Dear Valley Patriot Readers,
Think for a moment of the last local business you visited. Maybe you stopped by the corner store to pick up milk, went to your local pizzeria for dinner, or picked up a new snow shovel before the last snowstorm at the Mom & Pop hardware shop.
Whatever it was, your patronage positively impacted your local economy. How we help these local businesses not only survive but thrive – and in turn help our communities flourish – will continue to be a focus for me as I step into the role of Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business. In this role, I look forward to working alongside residents and local business leaders to identify issues we can tackle together to strengthen economic opportunities and improve small business performance.
Often you hear folks say that small business owners are the “backbone of the community,” but what exactly does that mean? Of course our small business owners are creating new jobs, providing a tax base, and bringing unique and essential goods and services to residents. But local business owners are also participating in community events, contributing to local nonprofits, and supporting local community groups. I recognize that these silent partnerships are the key to building strong neighborhoods, and should be not only supported but applauded. For that reason I will work with the Committee to highlight these efforts and encourage bipartisan support of these partnerships.
The Committee must also address the tax challenges for Merrimack Valley small businesses. Growing a small business is a challenge anywhere, but it’s even tougher when the community borders a state without a sales tax. As Chair of the Committee, I will ensure that Merrimack Valley small business owners’ concerns are addressed, and I will be their voice in the statewide conversation on policy matters.
While we have yet to receive a slate of bills to be evaluated on the Committee, we are poised to examine proposals aimed at zoning reforms for housing and business construction, new ways to incentivize job creation, and making it easier for small business owners to cut through red tape.
Smaller cities, suburbs and rural towns outside Boston – communities fighting to attract new residents and businesses that can employ these residents and grow local tax bases – will benefit greatly from the work of the Committee.
Entrepreneurship fuels economic innovation and prosperity, and for many families is the opportunity to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class. I am committed to leading this Committee in discussions of equitable access to capital, healthcare, retirement, and development of a young, talented, and trained workforce.
I am pleased that several other Merrimack Valley representatives will also be serving on the Committee. Together, we will advocate for policies and initiatives that inspire entrepreneurs and boost small business development, investment, and expansion in our local communities.
As I contemplate how best to empower entrepreneurs and build thriving and inclusive local economies, I ask for your input. The success of this Committee depends upon open and honest dialogue among government officials, small business owners, industry leaders, community groups, and residents. As we begin to structure opportunities for public hearings, I encourage you to contact me with your ideas to improve our community and help small business owners do business.
I can be reached anytime by email at Diana.DiZoglio@masenate.gov or phone (617) 722-1604. ◊