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WBSM, Marcus Ferro

Healey and Driscoll Hear From SouthCoast Business Leaders In Fall River Visit

April 26, 2023

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll visited Fall River on Tuesday to tour local businesses and host a roundtable with area leaders in the business community to discuss how best their administration can help foster economic development on the SouthCoast.

Healey and Driscoll were accompanied by Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan, Mass Development Director Dan Rivera and Undersecretary for Economic Development Ashley Stolba and other community leaders.

They began their visit at the Fall River Industrial Park, where Healey and Driscoll visited the home textile supplier Klear Vu and the Matouk Factory Store.

"We, as an administration, totally support Fall River, the SouthCoast, and the opportunity to work with both the mayor and elected officials, as well as great employers like (Matouk factory store owner) George Matouk," Healey told reporters.

They then went downtown, where they visited Alexandra's Boutique, Viva Fall River and Harry's Restaurant.

The walk concluded with a roundtable featuring prominent members of the Greater Fall River business community, which was held at the Creative Class building in Fall River.

Creative Class is a new apartment community located in Fall River's historic district which features both a mix of market rate and affordable housing, studio space for local artists and dedicated areas for entrepreneurship such as the Groundwork co-working space.

Alan Macomber, co-developer of the Creative Class, had urged the Healey-Driscoll Administration to expand the Housing Development Incentive Program, which are available tax credits for developers to building both affordable and market-rate housing in gateway cities like Fall River and New Bedford.

"The HDIP program was instrumental in getting this project going," Macomber said. "I have two other projects but I'm kind of slow-dragging my heels waiting to see what happens with the HDIP program."

Healey reaffirmed her administrations commitment to quintuple the available tax credits for the HDIP program.

During her visit, Healey was also asked about the standoff at the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth last week. She said she has spoken with Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux about the incident

"Fortunately no one was injured, I'm glad about that, and as a state we'll continue to provide support to our sheriffs and others in law enforcement," Healey said.

"We support Sheriff Heroux and what he's trying to do in terms improving conditions within the facility and we'll continue to be here as a partner," she said.