Northeast Massachusetts has two distinct areas, the Merrimack Valley and the North Shore. Located in Northeast Massachusetts, just 25 miles north of Boston and Cambridge, the Merrimack Valley enjoys easy access to the entire metropolitan Boston area.
Located in Northeast Massachusetts, just 25 miles north of Boston and Cambridge, the Merrimack Valley enjoys easy access to the entire metropolitan Boston area. Three major highways radiate northward from Boston (Routes 3, 93, and 95), creating a strong transportation link research and development centers and institutions. Interstate Route 495 is the outer beltway around metro Boston highways and in turn connects each of the 24 communities in the region to these arterial highways.
The North Shore of Boston is a well-balanced region of sandy beaches, large tracts of woods and farm land, attractive office and industrial parks, all nestled in amongst over thirty historical medium sized cities and picturesque towns making for a population of nearly 400,000. Excellent public and private schools, seven colleges, four major hospitals, cultural activities and abundant history help make the North Shore a pleasing region in which to live and work.
Each part of the Northeast region has its own strengths and clusters, as well as a great deal of shared strengths. Situated within 30 miles of Boston, the largest cities are Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn and Haverhill. Salem State College and UMass Lowell anchor a diverse public and private educational system, with Middlesex Community College, Northern Essex, and North Shore Community College all contributing to the skilled, educated labor force of the region.

Cities and Towns in Northeast Region
Amesbury, Andover, Bedford, Beverly, Billerica, Boxford, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Danvers, Dracut, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lexington, Lincoln, Lowell, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Stoneham, Swampscott, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Tyngsboro, Wakefield, Wenham, West Newbury, Westford, Wilmington and Woburn. 

The Merrimack Valley has several defined priority clusters, including:

  • Aerospace/Defense (including Homeland Security)
  • Analytical Instrumentation
  • Medical Devices
  • Communications
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Green Technology and Alternative Fuels

The hub communities of the North Shore from Winthrop to Newburyport recognize that high tech development along with the retention and expansion of existing firms is a way to help provide good jobs to local residents while helping to broaden the tax base. The diversified economic base of the North Shore with it's fast growing firms and a highly skilled work force, several colleges, technical schools and excellent public schools, helps make the region an "economic oasis. Like other older manufacturing regions in New England, the economic base of the North Shore is evolving from a traditional manufacturing base of shoes, leather, machinery and textiles to research and development, biomedical, chip manufacturing, electronics and telecommunications, value added packaging and service related business.

Infrastructure and Permitting
Several communities have adopted the state's expedited permitting program, including:

  • Amesbury
  • Billerica
  • Haverhill
  • Lowell
  • North Andover
  • North Reading

Helpful Links

Peter Milano
, Senior Regional Director
Massachusetts Office of Business Development
360 Merrimack Street, Building 5
Lawrence, MA 01843
Phone: (978) 970-1193

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