Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman Last Friday (October 28, 2011), a diverse group of ethnic media representatives met with Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman for lunch and conversation. The gathering gave journalists of Massachusetts’ ethnic media an opportunity to share their respective community’s perspective and hear about the treasurer’s key initiatives.

Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman Last Friday (October 28, 2011), a diverse group of ethnic media representatives met with Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman for lunch and conversation. The gathering gave journalists of Massachusetts’ ethnic media an opportunity to share their respective community’s perspective and hear about the treasurer’s key initiatives.

Colette Phillips, who is a member of the State Treasury's Diversity advisory council, made brief remarks at the opening of the meeting, stating that Treasurer Grossman was committed to engaging and getting input from individuals from diverse backgrounds in order to better serve all residents of the Commonwealth. After a round of introductions from participants, Treasurer Grossman talked about his own background as the son of Russian immigrants and how family, business and community were part of his upbringing.

Grossman discussed the role of the treasury, its role in protecting and leveraging the state’s pension funds, and the focus on small business development and financial literacy.

Small Business Banking Partnership

Grossman recalled several meetings with small business owners from various ethnic groups, from both inner and gateway cities. The common theme surfacing from each of those meetings “was access to capital and technical resources” said Grossman.   In light of this, the treasurer launched the Small Business Banking Partnership, which is an initiative that encourages community banks to make more loans to creditworthy small businesses, creating more jobs and economic opportunity throughout the state. Under the partnership guidelines, banks are encouraged to consider loans to women and minority-owned businesses. The program was launched in May of 2011, and to date, $136M has been deposited in 31 banks to assist credit worthy small business owners. “It’s important to us that Massachusetts State reserve funds are deposited into Massachusetts community banks” to help state residents and create more jobs” said Grossman.

Grossman shared the story of Stone Design Marble & Granite Company owner Hoa Thanh Vu (an immigrant from Vietnam) who was  the first business owner in Massachusetts to receive funds from South Shore Savings Bank under this program.

Financial Literacy Trust Fund

Grossman also talked about his office’s commitment to financial literacy for residents of the commonwealth. The Financial Literacy Trust Fund was set up within the state Treasurer's Office to encourage financial literacy and education for residents, businesses, educational institutions, community organizations and other entities that will promote financial literacy throughout the Commonwealth.

"…educating our residents in financial literacy, we can help them make informed and responsible decisions about their personal and family finances," said Grossman.

"This Trust Fund will provide important training to our fellow citizens, particularly in gateway cities, on issues such as household budgeting, saving more, and consumer protection" added Grossman. The fund is administered by the state treasurer along with a 20 member board of trustees.

Grossman also outlined more transparent procurement practices and the efforts within the treasury to reflect the diversity of the communities of the commonwealth which it serves. He announced that since his tenure, roughly 46% of new hires within the department are women and from diverse ethnic backgrounds. 

Several members of  Mr. Grossman's office attended the meeting  as well as Mrs. Beth A. Bresnahan, director of marketing and Communication at the state lottery commission.
Last Fridays’ meeting with State Treasurer Steve Grossman is part of a series with elected officials in Massachusetts and was coordinated by Franck Herron, director of the Center on Media and Society at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies (University of Massachusetts Boston). This group of ethnic media representatives meets on a regular basis with the Governor Deval Patrick.
                                                                                      

 

                                                                

 


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