Partnership Helps Business Leaders Access Boston's Competitive Advantages

By Jones, Cherie Duvall | Nation's Cities Weekly, September 28, 2009 | Go to article overview

Partnership Helps Business Leaders Access Boston's Competitive Advantages


Jones, Cherie Duvall, Nation's Cities Weekly


Boston is ranked as the No. 1 "Innovative City in the World," according to a newly released report by global innovation agency 2thinknow. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino knew just that when he recently created a partnership to raise global awareness that his city is one of the world's foremost centers of intellectual capital and innovation.

Going live earlier this year, Boston World Partnerships, a nonprofit organization created to offer competitive advantages to growth-minded businesses, hit the ground running when it helped bring 600 new employees to the Fort Point Channel. The maritime channel, which separates South Boston from downtown Boston and feeds into Boston Harbor, is home to the Channel Center complex.

In March, Menino welcomed executives from Retail Convergence Inc., which owns and operates two Internet retail sites, and Cengage Learning, publishers of print and digital instructional and reference materials, to the complex. Retail Convergence Inc., announced that the fast-growing company would keep 125 jobs in Boston. The company, which added approximately 40 new jobs last year, expects to add another 35 jobs or more this year, with at least 20 of those new employees located in Boston. Cengage Learning brought nearly 500 employees.

"I'm delighted to welcome these companies to the Fort Point Channel--these companies are growing because their leaders are committed to innovation, and so am I," said Menino. "Retail Convergence and Cengage Learning understand that doing business in Boston gives them the ability to attract and hire top-tier creative talent that will keep them ahead of the competition."

As an example of how Boston World Partnerships operates. John Palmieri. director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, said that the partnership generated the lead for Retail Convergence to remain in Boston.

"They found out that the company was looking to leave the city, and they worked behind the scenes with Boston Redevelopment Authority researchers and site location staff to ensure that Retail Convergence's executive team had a full appreciation for the bottomline value of the city's work force," said Palmieri. "This exposed them to a full range of real estate options both downtown and on the South Boston Waterfront."

Through word-of-mouth channels, Boston World Partnerships learned about Retail Convergence's suburban office space search. …

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