Business Advocacy

The ERC5- East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce promotes an environment that fosters the economic growth in the Towns of East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, and Wilbraham. The ERC5 has a strong and working partnership with local and state government officials critical for growing businesses.

Single Tax Rate Classification - ERC5 works each and every day to promote and advocate for our business community. Our work to maintain the Single Tax Rate Classification in each of our five-towns. Tax Classification Hearings are important to all businesses because the Select Boards or Town Councils vote to decide if Commercial Property will pay a higher tax rate than Residential Properties, also known as the Split Tax Rate. A vote for the Split Tax Rate can become very costly for businesses and result in only a minimal tax break for residential properties. Fortunately, through the advocacy of the ERC5 and the wisdom of the boards, all of our 5-Towns historically voted for the Single Rate tax, a gain and tremendous financial benefit for our members. Maintaining a Single Rate tax does not happen with the Chamber's efforts alone, it requires effort on the part of the business community. It is imperative that our voices are heard.

ERC5 partners with the Economic Development Council. The EDC is a private, nonprofit corporation leading the region's economic development by helping businesses to expand, relocate and succeed in Western Massachusetts.

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Western MA Businesses Against Human Trafficking Pledge

Group Mission

To address and prevent human trafficking in the local business community

Why a Pledge?

As a united coalition, we stand firmly against the trafficking of human beings. By creating and endorsing this pledge, we commit to participating in the efforts to eliminate, if detected, this egregious violation of basic human rights affecting our most vulnerable community members.

The Pledge

As members of the Western MA Businesses against Human Trafficking coalition, we pledge to increase awareness of human trafficking and protect against its occurrence in our places of business, and we look to collaborate broadly across the community to address this issue.

We commit to the following principles and will pursue meaningful opportunities to advance them through activities most appropriate to our respective organizations:

  • Increase awareness among our staff. Examples include:
    • Require or offer training
    • Distribute articles
    • Encourage participation in dialogue
  • Protect against human trafficking in our places of business. Examples include:
    • Report suspected human trafficking to proper authorities
    • Establish internal policies and procedures
    • Eliminate access to pornographic websites
    • Block IP addresses for websites, such as Backpage, known to advertise trafficking victims
  • Collaborate and advocate across the local community. Examples include:
    • Cooperate and partner with law enforcement and/or victim/survivor services
    • Invite law enforcement and/or victims/survivor services to provide staff training
    • Support and volunteer with non-profit organizations focusing on this issue
    • Share information on best practices

For more information on Businesses Against Human Trafficking in Western MA, please contact:
Contact - Jen Falcone
Title - Director, Businesses Against Human Trafficking.
Phone - (413) 233-9860
Email - JFalcone@bahtwma.org