Patrick-Murray Administration Unveils New Business One-Stop Web Portal
BOSTON – March 6, 2013 – The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development today unveiled a new, one-stop Internet portal for business owners.
Mass.gov/business brings together information from across state government to one central location, ranging from details on how to start a business and secure necessary licenses or permits, to how to handle tax rules and employer regulations and resources.
"Supporting our local businesses is the key to helping grow our economy and create good paying jobs," said Governor Deval Patrick in a new web video announcing the portal. "That is why my Administration has taken unprecedented steps of cutting thousands of outdated and unnecessary regulations, lowering the state’s corporate tax rate, tackling the state’s rising health care costs head on, and making more affordable housing available for young people and families."
Businesses interact with the Commonwealth on a variety of matters – from accessing resources to understanding obligations and regulations. Some businesses owners knew exactly which persons and programs to contact with in the state, easily accessing the desired services or information (grants, counseling etc.). However, many businesses are uncertain about what support exists and where to start to find the services they might need.
The new portal facilitates interactions with businesses by providing one place to find current and clear information regarding how they can get their needs efficiently met and brings together in one location links to webpages that are spread across more than 30 different departments, agencies, and quasi-state agencies on both the state and federal level.
The new portal was built with extensive user testing, bringing the businesses into the process of setting up the content and navigation of the portal. The users will no longer get lost in a maze of webpages. Instead, the user will enjoy a simplified user experience, useful tools and clear language. A cross-agency team led the charge with members who work with different aspects of our Massachusetts business community, including participation from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Mass Office of Business Development, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Revenue and the Operational Services Division.
“Across state government we have impactful programs and valuable information available to small businesses, but until now it was not always easy for business owners to find the information they need,” said Greg Bialecki, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “This centralized portal will allow business owners to find what they need and get back to what they do best, building strong, vibrant companies that succeed.”
“I want to congratulate Governor Patrick and his team on a job well done,” said Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, House Chair of the Committee on Community Development and Small Business. “This one-stop-shop resource for small businesses will meet a demand that my Committee identified in a statewide tour, which led to legislation we passed in 2012. I am pleased that the Administration has responded so quickly to assist business owners across the Commonwealth, who will benefit immediately from this easily accessible website.”
“If we want businesses to come to Massachusetts, expand and become more innovative, we have to be responsive to their needs; this website is a key solution,” said Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett.) “During our committee’s statewide tour last year, the Legislature heard that the state website presented challenges for small businesses to get information they need to be effective. In response to this feedback, I filed an amendment to the Economic Development bill last year to create a web portal to access valuable resources for our business community. I want to thank Senate President Murray, Representative Linda Dorcena Forry and members of the Legislature for being partners on this important legislation."
“Innovation has been a consistent focus of the Patrick-Murray Administration, and we continue to provide a variety of tools to help businesses thrive within Massachusetts,” said Tony Parham, the Administration’s Government Innovation Officer. “We are pleased to launch the re-designed business portal as a demonstration of the importance and effectiveness of having audience-specific, easy-to-use tools available for citizens and businesses – anytime, anywhere and on any device, in accordance with the ‘10A’s’ of innovation articulated at mass.gov/innovation.”
The website focuses on nine categories, starting a business; regulations, license and permits; counseling and assistance; funding and financing; hiring and managing employees; taxes; doing business with the government; why Massachusetts and small business guides. The site also links to some of the most-used tools by small businesses, including quarterly wage records filings, professional license searches, tax webfile services, and corporate records and filings.