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EDA Update

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

 

$17 Million Available to SpurRegional Innovation


The U.S. Department of Commerces Economic Development Administration (EDA) today published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for its 2017 Regional Innovations Strategies (RIS) program. The application period will close June 23, 2017.

The $17 million being made available through the RIS NOFA will help to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. Under this competition, EDA is seeking applications for two separate funding opportunities: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition.

  • i6 Challenge ($13M): Across the country, regions and communities are helping entrepreneurs overcome challenging barriers to help build new companies and create jobs through the efforts of universities, National Labs, state and local governments, incubators, and various other organizations. The i6 Challenge helps drive these efforts by supporting the creation and expansion of programs that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and, ultimately, jobs.
  • Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition ($4M): The availability of funding for early-stage companies is an essential element of a healthy innovation-based regional ecosystem. Taking an idea or innovation from conception to market often requires capital, but in many regions across the country, innovators and entrepreneurs struggle to find that capital. SFS grants provide funding for technical assistance and operational costs that support the planning, formation, launch, or scale of cluster-based seed funds that will invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to theNotice of Funding Availability on grants.gov for more details on both the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support grants, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, application and submission deadlines, and other information. Funding for both programs is available to all communities regardless of level of distress.

EDAs Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship leads the RIS program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.

In collaboration with SSTI, OIE will present an informational webinar on May 22, 2017, at 3:00pm ET. Register now!

 

Links

 
 

 

CapeSpace selects OpenCape to Power First Full-Service Workspace Facility

 

Barnstable, MA — Epitomizing a booming national and global trend, Cape Cod’s first full-service, shared workspace facility has opened its doors in Hyannis with high-speed, fiber-optic fed WiFi.

The CapeSpace facility includes private offices “touch down desks,” a shared business lounge, a café and meeting space complete with video conferencing and audio/visual equipment.

One of the leading selling points for CapeSpace is “The Cape’s fastest and most reliable Wi-Fi.” CapeNet, the local company that delivers high-speed broadband on the OpenCape fiber optic network, is the service provider making that claim possible.

“Having truly fast and reliable high-speed broadband is critical to the services we’re offering” said Robbin Orbison, president of CapeSpace.

While every town government and most schools on Cape Cod are already using the OpenCape network, Gigabit Internet speeds are not common for commercial businesses on Cape Cod. Neither is shared workspace.

As an industry-wide average, shared workspace is 30-40% less expensive than conventional commercial office space when all the costs of renting are considered. Shared workspace operations also offer many more amenities than traditional office space.

Between 2005 and 2012 the number of telecommuters in the U.S. increased by 79%. Today there are 3.2 million. The number of independent workers is currently 30 million, and that’s expected to hit 40 million by 2019. Worldwide, the mobile worker population is projected to reach 1.3 billion this year.

With growth like that, it’s no wonder Orbison saw the opportunity to establish a shared workspace facility on the Cape.“Today’s modern, mobile workforce wants space that accommodates their needs in terms of technology, equipment, budget, even amenities like coffee and snacks,” Orbison said. “For independent workers in particular, the biggest factor is the social aspect. We offer a way to belong to a community again and reduce the sense of isolation inherent in the nature of their jobs.”

Businesses in conventional office space can also turn to CapeSpace for swing space, or for offsite meetings, which surveys indicate are more productive than those held in-house. And, for Cape Cod’s countless business and vacation travelers, CapeSpace fills a critical need for temporary work and meeting space with connectivity.

CapeSpace is located at 100 Independence Drive in Hyannis. Online booking and more information are available via the CapeSpace website at http://www.capespace.com/

Published on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine


Barnstable startup on investors' radar

By Lorelei Stevens

Cape Cod Times
lstevens@capecodonline.com

August 30. 2016 2:00AM

 

Remote Sensing Solutions wins second grant to bring technology to market.
 
Michel Fernandes, James Canniff and James Carswell, from left, plan to keep engineering and manufacturing jobs on the Cape with the latest grant their business, Remote Sensing Solutions, has received to commercialize cutting-edge radar technology.  Merrily Cassidy/Cape Cod Times
Michel Fernandes, James Canniff and James Carswell, from left, plan to keep engineering and manufacturing jobs on the Cape with the latest grant their business, Remote Sensing Solutions, has received to commercialize cutting-edge radar technology. Merrily Cassidy/Cape Cod Times

 

BARNSTABLE VILLAGE — A local technology company has earned recognition and critical funding from MassVentures, a quasi-public venture capital firm that invests in Massachusetts startups with high growth potential to help them progress from the development stage into the market.

Remote Sensing Solutions will use its $200,000 grant to commercialize technology that company President James Carswell described as “a game-changing solution for radar digital subsystems.”

Illuminated by the natural light streaming through the rooftop windows of their Route 6A office and workshop building, CFO James Canniff and CEO Michel Fernandes later offered a nuts-and-bolts explanation of what the scientist-engineers at Remote Sensing Solutions do.

“We work with remote sensing, acquiring information without contact,” Fernandes said. “Everything our company does, all our products and services, is around that field.”

At the heart of it is a miniaturized radar sensing and data collection and analysis system capable of “seeing”  through dust and clouds and darkness with such accuracy that it can pinpoint the barrel of a gun before a shot has been fired, Canniff said.

The technology obviously can be of use to the military, but its small size and light weight means it could potentially enable safe operation of drones in U.S. airspace, allow researchers to locate, track and count whales and monitor marine debris, help Coast Guard search-and-rescue personnel find mariners in distress and change the way autonomous cars avoid collisions, he said.

The two key products in the system are called PathIn, which stands for Phased Array Terrain Hazard Interferometer, and ARENA, which stands for Advanced Reconfigurable Embedded Network Appliance. Basically, Canniff explained, PathIn collects the data and ARENA processes it.

The ARENA is about the size of a cellphone and weighs less than 2 pounds. That compares with an older-model radar unit in the workshop that resembles a computer tower and weighs about 40 pounds.

Remote Sensing Solutions, which currently employs nine people, has done much of its development work with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey through the Small Business Innovation Research program.

While the small-business program provides seed money so entrepreneurs can fill out their concepts, it does not help with the next step, commercialization, meaning lots of funded product and service ideas end up on the shelf and never get to market.

Canniff said the phenomenon is well known in the tech startup world as the “SBIR valley of death.”

Now in its fifth year, MassVentures’ START program, which stands for SBIR Targeted Technologies, helps companies “bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said in the statement announcing this year’s awards.

The START program is a three-year, highly competitive process that funds a select few Massachusetts companies that have received the awards, according to MassVentures.

The 2016 START grant is Remote Sensing Solution’s second. It received a $100,000 Stage I grant last year for its PathIn technology. This year, it was one of only five companies in the state to win a $200,000 Stage II grant.

Remote Sensing Solutions will use the money to hire additional engineers and sales staff, file patents and attend trade shows and the company expects to open a new manufacturing site in the next year or two, Fernandes said.

While the sales staff can work from anywhere and the company also has an office in Monrovia, California, the plan is to keep the engineering and manufacturing jobs on the Cape.

“The goal is to have that here,” Canniff said.

David Wiley, research coordinator for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, is enthusiastic about early discussions he has had with Remote Sensing Solutions about partnering for testing.

Because PathIn-ARENA systems can be installed on vessels and aircraft and detect minute differences in the heights of objects, they could allow researchers to detect, count and track whales without putting sound in the water that can harm marine life.

 “A lot of testing still has to be done, but the possibilities are really exciting. It’s a very different way to gather information,” Wiley said. “And the fact that the lab is on the Cape is pretty amazing, too.”


 

SBA launches new website for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs

August 09, 2016

Certify.sba.gov will assist small firms doing business with federal government; streamline applications and eliminate documentation obstacles

WASHINGTON, D.C.— SBA has launched certify.sba.gov, a new website to further streamline and improve the application processes for small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to do business with the federal government.

“SBA is committed to being as nimble and agile as the small businesses we serve. In addition to LINC our “Start Up in a Day Initiative” and “Small Business Tech Coalition", the launch of certify.sba.gov is another way SBA is leveraging the power of technology for Americans. This new website first focuses on closing market gaps for women entrepreneurs in the federal marketplace by featuring the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program as we work toward breaking federal contracting goals for a second year in fiscal year 2016,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

With this website, SBA’s contracting application and certification process for women-owned small businesses is now completely accessible online and easier than ever to complete. Women contractors can now easily manage the certification process, including Third Party Certifications as part of the WOSB Federal Contract Program.

The new website will eventually serve additional SBA contracting programs, including the 8(a) Business Development Program, the HUBZone Program, and others. The site will allow several forms to be filled out electronically, reducing the burden of printing, scanning, and uploading. As additional certifications like the 8(a) Business Development Program are moved into the new system, documents uploaded for one program may be reused for another.

The site also has a tool called “Am I Eligible?” which allows a small business to answer approximately fifteen questions and to determine if the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, the HUBZone Program, and/or the 8(a) Business Development Program are a good fit for their business.

“Small businesses often get too little credit for their work as our nation’s leading job-creators, generating nearly two out of three net new jobs in our economy,” Contreras-Sweet added. “Last fiscal year the federal government awarded its highest percentage of contracting dollars to small businesses in the history of the United States, totaling more than $90 billion. Those resources supported more than half a million jobs in communities across this country. When these federal dollars churn in local communities, they create a multiplier effect that strengthens the local tax base and leads to better government services and better schools. That’s the promise of our work.”

SBA is coordinating additional public announcements for mid-August to amplify the system’s launch. Questions about the WOSB Federal Contract Program should be directed to wosb@sba.gov.


OpenCape launches CrowdFiber site

 

Published on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

 

Online tool allows Residents & Businesses to express desire for 100% Fiber based Internet service at opencape.org
Barnstable, Mass.

OpenCape’s Executive Director Steven Johnston announced today that the organization has launched a new website that includes a CrowdFiber tool aimed at allowing businesses and residents the ability to express their interest in connecting to the OpenCape 100% Fiber Network, offering Gigabit+ speeds.


“As we look at a rapidly approaching future that will demand exponential increases in connectivity for our region; our schools, businesses, towns and residents will not be able to compete in the global economy when saddled to the legacy networks of the incumbent providers that are re-purposed, pre-existing networks. The OpenCape Network was purpose built for the demands of high-speed data access with particular attention to symmetrical bandwidth and low latency.” “We are the only 100% fiber optic network servicing Southeastern, MA. In short, we were built for the future.”


What does this mean for residents and businesses? “It means having a choice; when residents and businesses have a choice for service then the consumer always benefits.” This is the first step in the process of extending the network to reach more users on the Cape, Islands & Southeastern, MA. Residents and businesses alike can visit the website and signal their desire for access to the network. For residents this doesn’t mean a truck will show up tomorrow to connect them, but it will allow OpenCape to record their interest and group them based on their physical location. “Signaling your desire for better service is only part of the process, encouraging your neighbors to participate is a critical key component as we need the density of entire neighborhoods and communities to make this really cost effective.” The data generated by the CrowdFiber tool will permit OpenCape to work collaboratively with towns to identify and manage demand and evaluate funding options for connecting entire communities.


“Utilizing the CrowdFiber tool is really a community effort” said Johnston. “It all began with the support of the Cape Cod Economic Development Council who has believed in the vision of OpenCape from the beginning and has supported our efforts”. OpenCape received a grant from the Cape Cod Economic Development Council this spring to cover the implementation of the CrowdFiber tool.


OpenCape has successfully completed its original mission of constructing the “backbone” of one of the world’s most advanced fiber optic networks - extending 475 miles throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands.


Currently broadband services are being provided over the OpenCape network to more than 100 entities, including libraries, government buildings, schools, colleges, hospitals, public safety agencies and research institutions. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Bridgewater State University, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, Massasoit Community College, Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant, Hyline Cruises, Meganet Communications, Hydroid, and Granite Block Global Data Center are just some that have chosen OpenCape for their critical data transport and Internet services.


For more information, please visit http://www.opencape.org/

 


 

CapeFLYER 4th of July Ridership Exceeds 2,000


The CapeFLYER is very pleased to announce that over 2,000 passengers rode the train to and from Cape Cod over the holiday weekend. It is truly exciting to watch the genuine enthusiasm being displayed by the hundreds of visitors who choose to ride our unique seasonal rail service as opposed to having to sit in traffic for hours trying to make their way to our beautiful piece of the Commonwealth. We now have several options to get around when you arrive such as local buses, ridesharing, shuttles to the ferries, Zipcar and biking that will conveniently get you to your final Cape destination.  "The 4th of July really signifies the beginning of the summer and we anticipate having busy weekends and happy customers right through Labor Day" stated CCRTA Administrator Tom Cahir.  "Whether for a day trip, a weekend visiting family and friends or any other reason let the train do the driving so your vacation can begin as soon as you are on-board,” Cahir added.

About the CapeFLYER: The CapeFLYER operates as a dedicated train on Friday nights leaving South Station at 5:50 PM with stops in Braintree, Brockton, Middleboro, Wareham, Buzzards Bay and Hyannis.  Trains also operate on Saturdays and Sundays and holiday Mondays until Labor Day weekend.  The complete schedule is available at www.capeflyer.com.

 

In addition to a convenient trip to Cape Cod, the CapeFLYER works closely with the ferry operators to provide convenient connections to and from Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.  Cape Cod RTA buses are available at Buzzards Bay and Hyannis to bring passengers to the Cape communities.  Finally, the CapeFLYER operates a café car that sells excellent food and drinks, including beer and wine, provided by Blonde on the Run Catering.

 

The CapeFLYER is a unique partnership between the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.  For additional information, including a complete schedule, fares and information about connections, please visit: www.capeflyer.com


The United States Department of Labor announced today that the long-awaited and much-debated new Fair Labor Standards Act regulations will be effective December 1, 2016.  These regulations represent the most sweeping changes to federal wage and hour law since the FLSA became law nearly 80 years ago.  Most significantly, the new regulations change the exemptions to required overtime by updating the salary and compensation levels needed for workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South, which is $913 per week or $47,476 annually for a full-year worker;
2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally, which is $134,004; and
3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.
Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level. The Final Rule makes no changes to the duties tests.

Tocci & Lee recommends that clients reassess the categorization of "exempt" employees under the new rules.  While doing so, employers should re-evaluate job descriptions to ensure that exempt position descriptions accurately convey those duties and responsibilities which give the position its unique, exempt character.  We also encourage employers to review employee handbooks to ensure that any policies governing payment of wages, time and attendance are updated and accurate.  Massachusetts employers should already have in place policies that are compliant with the Massachusetts Paid Sick Leave law, which became effective on July 1, 2015 and which the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office will now be more aggressively enforcing.

For almost fifteen years, Tocci & Lee has been the leader in the field of wage and hour compliance.  They recommend several guides issued by the United States Department of Labor regarding compliance with the new regulations.  Additional valuable information regarding the new regulations may be obtained from the Department of Labor website: https://www.dol.gov/whd or by clicking on one of the links below.

*    White House Fact Sheet: Overview and Summary of the Rule
*    Overtime video
*    Wage and Hour Division Overtime Fact Sheet
*    Questions and Answers
*    Comparison Table: Current Regulations, Proposed Rule, and Final Rule
*    Overtime Webinars from the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division
*    Small Business Guide
*    Non-profits and the FLSA
*    Higher Education and the FLSA
*    State and Local Governments and FLSA
*    Private Employer Technical Guidance Document
*    Non-Profit Technical Guidance Document
*    Higher Education Technical Guidance Document
*    Non-Enforcement Policy Questions and Answers

Finally, Cape Cod businesses have a chance to hear directly from the Department of Labor at an educational event sponsored by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and Tocci & Lee, LLC on June 7, 2016.  Here our panelists, including Carl Loria from the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, discuss the toughest compliance areas faced by businesses on the Cape.  For more information on the program and registration, please follow this link: http://www.whycapecod.org/register#id=11081&cid=286&wid=501

T&L stands ready to assist in all your employment/immigration compliance areas.  Please feel free to call with any questions, concerns or for any compliance assistance. And we hope to see you on June 7!

John F. Tocci, Esq.
Tocci & Lee, LLC
85 Devonshire St., 10th Floor
Boston, MA  02109-3572
(PH):   617-542-6200 x212
(Fax):  617-542-6201
(Cell):  617-930-0061
jtocci@toccilee.com
www.toccilee.com
Cape Cod Office - (508)790-1181
Houston, TX Office (832) 993-3083
London, UK Office - +44 (0)20 7268 6830

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this email is intended to educate the public and our members generally and is not intended to provide legal advice or counseling to any individual, company or situation. The information provided should be of general interest and no information or claim should be relied upon for any specific situation. Readers are strongly advised not to attempt to solve problems on the basis of information contained herein. Each reader should seek competent legal counsel so that specific matters and facts can be analyzed for appropriate legal advice.


 

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Creative Sector Proposals for FY2017 Economic Development Legislation

Nonprofits in the MCC’s Cultural Investment Portfolio fueled the Massachusetts economy with $1.2 billion in direct spending in 2014, and their audiences spent an additional $1 billion—making the total economic impact of our arts and cultural nonprofits more than $2.2 billion. This combined spending generated $124 million in revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its communities through taxes and fees. And this cultural activity supported 68,000 jobs for the nonprofits and the companies and individuals that do business with them.

Economic development legislation in 2006 established the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), which has invested $82 million and leveraged more than $1.9 billion in spending on arts and cultural building projects statewide. Those projects provided more than 19,000 jobs, restoring many important historic structures, and attracting more than 18 million cultural tourists to Massachusetts annually. MCC has also invested nearly $10 million to advance local creative economy strategies in cities as diverse as Pittsfield, Lowell, Holyoke, and Lynn over the past decade via its Adams Arts Program and Cultural Districts Initiative. These grants have inspired new creative placemaking investments by private funders like the Barr Foundation, Boston Foundation, and others.

Proposed state economic development legislation offers new opportunities to invest in the state’s creative economy in ways that further build community vitality, expand cultural tourism, and drive innovation in the nonprofit arts sector. This document broadly outlines how MCC would invest additional resources to realize these goals in three main areas: creative placemaking, cultural tourism, and creative technologies.

CULTURAL TOURISM

The year 2020 marks the 400 anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in Plymouth, a seminal event in American history. The MCC is working with the Mass 400 Inc. to leverage this milestone to not only draw millions of new visitors to Plymouth, Cape Cod and the Islands, but to then launch a series of commemorative events leading to 400th anniversary of the founding of Boston and Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. This effort has enormous potential to grow our cultural tourism sector. Similar efforts in Jamestown, VA (2007) and Santa Fe, NM (2010) show that state investment and leadership is essential to ensuring these efforts succeed.

Working with the Mass Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT), Mass 400 and regional partners, MCC seeks funding for the following:

  • An international marketing and development efforts to build support for events in 2020 and beyond;

  • A nationally traveling exhibition that tells the story of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag peoples to new audiences;

  • Matching funds to co-commission new works of visual and performing art in partnership with the U.K.;

  • A Wampanoag-led International Powwow;

  • A major public art commission at Logan & Heathrow Airports to welcome visitors and draw them back for commemorative events.

  • A special float at the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to draw international attention to the 2020 events.

To boost the economic impact of the performing arts sector, MCC will establish a Theatre Revitalization Fund to catalyze the development of world premier and pre-Broadway theater productions using proceeds from a new tax credit program. Fees from tax credit applications will support the Fund. This will build off the initial ideas put forward by Reps. Nick Collins of Boston and Paul McMurtry in House Bill 2471.

CREATIVE PLACEMAKING

Created by the Legislature in 2010, state-designated Cultural Districts now exist in 32 cities and towns across Massachusetts. They range from downtown commercial centers in Gateway Cities like Springfield, Lowell, and New Bedford; to major arts destinations like Boston’s Fenway neighborhood; to communities like Concord and Williamstown that attract cultural tourists year round. MCC has provided modest funding to the Cultural Districts through its Adams Arts Program and direct, $5,000 grants in FY16. The districts now seek state support for local wayfinding—highway signs, local street signage, banners, and lighting—to better define the districts and help visitors better navigate their experience.

Future City Mass: Funding for major demonstration projects and development of a toolkit to bring the ideas of London-based Futurecity to the United States. Futurecity has successfully integrated arts and culture into major real estate development projects in cities across the U.K. and Australia. In addition, funds would enable Massachusetts to map its cultural assets to better align them with local community development strategies, and attract more cultural tourism. The demonstration projects would take place in our three largest cities: Boston, Worcester & Springfield.

 

Meri Jenkins

Adams Arts Program/MA Cultural Districts Initiative

Massachusetts Cultural Council

10 St.James Avenue, 3rd Floor

Boston MA 02116

Tel: 617/858-2716

Fax: 617/727-0044

Email: meri.jenkins@art.state.ma.us

Website: www.massculturalcouncil.org


TDI DATA REPORT      

On February 3, MassDevelopment released its 2016 Transformative Development Initiative Gateway City Economic Snapshot, which revealed varied community characteristics and distress levels in the 26 gateway cities. You can view the report here. Below are the infographics from the report that detail the economic analysis:      

         


From the Workforce Investment Board:

 

 

In the week ending April 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 238,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 257,000. The 4-week moving average was 243,000, an increase of 750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 242,250.

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 Business Investments Map

This interactive GIS map displays new, expanding or redeveloped businesses and commercial properties within the Town of Barnstable. This reference tool shows recent commercial growth and economic development in Barnstable's activity centers: http://www.businessbarnstable.com/barnstable-massachusetts-new-business-investments.asp

 
 

 

Hy Arts District Hyannis Main Street - Cape Cod's Downtown Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
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Barnstable Village, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville, West Barnstable
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