BRIST L COUNTY BUSINESS NEWS The Official Publication of the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
The Voice of Business Since 1911
November 2017 Edition
Corner Office: Legislative Update
Nick Christ Named Oustanding Citizen tigious award within the business community. It is bestowed annually upon a citizen who has a long record of volunteerism and leadership that has produced a measurable and lasting contribution to the region. The standard is high because of an outstanding individual named Roger Valcourt. The Outstanding Citizen Award was named in memory of Roger Valcourt. Mr. Valcourt passed away very suddenly in 1979. He was a person who bestowed great character and commitment to community along with a reputation for excellence. The Chamber has since paid tribute to the life and achievements of Roger Valcourt through the annual presentment of the Outstanding Citizen Award.
The Bristol County Chamber of Commerce is honored to announce and applaud Nicholas (“Nick”) M. Christ as this year’s Outstanding Citizen. The long time dedication by Nick Christ to elevate the entire region of Southeastern Massachusetts is truly remarkable and inspirational. Anyone associated with Nick Christ, President and Chief Executive Officer of BayCoast Bank, will say without hesitation that he is one of a handful of individuals who have been instrumental toward changing the face of the region for the better. This is not an overstatement. The Outstanding Citizen Award is presented by the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce to an exceptional individual within the community in memory of Roger Valcourt. The Outstanding Citizen Award has long been designated as the most pres-
Think about it. What part of Southeastern Massachusetts has not been positively impacted by Nick Christ? The fact of the matter is that the involvement and impact of Nick Christ is seen everywhere. The Awards Committee chose very well in selecting Nick Christ as the Outstanding Citizen. He is outstanding. Organizations and individuals throughout the region can help in honoring Mr. Christ and all that he has accomplished by attending the 51st Roger Valcourt Memorial Dinner on November 9, 2017 at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Massachusetts. The Valcourt Memorial Banquet includes a celebratory dinner and the presentation of the Outstanding Citizen Award to Mr. Christ. This is an evening that will be talked about for many years to come simply because Nick Christ has helped countless people and organizations. Please make it a point to participate in honoring this outstanding individual.
There are still unanswered questions remaining about the many anti-business bills and pending 2018 Massachusetts ballot questions as Chamber member businesses prepare for the holiday season. The one certainty is that there will be an increase to cost of doing business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The assumption is based upon the passage of the $200 million Employer Health Care Assessment on businesses. This employer paid assessment really behaves as a tax. Recall that the year began with the surprise of an “Employer Contribution to Health Care” provision, which was inserted within the FY 2018 Budget. The purpose behind the contribution was to gap fill a budget shortfall in the state’s Medicaid program, which is known as MassHealth. MassHealth currently comprises more than 41% of the state budget. Against protests from the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, and several state business associations, the new assessment on businesses was passed by both houses of the legislature. The question remaining is more about how bad this new assessment will hurt businesses. Here is what you need to know. The new Health Care Assessment on businesses in Massachusetts is set to go into effect on January 1, 2018. The regulations are being drafted by a division within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The assessment will be imposed on employers through a two prong system aimed at capturing revenues. The first prong will be through the state’s unemployment insurance tax system. It is collected by raising the existing annual Employer Medical Assistance Contribution from $51 to $77, per employee. That is a 33% increase paid by employers on each of their employees. The fee applies to all businesses with six (6) or more employees. The (Continued on page 6)
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