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Study Description

The Impact of Local Business on the Cambridge Community and Assessing Economic Competitiveness

(January 2015)

This report was prepared by the Economic and Public Policy Research (EPPR) group at the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) for the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce (CCC), to communicate to residents, businesses, institutions and community leaders, the impact of business on the community and image of Cambridge as a desirable place for business location and investment. The objective of this study is to define the impacts of businesses (private and non-profit) in Cambridge as related to quantitative metrics such as jobs, establishments, tax revenue, wages, visitors, etc. In addition, we provide an assessment of competitiveness and the business climate in Cambridge to support the Chamber’s role in enhancing economic development and advocating for policies and investments to the benefit of the City.

The research team worked closely with the Chamber and its Economic Impact Sub-Committee to refine the study’s objectives and vision at the project outset. The study team identified publicly available data to create a series of indicators and metrics to better understand the role of businesses in the local Cambridge economy and community, and provide an assessment of Cambridge as a place for new businesses to locate and invest. To structure this project and provide a framework for understanding the business impact in Cambridge, EPPR used a four-pronged approach to develop a portrait of the Cambridge Business Community: industry and employment indicators; real estate and property value indicators; socio-economic indicators about Cambridge residents; and business climate indicators.

In addition to the discussion in this report, the findings of this study have been summarized and highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation and data findings and graphic tools that will be made available online on an ongoing basis through the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce web site.

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