Now it’s real. Martin J. Walsh, a man who has represented organized labor for much of his life, is going to be mayor of Boston and responsible for making decisions that will affect thousands of companies in a fast-growing city.
After his victory, business owners in many sectors are worried about the potential impact on everything from taxes to building rules. They are concerned about the new mayor’s ability to create more moderately priced housing, better transportation options, and opportunities for minority-owned companies.
But many industry leaders said his election can also bring needed change in the city. They see his labor background not as an impediment to growth, but a powerful reason for him to push for expansion by companies that can occupy new office towers and create jobs.
“You can bash the union connection, but in my experience what’s good for business is good for unions,” said Mike Sheehan, chairman of the advertising firm Hill Holliday. “I mean, talk about interests that are interlocked. Unions like growth, they like expansion, they like companies that go from 50 to 500 people.”
For any new mayor, learning to interact with a diverse business community is no easy task. During the campaign, it was clear that Walsh’s plainspoken Dorchester demeanor did not always mix easily with some of the business constituencies he must now represent.
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