $1.1 million. Most of the revenue for education and public safety is coming from the state, the Eagle-Tribune reports.


The Brockton City Council unanimously approved a contract for police that provides for a 13.25 percent pay hike over the life of the six-year deal, but the city's chief financial officer warns without revenue increases or budget cuts, there's no money to fund it beyond June.



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