Economic Development & Jobs
I have been running a small business for the last 8 years and working with various contractors, business, owners, and workers across the region. My ear has always been to the ground listening and living the real-life concerns of business owners. While in the House I served as Chairman of the House Economic and Small Business Committee as well as the Legislative Oversight Commission on Workforce Investment for Economic Development.
I will work to create and lead a caravan around the state with the Speaker of the House and Senate President stopping in various towns and cities to have roundtable discussions and forums with current business owners of all sizes to understand why they are successful and what we can do legislatively to help support them. I think it is important to hear first hand from those who make a payroll and wake up everyday creating opportunities for families to be successful in WV.
Being a small business owner my self I know the hardships and struggles people deal with on a daily basis just to make the payroll and pay the bills. I want to continue to work with organizations like Vision Shared that work on legislation that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship, and research in new technologies that do not currently exist. We should reward those entrepreneurs willing to take a chance that want to try something new hear in WV and when they create and sustain jobs in WV we should help them and not discourage them from making that initial investment.
Create Tax Credits & Incentives For Small Business And Entrepreneurs
West Virginia has more than 38,000 small businesses. Instead of focusing our time, money and efforts on tax cuts and incentives for large out-of-state corporations, we need to focus on our state’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. Republicans want to remove the inventory tax for some of our largest manufacturers, instead of removing it for the small businesses who would really feel the impact. We have to refocus our efforts on the people in our communities who are creating jobs and providing services at the local level.
Invest In Tourism Development
West Virginia has the potential to be a real destination state for tourism. The Tourism Office is working on this and doing a great job in promoting our state and what we have to offer. We need to build on this by investing in tourism development and the people and small businesses involved in the tourism industry.
Support Non-Discrimination For All West Virginians
Last year was a tough one in West Virginia. Our state made national news for bigoted remarks by a legislator and for a photograph of a group of correctional officer trainees giving a Nazi salute. We can and we have to do better. Employers, including most Fortune 500 companies, want nondiscrimination policies in place, and our citizens deserve these protections.
Create Opportunity Zones
Create Opportunity funds similar to what the federal government established to help target dilapidated areas that need some tender, love, and care. Create mini TIFF districts to help jumpstart development and growth in those areas. Incentivize those willing to take a chance and renovate old buildings and houses, while helping with the demo.
Legalize Medical Marijuana
Legalize for all medical purposes and allow people to grow and harvest. It’s just a matter of time before all states around us legalize why not be ahead of the curve. This could be a huge economic driver and not only provide new jobs, but allow for a new tax stream to help pay for teachers increases and fund their retirement as well as provide money to help build new roads and infrastructure.