Vargas Ends Council Tenure with Introduction of Business Website

Andy Vargas at his October primary election victory party with fellow City Councilors Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien and William J. Macek. (WHAV News photograph.)

State Rep. Andy Vargas is concluding his City Council tenure Tuesday with an unveiling of a new city website designed to attract local business.

The Haverhill Business Portal, as it is known, aims to “make the city friendlier to prospective businesses, startups and entities interested in conducting business in Haverhill.”

Explaining the rationale for the new site, Vargas said, “Part of the challenge for folks interested in starting a business or bringing their business to Haverhill is not knowing where to start or who to talk to. The Haverhill Business Portal is a step in the right direction towards utilizing tech to show all that Haverhill has to offer.”

Late last year, Vargas suggested the city use technology to grow business and, thereby, the city’s tax base. Following the meeting, Vargas said he began to build, with the support of city department heads, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and MassDevelopment. In a statement, he thanked city economic development assistant Nate Robertson for assembling the project and HC Media for supplying videos.

The Haverhill Business Portal outlines a roadmap on how to start a business; introduces visitors to department heads; details information for financing, business development, workforce development, licensing and permitting; provides a list of possible mentors; and highlights Haverhill’s assets and existing businesses.

While a year in the making, the website’s announcement comes on the heels of a Babson professor imploring the city to spend time growing existing city businesses. Daniel Isenberg told councilors, economic success for a city or a region comes from an obsessive focus on new growth in existing businesses, and not luring new businesses. He is founder of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Program, or BEEP for short.