Economic Development & Planning


Comprehensive Planning for Strategic Regional Growth

Balancing economic development with responsible growth is critical to the Merrimack Valley. At MVPC, we embrace principles of smart growth, sustainability and resiliency as key components to the future development and redevelopment of the region. Our regional vision of promoting growth is balanced by our commitment to protecting the Merrimack Valley region’s most critical natural resources.

The Merrimack Valley serves as an economic development district (EDD) for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. EDA is the main economic development agency of the federal government and works with EDDs throughout the country to promote regional cooperation and job growth. MVPC is the designated liaison between EDA and our constituent communities. MVPC receives an annual planning grant from EDA, which allows us to develop and manage the Merrimack Valley Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

Developed in collaboration with leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, the CEDS includes actions to empower communities to create and retain jobs, stimulate growth, and increase innovation and entrepreneurship. The CEDS is a five-year document, but it is updated annually with statistics and other data that helps MVPC and its stakeholders plan accordingly. The 2013 Merrimack Valley Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is the current CEDS the region is working from. The 2015 CEDS Annual Update includes a summary of how the CEDS is funded and the three priority areas for 2015 and beyond.

MVPC submits annual reports that highlight our progress towards addressing the goals and objectives of the CEDS.  Recent reports include the 2016 MVPC CEDS Progress Report and the MVPC 2017 Semi-Annual Progress Report.

In addition to producing the regional CEDS document, the program consists of:

  • Organizing quarterly regional MV CEDS Committee Meetings. Meeting information is included below.
  • EDA and other economic development grant application assistance;
  • Information support through MVPC’s regional demographic data center; and
  • Support and technical assistance for regional economic development initiatives.

Merrimack Valley CEDS Committee

The Merrimack Valley CEDS Committee is responsible for guiding the development of our region’s CEDS Plan. Merrimack Valley CEDS Committee Members represent a variety of public and private interests throughout the region including: local government, high education institutions, banks, local businesses, Chambers of Commerce, and state agencies. CEDS Committee meetings focus on identifying responsible parties for the implementation of shared goals and objectives. In addition, key economic development themes critical to enhancement of the regional economy are examined and collaborations on specific projects emerge.

January 31, 2017 MV CEDS Meeting

MV CEDS Agenda for January 31, 2017 at NECC in Haverhill
Merrimack Valley Branding Campaign Presentation
MV Transportation and Economic Development Presentation
MV CEDS Priorities for 2017 Presentation

April 27, 2017 MV CEDS Meeting

MV CEDS Agenda for April 27, 2017 at NECC in Lawrence
Northeast Workforce Skills Cabinet Presentation
MV Economic Development Priorities Brainstorm

August 8, 2017 MV CEDS Meeting
MV CEDS Agenda for August 8th at HC Media in Haverhill
MV CEDS Meeting Notes
Urban Manufacturing Alliance Presentation
MV Manufacturing Priorities Brainstorm

September 26, 2017 MV CEDS Meeting
MV CEDS Agenda for September 26th at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport
MV CEDS Meeting Notes
Natural Resources Support our Economy Presentation
Salisbury Beach Revitalization Presentation

November 30, 2017 MV CEDS Meeting
MV CEDS Agenda for November 30th at the NECC in Haverhill
MV CEDS Meeting Notes
Secretary Pollack’s Video Presentation
Secretary Stephanie Pollack’s Presentation

January 10, 2018 MV CEDS Meeting
West Newbury Town Center Presentation (Leah Zambernardi)
Amesbury Town Center Presentation (Kassandra Gove)
Andover Town Center Presentation (Paul Materazzo)

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE NEXT MEETING! The next meeting of the Merrimack Valley CEDS Committee is Wednesday, April 18th at 10:00am. A location and agenda will be finalized shortly.  See you there!


When it comes to economic development, we plan locally, promote regionally, and develop economically. Whether gathering critical business data or creating the region’s only Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, we ensure the region is prepared for smart growth.

  • Merrimack Valley Planning Commission
    160 Main Street
    Haverhill, MA 01830
    p: 978.374.0519
    f: 978.372.4890

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