Mayor Jon Mitchell and his economic development team have been working on growing jobs and the city's economy despite the strong headwinds of COVID-19.

The seaside city of New Bedford has been hit as hard, if not harder, than most communities by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Mitchell has done more than most local leaders to deal specifically with the virus – including a Roosevelt New Deal-esque move to convert two mothballed healthcare facilities into COVID-19 hospitals for his residence.

There will be a world after COVID-19 has passed.

With the future in mind, the Mitchell Administration has been working to grow private capital investment and encourage the creation of wealth and jobs in the Whaling City. There are now three serious proposals in front of the New Bedford City Council for approval.

Herman Melville helped make the nautical industry of New Bedford famous around the world with his novel Moby Dick. Today, New Bedford is still one of the world's most prosperous fishing ports. It makes sense to capitalize on what you are good at doing, and with that in focus, the city has two new projects that will expand the fishing industry.

Eastern Fisheries, Inc. is going to invest $12 million in a new facility and create 50 new well-paying jobs while retaining 275 jobs in the city if the proposal is approved.

The Atlantic Red Crab Company is going to invest $3 million in waterfront property and add 28 new jobs to the city's economy while retaining 89 local jobs if the proposal is approved.

Mitchell is working with the private sector to grow his city and the opportunities for the people who call New Bedford home. As goes New Bedford, goes the region.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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