On Thursday the 21st of July, 1965, an act creating the Worcester Business Development Corporation was signed, with the full support of the City Manager Francis McGrath and other important leaders in the Worcester Community. This was the first establishment of its kind: a non-profit business organization whose mission was to rebuild and revitalize the city of Worcester. The difference from other, similar plans was that this plan included working with businesses in the surrounding area of Worcester to create new jobs and try to expand the tax base. It was a brand new idea, the first in a long tradition of WBDC innovations. The 1965 creation of the WBDC was only the beginning of what would become a long custom of outstanding and unparalleled contributions to the city of Worcester.
The WBDC was founded by a large group of public minded citizens, who made it their mission to work with city officials to recognize and react to economic challenges that the community was facing. It operated through the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce as a non-profit development. Together, the two organizations worked to promote employment opportunities, expand the tax base, and assist the development and growth of business in the Worcester area. We also joined forces with the United States Small Business Association to help finance some new business projects.
Like with any new endeavor, the WBDC faced adversity. There were significant employment cuts in various industries at this time. Manufacturing, retail trade, construction and transportation sectors all faced job losses, and so the WBDC had to work quickly to make an impact on the community. We started with the Worcester Center project, and the results of this effort were seen quickly by the community, as the weight of the property tax shifted off of more and more people. This initial success lead to further efforts by the WBDC that have had the same positive effect on the city.
In 1965, the WBDC committed to these statements of purpose:
– To promote the common good and general welfare of the city of Worcester and its vicinity
– To improve the living standards of its citizens
– And to develop an association of public spirited citizens, businesses, professionals, and technically trained citizens to accomplish the purposes of the corporation
It is with these purposes in mind the the WBDC continues to commit itself to the city of Worcester and the people who call it home.