Topics: Economic development

ORLEANS — A consultant has been tapped to help guide the planning board in putting together its economic development strategic plan. Streetsense Consulting began work in late November. The firm was hired through $60,000 authorized through annual town meeting in May, planning board member Chip Bechtold said during the board's Dec. 14 meeting. The plan is designed to help the board, and the town, look far int...

Planning Board Favors Industrial Areas For Dorms

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- The planning board wants industrially zoned areas in town to be considered as possible locations for dormitory-style workforce housing. The board believes that dormitory housing could be a way of creating more places to live for seasonal workers that local businesses depend on during the summer months. Businesses in Orleans and across the Cape and Islands were plagued this past summer by a lack of s...

Starbucks Planned For Hearth n’ Kettle Site

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – The world's largest coffee chain could be coming to Orleans. The site plan review committee has given an informal review to a concept plan for a proposed Starbucks at the site of the former Hearth n' Kettle on West Road. George Meservey, the town's director of planning and community development who also chairs the site plan committee, updated the select board Oct. 13 on the plan from TRT Orleans, ...

“We’re really looking down the barrel of what’s going to be the strongest summer I’ve ever seen.” That’s the evaluation of Mac Hay, owner of Chatham Fish and Lobster and several other restaurants, fish markets and other businesses. Sign after sign point to the same conclusion: The 2021 summer visitor season will be one for the books. Chambers of commerce are reporting a heavy volume of inquiries, rentals are b...

ORLEANS — You don’t find a 314 percent increase in something often – maybe that’s how much your blood pressure rose during last week’s presidential debate – but that figure is an indication of the real estate market’s exponential growth. Pending sales of single-family properties in Orleans jumped from seven in August 2019 to 29 this August, a 314.3 percent increase, according to the Cape Cod & Islands Asso...

Orleans Wonders: Whose Job Is Economic Development?

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — There’s no question the business community faces a challenging landscape that includes a pandemic, a two-year construction project for sewers downtown, and a shift from retail store sales to online purchases. To what extent should the town play a role, beyond providing infrastructure and fair regulation, in growing the local economy? On Sept. 22, the planning board hosted a meeting with members of the f...

When it comes to housing, child care, hunger and the wealth gap, COVID-19 has exposed and worsened existing problems on Cape Cod. That was the conclusion of a panel of experts who met in a virtual “State of Cape Cod” session last week. From an economic standpoint, things may not seem too different this summer, but looks can be deceiving, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wendy Northcross said. Th...

Lack Of Child Care Stalls Economic Recovery

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — There are many workers on Cape Cod who are ready to return to their jobs, but can’t do so because of the lack of child care. State rules designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 have hobbled preschools, day care centers and summer recreation programs, and those that do open will have very limited enrollment. On Saturday Night, Theresa Malone of Monomoy Community Services learned that their request to...

HARWICH – When The Children’s Center closed in mid-March due to the state of emergency declared by Gov. Charlie Baker, Director Abby Newberry-West told parents the shutdown should only last a couple of weeks. But more than two and a half months later, requirements in newly released Reopen Massachusetts regulations for preschools and childcare centers will make it impossible to reopen this summer. “It’s a huge,...

HARWICH — The state, several local agencies and Cape Tech are working together to provide more technical training and employment opportunities for adults through a new school program aimed at providing training for under-employed and unemployed adults. On Friday a dozen adult Cape residents graduated from the newly established program after completing a seven-week HVAC training program run in conjunction with ...

Municipal Participation Sought To Revitalize Harwich Center

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There will be another effort by a Harwich Center Initiative Committee, working more closely with town agencies, to develop a road map for revitalizing Harwich Center. Selectmen last week heard a report from the committee, which was put in place a year ago and charged with shaping a plan but which took a hiatus last March. Committee members said they needed additional assistance, including traffic, pa...

New Nonprofit Puts Spotlight On Local Arts Economy

By: Debra Lawless

“Only connect…” the novelist E.M. Forster famously wrote in 1910. ArtsLight, a new nonprofit endeavor spawned by the nonprofit Lower Cape TV dedicated to giving a voice to the local creative economy, aims to do just that. “In a world where information seems evermore scattered and suspect, we need to trust in ourselves and in connections that go deeper and create lasting bonds that transcend surface noise,” ...

Acosta: Plan For Tomorrow's Workforce

By: Alan Pollock

EAST HARWICH — With the rapidly aging demographic on Cape Cod, and the shortage of skilled workers who can afford to live here, it’s time for local businesses and citizens to find creative ways to support the local workforce. That was the message from Rosalin Acosta, the state's secretary of labor and workforce development, who spoke at a meeting of the Cape Cod Young Professionals Friday morning. Unemploym...

CHATHAM — Early on, one of the key hurdles identified by local working families has been the lack of affordable early childhood education programs. The Monomoy Regional School District is exploring ways to bridge the gap by introducing a plan for universal pre-kindergarten (pre-K) for Chatham youngsters. Last week, the Chatham 365 Task Force made its recommendations about ways the town can provide better suppo...

CHATHAM — Saying there’s no single action that will help make Chatham an affordable place for young families and other year-round residents, the Chatham 365 Task Force has recommended a varied package of 30 reforms that cover everything from affordable housing to the minimum wage. One proposal, having the school district offer universal preschool, seems to be gaining traction. The detailed proposal is the c...

CHATHAM — Over centuries, rising sea levels threaten to simply wipe parts of Chatham off the map. But long before that happens, town officials are hoping that some of the world’s great scientific minds will put the town on the map as a global center for climate change research. For the past six months, a working group has been quietly meeting to discuss a broad strategy to attract the interest of an academic i...