One of Maryland's top challenges as a state is attracting and growing businesses. I know our state has all of the necessary components to support an entrepreneurial, diverse, and resilient economy. As Chair of the bipartisan Small Business Jobs Caucus, I have worked to lower taxes, increase funding for workforce development programs, and empower our innovative private sector.
In 2021, I sponsored the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Act of 2021, which was subsequently incorporated in the $1.5B RELIEF Act, to provide critical aid to Maryland restaurants, hotels, and other industries that were hit hard by the pandemic. In 2022, I established two grant programs to keep childcare centers open, as well as to support expanding centers. I also established Maryland’s first Private Letter Ruling program, which will allow small businesses to seek guidance in complex tax situations directly from the Comptroller’s office. I have voted for more than $2B of tax cuts for Maryland businesses and working families.
In general, I support policies to:
- Support apprenticeships and other innovative approaches to reduce workforce shortages
- Reduce government red tape, such as duplicative reporting on state and local regulations
- Lower state business filing fees and other barriers to entrepreneurship
- Invest in state IT systems that provide faster, high-quality public services that enable business to flourish
- Ensuring that the Unemployment Trust Fund is carefully refilled using state and federal funds
- Conduct a comprehensive review of our state tax system done through an independent commission
Strong communities sustain strong businesses. I support community development projects and changing the tax code to encourage growth in small and medium-sized businesses already in Maryland. Maryland also needs to keep attracting businesses from elsewhere. This requires a balanced, thoughtful, evidence-based approach to tax policy and public investment for a better future. We can create win-win solutions by compromising and taking a long-term perspective. We need legislators who move beyond partisanship, are independent minded, and have experience in building partnerships and finding common ground. I will continue to be a strong, independent champion in Annapolis for Maryland businesses and communities.