As a policymaker, it is always important to hear from the people who are on the front lines, people whose lives are impacted by the laws that myself and my colleagues pass. As Chair of the Council Committee on Business and Economic Development, it is important that I understand the issues facing our D.C. small business community and continually look for new ideas and solutions to the challenges they face. That is why this week I began hosting a series of Business Engagement Forums
across every ward in the District. The forums started this week and continue throughout next week (see the full schedule below).
I appreciate the help our Main Street organizations and other business groups have offered in spreading the word out to their businesses, as well as sharing what they hear from owners every day. Just this week, I've heard from a Ward 5-based CBE contractor who shared her experiences (and frustrations) getting a business permit from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. I also heard from a food retailer who asked me to explore setting up a manufacturing tax credit program, like they have in Maryland.
My staff and I are already looking into both of these ideas. It was similar conversations that took place last year that led to the package of legislation that I championed and passed
to make it easier for our small businesses to work with D.C. government. We didn't just listen, we took action. By bringing together stakeholders, residents, and government, we can solve the issues we face as a city.