Business View Magazine | June 2019

375 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 EASTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS be in a school that’s relatively brand new. That has really bolstered the confidence of residents in the investment and work our city is willing to put into public schools for people looking to move here.” BVM: How are you attracting business development? LaChapelle: “We’ve done a lot with budgeting. Our forecast model and capital investments in our city look fantastic. Just this April, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the city’s bond rating to AA+ - the highest such rating in the last twenty years. We have a great planning department; working with developers on technical applications, opportunity zones, DIF’s and TIF’s, local incentives around energy, and encouraging green community activity and development. We have been working closely with our Chamber of Commerce to get out the word of our flexibility; that we’re business ready. We acknowledge and support our existing businesses and entrepreneurs around tech and education professional services to make that transition into Easthampton as easy as possible and ensure profitability. The planning shift in Easthampton has gone from a reactionary year-by-year budgeting model to one that’s looking out proactively, five and six years, not just on expense but also on revenue and investment. We’ve become really granular about what works for Easthampton. Our thriving machine shops, the award-winning restaurants – that’s brought together an eclectic sense of innovation and adventure but also a high quality of life at a very reasonable cost of living. With those public infrastructure grants, we’re looking forward at what we will do around energy savings; starting up a telecommunication advisory committee that has very aggressively looked at municipal plans to better our access to broadband. That’s key for education and businesses.” BVM: Is environmental sustainability on your agenda? LaChapelle: “Definitely. We have a designation as a Green Community. We switched over to LED in