By Tyler Micik
Today we celebrated National Small Business Week by hosting Small Business Day in Dover with our Small Business Alliance (SBA) committee. The event began with a workshop around key issues impacting the small business community—economic development, child care, data privacy, and more. We also focused on the importance of building meaningful relationships with members of the General Assembly. Then attendees were joined by the House Small Business Caucus where several topics impacting the business community were discussed such as affordable housing, the worker shortage, and recreational marijuana, among others. The event ended with scheduled meetings between policymakers and attendees and a tour of Legislative Hall.
Two bills that the State Chamber is prioritizing saw movement this week. House Bill 102 (Entrance Permits) and House Bill 104 (PLUS) were released from committee in the Senate and now head to the Senate for a full vote. Both are part of a package of four bills sponsored by Rep. Bush that are aimed at improving Delaware’s permitting process.
According to a 2019 KPMG report, Analysis of Delaware Permit Competitiveness, Delaware has an opportunity to be more competitive if its permitting processes were strengthened through streamlined communication between state agencies, greater transparency and cost predictability, and a fast-track approval program for high-priority projects, among other recommendations. Delaware is in a fight for economic development projects. This package of bills goes a long way towards Delaware’s ability to compete for projects, which in turn may create good paying jobs and opportunities for Delawareans.
The other two bills in the package, House Bills 101 and 103, have been introduced and await consideration in the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee.
Also of note, House Bill 99—the Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act—was released from House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and has been placed on the House Ready List. The legislation creates a framework for implementing the Governor’s Climate Action Plan. The State Chamber testified saying the following statement:
“The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce is not yet in a position to support House Bill 99. We hope to continue working with the sponsors to enact legislation that improves the environment while allowing Delaware’s economy to prosper for the benefit of all employers and their employees. We acknowledge the intent of the legislation to create a framework for addressing climate change. However, further amendments are needed to ensure the bill provides certainty and predictability to the business community and all stakeholders. We’re all in this together. We all want clean air and clean water and all of us, businesses included are good environmental stewards and we hope the General Assembly will enact policy in a balanced way that makes progress, embraces new technology, and creates jobs.”
With 18 legislative days left of session, the State Chamber continues to follow these bills and other legislation that could impact the business community. To learn more about the SBA or bills we’re following, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
small business day in dover | may 4, 2023