BOSTON – Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced that the Senate passed legislation on Thursday establishing a “MassMade” program to assist thousands of entrepreneurs and local business owners with expanding the marketing potential for their products.

According to a recent civic economics study, 48% of each purchase at local independent businesses is re-circulated locally, compared to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores. The MassMade program brings qualifying local businesses into a relationship with the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) to assist with selling their products and services. The MOBD will serve as a central resource to connect businesses with consumers and other businesses.

Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota have already established state-based programs which highlight and connect businesses with consumers. Currently, the only analogous program operating in Massachusetts is the regionalized “Buy Local” program that establishes a relationship between farmers and consumers residing in the surrounding communities.

“There is a clear economic benefit from promoting locally-owned businesses,” said Senator Moore. “Buying local creates jobs and helps circulate wealth within the local economy. This legislation is about generating more opportunities for local businesses and providing viable options for those seeking to invest in and support local enterprise in the Bay State.”

Having heard from local officials about the need for an enhanced state Request for Proposal or “RFP” process to provide more opportunities for local businesses, Senator Moore filed an amendment to the bill that was successfully adopted with unanimous support. The amendment directs the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to examine ways to help local businesses engaged in bidding during the RFP process. This will ultimately help businesses in the Commonwealth by ensuring that every consideration is made for local businesses before awarding bids to out of state contractors.

“I am grateful to Senator Moore for moving this forward,” said Worcester City Councilor Kate Toomey. “This bill gives the taxpayers of Worcester and other cities and towns in the Commonwealth the opportunity to maximize the return on the spending of their tax dollars. When we invest in our own, we help to build our economy.”

To qualify for the MassMade program, businesses must be headquartered in Massachusetts or have a principal place of business in the Commonwealth, and possess a Certificate of Good Standing from Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

The legislation will now go before the House of Representatives for consideration.