“It’s the economy, stupid”. James Carville’s rally cry for the Clinton Presidential Campaign in 1992 has become a part of American folklore. It was true then and it’s true today. What is also true is that over the last 20 years almost 62% of jobs have been created by small businesses.
Small businesses are a vital component of economic growth and innovation. As a small-business owner, I have first hand experience navigating the obstacles and headwinds many small business owners face.
As a candidate, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many other business owners. I’ve heard stories of their struggles, and can relate to many of them. They have told me of the trouble they have making payroll, of paying rent and utilities, and yes, keeping up with regulations.
The state of the economy has caused many to debate the role that government can and should play in rebuilding our economy. Some have said government should just get out of the way and let business be business. I hear those voices, and while I agree that it is not government’s role or function to create jobs, I do believe that government can create programs and provide assistance to the small business community that will help them thrive and create jobs for our citizens.
One such program is the Job Expansion Tax Credit. In this program, Connecticut businesses can be eligible for tax credits of $500 per month for each new full-time job created. Another program is the Small Business Express Loan program, which provides capital for expansion and job training. Further, one of the best roles the state can play is as a resource for information. Connecticut does that through its Small Business Development Center, http://www.ctsbdc.org/#50108.
From my talks with small business people, and my own experience, I know that at times government can be a hindrance to growth through excessive regulation. Business people don’t want government to get in their way. One person told me how he had hired two temporary employees who were no longer working for him, but now for the next two years he will have to fill out paper work for the Department of Labor.
As a business owner, I understand that every minute spent on paperwork is time not spent growing your business and creating jobs. Lately, the state of Connecticut has made some progress in streamlining processes. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has reduced the time that people must wait for the inspection of an underground storage tank from 47 days to approximately an hour and a half.
But much work still needs to be done. Connecticut used to view our neighbors, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts as our main competitors. Our competitors now include states such as North Carolina and Georgia, as well as China, India, and Mexico. The good news is we can compete with our old competitors and new.
Our labor force is hard working, innovative, and well-trained. We can lay the ground work for business to thrive by continuing to remove unnecessary regulations. We must consider the impact on business when we contemplate new laws and regulations. Reducing taxes on small businesses would be a big step to go along with the reduction in regulations.
I support any reduction in state spending that won’t have a negative impact on the citizens I have pledged to help. I am a 100% supporter of efficient government, but I do not believe in no government. I believe government can be an effective partner and resource for our small business community and will fight to make it so as your state representative.