BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that the Senate passed legislation that will help grow the local economy by empowering Massachusetts companies and consumers alike. The bill, filed by Senator Eileen M. Donoghue (D-Lowell), received unanimous, bipartisan support and would establish a statewide program known as “MassMade.”

Massachusetts is home to thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses that produce quality goods but are unable to promote their products on a large scale. The bill passed by the Senate creates a MassMade program, administered by the Office of Business Development, that will identify and promote business entities that are headquartered and produce consumer products in Massachusetts, helping to connect them with potential customers.

“Improving the economic strength of our Commonwealth begins with providing local businesses with the necessary support and opportunities to market their products,” said Senator Moore. “This legislation will not only improve the outcomes for businesses, but also for their employees and communities by increasing awareness of local products and generating opportunities for support of state enterprises.”

During the Senate debate, a Moore-sponsored amendment was adopted that would extend the impact of the MassMade program beyond the consumer goods. The adoption of the amendment will ultimately benefit contractors across Massachusetts that also face tough competition from businesses in other states or internationally.

Specifically, the adopted amendment directs the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to establish ways to promote and provide support to Massachusetts businesses during the bidding process. The language maintains that businesses benefiting from the policy must be headquartered or have a principle place of business in the Commonwealth.

Small businesses make up 85% of all Massachusetts companies and employ over a quarter of the state’s workforce. The Massachusetts Office of Business Development will operate MassMade, and collect and provide information about qualified Massachusetts businesses and their products in a readily accessible format. The public can access all MassMade information for free.

The legislation, S.178, will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.