Empowering small business

By Gov. Paul LePage | Mar 10, 2012

The following is text from the governor's March 10, 2012, radio address. To listen, click the MP3 link below.

"Hello. This is your Governor Paul LePage.

With more than 44,000 businesses in our state employing hundreds of thousands of Mainers, businesses are the backbone of our economy.

This administration is dedicated to working with our job creators to see that they succeed and it’s why I have started a program that encourages communities to partner with businesses, both big and small.

The Certified Business Friendly Community Program advances development and growth in communities throughout Maine by encouraging town and city officials to work together with job creators and the state.

An important part of showing that Maine is open for business is to recognize communities that provide exceptional service and streamlined regulatory processes for business owners.

Time is money for job creators. What a business looks for is stability, reliability and consistency and that’s what we need to bring to the forefront.

It’s not that our regulations themselves are bad, but rather government has created a complicated maze. It’s the maze people face in having to go to the local community and get through that bureaucracy, come to the state and get through that bureaucracy, and then deal with the federal level and get through that bureaucracy. All we’re trying to do is get the community and the state working in the same direction.

In the coming months, towns and cities throughout our state will be designated as certified business friendly communities and I encourage all communities to take advantage of this opportunity.

All certified business friendly communities will receive an award of certification, recognition on the State of Maine Department of Economic and Community Development website, an official open for business sign and bonus points toward Community Development block grant programs which help communities prosper.

Maine has a 7 percent unemployment rate down from 7.5 percent one year ago and significantly lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 8.5 percent.  While we fare better than the national average, we still have work to do.  We struggle with earning a livable wage. Mainers earn much less than people in other states – in fact, only 82 percent of the national average.

Small businesses are the largest generator of new jobs and the tax burden placed on small businesses is stifling job growth.  That’s why you will continue to see this administration remove barriers against business. We want to empower small business so they can hire more Mainers.

Taxes and regulations placed upon small business owners do prevent job growth. Unfortunately, small businesses have very little control over these burdens, but local and state governments have the ability to remove those obstacles.

The Certified Business Friendly Community is a program that encourages us all to look for opportunities to promote success.

I’m hopeful your community will express interest in the program and I look forward to working with you.

Thank you for listening."

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