Today, Lynne and I had Ben Forman on our LeftAhead podcast. It was a great show. I think one of the things that becomes clear is that while Greater Boston, especially the 128 bubble, has seen a large amount of economic growth over the past few decades -- it hasn't been shared by all. That's lead to a large disparity. One of the key things that made Massachusetts great in the past was the fact that we had large parts of the state where there was economic opportunity to find a good job and join the middle class. Most of those jobs are gone. In some parts of the state, new sectors emerged and continued to offer people in some communities the same opportunity. In the 11 cities MassINC identifies as Gateways, they haven't recovered with new, emerging fields like we've seen inside 128.
That can, of course, be changed -- maybe not with the same kinds of jobs, led by giant factories, employing thousands, but by hundreds of small businesses, employing dozens -- the bulk of which, according to Ben, would be in the business and service sector. We need to start better servicing those living in these communities, as well as work on the PR side to help lure more people to these communities -- and retain them. Speaking from experience, New Bedford was a cool place to live. Lynne loves living in Lowell. These are awesome communities that people should think about when they're considering where to open their small business or buy/rent their home/condo. With so many affordable units in great locations, these are the perfect places to locate -- inexpensive, plenty of talented people eager for jobs, decent public transportation, affordable housing and often very artsy, diverse cultural cuisines and scenes. With more small businesses moving in these communities, they can and will drive our state to a level of success for the Commonwealth I haven't seen in my lifetime -- because we won't be leaving certain parts of the state behind.