For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2017
Matthew Nocella, 202.286.1987
Grosso seeks to make D.C. more business friendly with simple regulatory fixes
Washington, D.C. – Today, Councilmember David Grosso introduced the Local Business Support Amendment Act of 2017 to simplify the procedures and reduce fees for businesses operating in the District of Columbia.
“This legislation removes government imposed roadblocks to our city’s businesses, which are a driving force of our economic prosperity,” Grosso said.
He hopes that this will start a necessary conversation.
“I have met with local businesses of all sizes throughout this city, and I have consistently heard that D.C. government regulations are over complicated and offer few incentives for businesses to locate or expand in the city. We should take a hard look at our business regulations and see what fixes we can make that will improve the environment for locating a business in the District of Columbia.”
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 troubleshoot and serve 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. 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, the same trade name for a business at multiple locations, and will extend the trade name issuance from two years to five years to remove the burden of costly biennial reporting.
Chairman Phil Mendelson joined Grosso in introducing the bill, which was originally introduced in 2015.