For Immediate Release
November 3, 2015
Contact: Darby Hickey
Grosso Introduces Bill to Encourage and Support Local Businesses
Washington, D.C.--Today, Councilmember David Grosso introduced the Local Business Support Amendment Act of 2015. “This bill will alleviate some government imposed burdens on our city’s businesses," Grosso said. “The Local Business Support Amendment Act makes important changes to better align the District of Columbia with neighboring jurisdictions and help our local businesses flourish.”
The bill creates a Local Business Ombudsman, in the Department of Small and Local Business Development, who will act as an independent business navigator and will work on behalf of businesses to trouble shoot and act as the point of contact during permitting, licensing and taxation process.
The bill also separates the Certificate of Occupancy from the Basic Business License process and will allow for a Basic Business License to be issued without the requirement of a Certificate of Occupancy. Currently, businesses throughout the city unnecessarily lose start-up capital waiting for the approval of their Basic Business License because they have to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy first, with no exceptions. Some businesses do not need a Certificate of Occupancy at all for their business model, but are forced to obtain one regardless.
The bill eliminates Basic Business License endorsement fee structures and allows for the transfer of a Basic Business License to a new location without any additional fees or applications. It will also allow for a registrant to apply for, and use, only one trade name for a business, and will extend the trade name issuance from two years to five years to remove the burden of costly biennial reporting.
“During my first two years in office, I became deeply familiar with the agencies that govern business operations in D.C. I have met with local businesses of all sizes throughout this city, and I have consistently heard that D.C. government regulations are not business friendly and offer few incentives for businesses to locate or expand in the city. I understand that fees serve as revenue for the city, but I believe we need to closely analyze what these seemingly small fees on businesses are worth if they are ultimately driving businesses and jobs out of the city,” said Grosso.