To the Editor:
I don’t understand why Gov. Baldacci and the legislators in Augusta come down so hard on small business. Ninety percent of businesses in Maine employ 20 people or less. Small business is the core of our economy, the primary private sector job creator. Yet high taxes and overbearing regulations are hurting our small business owners.
Here are examples: a marine contractor says it takes him longer, and is more expensive, to get all the licenses and clearances to build a marine pier – than to build it. A local deli owner, struggling to stay open, starts off January with $1,200 in state permit fees just to open her doors. She told me she could sell a piece of turkey between two slices of bread, but not between two pieces of wax paper. An excavator old me last week he hit a small ledge and it took three weeks to get the state and local permits to cut it out – meanwhile his equipment lay idle and his two crew laid off. An eighth -generation lobsterman told me he has to work two weeks a month driving a truck in western New York to pay for all his permits and taxes and stay on the water the other two weeks. A logger told me he couldn’t cover his crew with Maine’s exorbitantly high-cost health insurance and workman’s comp so he cut back his operation and subcontracted a reduced order book to a relative.
I owned a small business for 18 years. My wife and I worked 80 hours a week the first five years to get it going. I had many sleepless nights worrying about how to meet payroll, how to handle health insurance for my employees and how to fend off government regulations that were threatening my business.
We all can help small business. Eat lobster. Buy local. Hire your neighbor to help with your weatherization project. Try to keep all purchases within 20 miles of your home. That will help all of us survive in these tough times,
If you elect me as your representative, I will go to bat for you, and work to reduce regulations that are stifling small business, and keep taxes from driving you out of business. And when the economy comes back, I’ll work to reduce your taxes -from 8.5% to 5% — at least down to Massachusetts level.
Candidate, House or Representatives District #61
Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Southport, Westport Island, Arrowsic, Georgetown
To the Editor: