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Survey Sees Mass. CEOs as Bullish on Own Businesses
Date:10/11/2007

High Expectations for Biotech Plan

LOWELL, Mass., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than half of Massachusetts CEOs are somewhat optimistic about their own companies, but are concerned about the current state and national economies, according to a new statewide poll of 500 CEOs released today by the Massachusetts Economic Assessment and Analysis Project (MEAAP) -- a joint project of UMass Boston and UMass Lowell.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said their own businesses were growing compared to a year ago. While most projected no change in their number of employees over the next 12 months, 34 percent said they planned to hire additional workers and only 4 percent planned to decrease staff over the same period.

Expectations are high about the impact on the state economy of Governor Deval Patrick's $1 billion biotechnology plan, with 74 percent of the CEOs thinking it will be helpful to the state's biotechnology industry. An equal number -- 74 percent -- thought the Patrick plan was likely to increase the state's overall economic growth rate. Interestingly, while only 13 percent of CEO respondents said their companies were involved in any way in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or medical device or instrumentation industries, 38 percent said they thought the governor's overall approach would be helpful to their companies.

"This survey confirms that the state -- and UMass Lowell -- are appropriately focusing on growing the biotech and life sciences industry," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. "UMass Lowell has nano-medicine, biomanufacturing, and medical device development initiatives that can spur additional job growth in these critical sectors."

This is confirmed by 48% of the CEO's who indicate that the skilled workforce and proximity to research institutions are the state's greatest competitive advantage.

David Terkla, an economics professor at UMass Boston, who is a member of the MEAAP analytic
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SOURCE University of Massachusetts Lowell
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