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Small Business.

Businesses are the sources of innovation. They have a responsibility to the community and environment. If we open up our minds, the opportunity to profitably address social problems is limitless. I will push the District of Columbia to adopt a structure that creates, nourishes and supports new green business, because businesses are key allies in our quest for progressive change.

D.C. has been very good at luring big businesses and box stores by offering unsustainable tax breaks. D.C. has not been very good at keeping and protecting its diverse small businesses.  We must provide tax breaks to our small business owners and create sensible and predictable rules and regulations for them to follow. Currently, the District of Columbia ranks dead last in the entire country for providing an environment that is conducive to small businesses. I will change that.

Until such time as we are able to overhaul the city’s entire system of rules and regulations governing businesses, we need a program that will help entrepreneurs and small business owners navigate the myriad of city agencies and regulations that must be met and dealt with in order to operate in the city.

Additionally, we need a mentor-ship program for small businesses, pairing successful small businesses with someone wishing to open a business. This way, successful small business can share insights not only into the workings of the District government but also into the community in which the new business wishes to locate.

Small businesses are the driving force of our economy. It’s the “mom and pop” shops that help our city so special. Sadly, this recession has been particularly devastating to them.

We need to nourish and retain local small businesses. We must even the playing field for our small businesses by offering them the same tax-abatement consideration as large entities and lessening the burden of real property taxes. We must eliminate the quagmire of bureaucratic rules and regulations that govern small businesses. It’s great that we have large grocery stores and big box stores, but if we don’t foster our small businesses unemployment in the District will continue to rise.

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