Economic Development


Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration

Building a more resilient economy in our region.

In 2021, MAPC Economic Development team is focused on advancing an equitable economic recovery and building economic resilience. In partnership with leaders in government, the private sector, non-profit organizations and academic institutions, the team is committed to providing comprehensive plans and capacity-building support based on up-to-date research. Together, we’re working to ensure that the recovery from COVID-19 addresses root causes of inequality and builds the ability of individuals, communities, and the region as a whole to respond to future economic disruptions.   

Our work is guided by our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, created in 2020 and released in January 2021. It serves as a blueprint for economic recovery in the region and focuses on increasing racial equity, economic resilience, and climate resilience in the region. 

All of our work is based on research on existing conditions, current and future trends and best practices.  


To learn more about MAPC’s Economic Development services, please contact Betsy Cowan, Chief of Economic Development at 


COVID-19 Response and Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically, and possibly permanently, altered traditional economic systems as we know them - in the MAPC region and across the globe. MAPC's economic development team has helped our cities and towns respond in real time to the changes and challenges brought on by COVID-19, developing small business, unemployment, and digital access response plans; working on public health workforce development; and helping cities and towns repurpose street space to accommodate increased walking, biking, dining, and retail.

Community, municipal, and regional economic planning initiatives and downtown revitalization plans will be essential to recovery and resilience in our communities, and our team is ready to help our region respond.

Economic Development Planning

Our team digs into your community’s demographic and economic trends, current business landscape, and current practices to create goals and implementation steps to improve economic development in your community. Given the connection between economic development, housing and transportation, we develop strategies that prioritize and support community development, including community investment in housing, small and large businesses, workforce development and transit access. 

Small Business Support Plans

Our team can help you understand the needs of small businesses in your community through a deep dive into existing conditions and interviewing/surveying small business owners. We’ll then create a plan for how you can support small businesses in your community through policy changes, financial assistance, and other programs.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked on COVID-specific support plans. Read more here.

Closing the Digital Divide

MAPC believes that municipalities have a key role to play in ensuring universal digital access via computing devices, digital literacy trainings, and reliable, and fast internet infrastructure. We’re working with cities and towns and municipal stakeholders on assessing what’s needed to close the digital divide and how to make that happen.  

Read More Here

Unemployment Reponse Plans

Where can municipalities get unemployment data? What systems should cities and towns have in place to assist their residents? How can municipalities work with career centers? If an official is contacted by an employer who's hiring, what should they do? Many municipalities aren’t connected with the local career centers and other resources to help unemployed residents. MAPC can help evaluate the needs and resources in your city or town and develop an action framework for economic security.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked on COVID-specific unemployment plans. Read more here.

Workforce Development Strategies

Our team can help your municipality create a comprehensive strategy to develop a local workforce to support growing industries.  

Zoning to Encourage Economic Development

Looking to create a bustling business district in an old industrial area? Attract office parks? Introduce new types of businesses to your community? Our team can help you rewrite zoning—for a parcel, neighborhood, or business district—that encourages economic growth. Given that zoning changes are done to achieve broader goals and given the importance of housing and transportation for economic development, our team will work with you to determine the appropriate zoning to meet those goals.  

The Draft MAPC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is now available! MAPC is presented with the opportunity to create a regional economic development strategy every five years as part of our designation as an Economic Development District (EDD) through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Our 30 day public review/comment period begins February 22, 2021.

MAPC's CEDS serves both as a guiding vision and “blueprint” for the economic growth of the region and as a benchmark with which to measure growth and success. It is linked to MetroCommon 2050, which is Greater Boston's next regional long-range plan outlining long-term goals and strategies in five areas: Homes for Everyone, Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation, Inclusive Growth & Mobility, Dynamic & Representative Government, and Equity of Wealth & Health.

The CEDS provides a current picture of the status of the region’s economy and documents progress towards economic development goals.​ The CEDS will be guided by three distinct goals:

  • Goal 1: Residents of the region achieve financial stability in order to withstand three to six months of economic hardship.
  • Goal 2: There is increased parity between the wealth of BIPOC and White people in the region.
  • Goal 3: Everyone in the region is able to access jobs, goods, and services close to their homes via affordable transportation options, with shorter commutes and fewer transfers.

Our 30 day public review/comment period begins February 22, 2021. Please contact Betsy Cowan ( or Raul Gonzalez ( for more information or comments on the document.