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Eliot Tatelman, Jordan's Furniture President 
Keynote Speaker at RAMAE Luncheon




RAM’s 105th Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 15th, at The Conference Center at Bentley University.  The Board of Directors meeting begins promptly at 9:00 AM, and all RAM members are welcome to attend.  Immediately following the board meeting, members are encouraged to stay and join us at the annual RAM Awards of Excellence (RAMAE) luncheon at noon, where we will recognize outstanding local businesses in retail in 2023. Eliot Tatelman, President of Jordan's Furniture and RAM member, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon.

The RAMAES were created more than 20 years ago as a way to shine a light on the hidden jewels of the retail industry here in Massachusetts. These awards are a means to recognize those innovators that are doing it the right way for their customers, and to also hold them up as beacons for others to follow. Our 2023 winners are leading the way in their respective industries in these increasingly challenging times.

All RAM members are invited to attend.  Registration is required, although both meetings are free to attend.

Agenda & Registration



Op-Ed published in the Boston Business Journal

Bay State Small Businesses Need a Plan and Support to Benefit From the Clean Energy Transition

By Bill Rennie, RAM Vice President 

The Commonwealth’s more than 700,000 small businesses are the backbone of its economy, making up 99.5 percent of all private enterprises and employing more than 1.5 million people.

Despite their significant contributions to the Bay State economy, it’s not easy for small businesses to operate here. The cost of doing business in Massachusetts – including labor, taxes, and energy - is 18 percent above the national average. Only New Jersey and Hawaii are higher.

Small businesses are still recovering from the post-pandemic downturn; some are seeing revenues sag under the weight of inflation. But the challenges of today pale in comparison to what’s coming.
Click here to keep reading.


MA Pork Regulations & Enforcement Effective Aug. 24

The long-delayed MA Pork Regulations (330 CMR 35.00) are now slated to take effect on August 24, 2023, after a compromise was agreed to and approved in a joint motion in federal court between regulators at the MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and other industry groups.  The agreement paves the way for the implementation of Question 3 from 2016, Relative to the Housing of Farm Animals, and the resulting MA regulations, specifically as they relate to pork. 
Question 3, approved by the voters in 2016, banned the sale of eggs, veal and pork products produced by cage-confined farm animals.  The egg and veal portions of the law and regulations took effect last year, while the treatment of pork remained in dispute and tied up in the courts.
One remaining unresolved issue is the treatment of pork products “transshipped” through Massachusetts and on the way for final sale in other states.  Enforcement of restrictions on "transshipped" pork meat will not begin for at least six months, while MDAR considers additional regulatory changes on transshipment.
MA retailers and restaurants may no longer sell any whole pork meat derived from animals that were housed in a non-compliant manner.  Food products considered “combination products," where pork is just one ingredient, such as hot dogs, are not included.
RAM has requested from MDAR additional compliance information and guidance for retailers and restaurants, who will be reliant on suppliers’ assurances that their products are compliant.
RAM and others remain concerned that by the end of the year MA consumers (and CA) will begin to see price increases and decreasing availability of compliant pork products on store shelves. 


Boston Globe OPINION

June 9, 2023

Installing bike and bus lanes requires public debate

The problem isn’t with the concept of bike lanes but, rather, the lack of public conversation or transparency.


By Jon Hurst and Barbara Anthony  

The City of Boston is planning to create bus-only lanes on Summer Street in the Seaport starting in June as a part of a pilot program to see if the design can reduce congestion.



They are popping up everywhere. On main streets across the Commonwealth, roads are being redesigned and parking spots and travel lanes are being taken over for bike and bus lanes.

While reducing carbon emissions is a sound goal, achieving this goal without trampling over the rights of residents and small businesses is a real challenge.

Increasingly, we see municipalities install bike and bus lanes with little public debate or notice. Seniors, the disability community, neighborhood associations, or small businesses are not seriously consulted. 

Continue reading



Hurst Statement on HPC Cost Growth Benchmark

RAM urged the Health Policy Commission (HPC) to return the state healthcare benchmark back to 3.1%.   RAM President Jon Hurst reported on the results of the survey of the Association’s members.  The survey returned an average member premium increase of 11.7%, which was the largest member increase since 2017.  The member survey also showed 27% were forced to increase employee cost sharing, 20% changed carriers, and 3% dropped coverage.  Hurst also noted that medical inflation seems to continue to disproportionately hurt small businesses of 50 or fewer employees (those in the Merged Market), when compared to large employers and government payers.  He urged a detailed investigation of why small businesses pay more for less coverage versus large employers, and what has happened to the 400,000 small group lives that have disappeared from the merged market risk pool since 2007.

Click here to keep reading


RAMHIC Offerings for 2023   

RAMHIC continues to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to offer members access to the carrier's entire portfolio of high quality, small group health insurance plans.  

All members purchasing their health insurance coverage through the cooperative will also receive an expanded list of ancillary benefits, FREE of charge. 

Please see our brochure for more detail on the expanded 2023 benefit package.  Specific information regarding each benefit may be found below: 

For more information please visit the RAMHIC page of our website.