OPINION | Barry Richard: Market Local Products and Talent
New Bedford does a poor job in marketing locally made products. For that matter, Massachusetts as a whole doesn't do much better. We are often encouraged to "shop local," but it's difficult to know where to find locally made stuff or what stuff even exists.
Next week the Massachusetts Senate is slated to take up (S 178) that would establish the MassMade Program to identify, connect and support businesses that produce goods in Massachusetts. The program would also be tasked with serving as a resource for consumers seeking Massachusetts-made goods.
The bill, filed by Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell);
"Massachusetts is home to thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses who produce quality goods, but are unable to promote their products on a larger scale.
This is problematic not only for these businesses, but also for the increasing number of people who would prefer to buy local and support the Massachusetts economy."
Donoghue says her legislation would promote Massachusetts products and businesses;
“It is frustrating to hear stories about a Massachusetts manufacturer who buys a widget from China, when the same widget is being made 15 miles down the road, or to hear folks say they would love to buy gifts or a specialty food locally, but give up and go online because they don’t know where to shop,”
On a smaller scale, so many fine consumer products are produced right here in New Bedford. Everything from clothing to various forms or art and even food items. There needs to be a concerted effort to promote and market locally made products here as well as outside of the region.
With such a diverse culture and a multitude of talent, New Bedford has a lot to offer to residents and visitors alike. Now, let's let the world know about it.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.