Many small businesses in the
"We see a path forward," Ash said. "So, there are going to be some difficult times ahead, still. If you are a developer, if you are a property owner, if you have vacant units, contact us. And we need some temporary housing. If you help out by employing some people while they are not employed, that's great.
"We all have a responsibility and a role to help those who have been affected," Ash said.
Ash said Gov.
"He's called us up," Ash said of Baker, "to be up there. I have been up there a half dozen times and my team, I've probably had ... six of my agencies up there in various capacities, and we are working with businesses. ... I also have housing responsibilities, and my housing director is up there as well.
"We are doing things like providing loan programs," Ash said. "We are organizing efforts to make sure businesses are connected with insurance and are filing the appropriate claims, and helping them figure out business plans for after they get back up and running again, so, it's a really important thing. We all need to pull together as a region, as a commonwealth just now for businesses and residents of that district."
The fund will help small business with no-interest loans of
Ash recalled speaking with the owner of a bodega in downtown
"Hasn't been able to open," Ash said, "is going to lose most or or all his stock, and was just the most optimistic, hopeful person in the world. It just reminded me again about the spirit that small business owners have."
Noting a lack of housing in the
He touted changes to the state's housing development incentive program, which provides tax incentives for developers of new or rehabbed market rate housing.
Before the recent changes, only five projects had taken place in the state, Ash said. Now there are 42 in the pipeline.
"What this program does is it provides a subsidy to build market-rate housing in a downtown," Ash said. "So, we are fortunate that we have a
Ash also spoke about success working with Mayor
He also gave a short update on the status of Amazon's search for a site for a second North American headquarters.
"We are waiting," Ash said. "We haven't heard much from them of late. They are doing their due diligence on those 20 opportunities." Ash said he does not know if Amazon is going to narrow the list down to five cities or if they are going to announce the location, which could bring with it 50,000 jobs. In the meantime, Amazon is opening a regional hub in the
"We are in a good place because if Amazon comes, that's great," Ash said. "If Amazon doesn't come, it's also OK because we have so many other businesses that are growing."
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