"Local and community based businesses are the backbone of vibrant neighborhoods – they strengthen communities, create jobs, and provide services Washingtonians depend upon every single day." -- Kent Boese
Our small and local businesses contribute to our vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. Moreover, they provide many of the jobs for people that live in our neighborhoods. Between, overpriced commercial rents, an adversarial regulatory environment, and well-meaning but poorly-written legislation; we have created an environment where only large corporate retail chains are able to thrive. While walking through our various retail corridors, I have seen storefronts that are vacant or that have never been occupied because the building owners would rather have a vacant storefront then get less than an overinflated maximum commercial rent; relying on other commercial tenants to make up the difference. When I see vacant commercial storefronts in Ward 1, I see lost job opportunities for Ward 1 residents. Currently, we do not have a strong advocate for small businesses in Ward 1 on the DC Council.
To level the playing field for our small and local business, I will:
- Propose a $5,000 tax credit for small businesses to hire DC residents and offset the cost of operating in the District of Columbia.
- Tax vacant storefronts the same way we tax vacant residential properties to create incentives to rent them out and create more jobs for Ward 1 residents.
- Undo overly burdensome DCRA regulations that place the District at a competitive disadvantage for opening new businesses.
- Vote No on Initiative 77 and other proposed legislation, regardless of how well-meaning, that will ultimately hurt small businesses and cost Ward 1 residents job opportunities.