Having lost more than 143,000 jobs since the financial industry set off the Great Recession in 2008, Massachusetts's economy and its middle class depend more than ever on the health of our small businesses. Yet the engine of a thriving small business economy — affordable credit — has stalled in our state. Although the largest banks have returned to profitability after taxpayer bailouts, many of these same global banks have refused to restore lending to Massachusetts small businesses to pre-crisis levels.
Massachusetts can put deposits of state tax revenue to use in ways that tilt the economic playing field back toward Main Street businesses, our community banks, and long-term job growth. Like the successful Bank of North Dakota, a Massachusetts Partnership Bank — under study now by a state commission — will generate new revenue for Massachusetts, save local governments money, and make our small businesses, farms and consumers less vulnerable to cutbacks in lending in our state.