COMMUNITY ADVOCATE – More than 30 companies moved to and at least 10 expanded in Marlborough in 2017, together occupying over 300,000 square feet of commercial space and creating upwards of 450 jobs, according to the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) 2017 Annual Report released at the organization’s annual Board of Directors meeting held Jan. 24. This does not account for at least 20 businesses, including two hotels and a 150,000-square foot entertainment complex, which recently opened at the Apex Center of New England.
In total, the number of company moves and expansions increased by at least 140 percent over the previous year, when about 25 businesses relocated to or grew in the city. Some of the largest new move-ins included Babcock Power, JENTEK Sensors, and Valeritas. The year’s biggest expansions were of the IPG Photonics headquarters and the New England Sports Center, which grew to become the world’s largest indoor ice skating facility.
Ten small businesses, representing about 25 percent of all 2017 moves and expansions unrelated to the Apex Center, were recipients of financial incentives through the MEDC Economic Development Toolbox. Together, these companies occupied 58,514 square feet of commercial space, and helped retain 34 existing and add 122 new jobs to the city’s labor market last year.
Since its launch in 2015, the MEDC Toolbox, which defrays cost through gap financing, tax reimbursements, rental assistance, beautification grants and amenities funding, has helped a total of 13 businesses open or grow in Marlborough, filling close to 90,000 square feet of commercial space, retaining 48 existing jobs and creating 214 new jobs. Among these companies is the city’s first brewpub, Walden Woods Brewing, which is set to open downtown this spring, and the city’s second brewery and coffee roaster, Lost Shoe Brewing and Roasting Co., which has also leased a downtown property and is scheduled to open for business in the summer. Other businesses that opened in Marlborough with help from the MEDC Toolbox include O’Hearn’s Tavern, Kiddie Time Educational Child Care, Fox Ballroom and Holographix. Local staples Kennedy’s Market and Big Apple Restaurant were among the companies that expanded or made improvements thanks to the MEDC Toolbox programs.
“While Marlborough is home to a number of big employers, the city’s economy is largely dependent on the success of our small and local businesses,” said MEDC executive director, Meredith Harris. “We recognize that small companies are often unable to get off the ground without some financial assistance, so we decided to create the Toolbox to help our local entrepreneurs build their businesses here. This, in turn, creates jobs and amenities for Marlborough’s residents, brings in more commercial taxes to pay for municipal services, and helps stabilize the residential tax rate, which is our ultimate goal as an organization.”
Besides outlining the various initiatives through which MEDC has been helping to support new growth, the 2017 Annual Report also highlights ways the organization has been facilitating developments, like the 450,000-square-foot Apex Center, and building Marlborough’s image through initiatives, like the new Visit-Marlborough.com website.
The Annual Report also summarizes the MEDC’s goals for the year ahead, including continuing to develop the city’s downtown area, French Hill and Route 20 East, as well as working with Marlborough Public Schools to better promote all the local schools have to offer.
View or download the full MEDC 2017 Annual Report at http://marlboroughedc.com/annual-report.
This article originally appeared here.