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March 4, 2003


Puts focus on economic revitalization across the Commonwealth


SOUTH BOSTON - Governor Mitt Romney today announced a $1 million loan to Home Market Foods, which will enable them to consolidate their South Boston and Kentucky operations to one location in Norwood and bring up to 100 new jobs to Massachusetts.


Romney also highlighted his pledge to spur economic growth in Massachusetts, pointing out that his budget filed last week includes a $1 million increase - from $1.4 million to $2.5 million - for the business development office to attract and retain jobs in all regions of the Commonwealth.


“Massachusetts is well-positioned for further economic growth and expansion in the years ahead,” Romney said. “We have a well-educated workforce, great universities, a solid infrastructure and tremendous cultural diversity. Home Market Foods is an example of the kind of company that will find unparalleled opportunities to grow here.”


The $1 million loan for Home Market Foods comes from the new $12 million Massachusetts Growth Fund that provides working capital loans to emerging, non-venture backed businesses that are committed to retaining or adding quality jobs in the state.


The fund was created from the Economic Stabilization Trust. In addition to the funds announced today, Home Market Foods received a $400,000 loan from the trust in 1999, which was fully repaid, as well as another $500,000 in January 2002 to help them grow and stabilize its new and existing product lines.


“These loans have been money well invested,” Romney said. “These funds help companies stabilize, expand, leverage private funds, and establish better relationships with traditional lenders.”


Romney added, “These funds can help get the Commonwealth back on the road to economic recovery.”


In addition to investing in bringing jobs to Massachusetts, Romney said he is committed to holding the line on taxes, making state government more efficient through streamlining and restructuring and cutting bureaucratic red tape.


He also said he will take a regional approach to reviving the economy through six new competitiveness councils, charged with developing a jobs blueprint for the unique regions of the state.


“With the help of the Economic Stabilization Trust, the Growth Fund and the Regional Competitiveness Councils, my administration will be able to aggressively attract new companies or give existing companies a shot in the arm,” stated Romney.


“That is why we are going to hold the line on taxes and spending, cut red tape, and keep our budgets balanced without overburdening the engines of commerce,” said Romney.


Home Market Foods offers a full line of cooked beef, pork, chicken and BBQ products. The company's signature meatballs, which are the fourth largest selling in the United States, are produced at the company's South Boston location. Home Market Foods sells to a variety of national and regional customers including fast food shops, restaurants, supermarkets and food service providers. Douglas and Wes Atamian purchased Waltham Beef in April 1996 and then changed the name to Home Market Foods.

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