Promoting Economic Growth at the New England Council 

September 15, 2021 12:38 pm Published by

The six New England states hold a unique position, in that this innovative region has a common set of concerns and issues that residents and business leaders want heard in Washington D.C.. The New England Council (NEC) helps those voices be heard in a unified and collective way, especially when it comes to our region’s economy. 

In a recent North Shore Conversations radio broadcast on 104.9FM, we had the opportunity to talk to Jim Brett, President and CEO of the New England Council, the nation’s oldest regional business organization. We had a chance to talk to him about the work that the New England Council does as well as the signature programs they sponsor throughout the year. 

What Is The New England Council? 

The New England Council is closing in on its 100th anniversary. Founded in 1925, the Council’s original focus was to bring together the governors of the six New England states with leading CEOs to work together on an economic agenda that can help strengthen the economy in our region. 

The idea behind the Council was to have a consensus for the issues that impacted and continue to impact the New Engoand states. 

The Council is a non-partisan alliance of businesses, academic, and health institutions, along with public and private organizations throughout New England. It was formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region.

Mr. Brett explained that the Council is unique in that, “no other organization is similar to this. We are the only multistate and multisector council. There is no Mid-Atlantic council that collaborates with all of these industries like we do in New England.” 

As a result of this, the Council is able to meet with its members and give them a voice in D.C. to the 21 members of Congress and 12 members of the Senate. This is powerful in getting policy makers to understand the needs of businesses and citizens in our region of the country.

Who Are The Members? 

The 500 members are from all six states and are an incredible cross section of businesses including: biotech, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, aviation, education, telecommunications, and transportation. To see a full list of the business members follow this link

Signature Programs

The New England Council hosts a variety of informative and educational forums and programs for its members throughout the year. In a typical year the events are held in person either in one of the New England states or on Capitol Hill. 

Congressional Roundtables 

This series of meetings gives Council members the opportunity to hear from and interact with members of the New England Congressional delegation and governors in a small group setting, usually over breakfast or lunch. 

During covid, the meetings were switched to a virtual format. This switch actually increased attendance at the events as many people could sign in from the comfort of their homes or offices without having to travel. 

Politics & Eggs 

This “must attend” event is held every four years during the Presidential election season. When the candidates head to New Hampshire to campaign, our members get the opportunity to meet with the candidates and find out what they have to offer to the New England region. 

Politics & Eggs is a partnership between The New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library at Saint Anselm College

Annual Dinner Celebration 

Being held virtually this year, the Annual Dinner brings together business, non-profit, and academic leaders from throughout New England to celebrate the Council’s accomplishments, and to present the New Englander of the Year Award. 

“It is truly amazing that the small staff of 12 brings together and hosts approximately 1,700 people each year for this evening of fun and awards,” says Brett.

Washington Leaders’ Conference 

This two day event allows members to visit Capitol Hill and meet with key policymakers, members of the current administration, and members of the New England delegation. 

If you would like to help support the Council and become a member check out the benefits of membership and begin the first step in joining the NEC. 


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This post was written by Mike Sperling