I would like to congratulate Boston-based, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications on winning the town bid to market Framingham as a pro-business community.
Our company, Link Marketing Services, also submitted a bid for this opportunity and wish Rasky Baerlein well with the great opportunity they have to promote such a wonderful community. If they succeed we all win.
Our detailed proposal included many ideas and an implementation timeline that we believe could still assist Framingham with changing its anti-business reputation to a pro-business reality. Success on this front would mean that existing Framingham companies could stay here to grow as well as attracting new companies to town that would help stabilize our increasing property taxes and improve the distribution of our high water and sewer costs across a broader user-base.
Despite not being selected, we are a Framingham-based company and our principals have dedicated thousands of hours to community service in this town and we care what happens in this community. In that spirit, despite not being compensated for our ideas, we still hope that the town moves forward and adopts some of our suggestions.
Some of the components of the Link Marketing Services proposal included:
· A Business Outreach and Retention Program tailored to Framingham’s varying types and sizes of businesses.
· Framingham Chooses Framingham: How to Become a Vendor to Town, State or Federal Governments Workshops co-sponsored with other organizations to help local businesses leverage back some of the large amount of tax dollars that they pay and keep Framingham money in Framingham.
· A Business Concierge attitude at Town Hall where new business have a champion and are walked through the myriad of complicated processes involved in locating or expanding a business in Framingham.
· Telling our Win-Win stories. Nothing breeds success faster than previous success. When a new business comes to town this should be a win for the business and a win for Framingham. This program would capture and communicate those broad successes to multiple audiences and become a very credible cornerstone in showing that Framingham is not just saying we are “business friendly.”
· A Business Lending Workshop co-sponsored by and paid for by private and public business lending organizations that do business within the town of Framingham. One of the key reasons small businesses fail to reach their growth potential is difficulty finding financing for growth. This workshop would explain exactly what the criteria is and the specifics lenders look for when making business loans.
Each of the programs recommended serve multiple purposes:
1. They show that Framingham is serious about helping businesses and publicizing our successes.
2. Local businesses become engaged in a positive way with town government.
3. Each activity generates multiple public relations opportunities.
4. Each of the recommendations here can be on-going series of activities and events that within a few years could run on auto-pilot while still providing many of the initial benefits.
5. These are all strong programs and show that the town wants to partner with the business community.
6. All are low-cost and don’t require a great deal of town resources to execute.
7. These kinds of programs and the stories they generate will help change the negative perception the outside business community has regarding Framingham and will lay a solid foundation for Framingham to be looked at in a new light by new businesses.
We wish Rasky Baerlein much success and welcome them to the pro-Framingham team.
Ed Stoll is a Framingham resident and a principal of Link Marketing Services LLC. He is a former Chairman of the Framingham Economic Development Industrial Corporation and past President of The Greater Framingham Running Club.