After years of hearing complaints from the owners and operators of small businesses trying to navigate the regulatory process in Montgomery County, we have made a major step forward.
The Council voted last May to support my initiative to create the position of Small Business Navigator, housed in the Department of Economic Development. As a result, we now have our first small business navigator -- Ms. Judy Stephenson, an experienced small business owner. I have met with Ms. Stephenson and am impressed with her capacity and desire to help our small business community thrive.
As a result, Ms. Stephenson and I are partnering with several County Chambers of Commerce on a public forum to hear from members of the small business community. The forum is scheduled for June 17 at 8:00 AM in the main hearing room of the Council Office Building. We want to hear what they believe should be done to make County government a better partner in ensuring their success in Montgomery County.
If you are a small business owner and you would like to attend the forum, please give my office a call to RSVP at (240) 777-7828 .
A Small Business "Navigator" March 13, 2012
We have a lot of rules, regulations, and requirements in this County. And while many of them are in place to achieve broader policy goals, the sheer volume can at times be daunting to a small business owner who is new to the County or needs help getting their small business off the ground. And we know that in Montgomery County, "small business is big business."
That is why I am sponsoringBill 05-12, which would create a "small business navigator". This position would be dedicated to advising and assisting new and existing small businesses in, literally, navigating the complexities of Montgomery County regulations so that small business owners can worry less about red tape and more about register tape.
I am pleased that Bill 05-12 already has the endorsement of the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, the Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, and the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce. The Bill is scheduled for a PHED Committee worksession on March 19.
Help for Our County's Small Businesses March 12, 2010
As our economy has suffered through The Great Recession, one of my goals has been to use the instruments and resources available to the County to help our struggling small businesses. As the County Executive's Director of Economic Development has said, in Montgomery County "small business is big business." It is the lifeblood of our economy, and in this economy, it is struggling. Months ago, I brought together our county leaders, local banks, and small business leaders to discuss how we could help them obtain capital at a time when there is such a credit crunch.
On March 10, I attended a press conference along with the County Executive to announce a $2 million infusion in to the Small Business Revolving Loan Fund. It is the single largest infusion of funds ever into this program, and will be able to immediately help scores of small businesses at a time when that help is desperately needed. I am so pleased that the County Executive and his team came up with a creative way to obtain these dollars and launch this initiative, and I was honored that the County Executive invited me to participate with him in announcing the program.