Courtesy photo U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas,
D-3rd, tours New England Peptide with Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke and CEO Sam Massoni on Monday.
GARDNER In recognition of the start of National Small Business Week, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-3rd, toured New England Peptide in Gardner on Monday and spoke to employees about their concerns.
“It was nice to have her,” said company CEO Sam Massoni. “She was very attentive and listened to all our concerns. ... She sees issues from many sides.”
New England Peptide is a biotechnology company that develops peptides and enzymes for industrial and commercial use, as well as for scientific research. When talking to Ms. Tsongas, employees brought up concerns over how federal taxes are structured, the National Health Institute bid process, student loans and the Affordable Care Act.
“I think the message (on the Affordable Care Act) was, ‘We hear you.’ We needed to implement it and now we can carve out some efficiency. We’re well aware it’s not close to perfect,’” said Mr. Massoni, adding that the cost of providing health care to employees rose dramatically this year.
Overall, the company is doing well and is in the process of a major expansion, using a $200,000 MassWorks grant and tax increment financing provided by the city.
“We are about 90 percent done. Things are going well,” said Mr. Massoni. “We are about a week away from moving equipment into the new lab.”
Mr. Massoni hopes Gov. Charlie Baker will attend the ribbon-cutting for the new labs later this year.
Monday’s company visit continues Ms. Tsongas’ effort to engage local businesses and organizations throughout her district to learn about the issues important to them.
The congresswoman says she has made sustainability of businesses a priority and that the tours are an opportunity to see how important these businesses are to the local economy and economic development in the region.
Ms. Tsongas was named a “Champion of Small Business Innovation” by the National